Something that VW has done well for many years is making stylish, well-crafted hatch cars. And they’re perfect in the South African context. A perfect balance between spaciousness and shaving off the waistline. Hatches make parking a pleasure where we often have malls and centres with tight parking spaces (then again, just imagine the tight confines found in European cities… shudder).
But they’re not the only kid on the block, and new competition arrives to try take the market share from them. The new Toyota Corolla Hatch. And it is a thing of beauty. It has a chiselled, slick look which speaks aerodynamic sportiness.
The suspension is lower than its sedan sibling, giving it better handling on the roads – as with a dropped centre of gravity, it can turn more sharply. It’s got some added dimensions compared to the previous generation of hatch, so it’s slightly more spacious (very slightly).
If you’re into saving the planet, and really, we all should be, don’t buy the first wave of shipments onto our soil. Those are 1.2 turbo petrol engines with 85 kilowatts of power. Next will be a 1.8 litre hybrid engine. Don’t be scared off by the recall that happened last month with hybrid engines where the failsafe failed to kick in (wasn’t very fail safe… kind of a failsafe fail, which is a bit ridiculous). They should have the kinks driven out by 2019. Save the planet and get one. Besides, a Toyota engineer recently said that the future was hybrids, not fully electric (we’re not sure if we buy that, but it’s worth mentioning.)
There will be both manual and automatic transmissions available (we prefer automatic because we’re into convenience, which is why we developed the BuyCentre app in the first place: making it convenient for you to sell your car). The automatic also will feature Direct Shift technology with three driving modes: Economy, Normal, and Sport. The latter will be so much fun on our freeways, but eco for most things is probably best – what with petrol prices being what they are.
Perhaps best of all for the budget conscious is that air-conditioning, electric windows, USB ports, and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system display will come standard.
Be on the lookout for this latest offering from Toyota early next year, and maybe if the price is right, you’ll ride off into the rising sun in a very stylish Japanese car.