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Old 25th April 2007, 12:50   #1
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Thumbs up Toyota Corolla H2 (2006) 6000+ kms report

To start with, I was actually looking for a C-segment car when I went in to look for my second car. Test drove the Fiesta Sxi, the City Vtec and the Aveo 1.6 LT. Rejected the Aveo outright as the 1.6 seemed grossly underpowered and the gearbox seemed like one of a truck. Was very impressed with the Fiesta whose ride and handling was superb (better than the Vtec) and the ABS complimented the braking abilities beautifully. The Vtec seemed over-priced and had almost zeroed in on the Fiesta when a friend told me to stretch my budget and go in for a D-segment car insted due to the high cost of maintenance of the Fords coupled with low reliability. I deliberated and thought what the hell, let me at least take a test drive of the Elantra and Corolla and maybe, even the Optra.

The Toyota dealer in Pune (DSK Toyota) was the best I ever encountered in terms of customer friendliness and polite mannerisms....brought the car the same day to my apartment for the test drive. One test drive for about 3 kms and I was floored. I didn't even bother to test drive the Elantra or the Optra and booked the Corolla H2 variant the next day. Got delivery in a little more than a week with a discunt of Rs. 55000/- and here I am after about 10 months and 6000+ kms on the odo.

Exterior :

I particularly like the high stance of the Corolla and the new grille. The headlights as well as the LED tail-lights look great and the car has a powerful on-street presence understated elegance about it. The chrome handles enhance the look and feel of the car and so does the clear double-barrelled headlights.
The boot space is 430 ltrs but feels more that and is quite adequate

Interior
The dashboard of the Corolla is definitely not breathtaking but looks well-built. The artificial shiny wood finish may not be to everyone's liking but I like it. There is a 6-CD changer unit (with MP3 support) which also has a cassette player (which enables u to play those oldies from your earlier years or allows you to play your i-Pod with a cassette attachment). The music system sounds excellent and has a deep bass.
The climate control AC system is very effective and doesn't result in any loss in the engine power at all. However, for a car of this segment, I would have expected it to have an illuminated and chilled glovebox like the Indigo XL. Also, a sunglass holder would have been nice.
The rear seats of the Corolla are better than that of the Merc C-class in terms of comfort and leg space....one can simply fall asleep on them. The front driver seat has height adjustment and lumbar support (lumbar support is sadly missing in the Civic) which is a boon for me because of my bad back. It is very easy to get into a good driving position as the seats are nicely placed and very comfortable and we do not sit so low (as in the Civic) either.
The wipers have three variable intermittent settings which is a boon in the rains when the intensity varies often (a feature again absent in the Civic).

Engine & Gear Box
Now, the VVT-i engine in the Corolla is a 16-valve DOHC one (unlike the SOHC found on the Civic) and has a very good low-end torque. Also, I can cruise along comfortably @ 50 kmph in the 3rd gear without even realising that I am on 3rd. It is also a very quick car and can accelerate instantly when required. The engine is a beauty and very responsive. However, the steering feels light at very high speeds which is why I can't really take the car at speeds its capable of. Also, as the speed exceeds 140 kmph, the refinement seems to take a beating and the engine tends to become raucous and the engine noise starts filtering into the cabin.

Coming to the gear box, this is the most sore point in the car. The gear shift is a little notchy especially when we are downshifting from 3rd to 2nd. However, once you are used to it (as I am), it shouldnt be much of a problem. Nevertheless, I had expected much more Japanese refinement in this unit.

Ride & Handling
Now I have a friend who owns the earlier version of the Toyota and was always complaining of the harsh ride characteristics of the vehicle. The 2005 Corolla seems to have taken care of that problem. I have driven my Toyota over most of the cratered roads the Pune Municipality dishes out to the residents of the city but all I got while going over them was a muted thud. I think this is partly since the new Corolla is equipped with tubeless tyres which were absent in the previous edition. However, very sharp bumps do tend to get felt in the cabin.
Unless going at very high speeds, the ride is generally quiet.
The car handles itself pretty well around sharp corners (though not in the league of the Ford Mondeo which I drove in the UK) and holds its composure with confidence. The turning radius also is lowest in any car in its class. Its a big car but due to its excellent driveability, I get the confidence to take in in all crowded areas and narrow roads.

The brakes of the car work pretty well and stopping distances are quite good with disc brakes all around along with ABS+EBD

Fuel Economy
The Corolla takes the cake here with its wonderful VVT-i engine showing its class. I use the AC almost all the time and after 1000 kms, I have always got a mileage of 11-11.5 kmpl with 75% city and 25% highway driving which is excellent by any standard as it is a 1.8 litre engine.

To sum up, the car (in spite of its little faults like noisy high speed ride and notchy gearbox) has really lived up to my expectations. It has a great pedigree and rock-solid reliability. There is a warranty of 3 yrs or 100,000 kms thrown in by the company which instills confidence. I am yet to take the car for its first service as the same is to be done either at the end of 1 year or 10,000 kms whichever is earlier.

