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Driving Impressions - Toyota Corolla (copyright image)

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by Chris Goodsell

26th July, 2011

Tasmania was the destination of choice for a week of motoring in a rented October 2010 build Toyota Ascent sedan.

Four of us travelled 1,200 kilometres around Tassie, having a good time seeing the sights. During that time I got a good feel for a car that is the world's biggest seller ever. Some 35 million units have been put together over the last 45 years.

To be frank, I have got to say that the car did not impress me. It’s showing its middle age in a number of ways. The suspension is harsh for a small family car. The headlights are poor. The headlights of my 'classic' car from 1965 are just as good. Passengers found the rear compartment hard to climb out of. The auto gearbox takes a time to find gears from a standstill. Like many modern cars, Toyota has done a plastic overkill on the interior.

On the upside there is plenty of boot space, interior space is good. The car has excellent air conditioning. Performance from the 1.8 litre four cylinder engine is satisfactory as is the handling. The car features all the latest electronic and passive safety devices. The car earns an impressive five star ANCAP safety rating.

The 'drive-away' price for the car is from $24,339 (check local dealer for the up to date price in your area as state charges/duties/fees/levies/taxes and local insurance rates vary between the states and territories, as do dealer delivery fees).

The Toyota Corolla is, as the lady at the rental car office said, ‘bullet proof’ but it is certainly dropping behind other Japanese and Korean competitors. If you are a car, maybe it doesn’t pay to be 45. My rating is 6.5 out of 10.


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