Johannesburg - As the first units trickle into dealerships, Toyota has listed the pricing and specifications for its all-new Corolla hatch on its local website - the new model starting at R336 800.
Boasting a far bolder design than the Auris it replaces, the hatch is available in three flavours - XS manual, XS CVT and XR CVT - and all are powered by Toyota’s 1.2-litre, four-cylinder turbopetrol engine that made its local debut with the CH-R crossover.
The motor produces 85kW and 185Nm, which puts it in the same ballpark as the VW Golf 1.0 TSI, and Toyota claims a 0-100km/h time of 9.5 seconds for the six-speed manual derivative and 10.4 seconds for the two variants with continuously variable auto transmission.
So what do you get for your money?
The XS, listed at R336 800 (manual) and R347 400 (CVT), comes equipped with dual-zone automatic climate control, Toyota’s Display Audio six-speaker touchscreen infotainment system with reverse camera, cruise control, keyless entry, auto headlights, multi-function steering wheel, 16-inch alloys, seven airbags and stability control.
The XR CVT, at R367 100, gets fancier seats, upholstered in a combination of leather and suede, with the front seats also heated and the driver’s perch offering two-way electric lumbar adjustment. It also gains on the safety front, with a blind spot monitoring system fitted as standard.
All versions of the new Auris are sold with a three-year/100 000km warranty and six-service (90 000km) service plan.
But how does the pricing compare to the opposition?
You can get a Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI Comfortline for similar money (R337 000) but with less equipment, while Opel’s Astra 1.0T is also in that ballpark at R329 409. Both German hatches enjoy a duty-free advantage that the Toyota doesn’t.
Another interesting, and somewhat underrated, alternative is Peugeot’s 308 1.2T Allure, at R334 900, and while we’re talking French hatches, you can also have a Renault Megane 1.2T Dynamique for 323 900.
The other contenders - Ford Focus and Mazda 3 - are due for replacement soon, so chase those if you want a good run-out deal.
When is the new Corolla sedan coming?
A new generation Corolla sedan is already coming on stream in overseas markets, but South Africans will likely have to wait until 2020 for it to arrive.
It also seems unlikely that the new four-door will be built in South Africa, but there is speculation that the current locally-built Corolla will soldier on as the 'new' Corolla Quest.