16.4 L/ 100km
Toyota revamping its 2015 Corolla line-up just two years after the new model launch shows how competitive the small car market has become. It's very "un-Toyota" to make changes to a popular model relatively early in cycle, but with the Corolla competing for sales in the small car class – one of the few categories still resisting the SUV onslaught – it's not entirely surprising. More importantly, it's good news for buyers.
Visually there have been some changes and the model range is split into two distinct profiles – classic and sporty – with the Ascent and Ascent Sport receiving the former treatment while the higher specced SX and XR gain the sharper looking sports body kit.
Redesigned front and rear bumpers result in a silhouette that's 55mm longer. Chrome wings in the front grille, a larger logo and redesigned headlight clusters redefine the front, and the Ascent Sport we reviewed features new-design 16-inch alloy wheels.
The SX and ZR variants have shiny black honeycomb grilles, side skirts, a roof mounted spoiler and new-design 17-inch alloys, while the top spec ZR (in a Corolla first) features bi-LED headlamps with daytime running lights. Suspension settings have been revised to complement the sporty appearance.
Inside, there is more good news. The interior gets a makeover, with the dash benefiting from a major redesign. New for the Accent Sport is a seven-inch touchscreen display and the introduction of the Toyota-link app system. Interior detailing has been lifted and the instrumentation now has a softer-on-the-eye blue backlighting.
There have been some mechanical improvements as well. Engine tweaks have resulted in a fuel consumption reduction of 0.3L/100km for the manual and 0.5L/100km for the stepped CVT multi-drive transmission. Revisions to the Corolla's suspension tune have been made to improve ride quality and general handling . Toyota's capped price servicing, at $140 for the first three years, covers all models, and all retain a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
The new kit has led to a modest increase of $300 for the Ascent and Ascent Sport, while the SX remains the same price as the previous model and the ZR drops by $1000. Pricing still starts under $20,000, with the Ascent $19,790, the Ascent Sport $20,790, the SX $23,490 and range-topping ZR, only available with CVT, $28,990.