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First drive: Toyota Corolla

Japanese small car gets a new look and more gear - but is it fun to drive?

PT4M36S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-27wi3 620 349

Our rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Keen pricing
  • Stylish body
  • Agile steering and dynamics
  • VT suto makes most of engine

Cons

  • Bland interior
  • Engine only average
  • Road noise over smaller bumps

Few cars have the staying power of Toyota's Corolla. First launched in 1967, the once-basic small car is in its 11th generation and battles it out for sales supremacy among the bestsellers locally. Loved for its reliability and solid resale value, the Corolla has historically never been a standout in any one field, but blends a sensible package with reasonable driving qualities and competitive pricing.

At least that's the theory. Corolla take 11 is an evolution, albeit with the new wave of styling that Toyota likes to usher in to separate old from new. There are more creases and angles to give it a more modern look outside, and the Corolla is now three centimetres longer but 5.5 centimetres lower, while retaining the classic hatchback proportions. An all-important sedan won't arrive until later in 2013, though, leaving those chasing a boot with the previous model - or a competitor.