Product Type: Toyota cars
Newest Review: ... which at least lightens the cabin a little). Equipment As we have come to expect from Toyota - equipment levels are high - CD, Elec Win... more
The NEW Toyota Corolla
Toyota Corolla 3-door S
Member Name: averagepunter
Toyota Corolla 3-door S
Date: 17/04/02, updated on 17/04/02 (234 review reads)
Advantages: Good comfort levels, Equipment Levels
Disadvantages: THAT interior, Still a little on the dull side of mainstream.
A Car to be Proud of - the advert says - so with expectations high I trooped off to the local Toyota dealer for a test drive.
First impressions are OK. (Ignore the pictures on this website, the Corolla has been updated)The Corolla adopts the current fashion for chunkier, taller vehicles which fit somewhere between a hatchback and mini-MPV. It has a well rounded, unoffensive appearance, the front grille doesn't look quite right but this seems to be part of the new Toyota image as it is just a larger version of the Yaris. The car looks very smart with front fog lights and alloys - and all in all - a pleasing package. (The sales rep did not know why the T-Spirit Diesel did not come with Fog Lights - strange as I can't imagine the larger diesel engine filling the tiny space used by the lights - but hey, if anyone knows please leave a comment)
With expectations still high I climbed into the interior and was dismayed by what I saw. This dashboard is one of the most drab I have seen in a long time. A mass of matt black plastic that conveys a really glum feeling. (If you go for the top of the range T-Spirit, you get a aluminium effect centre console which at least lightens the cabin a little).
As we have come to expect from Toyota - equipment levels are high - CD, Elec Windows all round - Elec Mirrors - Trip Computer, ABS, EBD etc etc. No complaints here and offers good value for a car in this class.
Comfort and Driving
Seats were easy to find a good driving position, and whilst some may find them a little firm, I thought they were just about right. For me, at six foot plus, headroom and legroom were great, and even rear legroom was good for a family hatchback. On driving, the car was smooth and quiet. I cannot over-emphasise the SMOOTH part - it was almost like driving on air - but then as I was later reminded - it all depends on what you're used to. For the reco
rd, I'm used to low profile tyres and lowered, sports suspension - so maybe my perception of smooth was a little enhanced. I drove the 1.4 engine - a reasonable amount of oomph, but it would probably be worth looking at the 1.6 as the fuel consumption is not much worse. According to the salesman, the 2.0 Diesels are 'absolutely flying out the door'. If he meant that literally, I really would be interested!!
Toyota has done a pretty good job here, certainly a vast improvement over the previous model. With long servicing interval and insurance around group 6 it should be fairly economical to run. BUT WHY OH WHY, did they produce such a depressing interior. I could not possibly sentence myself to spending 2 hours a day in there. If you can live with it though, this looks like being a great car.