• Sunday, July 21, 2024
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New generation Corolla arrives local dealerships


Toyota Nigeria Limited (TNL) has lifted the wraps off the Nigerian-spec 2014 new generation cash-cow Corolla, inside the principal franchisee’s corporate headquarters located in Lekki, Lagos.

With a record of 30million units sold in 154 countries across the globe, and with the first generation Corolla entering the market in 1966, this is the first time TNL is launching the model in-house apparently to demonstrate the emotional ties and nostalgic feeling attached to it as model of choice.

The latest entry is more engagingly styled, has a better quality interior, than the predecessor and features a new drivetrain. It also has a huge legacy to live up to, especially given a track record spanning 47 years and encompassing more than 40 million units sold. The first ever exports was in November of the same year with 15 units being exported to Australia

The 2014 model is marginally larger than the outgone model, growing in overall length by 80mm, the width by 15mm, and luggage compartment by 27mm in 2700mm wheelbase all in an effort to increase the comfort and utility of the vehicle.

Described as the bread and butter model of Toyota line-up by Chandrasheker Krisnadas Thampy, Toyota managing director, and said to be a vehicle that is already perfect and undergoing perfection by Kunle Ade Ojo, excecutive director of TNL respectively, the new Corolla will be available in Nigeria in four different models of 1.6-litre automatic, 1.8-litre GLI manual and automatic version either in leather or fabric seats and top-of-the-range 2.0-liter engines. It is the best-selling car of all time and every minute of every day, two brand new Corollas drive out of a Toyota factory somewhere in the world.

Produced 16 factories of the world and sold in 154 countries, the car has stood the car in good stead over the years, with a reputation for reliability. But this temporary set-back has been confined to the dust bin of history and the automaker is moving ahead with great optimism and leaps and bounds.

The 11th generation Toyota Corolla is longer and wider than the previous model, making for a more spacious interior. However, roominess reigns supreme in the new Corolla and the very generous rear legroom is reminiscent of a larger class of car. The 452 litre boot’s a good size too even with its full-sized spare wheel and seats fold down to increase luggage space.

Toyota has placed further emphasis on refinement with the increased application of sound-deadening materials, such as an inner-facia silencer pad and acoustic glass windscreen. The automaker is said to have alleviated the CVT’s rubber-band driving sensation sensation by implementing seven discrete shift points and even emulating shift feedback to imitate the action of torque-converter unit.

Finding a comfy driving position is no problem thanks to a height- and reach-adjustable steering column, and the various dashboard controls are fairly simple and intuitive. What you get in the new Corolla is a feeling of solidity. The car is very well screwed together and once you start moving it’s a quiet and refined experience, thanks to an acoustic glass windscreen and improved insulation.

Styling of the latest Toyota Corolla is restrained and designed to appeal to the widest audience. It would be recalled that when BusinessDay witnessed the launch of the car at the last Johannesburg International Motorshow in South Africa, it looked like a revolution was at hand. Here was Toyota’s mid-sized family sedan sporting sleek, sexy lines that ripped apart public perceptions about it being conservative and frumpy.

For safety, the vehicle comes equipped with anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and brake assist which is adopted to compensate for driver’s failure to depress the brake pedal deep enough during an emergency.

Talking about utility and comfort, a newly designed light weight highly efficient air conditioning system that achieves class top level cooling performance has been adopted. It has a clean air filter which removes dust and pollen as one of its main futures.

With roominess and refinement in the mind of the manufacturers, there has been no revolutionary change here, with any big ideas. Quiet evolution is how Corolla rolls, and what is in it is a car that is little more spacious and a little more refined than the previous one. The obligatory growth has taken place in length and width, but a slightly lower roofline.

The engine’s best feature is its fuel consumption and can average an impressively economical 5.5 litres per 100km, a strong selling point in these dark days of record fuel-price highs.

A slight weight reduction in the new Corolla comes with improved torsional rigidity, along with revised suspension. Probably the car’s best feature is its smooth ride, and the suspension deals very gracefully with rough roads.

The engine’s best feature is its fuel consumption and can average an impressively economical 5.5 litres per 100km, a strong selling point in these dark days of record fuel-price highs.

Mike Ochonma