The Corolla model has always occupied the top lines of sales ratings in our country. The current generation is no exception. Now it’s time to find out what this Corolla is. However, it should be noted right away that in Ukraine this is the twelfth generation of the Japanese sedan appeared about a year ago. Why haven’t we tested the Corolla yet? The thing is that only the hybrid version was presented in the test Park. And despite the fact that I was impressed with the hybrid Camry at the time, I was not ready to talk about a C-class car with a price tag of 28 thousand dollars. And that’s how much the Corolla with a hybrid powertrain cost.
Today we are testing a Toyota Corolla with a 1.6-liter atmospheric engine. Given the popularity of this model, we can assume that many of you are already very familiar with it. Therefore, for more information, I will compare the Corolla with its competitors. The most suitable, as for me, are the outgoing generation of Skoda Octavia (this car is also a bestseller in our market) and the current generation of Hyundai Elantra (is in the third position in sales in this class), which will soon also receive a successor.
Of course, you could safely add a few more decent cars: Renault Megane, Ford Focus, Honda Civic or Mazda3. Some of them can be really close to Corolla in terms of quality balance. But the most important comparison factor in our history is the engines. All competitors presented today have atmospheric engines with a volume of 1.6 liters, which are paired with automatic transmissions. In addition, all three models are leaders in sales in their segment. That is why it seems to me that it is best to compare these models.
The entire test is divided into disciplines, each of which will be rated (from 1 to 3 points). To sum up, we will calculate the points received by competitors. To make the comparison more objective, we will go through all the main criteria that are considered by buyers when choosing a future car.
Toyota Corolla is a model with a rich history that goes back more than fifty years. During all this time, twelve generations were created, which turned into fifty million copies sold. The current Corolla, as for me (and I’m sure many will agree with me), has the most attractive appearance. At the same time, the appearance of the car looks restrained, and there are no unnecessary attempts to stand out due to non-trivial solutions.
Toyota Corolla side view
But with the Elantra, things are different: the restrained and in many ways elegant appearance of the pre-styling model was replaced by experiments and then still ” raw ” notes of the modern design concept of the entire Hyundai brand. The result is still a good level of sales and an increased number of disputes about appearance. In my opinion, Elantra was not very attractive. But soon there will be a new generation of models with a completely different design.
Toyota Corolla rear view
Octavia is an example of a completely different approach. The appearance of this popular model has become so standard and already familiar that you simply will not hear criticism of it. Octavia is her… “just Octavia.”
As a result, according to the criterion of appearance, I am ready to evaluate the Corolla by 3 points, Octavia – by 2, and Elantra received from me only 1 point (so to speak, for participation).
Toyota Corolla optics
All presented cars offer led optics, but not in the basic versions. But the Elantra is equipped with an adaptive head light in the maximum configuration. Otherwise, the lighting equipment of all competitors is at a relatively equal (good) level. In this discipline, all applicants receive 2 points from me, which, I think, is quite fair.
Measurement of paint coating
We measured the thickness of the varnish on each of the cars and got results that, although slightly different from each other, are still within the tolerances. Skoda and Toyota get 2 points each, but Elantra gets 1 point: the thickness of the varnish is slightly less.
The interior of the Corolla has changed significantly, and now you can guess the design solutions of the “classic Japanese sedan” from the late 90’s or the beginning of the “zero”. Similar solutions in the front panel architecture were used in the Camry XV30, and in the Honda Civic of the sixth and seventh generations, for example. I don’t think this approach is a design flaw: I even like it. I also note that there is enough space in the cabin, but not in excess. Landing at the wheel is moderately comfortable primarily due to good seats. However, I would like a large range of steering wheel adjustment.
Toyota Corolla driver’s seat
The front panel looks good, but the main thing is that the functionality of all the controls located on it is at a height. The climate control buttons are “classic”, not touch-sensitive, so they are very convenient to use. The eye is pleased with both the brevity of the design and the pleasant blue illumination of the “climate”.
Toyota Corolla climate control buttons
The Czech competitor offers noticeably more space in the front. In addition, I like landing in a Skoda more than in a Corolla. On the other hand, the Octavia interior no longer looks as modern as the interior of a Japanese sedan. However, the A7 generation is already leaving the market,and we are about to have its receiver.
