Toyota has launched its new Corolla Hatch, a car that mos of us will fondly remember as a memorable one with the likes of the Corolla Conquest and Avante variants of decades ago.
The comeback kid is now simply known as the Corolla Hatch, the new sedan version will arrive later in 2020.
The automaker says: "This new hatchback builds on its predecessors celebrated qualities of contemporary design, driving dynamics and efficiency."
Janine Van der Post shares 10 quick facts to know about Toyota's new Corolla Hatch:
1. Re-branded? Yes, the new Corolla Hatch, now in its 12th generation, was previously known as the Auris.
2. It is built on the TNGA platform, the foundation for Toyota’s future powertrain and vehicle development and the version of this modular platform employed in the Corolla is designated the GA-C. This means it's dynamic handling benefits to the new Corolla range, it's 60% torsionally stiffer and lighter.
3. Sensuous minimalism: It has a much lower centre of gravity, it is sportier and more assertive than its predecessor.
4. What's under the bonnet? It houses a 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine under the bonnet that delivers 85kW and 185Nm through either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a new 10-speed Sport Sequential Shiftmatic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
5. Which version to pick? Both the manual and CVT transmissions are equally delightful. There's no whining, CVT drone one would expect and the first kick gear really makes it feel like a conventional auto 'box. In fact, I would actually pick the CVT version, especially when having to deal with Cape Town's gloomy traffic congestion.
6. The golden child: The hatch is Toyota's halo model across the hatchback range of the brand in the C-segment. The automaker has seen a significant volume shift from entry to mid- and high-range grade models; hence there are only two trim levels available.
7. Feel familiar? Yes, it's the same engine and CVT found in the edgy compact crossover, the C-HR.
8. Body colours: There are six colours in the range, of which three are new: Caribbean Blue, Scarlet Red and Oxide Bronze. My personal favourite is that hue of blue.
9. The cabin is spacious and extremely comfortable. There'a host of new textures, colours and trim. The slim instrument panel improves forward visibility and allows the driver to be positioned lower and closer to the car’s centre of gravity.
The high-grade Xr models have slim Alcantara-covered front sports seats with wide shoulder supports that combine with solid, thick side bolsters to grip the driver when cornering, says the automaker.
10. Pricing is competitive. The XS starts at just R336 800, while the range-topping XR CVT is priced at R367 100. Toyota reckons they want to sell about 150 units a month, and judging by its numbers in just two weeks of 114 units, they very well might just hit those figures.