So till then, I hope its happy driving for me...

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Samir

Any clod can have an opinion....a logical one is a rarity.

Last edited by samirsarkar : 25th April 2007 at 12:58.
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Old 25th April 2007, 13:15   #2
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11.5 kmpl from a 1.8 is commendable... my palio 1.2 struggles to give me that kind of numbers.
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Old 25th April 2007, 13:43   #3
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Very comprehensive report sami.

Though I'm not fond of the Corolla's looks, its a good car to own. Very reliable and no nonsense. The FE you get is great for that engine. Japanese after all. Hope to see future updates in this thread
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Old 25th April 2007, 13:53   #4
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Nice report there sami...
As you mentioned, the Corolla has a certain unerstated elegane about it, which one cannot deny.

Maybe you could have added a pic or two too, to add some more glitz to the review.
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Old 25th April 2007, 14:32   #5
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Nice Report Samirda, I liked the Corolla looks and interiors a lot...
FE is excellent, is it the best in D class?

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Old 25th April 2007, 15:28   #6
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great insight into a very dependent and comfortable car?the FE, do you really get 11.5?
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Old 25th April 2007, 15:59   #7
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Nice, safe bet for a no-hassle family car. I've driven one over a few thousand kilometers non-stop and got to love it for the seats and that 6-CD indash changer. However, the electro-luminescent instrument cluster gets extremely frustrating once the novelty wears off.

Nice review. First one I think for the forum.
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Old 25th April 2007, 16:10   #8
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Samirda, I also have recently bought a H4 auto (for Delhi-Gurgaon jam sessions), and so far have driven 3000 kms in 7 weeks of ownership. My review is posted in Longterm ownership report. My FE for last 2 weeks averaged 11.0 kmpl with normal petrol. But Corolla manual does reasonably give around 11.5-13 kmpl. I do not drive beyond 100 kmph under any circumstances so cannot comment on your 140 kmph refinement issues. But the auto is quite quick, and achieving my top speed of 90-100 kmph is not a bother with no vibrations, road noise or harshness. Yes seats are good, but they take some getting used to, and being a short person, it requires a cushion to get a good seating position. But because of the high roof height, using a cushion of Sleepwell 3 inches gives me a near perfect view.

I also did not pay anything for 1000 km service, and since I have bought Toyota miles and smiles, I should not be paying anything for 10000 kms and 20000 kms service, provided it is within 1 yr.

Bumps are a problem though must say that thuds are muted and bad roads handled better than my old Corsa, which also has good dampers. Although handling has been criticised by some reviewers in Indian mags, I found it to be good for my purposes. At sharp corners, there is no tendency to lurch, you do not get thrown around or get scared or vomitty, and the car feels superbly planted and horizontal (know what I mean).

Finally, though I find the stereo adequate with 6-CD changer (I am not a gizmo freak), it does not have advanced functions that you would expect in say a Sony.

I bought a 2006 production model Corolla H4 silver for 103000 off. The 2007 model had a discount of 45000. The on road price was 1314000, but I paid 1210000. It made sense to me since I do not intend to sell for 7-8 yrs, and the extra 58000 off made H4 (which is H5 on manual) affordable rather than the H3 (which is H2 for manual). The 2007 model is presently at a discount of around 35-40 K in Delhi.
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Old 25th April 2007, 17:19   #9
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Nice ownership review. The Corolla will probably last longer than you.

Quote:
was always complaining of the harsh ride characteristics of the vehicle. The 2005 Corolla seems to have taken care of that problem.
Hmmmm interesting. Have they? Any change in suspension settings.
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Old 25th April 2007, 17:30   #10
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Have tested the FE multiple times but always with IO XtraPremium petrol and got the mileage figures. I tend to stick to the same fuel preferably from the same petrol pump or at least the same manufacturer as far as possible. In the event same manufacturer is not possible, HP or BP but always the same grade of fuel.
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Old 25th April 2007, 17:41   #11
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Nice ownership review. The Corolla will probably last longer than you.



Hmmmm interesting. Have they? Any change in suspension settings.
I believe they have re-designed both the front and rear suspensions...the former with enhanced McPherson struts with improved sub-frame and the latter with an improved ETA beam type rear suspension with trailing arms which gives the best of both independent and rigid suspensions.
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Old 25th April 2007, 19:30   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samirsarkar View Post
Have tested the FE multiple times but always with IO XtraPremium petrol and got the mileage figures. I tend to stick to the same fuel preferably from the same petrol pump or at least the same manufacturer as far as possible. In the event same manufacturer is not possible, HP or BP but always the same grade of fuel.
Same for me as far as same pump is considered. I always use IOC, and for Corolla, I used the first 3 fills (upto 1000 kms) with XtraPremium (which sells at 44.35in Delhi as compared with 42.85 for normal). That gave me around 10.8 kmpl for auto on extrapremium. But when I went for the first service at 1000 km, the service people at Galaxy Toyota, Delhi told me that normal fuel gives same FE as extrapremium, and so paying more is not worth it. I thought of giving it a try, and for the last 2 fills, my Corolla auto has given me 11 kmpl on normal. I normally drive 350 kms per week. So far I have reached a high of 11.5 kmpl. Whether the higher FE after 1st service is due to some unknown factors, I do not know, but bottomline is that I am getting the same FE on normal as on ExtraPrem. Thus, 1st 1200 kms, around 10.8-11 kmpl at Rs. 44.35/litre. But last 2-3 fills, 11 kmpl at Rs. 42.85/litre with a high of 11.5 kmpl. Since you have a manual, expect 8-10% more.