Toyota Corolla interior
I have no complaints about the quality of materials and Assembly in Toyota – everything is done at a high level. But in the Octavia, this high level is complemented by the fact that the plastics on the door cards, as well as on the front panel, are soft. I don’t quite understand why the Japanese decided to save money on this: the Corolla is not a cheap car, but the plastic on the doors turned out to be hard.
The same situation with the design of door cards and Elantra. The interior of the Korean sedan also does not “hold up” to Skoda, but it is on the same level as Toyota. That is, the comfort of landing at the wheel here is slightly better than that of the Japanese model (especially for tall people), but the combination of finishing materials is somewhat worse. The design of the front panel of the Elantra is not new, but there is nothing to reproach it with.
Toyota Corolla front seats
As a result, for the driver’s seat, steering wheel, finishing materials and overall approach, Corolla and Elantra get 2 points from me, but Octavia performed better in this discipline, so it gets 3 points. After all, this is a European car created by Europeans for Europeans.
Everything is ambiguous here. The fact is that the Corolla multimedia system can not boast of the presence of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In our time, as for me, this is the main omission in terms of multimedia capabilities.
Toyota Corolla multimedia
If we do not take this fact into account, we can say that the functionality of the systems of all three cars is approximately at the same level. But, nevertheless, I will add a point to competitors for the presence of these modern features, so Skoda and Hyundai get 3 points each, and Toyota – only 2.
Despite the considerable size of the Toyota wheelbase (2.7 m, which is a good indicator), there is not much space in the back row of the car. In addition, in comparison with its predecessor, this Corolla model has become lower, which is not an advantage for me. So while there’s plenty of legroom right now, the tall passenger has to slide down slightly to avoid propping up the ceiling with his head.
I find myself in a similar situation when I sit in the back row of the Elantra. Not to say that there is an abundance of free space, and in addition, the ceiling is even lower than in Toyota.
Toyota Corolla rear row seats
But the situation with Skoda surprised me a little. I expected that the Octavia would become the record holder for space for rear passengers, but it was not quite so. Places on the legs-obviously no more, the reason for this was a shorter base. But there is a small amount of space above your head.
As a result, everyone gets 2 points for the convenience of placing passengers in the back row. But I will not hide the fact that the Czech liftback surprised me. I expected the Octavia to be roomier than its competitors, but unfortunately, there isn’t much legroom, and the high tunnel interferes with the average passenger. This is one of those situations when it seems that you already know the features of the presented cars very well, but when you compare them in person, everything turns out to be a little different.
The volume of the trunk of the Corolla is 471 liters – you can not call it small. The opening is wide and high enough. The compartment itself is finished well, under the flimsy floor there is a dokatka. When folding the back of the rear seats, you need to keep in mind that due to the power structure of the body, the inner opening is small, and a step also appears.
Toyota Corolla trunk
In the Korean car, the situation with the Luggage compartment is very similar, although the compartment itself has a slightly smaller volume (458 liters), the same with the opening. But the Octavia has an incredible trunk. With its 590 liters of volume, this model simply tears its competitors to shreds. I believe that the size of the Skoda trunk is even excessive. Nevertheless, the Czech car gets the maximum score from me for the convenience of loading/unloading and dimensions. The result is that Octavia gets 3 points, Corolla – 2, and the Elantra is satisfied with 1 point.
Toyota Corolla ground clearance measurement
Corolla was able to confirm the 13 cm of ground clearance declared by the manufacturer, but this indicator itself is undoubtedly too small. Octavia can pass under the bottom of the obstacle height of a little more than 14 cm. For this class of cars, this indicator is already normal. And the leader in this discipline is Elantra with a real clearance slightly exceeding 15 cm. As a result, Corolla gets 1 point, Octavia – 2, and Elantra – 3 points.
