The latest Corolla targets the in-crowd with sportier stance, smart styling and improved handling.
With its new Corolla, Toyota has launched a version of the world’s best-selling car that is significantly improved, both visually and technically, yet without breaking the mould that has made it an icon for durability and still attracts great brand loyalty.
The 2018 Corolla’s longer, wider and lower stance is immediately apparent, along with pleasingly crisp front and rear styling. The aim is to lure younger buyers, so this smart presentation is accompanied by more spirited handling, thanks to the wider wheel track and a sharper steering feel.
The sportier stance, incorporating a lower centre of gravity and occupant hip point, may be less attractive to older buyers who are turning to high-riding SUVs. Seat-height adjustment is thankfully standard in all models.
Up front, access and space are good. Drivers face a neat and significantly refreshed dash layout, enhanced by a large, centrally mounted touch screen. Front-seat design and support has improved, as has cabin presentation and trim finish, although the step up is more obvious in mid SX and top ZR models. The cabin finish in the entry Ascent Sport model remains somewhat sober.
Fundamental shortcomings of this model are small rear doors and a roof-hinged hatchback design that make access to the rear seat difficult, while space for adult passengers is notably compromised. The lack of rear air vents and decent storage pockets is also disappointing. Young families should check child-seat access and space, although all mounting points are well positioned.