Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good The current generation Toyota Corolla Sedan arrived Down Under in May 2007 with the mid life facelift going on sale three years later (June 2010 to be exact). The Corolla feels like a well engineered vehicle and sounds like one too - the doors shut with a European 'thud'. Impressive interior size has increased from the previous generation.
Not so good You must pay a price for a stronger body, and that is an increase in kerb weight over its predecessor. We prefer the design of the hatchback over the sedan - it has a more attractive rear-end! You also sit higher in the hatch than the sedan.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good The interior has a quality feel about it, with quality feeling plastics being used throughout giving it a nice 'fit & finish'. As with the hatch, there are many useable storage compartments and comfortable front seats suited to a wide range of bodies - unlike the hatch, there's a large boot.
Not so good The Corolla Sedan's interior is slightly more conservative than the Hatchback.
Performance

Performance

Good Whilst not class-leading, the 1.8L Petrol engine is sufficient (it produces 100kW) for the majority of buyers who are looking for a small family car. From June 2010, the top dog 'Ultima' grade features a bigger 2.0L petrol powerplant (which see's torque jump from 175Nm (1.8L) to a healthier 189Nm).
Not so good Engine could do with more low-down torque (hopefully, a Turbo Diesel? Unlikely though). The growing number of competitors offering five & six-speed automatic gearboxes makes us think this four-speed auto need an upgrade. Utlima's 2.0L petrol engine only produces a marginal 2kW more than the smaller 1.8L (102 v. 100).
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good The strong brakes work well on tarmac & gravel. The suspension, whilst simple in its design, does handle well on the road.
Not so good The sacrifice you make for a comfortable ride is more body roll than other Small cars. The steering could offer a little more feedback. Overall, it handles nicer at low speeds than highway speeds...
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good The fuel consumption is impressive for a 1.8L Petrol engine Small family car. A standard full-size spare tyre, (rather than space-saver) is a relevant feature here in Australia considering the higher than average number of kilometres that we drive. From early 2010, both Electronic Stability Control (Toyota refer to this as VSC) and side-airbags was standardised across all grades with the mid spec 'Conquest' and top spec 'Ultima' grades coming standard with seven airbags. October 2010 update sees even the entry level Ascent grade including full-length curtain and driver's knee airbags (so all Corolla's now come with 7 airbags as standard).
Not so good Not as sexy looking as the Corolla hatch (but the sedan has the bigger boot).