Engines and dynamics
Now you can move on to one of the most interesting disciplines – dynamic characteristics. The engine volumes of all competitors are the same-1.6 liters. but the Corolla is equipped with the most modern unit for the entire three. There is a system for changing the timing of gas distribution, and in terms of output, this engine shows the best performance among competitors – 132 HP and 160 Nm of torque. The Corolla is followed by the Elantra with a power of 128 HP and a torque of 155 Nm, closes the three Octavia, the return of the motor is only 110 forces and 150 Nm of torque.
Toyota Corolla engine
Indeed, in terms of engine characteristics, Toyota is ahead of both Skoda and Hyundai. Does this mean that the Corolla is the fastest? Not everything is so clear. The Octavia’s claimed acceleration to 100 km/h is 12 seconds, and let’s face it, it’s slow. The Korean sedan-in theory-should be a little more dynamic-11.6 s. Official Corolla figures promise dynamics of 10.2 s. Given that the declared characteristics often differ from the real ones, we checked the dynamics of the Corolla ourselves.
As a result, the Corolla could not meet the passport data: the best acceleration to 100 km / h took 11.2 s, while the rest of the results are at the level of 11.6-11.7 s.
By and large, I would have to estimate the dynamics of each of the competitors at 1 point: acceleration in both 11.6 s and 12 is too slow in 2020. But in fairness, it should be noted that the Corolla accelerated to 100 km / h faster than its competitors. Therefore, the Japanese sedan gets 2 points (in advance), the Korean sedan and the Czech liftback – 1 point each.
Toyota Corolla acceleration to 100
In this context, it is worth mentioning that if we laugh at the dynamics of the Mazda 3, the criticism of the dynamic performance of these cars is more than fair for today’s test subjects.
From a formal point of view, all of today’s competitors are equipped with automatic transmissions. But the fact is that the Elantra and Octavia are equipped with hydro-mechanical “automata”. The Korean car has at its disposal a box developed by Hyundai, and the Japanese Aisin unit is installed in Skoda. I have no comments on the operation of these automatic transmissions: the Elantra and Octavia automatic machines are configured perfectly.
But Toyota has a CVT installed, and its operation causes me ambivalent feelings. On the one hand, it is difficult to find true fans of this type of checkpoint. On the other hand, in the case of the Corolla, I can say with confidence: Japanese engineers have learned to make sure that no one has any complaints. However, up to a certain point – until you start to press the accelerator pedal to the floor. At such moments, the imitation of switching immediately disappears somewhere, and the variator begins to “bite” the speed. As a result, the disadvantages that were criticized for variators, with normal driving do not appear. But when you try to drive dynamically, you realize that the problems have not disappeared.
Nevertheless, the engine and CVT are well “noisy”: they do not transmit unnecessary sounds to the cabin. So during a measured movement, this tandem works quite well. And let this be a controversial case, but I will rate the” automatic ” Elantra and Octavia in 3 points, and the Corolla CVT gets 2.
From comparing our cars in this particular discipline, I extracted one of the main revelations of our test. If earlier I doubted the high smoothness of the Corolla, then after some time behind the wheel, I have to state the opposite. So “adult” behavior of the Japanese sedan on the road really surprised me.
Toyota Corolla in the city
In this generation, the Corolla’s rear suspension received an independent design. That is, traditional MacPherson struts are installed in the front, while an independent circuit with a stabilizer is installed in the back. The smoothness of the ride has increased significantly, and the stability of behavior has also increased. Someone’s words that ” Corolla is a small Camry “can be considered quite fair: the car reacts to irregularities with a good energy intensity, and in the suspension settings you can consider some”breed”.
The Octavia and Elantra also ride well, despite the rear-mounted beam. But, of course, a little more rigidity in their behavior is still present. Therefore, I give the Japanese car 3 points, and the rest-2. They do not get 1 point only because the beam is cheaper to maintain and, as for me, it is less afraid of our roads.
I would like to mention the Corolla steering system as the highest rating, but, unfortunately, it does not deserve the maximum score. The steering wheel is too light, it does not transmit all the necessary information, and the force does not increase in proportion to the speed set. In a broad sense, the level of steering adjustment is average, but this is only if you compare it with the competitors that we have today. If a Honda Civic or Ford Focus were on this list, Toyota’s steering settings would not compare to them.
In General, each steering wheel can only be considered “normal”, no more. Therefore, all participants in the comparison receive 2 points each.
