Toyota Corolla Hatch: Hundreds sold before 'official' launch
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Toyota New Zealand has sold around 200 new Corolla hatchback models, weeks before the model's official launch on October 1.
The 12th-generation Corolla hatch is longer, lower and wider than its best-selling predecessor, continuing the legacy of what has become something of a motor industry phenomenon.
It is said to be the world's best-selling model, with 220 million sold around the world since its introduction in 1966.
The new model range is priced from $29,990 for the baseline Corolla petrol 2-litre GX model, through to $38,490 for the top of the range Corolla ZR 1.8 litre petrol hybrid model. There are three Corolla models available now, the GX (petrol and hybrid), a mid-range SX petrol model, and a petrol and hybrid ZR models.
The petrol models are powered by a new 2-litre four-cylinder engine with a direct-shift CV transmission, while a 1.8 litre petrol electric hybrid engine on the hybrid models is linked to an electronically controlled CV transmission.
The lower grille on the new models emphasises the increased width, with LED headlights wrapping around into the front guards, while the design is more rounded at the rear.
The new cars have a lower centre of gravity and a more rigid body, contributing to better handling and stability without compromising ride and comfort.
Read more: First look at new Toyota Corolla in NZ
Toyota New Zealand general manager of product and new vehicle sales, Neeraj Lala, told the press launch of the models in Palmerston North that it was the biggest upgrade in the Corolla's history.
"It's a more premium and stylish car that places a priority on the highest active and passive safety standards," he said.
The new platform allowed for a lower centre of gravity, trailing wishbone independent rear suspension and a more rigid body that contributed to better handling and stability without compromising ride and comfort.
The 2-litre direct injection petrol engine adopted the latest in Toyota technology for gains in power, fuel efficiency and cleaner emissions. It had 21 per cent more power (125kW) and 15 per cent more torque (200Nm) than its predecessor, and yet was more economical.
The CVT transmission was more efficient, and used a new gear drive when starting from a full stop, eliminates the momentary hesitation that in the past has annoyed drivers.
The SX and ZR petrol variants add paddle shifters while all petrol variants can access a 10-speed sequential manual shift mode.
The hybrid models feature the latest self-charging petrol hybrid electric powertrain from the Prius. The 1.8 litre petrol engine has a combined system output of 90 kW, with a claimed combined fuel consumption of 4.2 litres per 100kms.
The baseline GX model has an 8-inch touchscreen display, a 4.2 inch multi-info display, rear privacy glass, 16-inch alloy wheels, and a six-speaker audio system with satellite navigation.
The GX hybrid model gains a dual climate control system, with and keyless smart entry and push button start.
The SX grade models have these features plus a wireless phone charger, LED front fog lamps, paddle shifters, leather steering wheel, and an additional USB port.
The ZR has a large colour head up display on the windscreen, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather and sude accented sports front seats, a premium audio system, 7-inch colour multi-information display, ambient illumination, automatic dimming rear-view mirror and high-grade bi-LED headlampsl
Al models have an active pre-crash safety system that includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection ( day and night) and cyclist detection (day only), all speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert and lane centering and sway warning.
All models have reversing cameras, along with drive start control, secondary collision brake and active cornering assist.
Blind spot monitoring is added to the mid-range SX and top line ZR variants.