The Corolla is a much-loved South African standard that has seen numerous incarnations throughout the years. Taking this familiar favourite to another level, Toyota has done a brilliant job of refreshing the style and design of this vehicle, as well as adding to its durable and reliable identity through innovative features and quality engineering. On show at Toyota Kempton Park, I am pleased to present the drive review for this delightful sedan.

As a woman in the motoring industry, I always find it personally rewarding to see other women taking on leadership roles in this field. The Dealer Principal of Toyota Kempton Park, Desiree Wiseman, is a veteran in this regard: having started with this dealership almost fifteen years ago, Desiree has also gained experience across various roles, including sales, training and virtual shopping. In 2012, this dealership was awarded the title of National Toyota Dealer of the Year, which was the first time in thirty-eight years that a female-headed dealership had taken this. Desiree is motivated to invest in her team to meet the challenges of an ever-evolving construct of buying a vehicle. Having produced numerous other dealer principals through her leadership, Desiree believes in giving the best of yourself to those around you.

Charlene Verburg (who is the New Vehicle Sales Manager at Toyota Kempton Park) has also adopted this belief, and the history with which Charlene has entered this industry is evidence of her determination and perseverance. Facing incredible challenges to find her place in the industry, Charlene did not allow anything to stand in her way. Now, eleven years later, Charlene’s love for the Toyota brand has been fostered through her observation of the high quality and reliability which the brand offers.

Keegan Edwards is the Automark Sales Executive at the Dealership. He has been in the industry for 23 years and lists selling cars as his passion. Keegan’s customer service philosophy is based on the principles of building a relationship with clients and ensuring that they receive all the necessary information regarding all the products and aftersales services available. Keegan also notes that he enjoys the diversity of the staff at the dealership, as well as the feminine touch of the dealer principal.

The new Corolla 1.4 D4D is currently on show at Toyota Kempton Park and is extremely popular with families and young professionals thanks to its elegant looks and spacious cabin. The Corolla has been given a complete upgrade from its predecessor and now boasts even more features than before. With expressive styling that hints at the power beneath the hood, this vehicle has a sporty, aerodynamic nose and powerful rear that presents a good-looking package as a whole.

The interior is beautifully designed, with neat leather upholstery and premium finishes all around. The dashboard is ideally laid out to have everything you need close on hand, without cluttering the space around you. A trip computer in ambient cool-blue lighting indicates important information regarding the functioning of the vehicle. There is a clear LCD display on which your audio and media controls are operated via touch, as well as Bluetooth/USB/Aux connectivity (all of which is controlled from the multifunction steering wheel). Keyless access, power steering, air-conditioning and electric mirrors and windows are standard. The driving position is comfortable and the steering wheel scopes and tilts to your preferred level; the interior left me feeling quite spoilt with luxury without seeming gaudy.

In terms of safety, the Corolla has 2 airbags, Isofix Child Restraints, ABS and EBD included as standard; added to the solid body structure, I felt quite safe. The cockpit is generously spaced, and even in the rear, my children were comfortable and had more than enough room, even in the middle position of the rear seat. The boot was a big plus point for me, with adequate loading space for numerous suitcases and groceries at the same time. I particularly liked that the boot opens with a touch of a button on the remote.

The 1.4 litre diesel engine is paired with a manual gearbox that delivers surprisingly responsive power: 66 Kw of power and 205 Nm of torque is delivered efficiently, using fuel sparingly whilst giving you more than enough power. I found the Corolla to be quite fast, with good acceleration (although there was a little bit of lag) and a smooth, stable feeling on the highway (as well as superb handling in general). Gear changes are light and seamless and the entire drive felt very satisfying to say the least.

Fuel consumption of 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres is noted, and I can edify this with my own experience: having collected the Corolla with a full tank of fuel and driving all over the city for a week, I returned the vehicle having used only a quarter of the tank. According to Toyota, the range for this vehicle is 1222 kilometres on a 55-litre fuel tank, which is superb in my books. With a starting price of R255 000 the Corolla represents value-for-money and on-the-road affordability, whilst keeping you and your family driving safely and in style.

At the dealership, the Corolla is a sought-after brand-new vehicle, and is equally as popular in the used-cars department. Used Car Sales Manager Louis Jordaan is proud of the fact that Toyota Kempton Park strives to deliver quality pre-owned vehicles with superior customer service, which is characterised by attention to detail and transparency. The Corolla has become known for its phenomenal quality and affordability, having much more on board for its price than other vehicles in this segment.

Toyota Kempton Park is currently running specials on the RAV 4 and Toyota Corolla that are worth noting, as well as some exciting changes in the pre-owned vehicle’s department. Check these deals out on: Toyota Kempton Park


Journalist: Desh Bechan

Reporter: Inge Stols

Editor: Belinda Anderson