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Car reviews - Toyota - Corolla - CSi sedan


11 Nov 1994

HISTORICAL for being the last locally made small car, this seventh-generation Corolla suffered for being too big, too expensive and almost three years late by the time it arrived here. By then Hyundai and Ford were pitching low-quality, low-priced South Korean light cars at a fraction of its price, and buyers weren't responding. But it makes a great used car buy, especially as the slightly cheaper Holden Nova, since this AE102 model benefited from Toyota’s Lexus program quality trickle-down effect, so it was big on refinement, comfort, durability and – for a Corolla - space. This time only a single five-door hatch (called Seca) and four-door sedan were offered in CSi 1.6, CSi 1.8 Conquest and Ultima 1.8 sedans and Seca CSi 1.6, CSX 1.6 and 1.8 and sporty RV 1.8 hatches. All autos were now four-speed, while on the safety front there was now the option of airbags and anti-lock brakes. But a big weight hike meant the popular 1.6 autos were no rockets. A model reshuffle, minor trim changes and upgraded specification levels marked the ’96 Corolla range. Unusually for a Toyota, the AE102 continued for a year after the next-generation, fully imported AE110 hatchback range appeared in October ’98, but only in CSi and Conquest guises.
Model release date: 1 October 1994 to 1 June 2000

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