We prefer to preserve tabs on the plate numbers of the check vehicles we pattern, with the hope that one sometime we’d stumble upon them once more down the road — being pushed by some harmless soul unaware of their automobile’s former life getting haphazardly thrashed on twisty roads by the hungry press.
However you achieve a good larger reference to a long-termer, as was the case right here with Pushed’s now departed Toyota Corolla ZR Petrol long-termer; licence plate LLW76.
Over two months, it grew to become a part of the household, ferrying dad and mom out to dinner and pals out to drunken events. And, in a approach that’s virtually unnatural for a Corolla, it made a giant impression.
There are points with the Corolla, positive. We touched on the marginally dire boot area and rear leg-room, in addition to a number of the faux-sporty styling in our earlier updates. However, after two months it was nonetheless enjoyable to drive, and its appears commanded a look over the shoulder at each alternative.
And, in true Corolla model, the two-month check was drawback free. No rattles within the cabin, and the engine didn’t skip a beat.
The one large job we left till the ultimate weeks was an prolonged gas financial system run. A correct try, with minimal junk within the boot to weigh the Corolla down, a interval of intentionally combined driving routes, and a conservative feather-weight proper foot.
We crammed the 50-litre gas tank to the brim with a few of New Zealand’s most interesting 91-octane gas, leaving no change from $100. With a claimed mixed gas consumption price of 6L/100km, the Corolla’s dashboard indicated that we had a 626km vary earlier than needing to go to a petroleum station once more — a quantity based mostly on our earlier driving habits.
This passed off on our final week out of the workplace, so there have been just a few sunburnt journeys to the seaside with passengers becoming a member of us for the form of city commuting a Corolla ought to anticipate to do in its day-to-day life. And the numbers we achieved had been predictably slightly fascinating.
With our honed, treat-the-accelerator-like-a-mine-in-the-Amazon driving model the Corolla was capable of squeeze out a mean gas determine of 6.4L/100km. Not fairly matching the claimed figures, positive, however a lot nearer than another vehicles can get in real-world apply.
Not solely that, however we managed to cowl 761km earlier than caving for a refill, and the Corolla indicated that it might do an additional 26km if we wished to; which might have added as much as 787km to a tank.
In fact, most individuals don’t drive like this — particularly in Auckland the place it’s each man, lady and baby for themselves. In our customary commuting throughout the mortgage interval, we repeatedly hit 5L/100km on the motorway and between 7.5-8.5L/100km in city driving.
Amongst our different late discoveries was the combined bag the Corolla’s arsenal of standard-across-the-range security tech is.
With the ability to use adaptive cruise management in even the $29,990 base mannequin is nice, and the system capabilities properly. Its transition when slowing to a cease is considerably clunky in that it solely must be paused for just a few moments earlier than asking the motive force to dab the throttle to maintain it awake. However, in any other case, it’s competent and predictable — and works properly when mixed with the clever Lane Tracing Help lane-keep system.
The pace restrict signal recognition system, too, is useful. However, like another programs, it’s not good. Our check automobile stored telling us that the pace restrict on the Southwestern Motorway was 20km/h — having clearly misinterpret the SH20 highway indicators.
In all honesty, if we had been out there for considered one of these Corollas, we’d skip previous a petroleum instance to hop right into a extra economical hybrid. However that’s to not say that petrol-power is completely off our minds …
There’s vital hearsay that Toyota is weighing up making some type of sizzling hatch variant. It’s a transfer that will neatly dovetail with Toyota’s need to reposition itself as a extra enjoyable and performance-orientated model.
Simply assume; a model with a (hopefully) well-priced sizzling hatch to rival the i30 N, positioned alongside an entry-level rear-wheel drive sports activities automobile (86) and a meatier, extra highly effective sports activities automobile (GR Supra). Think about, too, the Gazoo Racing Yaris that seems in different markets and you’ve got one complete efficiency lineup.
What makes us most enthusiastic about such an announcement is that the compact’s shared “TNGA” could be a fantastic canvas to construct a sizzling hatch on high of. Attacking the twisty tarmac of Scenic Drive, it confirmed useful ranges of grip and communication, regardless of a suspension tuned for consolation, comparatively numb steering, and the presence of an (admittedly good) CVT.
Pictured: a faculty or flock of Corolla. Photograph / Matthew Hansen
Once I first picked up the Corolla, I named it Norman — a slipshod pointed finger on the nameplate’s less-than-exciting previous. However by the tip of our two-month check, Norman had developed to Normie.
A Corolla that’s … personable? What a time to be alive.
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