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Toyota lifts lid on new-gen Corolla sedan pair

Two Toyota Corolla sedans unveiled ahead of Aus release more than 12 months away

16 Nov 2018

TOYOTA has lifted the lid on the sedan version of its new-generation Corolla small car, with two different versions breaking cover at the Guanzhou motor show in China.
The car-maker’s local arm said the Corolla sedan is at least 12 months away from arriving in Australia, and is yet to confirm which of the two sedan versions – each aimed at different markets – would make it to Australia.
Of the two versions, one is known as the ‘Levin’ – a sportier model for the North American and Japanese markets, while the more upmarket model, simply known as ‘Corolla’, is slated for release in Europe. Both will be offered in China.
Like the hatchback version released locally in August, the Corolla sedan is built on Toyota’s new TNGA platform, which has resulted in a 60 per cent increase in torsional rigidity and lower centre of gravity, thanks to the use of ultra high-strength steel and new structural adhesive technology.
On the TNGA platform, the new Corolla sedan sits 5mm wider and 10mm longer than the previous version, while being 20mm lower to the ground. Wheelbase length is unchanged at 2700mm.
Handling and ride quality are improved over the old version thanks to completely revised front, and new multi-link rear suspension, while a lower beltline, slimmer A-pillars and a lower bonnet improve driver visibility.
Styling of the two versions shown at Guangzhou differ slightly, with the Levin mirroring the styling of the Corolla hatch, while the Corolla sports a slightly different front fascia with a tweaked LED lighting cluster design and smaller front air intake.
Australian versions will employ the 125kW/200Nm 2.0-litre aspirated petrol engine from the hatch, driving the front wheels via either a six-speed manual transmission or Dynamic-Shift continuously variable transmission (CVT). Power in the new petrol engine is up 21 per cent over the outgoing model.
Internationally, the 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain is also offered on the Corolla sedan, however it remains to be seen whether Toyota Australia will take the hybrid. Toyota says the hybrid sedan will be offered in “more than 90 countries and regions”.
In previous-generation guise, the Corolla sedan was offered only with the petrol engine, while the hatch had the choice of petrol or hybrid mills.
Inside, the sedan matches the cabin specification of the hatch with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, 4.2-inch instrument cluster display (7.0-inch on high-spec variants) and features such as DAB+ digital radio, wireless phone charger, leather/suede upholstery and heated seats, depending on the variant.
Driver assistance technologies rolled out in the hatch will be carried across, such as active cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, automatic high beam, a reversing camera and seven airbags.
Australian pricing and specification will be announced closer to its release date, however in previous-generation form the sedan commanded premium of roughly $1000 over the hatch.
Toyota is still selling the outgoing Corolla sedan in Australia alongside the new-gen hatchback.
Through the end of October, Toyota has recorded 30,350 sales of the Corolla, a 4.4 per cent decline over the same period last year but still enough to place it first in the small passenger car segment.
It leads the likes of the Mazda3 (26,438), Hyundai i30 (24,038) and Volkswagen Golf (16,484).

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