Johannesburg – While the locally-built Toyota Corolla Cross has become the new mainstream player, the imported hatch and sedan models remain an interesting option, with somewhat striking looks to boot.
And now Toyota has sharpened them up for 2023, with a number of subtle design tweaks, but the big news is that the engine line-up has been rejigged.
For starters, the 1.2-litre turbopetrol engine that previously powered the entire hatchback range is no longer available as Toyota discontinued it abroad due to European emissions regulations.
As a result, the hatch is now offered with improved versions of the 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain as well as the normally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol, which were already offered in the sedan model. These changes also reflect in the revised four-door Corolla.
The new-generation hybrid drivetrain produces 103kW, which is 13kW more than its predecessor, and Toyota claims a combined fuel consumption figure of 3.5 litres per 100km. The 2.0-litre non-hybrid engine is now good for 126kW and 203Nm, which is 1kW and 3Nm more than before, and for this one Toyota claims a drinking figure of 6.0 l/100km.
The manual gearbox option also falls away, meaning all models are now available exclusively with Toyota’s CVT continuously variable gearbox.
Design changes inside and out
We’re glad that Toyota hasn’t tampered too much with the exterior design, but a few subtle enhancements have been made.
The hatch, for instance, gets a wider front airdam with C-shaped foglamp bezels at the outer edges, while the sedan receives new horizontal slats in the front bumper. Both body shapes feature revised Bi-LED headlight clusters, with larger J-shaped DRL elements.
New colours join the line-up too, including Vibrant Red, Luminous Orange, Attitude Black and Dark Blue Metallic in the case of the hatch. The sedan gains Cinnebar Red, Moonlight Ocean Metallic and Attitude Black hues.
Adding some spice to the cabin is a new black and red interior trim option, and the models also get revised digital instrument clusters and infotainment systems.
The Xs base models feature a 7.0-inch instrument display while the Xr flagship receives a full-width 12.3-inch unit. As for the central infotainment systems, the Xs variants get a new 8.0-inch capacitive touchscreen set-up, while the Xr models also get a new generation system, complete with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as voice recognition and built-in navigation.
The driver assistance gizmos have been upgraded too, with all Corolla models featuring the new Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 system, which uses a higher-resolution camera with a wider-angle lens. The standard system includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Trace Assist, Pre-Collision Warning and Auto High Beam. However, you’ll have to opt for an Xr model if you want Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Safe Exit Assist.
All models are sold with a six-service, 90 000km service plan, and while petrol models have the standard three-year/100 000km warranty, the hybrids get an eight-year/195 000km warranty plan.
Toyota Corolla Prices (November 2022)
1.8 Xs Hybrid – R490 000
1.8 Xr Hybrid – R528 400
1.8 Xr Hybrid Bi-tone – R538 800
2.0 Xr CVT – R517 100
2.0 Xr CVT Bi-tone – R529 000
1.8 Xs Hybrid – R502 600
1.8 Xr Hybrid – R521 800
2.0 Xr CVT – R517 100