- Distinctive new look for the world’s best selling car
- Two new high tech petrol engines with Toyota’s VVT-i system
- Clean and frugal new diesel engine meets European Step 3 emissions standards
- Simpler grade strategy with consistent price increments between grades
- Three body styles – 3dr hatchback, 5dr liftback and 5dr estate
- Four well specified grades – ‘S’, ‘GS’, ‘SR’ and ‘GLS’
- Improved handling through stiffer body construction
- New choice of interior fabrics and 11 exterior colours
- Sports 3dr 1.6 VVT-i ‘SR’ model with six speed gearbox
- Re-assuring Corolla reliability
- UK built 5dr liftback models
- Extended service intervals and low cost of ownership
- Affordable turn-by-turn satellite navigation system optional
- High security remote double door locking standard on most models
- Anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution on most models
- Integrated multi-function dashboard display standard on all models
- Competitive replacement parts costs
- Low insurance group ratings
- Toyota Drive Plans: Peace of mind purchasing and servicing
- On-the-road prices from £9,995 to £16,245
- On sale 1 February 2000
Few names conjure up such a re-assuring feeling as that of Corolla. Through eight generations of Toyota’s small family car, the name has become synonymous with a robust and reliable reputation allied to the latest technologies – Jeremy Clarkson might not be the car’s greatest fan but even he has to admit that the Corolla is a global success story. Over 23 million Corollas built and as many satisfied customers since 1966 are testament to that.
Toyota introduced the latest eighth generation Corolla in the UK on 23 June 1997. The new design abandoned the ‘world car’ approach that had previously dictated the car’s production and marketing strategy in favour of a distinct new rounded look created specifically for Europe with major input from Toyota’s European Design Panel. Two and a half years later, the latest Corolla has become a familiar sight on UK roads achieving over 20,000 UK sales in both 1998 and 1999.
Globally, the Corolla is now a well-known shape thanks to extensive media coverage of the World Rally Championship where the car bowed out on the world rallying stage by winning the Manufacturers’ Championship in November last year.
From 1 February 2000, Toyota will sell a new Corolla that adopts a distinguished and more robust family look similar to that of the bigger Avensis. The car features two new petrol engines – a 1.4-litre 16v and 1.6-litre 16v which employ Toyota’s VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent) system already seen on the award-winning Toyota Yaris supermini – European Car of the Year 2000. A proven 1.9-litre indirect injection diesel engine is also introduced in the range and has been engineered to meet the stringent European Step III emissions standards which become mandatory in October this year.
Inside, the new Corolla features an improved selection of contemporary velour and cloth upholsteries and a modified dashboard housing an integrated multi-function display. All new Corolla models can also be specified with the optional turn-by-turn satellite navigation system which uses the LCD display from the multi-function unit plus voice guidance. A new range of 11 exterior colours, seven of which are metallic are also introduced.
The Corolla’s proven strut-based chassis continues although body stiffness is improved with the addition of an extra floor cross member for better handling. The UK-built liftback models are also now equipped with a suspension brace added to the rear suspension for even greater rigidity. The sporty SR six-speed model adopts new ‘pillow ball’ bushings on its secondary lower arms to improve ride comfort, stability and controllability.
Twin front airbags and five, three point seatbelts (the front ones with pre-tensioners and electronic force limiters) are standard on all models. Anti-lock brakes, now with electronic brake force distribution are standard fitment to all but the lead-in models to further improve safety.
All new Corollas are fitted as standard with a key-embedded transponder engine immobiliser and all but the lead-in ‘S’ models are now equipped with double locking security locks. This deadlocking system prevents a thief opening a door if a window has been smashed.
All-in-all the simplification of and improvements to the Corolla range will reinforce the car’s market position as a dependable and cost effective purchase. In addition the new Corolla employs intelligent technologies making it not only a better drive but also an obvious choice on any C-segment car buyer’s shortlist.
UK PRICE, RANGE AND BADGING
The UK is not following the European mainland markets with a three tier, ‘Linea Terra’, ‘Linea Sol’ and ‘G6’ badging scheme as this is incompatible with the UK fleet market which demands more hierarchically clear derivatives. Broadly speaking, European ‘Terra’ badged Corollas are equivalent to UK ‘S’ and ‘GS’ specification cars while ‘Sol’ is badged ‘GLS’ in the UK. The sporty 3dr 1.6 VVT-i model with six-speed manual gearbox is badged ‘G6’ across Europe but ‘SR’ in the UK to match its sporting SR equivalents in the Avensis and Yaris ranges.
Range complexity is simplified from last year’s six badge line up (‘i’, ‘S’, ‘SE’, ‘GS’, ‘G6’ and ‘GLS’) to just four trim specifications: ‘S’, ‘GS’, ‘SR’ and top of the range ‘GLS’. Three body styles are offered – three door hatchback, five door liftback and five door estate. Optimisation of the model mix has seen the saloon variant deleted from the range (it accounted for just 0.5 per cent of UK Corolla sales).
A simple and transparent pricing and grade structure for the new Corolla has been designed to be easy for the customer to understand. A premium of £500 is asked for the 5dr liftback model over the 3dr hatchback body style while an estate costs £2,000 more than a liftback. It costs £1,900 to ‘walk up’ from ‘S’ to ‘GS’ specification or £1,500 from ‘GS’ to ‘GLS’. A four speed automatic gearbox is available only with certain liftback models using the 1.6 VVT-i engine and costs £850 extra. Specifying the 1.6 VVT-i engine over the new 1.4 VVT-i costs £350 while the new 1.9 diesel engine costs £500 more than the 1.4 VVT-i.
The 1.6 VVT-i 3dr six speed hatchback ‘SR’ model has its own unique trim and specification and costs £14,405. The SR was previously known as the ‘G6R’ and latterly the ‘G6’ in the out-going Corolla range but this new model now mates the new 1.6-litre 16v VVT-i engine to the close ratio six-speed gearbox to provide a sporty drive with an attractive insurance rating of 9E.