Toyota’s 12th-generation Corolla Sedan has evolved into a true all-rounder

This is big news. The world’s best-selling badge now has is best car ever on it. First launched 55 years ago, this version twelve Toyota Corolla Sedan expands on the brand’s unquestionable virtues to deliver a broad choice in the world’s favourite car range alongside its Hatch sibling. 

cooler than SEDAN competition

Similar to the distinctive Hatch from the front, the more compact Sedan replaced the car that’s now the called Quest. Its cut roofline, shorter rear overhang and smart looks however cause you to doubt it’s a Corolla at first sight. Its far more cosmopolitan than you’d expect. 20mm lower and 25mm shorter, the Sedan sits on 11 mm wider front and 22 mm broader rear tracks. In a squatter, more appealing stance.

The Sedan’s real trump card however has to be its cabin. We’ve been scathing about Corolla cockpits over the years. We once went as far as likening one generation’s dash to a rhino’s rear end! And we’ve been put off by a lack of real progress since. Even if the last fascia was a fair step in the right direction. This latest Version 12 however brings a cabin quantum leap. And then some. 

Carrying its impressive Hatch sibling’s interior architecture across, Toyota kept the best finishes, trim and colour combos for the Sedan. We’re impressed by how good this one is. A splendid ribbed Rezatec finish further enhances the well contoured chairs and that dash is as good as anything out there. Including most of its R150K richer Hun rivals.

Touching Screen

This top model’s splendid, clear and well-thought out and presented touchscreen infotainment packs Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a reverse camera and the kitchen sink. Add Eco climate control, one-touch power windows, keyless entry, tilt and telescopic power multifunction steering and cruise control and even auto-dimming rear view mirrors, too.

Also impressive is this flagship XR model’s new 125 kW 200 Nm 6 l/100km Dynamic Force TNGA 2-litre 4-pot. Nicked from the latest RAV4 it packs a new 10-step Shiftmatic CVT. All of which conspires to deliver some handy performance figures to match those hallowed German exec rivals. And Toyota’s economical promises too. Responsive and easy to drive, you only notice it’s a CVT if you give it horns. Even then, it’s fine, especially in its ten-step shifting mode.

Handling, road holding, ride and quietness is all top notch too. Thanks to a 60% stiffer hot-stamped aluminium and high-tensile steel shell and a lower centre of gravity. That all complements its proven MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear end. For much improved dynamics, handling and stability in a serene driving environment.


It’s safe too – Corolla Sedan gets ABS, EBD and BAS brakes and Stability Control with hill start and ISOFIX anchors. Complimented by Toyota Safety Sense Pre-collision, blind spot, lane trace and more active driver aids. Including all-speed cruise control and auto high-beam Bi-LED headlamps. Even if our test unit had its dims set too low.

We need not tell you about Toyota back-up. You should know that’s why they sell so many of them. This car is however far more than just a well-supported white appliance with great resale value.

The latest Toyota Corolla Sedan has evolved into a true all-rounder. It now has everything needed to make it a darn good car. Better than most rivals in fact. To make this twelfth attempt of the best seller among the better cars in its segment. Which is something we’ve never been able to say in 30 years of testing Toyota Corollas… – Michele Lupini

ROAD TESTED: Toyota Corolla 2.0 XR auto
Engine: 125kW 200Nm 2-litre petrol I4        
Drive:10-step CVT FWD
0-60 km/h:              3.64 sec
0-100 km/h:             7.98 sec                      
0-160 km/h:             19.22 sec        
400m:                   15.7 sec @ 156km/h  
80-120 km/h:            5.15 sec
120-160 km/h:           8.24 sec          
VMax:                   195 km/h 
Fuel:                   6 l/100km 
O2:                     137 g/km
Warranty/Service:       3y 100K km/6 service 90K km 
LIST PRICE:             R451K             
RATED:                  9
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