Toyota Corolla 2021 Review
There are few models that have as long or storied of a history as the Toyota Corolla. It once represented the entry level model to the Toyota range, but over the decades (yes, decades) it has grown in size and complexity and refinement to become the incredibly successful C-segment sedan that we know and love.
Unfortunately, we’re living in an era were consumers are moving quickly towards crossovers and SUVs, and in turn we see less of an uptake in traditional sedan bodystyles. A key example of this is the fact that just two generations ago, the Toyota Corolla had no less than four different variants and two engine options on sale.
This was streamlined to just three variants and two engines with one generation prior, and eventually just two variants with a singular powertrain option with the current generation. This shift in consumer behaviour has also spawned a sister car – the Toyota Corolla Cross – which is essentially a crossover version of this C-segment model.
With the launch of this generation, it brings the total number up to twelve in the lineage of Corollas. With a global market share of 1.6% across its various body styles (there are hatchback and wagon variants in other markets), it proves to be the best-selling passenger vehicle in the world. 2019 saw the introduction of this model here, with minor updates introduced in the following year.
Toyota Corolla 2021 Specifications
We normally start talking about a car’s specifications with its powertrain, but in the case of the Toyota Corolla we want to lead with its platform – which is arguably one of the best that is currently available in a mass market passenger car. The acronym you should be familiar with by now is TNGA – or Toyota New Global Architecture – and it’s the platform that underpins vehicles like the Toyota C-HR and Toyota Camry.
What makes the platform so special is the amount of effort Toyota put into it with a focus on driving dynamics and handling ability without compromising ride comfort. By investing so much into this platform, different vehicles that sit on this platform all benefit from these characteristics, and the Corolla is no different. The front may be a relatively simple MacPherson strut suspension setup, but the rear geometry is a double-wishbone design that is similar in nature to many high-performance vehicles.
The single powertrain that is offered with this generation of Corolla is a 1.8-litre petrol powerplant pushing 139 PS and 172 Nm of torque. It is far from the most powerful in class, nor is it particularly competitive, but it is paired with a reasonably responsive CVT-type automatic transmission with seven virtual ratios. Power is delivered exclusively to the front wheels in both variants.
Dimensions are identical for both variants as well, with a wheelbase of 2,700 mm, a length of 4,630 mm, and a width of 1,780 mm. This doesn’t make it the largest offering in class by far, but neither is it the most compact, being comfortably middle ground in this regard.
Toyota Corolla 2021 Exterior
There isn’t a single modern Toyota model that looks boring, thanks to massive efforts on the company’s part to shed their “uncle” image and try to ignite a bit of excitement from an aesthetics perspective. The Toyota Corolla is an impeccably sharp looking car – even if there is slightly different styling for it based on what part of the world you’re buying it. Iconic headlight and taillight designs make the Corolla easily identifiable from a distance. There are bi-halogen headlights for the 1.8E variant, with more sophisticated bi-LED projector headlamps in the 1.8G variant. The only other noticeable change between the two variants is 16-inch wheels for the 1.8E and 17-inch wheels for the 1.8G.
Toyota Corolla 2021 Interior
While the previous generation Toyota Corolla wasn’t exactly known for its interior layout, it wasn’t barren in any respect either. Some of the items were slightly plasticky, but on the whole it was comfortable. This generation of Toyota Corolla resolves this particular area, adding soft touch materials and a modern floating layout for the infotainment system – a nine-inch unit for the 1.8G and a 6.8-inch unit for the 1.8E. Interior materials are also leather in the higher spec variant, and fabric in the lower spec variant.
Toyota Corolla 2021 Safety Features
If you’re going for the Toyota Corolla for safety features, the 1.8E variant will still net you a decent amount of functionality like electronic stability control and traction control, as well as ABS with EBD, hill-start assist control, and a tyre pressure warning system. Seven airbags are standard across the range too. Where the safety systems really step up a notch are with the top-spec 1.8G, which adds a larger range of Toyota Safety Sense items – things like the Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Lane Tracing, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Automatic High Beam, and a Blind Spot Monitor.
Toyota Corolla 2021 Strengths & Weakness
The ultimate Achilles heel for the Toyota Corolla has to come down to its pricing, which is a little less than competitive in this day and age. It also doesn’t have quite the outright speed and performance that some of its rivals have, which makes it even harder to justify for the money. But beyond this, there aren’t very many reasons to not fall in love with the car.
Fun to drive is something that Toyota constantly talks about, but it is the Toyota Corolla that is a true manifestation of this at the mass market level. Entry level models like the Toyota Vios and Yaris are still a true generational change away from embracing this new ideology, while the Camry is a little too large and the C-HR a little too tall.
No, the Toyota Corolla is the car you should drive if you want to understand how beautifully a mass market economy sedan can handle, with impeccable grip and stability. Ride comfort is also impressive, easily rivalling that of European marques without the need for especially complex damper systems. As a whole package the Corolla just works, and we really wish it had a little more performance to match the wonderful chassis – and maybe even a manual transmission option too.
Toyota Corolla 2021 Price
The entry point into the Toyota Corolla range is the 1.8E variant which goes for RM 123,971.50. The only other variant is the top-spec 1.8G that sets you back RM 134,505.00. Both of these prices are quoted for Peninsular Malaysia, with current exemptions in place and may be subject to change depending on government legislation.
Toyota Corolla 2021 Features
Keyless entry and start, either a 4.2-inch or 7-inch colour TFT multi-information display for the instrument cluster, automatic climate control (dual zone for the 1.8G), eight-way power adjustable driver seats with lumbar support, and even a portable tyre pump are all part of the Toyota Corolla’s standard list of equipment. The 1.8G gets a 3D panoramic view monitor (bird’s eye view), as well as a digital video recorder for the front and rear.
Toyota Corolla 2021 Fuel Consumption
There are no manufacturer quoted fuel consumption figures for the Toyota Corolla in Malaysia, but we can go by variants sold overseas that are most similar to our specification. The closest we can find in the North American market is the Toyota Corolla L and LE, powered by the same powertrain and returning between 30 and 38 miles per gallon. This translates to between 12.8 and 16.2 kilometres per litre – a decent figure thanks to that CVT-type automatic transmission. Being naturally aspirated, fuel consumption figures remain slightly steadier even with more aggressive driving.
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- Body Type: Sedan
- Transmission: Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 1798 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 5
- Price: RM 123,972 - RM 134,505
User Review of Toyota Corolla
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