Toyota’s new Corolla sedan has followed its hatchback sibling in heading upmarket – with associated price rises.
Priced from $23,335 plus on-road costs for the manual or $24,835 for the CVT auto, the new Corolla sedan is about 10 percent more expensive than it was when it last sold in Australia in 2018.
While the sedan shares much of the hatchback’s rakish snout, the lower bumper is more conservative, as is its conventional boot.
For the first time the Corolla sedan will be offered with a hybrid option, picking up the 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol-electric system used in the Prius.
Combined, they produce 90kW and 142Nm, with claimed fuel use of 3.5 litres per 100km (just 0.1L/100km more than a Prius).
At $1500 more than the petrol-only models it should take only about two years of fuel savings to pay off the hybrid price premium, assuming petrol prices of $1.50 a litre and 15,000km travelled annually.
“The addition of hybrid plays a vital role too, and our ongoing commitment to this technology and the expansion of our offering is all with the aim of assisting consumers to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of just how valuable this technology is to both their hip-pockets and the wellbeing of our planet,” said Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley.
There’s also a 2.0-litre petrol engine option with 125kW and 200Nm, the same outputs of the Corolla hatch.
The Corolla sedan range largely mimics that of the hatch, although the hybrid drivetrain is only available in the Ascent Sport and SX trim levels, the flagship ZR powered only by the 2.0-litre four-cylinder.
Even the base Ascent Sport (like the hatch there’s no longer a regular Ascent) comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto pumped through an 8.0-inch touchscreen.
There’s also a reversing camera and Toyota Safety Sense active safety kit that includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and speed sign recognition.
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However, it’s not until the CVT-auto-only SX (from $28,235) that blind spot warning is added. The SX also gets smart key entry, satellite-navigation, digital radio tuning and wireless phone charging.
The ZR ($33,635) pick up a mix of real and fake leather, a head-up display, nine-speaker JBL sound system, 18-inch alloy wheels and heated sports seats up front with electric operation for the driver.
The ZR sedan also comes standard with a sunroof, something that makes it $1500 more expensive than the equivalent Corolla ZR hatchback.
The new Corolla sedan is fractionally bigger than the one it replaces – 10mm longer and 5mm wider – but is 25mm lower, part of the “sport-like poise” that is hoped to appeal to more buyers.
Toyota says the Corolla sedan is “deceptively spacious”, so expect a big part of the sales pitch to be its additional rear legroom over the hatchback, courtesy of an additional 60mm between the front and rear wheels.
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While the boot of the new car hasn’t grown, its 470-litre capacity trounces the luggage space in the hatch, which ranges from 217L to 333L, depending on the model.
While the previous Corolla sedan was sourced from Thailand, the new one comes from the same Japanese factory as the hatchback.
The sedan is expected to make up about 25 percent of Corolla sales, the remaining 75 percent going to the hatch.
2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan pricing
- Ascent Sport manual - $23,335
- Ascent Sport CVT - $24,835
- Ascent Sport hybrid - $26,335
- SX CVT - $28,235
- SX hybrid - $29,735
- ZR CVT - $33,635