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Five things you need to know about the new 2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan

Five things you need to know about the new 2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan

Toyota on Wednesday launched its 12th-generation Corolla sedan. Set to build on the enviable successes of its predecessors (Corolla is the world's best-selling automotive nameplate, in case y'all didn't know), these are five things you should know about it.

1 It resembles its hatchback sister

Viewed from the front, the sedan looks pretty much identical to the Corolla Hatch that was launched in SA last year. This is a good thing, because we at TimesLIVE Motoring always thought the hatchback version something of a looker.

Compared with the outgoing sedan, this 12th-generation model sits 20mm lower to the ground. The bonnet edge has also been lowered (-35mm), while the length of the front overhang has been reduced by 25mm. Front and rear track has been increased by 11mm and 22mm respectively. This helps give the vehicle a wider, more aggressive stance.

Two grade options are offered from launch — XS and XR. The XR model serves as the flagship and is available exclusively with the new 2.0-litre “Dynamic Force”, engine with a choice of six-speed manual or 10-speed Shiftmatic CVT. The 1.8 XS serves as the entry point to the range.

XS models roll on 16-inch alloy wheels shod with 205-55-R16 tyres. Range-topping XR models receive sportier turbine-shaped 18-inch alloy wheels with 225-40-R18 tyres.

2 No option of diesel for the time being

The previous-generation Corolla could be had with a lovely little 1.4-litre turbodiesel motor that offered strong torque and excellent fuel consumption. But alas, it is no more.

From launch the new Corolla is only offered with a choice of two four-cylinder petrol powertrains. You can pick a 1.8-litre, pumping out 103kW and 171Nm worth of torque, or the new 2.0-litre “Dynamic Force” TNGA engine, delivering 125kW and 200Nm.

The 1.8-litre is available with a seven-speed Shiftmatic CVT transmission while the 2.0-litre can be had with a six-speed manual gearbox or 10-speed Shiftmatic CVT.

Fuel consumption for the 1.8-litre is listed as 6.2l/100km, the 2.0-litre manual at 6.5/100km and the 2.0-litre CVT at 6.0 l/100km

3 Better technology for better times

As expected, the sedan receives a major bump-up on tech and convenience fronts, thanks to the inclusion of a new touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Climate control with Eco mode, a reverse camera, power seat adjustment, one-touch functionality for the electric windows, keyless entry, tilt and telescopic steering adjustment, steering switches and cruise control also feature on the standard specification list. XR models up the ante with an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

Two levels of Multi-information Display (MID) systems are utilised. The XS grade uses a 4.2-inch display, while the XR variants employ a seven-inch system with digital speedometer.

4 A stylish and refined interior

The new Corolla sedan adopts the same interior design as its hatch sibling. This means you get a clutter-free dashboard design layout, reduced upper-panel height, soft-touch finishes and brushed metal accent strips. In sedan form, blue contrast stitching adds an air of sportiness, while also complementing the blue illumination used for the switchgear and instrument panel.

A revised front seat design with ribbed pattern and bucket-like profile lends a premium feel to the cabin. A new synthetic fabric called “RezatecTM” is used. It offers the comfort of fabric with the premium feel of leather. The XR model offers a choice of blue or grey accent trim colours.

Toyota has also improved NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) levels to ensure a calmer and less fatiguing driving experience, especially when on longer journeys. The generous application of sound-absorbing and insulating material in the engine bay combines with a triple-layered dashboard inner silencer to minimise the penetration of engine and transmission noise into the cabin.

An integral floor silencer has also been adopted, increased body sealer has been applied to gaps between panels and foam material has been installed within the body frame in numerous locations to reduce the penetration of wind and road noise into the cabin.

5 Money matters

Pricing for the 12th-generation Toyota Corolla is as follows:

Corolla 1.8 XS CVT: R372,700

Corolla 2.0 XR 6MT: R412,300

Corolla 2.0 XR CVT: R425,200

All models are sold with a six-service/90,000km service plan, with service intervals pegged at 15,000km/12 months. A three-year/100,000km warranty is also included.