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Toyota's 11th generation Corolla hatch has arrived.
Fittingly for a car that has been a segment leader for 28 years in a row, and the country's favourite passenger car 15 out of the last 25 years, the 2013 Corolla range builds on these successes by offering something for every small car buyer.
"The latest Corolla hatch is bolder, more dynamic, better equipped and cheaper to run than ever before," says Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales, Steve Prangnell.
"With the 11th generation model we've expanded our line-up to broaden Corolla's appeal with private buyers and the important fleet and rental markets alike."
All four grades of new 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 has a maximum output of 103kW at 6,400rpm and 173Nm of torque at 4,000rpm.
Thanks to better aerodynamics and overall weight reduction, the car also has improved fuel economy of 6.6L/100km (CVT-equipped models) and improved CO2 emissions of 152g/km (CVT-equipped models).
From the entry-level GX model up, the new Corolla range boasts a fantastically modern, sleek look and specifications to match, including Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and audio streaming controllable via 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, 16" wheels, ISO-FIX child seat mounting points and 60/40 split folding rear seats.
GLX adds to this comprehensive package with a 6.1-inch touch-screen display unit, reversing camera, privacy glass in the rear, 16" alloy wheels and fog lights up front.
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.
The revitalised 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 $37,490 and available exclusively with Multi-Drive Sport CVT.
Aside from the model's legendary practicality and reliability though, a key development theme for the new Corolla also centered on 'emotional engagement'.
As Chief Engineer for the 2013 Corolla project, Hiroya Fujita himself explains: "We learnt from surveys that the main user group of the Corolla's current generation model, as well as the targeted younger generation, were seeking much sportier hatchbacks than we had imagined."
Those needs are more than met for Kiwi Corolla fans, with two new sporty, premium additions to the traditional GX and GLX models.
Hot on the heels of the media and fan frenzy that ensued in the wake of the arrival of the 86 sports coupe - a car that set new benchmarks for refined, performance-driven engineering that paid homage to the company's rich heritage - Toyota has released another iconic nameplate into the New Zealand market with the arrival of two new Corolla models: the Levin SX and Levin ZR.
Derived from an Old English word meaning 'lightning', Levin has long been a model designation affixed to range-topping premium and performance specification Corollas in the Japanese market. That tradition is now set to continue in New Zealand with these two new model offerings taking the total Corolla range from two to four grades.
"With these two new sporty Levin models, we're providing a premium solution for drivers downsizing from other segments," says Steve Prangnell.
The 2013 Corolla Levin SX builds on the established GLX, adding 17" alloy wheels, premium meters with a LCD multi-information display panel in the instrument cluster, carbon fibre look accents, and black and red stitched fabric seats.
The top-specification Levin ZR goes further with leather trimmed and heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, smart key entry and keyless start, automatically activating High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with an Automatic High Beam (AHB) system and Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS). The Levin ZR also gives customers the additional option of a panoramic roof with an electric sunshade.
Driver involvement is increased in the two Levin models with the addition of paddle-shifters on the steering wheel, enabling drivers to manually shift through ratios creating the opportunity for a more dynamic on-road experience.
Recommended retail price of the new Toyota Corolla Levin SX hatch is $38,990, while the range-topping Corolla Levin ZR hatch is priced at $43,690. The panorama sunroof is available as an option for Levin ZR at $1,800.