Perhaps you can also try for 2-3 fills and if it works, you save money. If it does not, you would not have lost much.
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Old 25th April 2007, 21:50   #13
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Originally Posted by samirsarkar View Post
The rear seats of the Corolla are better than that of the Merc C-class in terms of comfort and leg space....one can simply fall asleep on them. The front driver seat has height adjustment and lumbar support (lumbar support is sadly missing in the Civic) which is a boon for me because of my bad back. It is very easy to get into a good driving position as the seats are nicely placed and very comfortable and we do not sit so low (as in the Civic) either.
The wipers have three variable intermittent settings which is a boon in the rains when the intensity varies often (a feature again absent in the Civic).
It is actually an odious comparison. The Civic was designed to be as un-Corolla-esque and if Honda were to be believed, as un-Honda and un-Civic like as possible. It, like the other new cars in the stable, was designed to appeal to a younger market (primarily in the US) which sees Corollas and (old) Civics as 'Dad's' cars. The new Civic is a favourite of sorts amongst students! not executives. That explains the bold new look, a low seating position as well as the absence of higher comfort features.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samirsarkar View Post
I use the AC almost all the time and after 1000 kms, I have always got a mileage of 11-11.5 kmpl with 75% city and 25% highway driving which is excellent by any standard as it is a 1.8 litre engine.
As is apparent, if there is one thing in your review that stands out, it is the FE figures. This is fantastic for a 1.8litre engine. Toyota does not seem to lay any claims to being the most efficient in its class. Is there something special about your driving style? Do you consciously stay under 3000rpm most of the time?
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Old 26th April 2007, 10:16   #14
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Originally Posted by vasudeva View Post
Same for me as far as same pump is considered. I always use IOC, and for Corolla, I used the first 3 fills (upto 1000 kms) with XtraPremium (which sells at 44.35in Delhi as compared with 42.85 for normal). That gave me around 10.8 kmpl for auto on extrapremium. But when I went for the first service at 1000 km, the service people at Galaxy Toyota, Delhi told me that normal fuel gives same FE as extrapremium, and so paying more is not worth it. I thought of giving it a try, and for the last 2 fills, my Corolla auto has given me 11 kmpl on normal. I normally drive 350 kms per week. So far I have reached a high of 11.5 kmpl. Whether the higher FE after 1st service is due to some unknown factors, I do not know, but bottomline is that I am getting the same FE on normal as on ExtraPrem. Thus, 1st 1200 kms, around 10.8-11 kmpl at Rs. 44.35/litre. But last 2-3 fills, 11 kmpl at Rs. 42.85/litre with a high of 11.5 kmpl. Since you have a manual, expect 8-10% more.

Perhaps you can also try for 2-3 fills and if it works, you save money. If it does not, you would not have lost much.
Well, the difference in price between 88-octane and 91-octane fuel in Pune is roughly Re 1.00. On all advanced engines like the ones in Corolla, Civic or Verna, it is recommended to use at least 91-octane fuel. You may actually be right in saying that the FE should not depend on the grade of fuel par se. However, the grade does play a role in general engine performance and knocking characteristics. Moreover its best to stick to a particular grade of fuel and I would really not like to change the 91-octane grade I am using now.....honestly speaking, neither should you.
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Old 26th April 2007, 10:26   #15
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Originally Posted by wizardofid View Post
It is actually an odious comparison. The Civic was designed to be as un-Corolla-esque and if Honda were to be believed, as un-Honda and un-Civic like as possible. It, like the other new cars in the stable, was designed to appeal to a younger market (primarily in the US) which sees Corollas and (old) Civics as 'Dad's' cars. The new Civic is a favourite of sorts amongst students! not executives. That explains the bold new look, a low seating position as well as the absence of higher comfort features.


As is apparent, if there is one thing in your review that stands out, it is the FE figures. This is fantastic for a 1.8litre engine. Toyota does not seem to lay any claims to being the most efficient in its class. Is there something special about your driving style? Do you consciously stay under 3000rpm most of the time?
Yes, I do stay below 3000 rpm most of the time in the city. However, not so when I am on the highways. I know that Toyota has never actually advertised the Corolla as being the most fuel efficient in its class but the Corolla's VVT-i engine has always been known to be quite frugal, so is a specific advertisement really needed ?? In fact, you will hardly ever find Toyota advertising about its engines in any way or draw comparision sheets with other cars in the same class....neither Honda or Merc or BMW or Audi for that matter. Class establishes itself automatically I believe !!
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