8 September 2017 · Vehicle Reviews

2017 Toyota Corolla Review | Phil Gilbert Toyota

What is it?

Just in case you've been living in a cave for the last five decades, the Corolla is a small car, or for many people, the best small car you can buy for the money. It's available in both sedan and hatch body styles, it can be sober and conservative or as sporty as you like, and in most cases it's about as durable, reliable and enduring as a car gets.

The lineup

The current Corolla lineup starts with the Ascent grade, which is available as a hatch or a sedan. Next up is the Ascent Sport, but this one is a hatch-only grade. The SX model is the next level up and it can be had with either body style, which is the same situation as the top-of-the-range ZR model. The final model in the Corolla family is the Corolla Hybrid, which is a single grade model that's another hatch-only offering.


The Corolla has never been a car with a huge amount of wow factor when it comes to the styling, but it's never been an ugly vehicle by any means either. The current model is handsome and very contemporary, with the signature Toyota fascia very much in evidence at the front. Buyers are likely to prioritise a low price and low running costs over jaw-dropping styling, but don’t underestimate how attractive this latest model is, especially in its hatch form.

Under the hood

The engine under the hood of the Corolla isn’t going to get the blood pumping through your veins at the thought of a drag race away from the traffic lights. But what it will do is last for many hundreds of thousands of kilometres if it's looked after properly and serviced regularly. The engine in question is a 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol that develops a modest 103kW and 173Nm, but that's all you really need in a car like this. It's available with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed continuously variable automatic transmission, which sends the power to the front wheels.

Costs and value

The Corolla's 1.8 is pretty fuel-efficient on the freeway, but an engine of what is now a relatively large displacement isn’t anywhere near as good around town. The combined rating according to Toyota is 6.8 L/100km, although anecdotal evidence suggests the real world figure is more akin to something like 8 L/100km. Either way, it shows the Corolla is no gas-guzzler by any means.

To be fair, there are less expensive cars out there than the Toyota Corolla, but with prices starting from below $24k for a model than could last longer than its buyer if looked after properly, it does represent excellent value.

Whether you're young, old or in between, if you want a good, reliable and practical car that represents excellent value for money, do what so many others have done already by choosing the 2017 Toyota Corolla you can see now at Phil Gilbert Toyota