The hatchback models of Australia's best-selling car, Toyota’s long-running Corolla, have come in for a recent upgrade.
Ascent and Ascent Sport grades receive a classic European-inspired outline while the addition of a body kit endows the higher SX and ZR grades with an assertive, sporty look.
There are also new audio systems amongst a refresh of the interior, suspension refinements and efficiency gains that cut fuel use by as much as 7.6 per cent.
The ZR (as tested) has taken a $1000 price cut, further enhancing its value equation. The aforesaid suspension tweaks have improved the initial roll damping and handling stability. This, along with remapping the electric power steering to add weight and feel, contribute to better handling dynamics and driver connection.
However, the ride quality is still on the firmer side of compliant for the segment.
The 103kW 1.8-litre power unit with dual variable valve timing, working through a revised seven-step CVT, is willing and able at all times with a good flow of torque (173Nm) on tap from low down through the midrange. 0-100km/h shoots by in 9.3 seconds.
Being the range topping model, the ZR comes well equipped with high degrees of comfort and space. Main features include an alarm, smart entry and start (keyless), Bi-LED headlamps (auto levelling), LED daytime running lamps; and heated/powered/folding door mirrors.
There’s also an electrochromatic rear-view mirror, dual-zone aircon, leather-accented seat trim; sat nav; front sports seats (heated) with power lumbar support for driver; 17-inch alloys; front spoiler; rear bumper skirts and spoiler; side skirts and paddle gear shifters.
A capped price of $140 applies for each of up to six scheduled logbook services in the first three years/60,000km of ownership.