Toyota has been a trusted brand in South Africa for as long as I can remember. The Corolla range, from the time it was introduced to SA back in the ‘70s, was a hit, combining economy and reliability into affordable packages. From inception it has held a fair size of the market in its segment. The Corolla, it’s been around for over 30 years... and nothing has changed.
In terms of automobile evolution the first Corolla is just as boring as the latest Corolla, but people still love it. That’s because the Corolla has kept to Toyota’s motto, “Everything Keeps Going Right”. You won’t get fancy gadget technology and styling but what you do get is an engine that will, in most cases, easily take you up to 500000kms without any issues, and that is why the South African market is so loyal to the brand, even though recent pricing isn't so competitive.
While we’re on the topic of pricing, although your purchase price is slightly above competitors pricing, you will however reap the benefits when you are either trading in or selling your prized possession. If your Corolla has been well taken care of and fully maintained by Toyota you will get an excellent price on your car. The Corolla has one of the lowest depreciation rates in the market.
The model that was tested here is the 2013 Toyota Corolla 1.3 Professional. The 1.3 litre engine is based on Toyota’s Optimal Drive technology and is able to produce 74kw of power and 132nm of torque which is delivered to the wheels via a six speed manual gearbox. For the size of the Corolla, the 1.3 engine seems to handle the weight very well, even with passengers on board.
Let’s move onto the styling, like I said earlier the car is sort of boring, but when you look at others in the same segment you will find it’s really not that bad, but it’s not going to take your breath away either. But look at it this way, the Corolla is your properly dressed butler who will do your bidding to the ‘T’ without complaining.
Inside you get standard equipment which includes aircon, power steering, front electric windows and on-board computer. Again interior is plain and simple, but practical and comfortable. You wouldn’t mind doing a long distance trip in it, there is ample room all around the cabin for all passengers to sit comfortably. The boot can accommodate a ridiculous 450 litres, which can take virtually anything that you throw at it.
On the road you get the same feeling, that you are really driving a boring car. But then you turn on the radio and listen to your favourite tunes through the USB MP3 player and you realise that your Corolla is effortlessly transporting you in smooth, silent, comfort, just like a good butler should, and then you smile and realise that this is why the Corolla is the number one trusted sedan in South Africa.
The current price of the 1.3 Professional is R196800.00 and this gets you a 3 year 100000km warranty and a 5 year 90000km which is above the market average of just 60000km and 4 years. As you can see the price seems to be a bit high, compared to competitors, but remember, your resale or trade value and Toyota also do in house finance options that make owning a Corolla highly affordable.