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From its entry point upwards, Toyota's 2013 Corolla hatch range offers high quality, driver oriented, comfortable interiors wrapped in smart, dynamic exteriors underlined with the model's distinct reputation for reliability and value for money.
The addition of two new sporty models to the New Zealand line-up - the Levin SX and Levin ZR - broaden Corolla's appeal to private small car buyers. But drivers of traditional Corolla models will relish the more contemporary, cleaner design and improved comfort and space the hugely popular GX and GLX grades now boast.
The 11th generation Corolla hatch range is the result of a total vehicle approach to improving driveability and dynamic performance, while also reducing emissions and improving fuel economy.
The entire range has been rethought and reengineered; not a task to be taken lightly when you're talking about the world's best-selling vehicle with more than 39 million units sold in over 140 countries since the car's debut in 1966. And at a local level, Corolla also dominates its segment.
"Corolla has been a key model for building the reputation of the Japanese auto industry, and Toyota specifically," says Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales, Steve Prangnell. "In New Zealand, Corolla has topped its segment for 28 years in a row, and has been the country's favourite passenger car 15 out of the last 25 years."
That sales success will be enhanced by the 11th generation offering: a revitalised Corolla that delivers on its heritage and solid reputation as a car for all comers, at all points in the range.
"We're confident the new model will continue Corolla's success in the face of new challenges in the market," continues Prangnell. "We've worked with Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan to reduce the recommended price of our GX grade models by $1000; even with the extra specification that's been added."
Corolla GX is available for $33,490 with a six-speed manual gearbox, or $34,990 with the fuel-efficient seven-step Multi-Drive Sport Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The GLX model is now $37,490; a reduction of $2000 over the outgoing model.
The sporty Levin SX and luxuriously-appointed Levin ZR models are $38,990 and $43,690 respectively. Like the GLX, the two new Levin models - a heritage nameplate for Corolla introduced to New Zealand for the first time in 2013 - are available exclusively with Multi-Drive Sport CVT. Additionally a panorama sunroof is available as an option in the Levin ZR for $1800.
All four grades of Corolla feature an in-line four cylinder 1.8-litre dual VVT-i petrol engine, featuring Toyota's Acoustic Controlled variable Induction System (ACIS). The engine boasts a maximum output of 103kW at 6400rpm and 173Nm of torque at 4000rpm.
The entry-level Corolla GX boasts fantastic specification, including Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and audio streaming controllable through the steering wheel, AUX and USB inputs, voice recognition, a multi-information display, Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control, Hill-Start Assist Control (on CVT models), electric power steering, an engine immobiliser, cruise control, bi-halogen projector headlights with auto-off functionality, ISO-FIX child seat mounting points, three-point seat belts for all occupants and 60/40 split folding rear seats. The entire Corolla range also features driver and front passenger front, side and front/rear curtain shield airbags, plus a knee airbag for the driver.
While the high-end Corolla Levin models present the possibility of an even more engaging drive experience for Corolla customers, improved efficiency remains a steadfast goal across the range. Improved fuel economy (6.6L/100km for CVT-equipped cars) and lower emissions (152g/km for CVT-equipped cars) is achieved through aerodynamic improvements to the body and significant weight savings through the use of high tensile steel sheet metal. This means running costs for fleet and private buyers alike will be less.
Concludes Steve Prangnell: "The latest Corolla hatch is bolder, more dynamic, better equipped and cheaper to run than ever before."
In true Toyota style, the company's reputation for quality, fantastic features and benchmark reliability at all points in the model range continues to shine through with the new Corolla hatch.