Hey good looking. New Corolla sedan gets the same stunning trapezoidal grille and letter box size headlamps first seen on the Corolla hatch. Picture: SUPPLIED
Hey good looking. New Corolla sedan gets the same stunning trapezoidal grille and letter box size headlamps first seen on the Corolla hatch. Picture: SUPPLIED

It’s back. But there’s no need for a closer look, for the 12th third-generation Toyota Corolla sedan is fundamentally quite a lot like the Corolla hatch launched here early in 2019. The sedan shape is the one we are more accustomed to.

Corollas have been front-wheel drive since 1983 and this latest model follows suit. Treading softer on MacPherson struts and revised damping, it’s also constructed using the company’s new platform that’s fused with aluminium, high-tensile strength steel and hot-stamped materials for a significant reduction in weight to improve the integrity of the structure while improving refinement, fuel efficiency and injecting a sharper drive feel.

With the four doors and big 470l boot, it’s designed to tolerate most daily life applications we’ve thrown at it since the nameplate's debut back 1966, but in a much more refined and aesthetically pleasing package.

You certainly won’t mistake it for the old car, or its Corolla Quest cousin, but you will recognise the carryover 1.8l petrol engine with 103kW and 171Nm. This unit is mated to a seven-speed CVT automatic transmission.

New generation materials, a touch-screen display and the latest in infotainment systems feature in the cabin. Picture: SUPPLIED
New generation materials, a touch-screen display and the latest in infotainment systems feature in the cabin.  Picture: SUPPLIED

The other option is a new 2.0l petrol engine it shares with the new Rav4. Outputs are 125kW and 200Nm and it can be paired with a six-speed manual or the CVT.

With a length of 4,630mm, the new car isn’t significantly larger than its 4,620mm long predecessor. They even share a similar 2,700mm wheelbase but the new car’s cabin is more premium.

Soft-touch finishes, brushed metal accent strips, blue contrast stitching and illumination for the switchgear and instrument panel are highlights. Features extend to Apple CarPlay, Android Auto from a touchscreen interface, climate control, a reverse camera, power seat adjustment, keyless entry and cruise control.

From a safety aspect all models feature seven airbags and ABS brakes while the range-topping XR grade receives the full quota of Toyota Safety Sense active safety aids and Bi-LED headlamps.

A sizeable boot finishes off the Euro style rear of the new Corolla sedan. Picture: SUPPLIED
A sizeable boot finishes off the Euro style rear of the new Corolla sedan. Picture: SUPPLIED

Eight exterior colours are on offer to style the handsome sedan and include Celestite Grey, Crimson Red, Moonlight Ocean, Scarlet and Dark Blue metallic. Pearl White, Glacier White and Satin Silver remain the neutral tones on offer. The XS model gets 16-inch alloy wheels while XR models receive turbine-shaped 18-inch alloy wheels.

All new Corolla models come standard with a six-services/90,000km service plan and a three-year/100,000km warranty. 

Pricing

Corolla 1.8 XS CVT — R372,700

Corolla 2.0 XR 6MT — R412,300

Corolla 2.0 XR CVT — R425,200