“Noise” is a collective concept, and it consists directly of noise isolation, as well as vibration isolation, which affects the perception of silence on the go no less. And here everything is ambiguous. The “noise” in the Corolla can hardly be called the best, but the vibration isolation has a positive effect on the overall feeling of isolation of the interior from unnecessary sounds. It turns out that in a Japanese car at high speed, there is more noise in the cabin, but up to 80 km/h, on the contrary, it is less than in the salons of competitors. Therefore, in this discipline, each of the cars gets 2 points.
Toyota Corolla behavior on the road
Toyota Corolla consumes approximately 8.5 liters of gasoline per 100 km of road in the city, which fully corresponds to the consumption of an Octavia with an atmospheric engine (based on owner reviews). But the Elantra has a little less appetite: the engine of the pre-styling version in the city used less than 8 liters per “hundred”. But even half a liter of difference means an overpayment of only $ 500 per 100 thousand km of mileage. Therefore, the fuel consumption of these cars can be considered parity. Accordingly, in this discipline, all cars receive 2 points.
When buying a new car, many future owners are interested in the country of origin. Of course, we will not put an assessment in this discipline, but for the overall development, it is worth noting that the Corolla, as before, is produced in Turkey, the Elantra still comes from Korea, and the Octavia – from the Czech Republic (but it is assembled in Ukraine).
Prices for Toyota Corolla with a 1.6-liter engine and CVT start at a little less than 20 thousand dollars, and ends with an indicator under 26 thousand. This is significantly more expensive than competitors. For example, an Elantra with an atmospheric engine and an automatic transmission in the basic configuration can be obtained for almost 18 thousand dollars. And for 25 thousand you can buy Elantra in the maximum configuration, and for the change to buy another 3000 liters of fuel, which you will have enough for two years of operation. 1.6-liter Skoda Octavia with automatic transmission is now presented in just one (but not poor) configuration Ambition for $ 20,500.
Let’s sum up the number of points. Toyota Corolla has earned 29, the Skoda Octavia is 31, and the Hyundai Elantra took third place with the achievement of 27 points. The Corolla result once again confirmed that this is a good car. We knew about this before, but now the form of the test allowed us to see where it is better than the competition, and where it is inferior to them. After all, everyone has their own priorities. Someone is more important to have a large trunk, and I understand such owners of Octavia. And the owners of the Hyundai Elantra will say that they do not want to overpay for the imaginary advantages of Toyota. And I am also ready to accept this opinion.
Toyota Corolla tail lights
But still, the Corolla in some small things can be considered a little stronger than the competitors presented on the test. Probably the most noticeable advantage is a very comfortable suspension, which you will definitely appreciate the settings on our roads. She also has a fresh appearance and a nice interior. Among the obvious disadvantages, we can note the small ground clearance and limited capabilities of the multimedia system. Also, not everyone will like the landing.
But the most important thing is the price. The Toyota Corolla is the newest model compared today, and it is significantly more expensive. Sure, it’s a good car, but it’s not cheap. If this sedan cost at least two thousand dollars less, it would be much easier to compare.
In the same situation, it is probably fair to compare this version of the Corolla with the Elantra, equipped with a 2.0-liter engine. In this case, the Korean car would be noticeably more dynamic, because that engine already produces 155 HP. a Big plus of this version is the ability to easily install HBO, since the 2.0-liter engine is equipped with hydraulic compensators. And in General, the price difference between the versions of Elantra with different engines is only a thousand dollars, which is not so much.
C Octavia is still ambiguous. Again, for a little extra, you can get a liftback with a 1.4-liter TSI and a DSG” robot”, and in this configuration, the Octavia will be much more pleasant on the go. On the other hand, all these claims to the initial price of Toyota “covers” a very significant argument – better liquidity in the secondary market.
There is no doubt that the current Toyota Corolla is a good car. There is also no doubt that this model will be bought. Everything is natural here: the car is valued for its legendary reliability, which is joined by the “magic” of the Toyota brand and the trend of the new generation. The sum of these factors makes the overpayment (compared to competitors) quite acceptable. But here everyone has to make a decision on their own.