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Old 9th October 2004, 15:40   #1
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8th October really wasn't much of an eventful day for me. So when i finally got a 2 hour break between lectures, i decided to go test drive the RS at Autobahn since i had nothing much to do.

But once i reached there, with fellow member Nitronix, i was in for a usual surprise. No car available. Though i did get to sit in one of 4 of them present at the showroom, all deemed to go to a single individual. So saddened by my luck, i decided to go elsewhere.

Shinrai Toyota at Worli Naka wasn't very far off. Since a Camry test car wasn't available i decided to take a shot once again at the Corolla. It had been 6 months since i drove the H3 version, which in my opinion is quite a loaded car for its price. They had only an H1 for test, but what the hell, i'd just pop in for a test drive anyways. So Nitronix, the driver, saleswoman and me headed for Worli Seaface for 3 laps of the team-bhp autobahn.

First up, at 10,84,000 on-road mumbai, the car is sparse in its interior looks. The H1 is a downright disgrace for your money if you decided to buy one IMHO. The grey dashboard is so dull, it makes even my Zen VXi Deluxe dashboard look much livelier. With a 4 speaker tape deck, the system can be best for your driver, but a saturday night out with friends and chicane would start sounding like Madan Mohan. So on a scale of 5 for equipment and interiors i give it 2 on 5.

Space though is amazing. The car has loads of headroom and leg room at the front and rear. The seating position for passengers is perfect. Ingress and Egress can be termed as "child's play". The recline is perfect. Its ideal if you have parents above 45 and you or your driver will chauffeur them around. So space : 4.5/5

Performance for a car of this size can be termed effortless. I was doing 110-120 kmph within a short space of 2-300 metres. The first gear is a crawler, but once u slot it into 2nd gear it starts to talk. Above 2000 rpm, all the way to 6250, the car has enough power to pull 4 people and AC on without any effort required. The gearchanges are smooth, but 2nd to 3rd is a bit notchy. Maybe it was the test car which had some problems. It has enough torque to pull the car into 5th at 1200 rpm and even then i was doing a reasonably good speed of 45-50kmph. Its just the effortless way in which the car moves which can be a joy for most daily drivers. Performance: 4 on 5.

Ride and handling: Though the seaface isn't the ideal place to test ride, the handling characteristics do come to the fore. First up, the 195s are fairly good at medium cornering speeds of 70-80 kmph. But start to move above that and they do show some understeery concerns. Though it isn't much. Performance oriented drivers might want to shift to 205s but for normal driving habituers, its adequate. Ride over smooth roads is good, no bone jarring thuds enter into the passenger cabin. But my previous drive over Thane's bad roads did remind me that the suspension setting is weak link in terms of ride. It feels a lil' loose and does tend to clank quite a bit. But then again it totally depends on how you drive over bad roads.
Ride and handling: 3.5 on 5.

Heading back to the showroom i got another interesting bit of news. The new Camry is scheduled for Diwali bookings. The new Qualis (codenamed Innova) is scheduled for a Feb launch at the earliest.

So my say on the Corolla. Avoid the H1 like the plague. Sheer waste of your hard earned 11 lakh rupees. A minimum of an H2 is adviseable. But the Corolla on the whole is a safe purchase with a very good power curve, space and running costs that shouldn't be much over the long-term. A slightly better tyre setup and you should be happy with the car for years to come.

Overall 4 on 5.

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Old 9th October 2004, 15:52   #2
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Gr8 review rev !!

a better tyre wud definitely aid handling !! the interiors are spartan but then with these cars which are driver ridden , nobody minds what shade the dash is ,

a great drivers car if u get the tyres rite.

cheers

keep the reviews coming!
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Old 9th October 2004, 15:54   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]8th November really wasn't much of an eventful day for me.
btw 8th november 2003 or 20004 ?
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Old 9th October 2004, 15:57   #4
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Hahaha.. yikes i think i am living in the future... its 8th October 2004.

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Old 9th October 2004, 16:03   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ] the interiors are spartan but then with these cars which are driver ridden , nobody minds what shade the dash is
Well NC, as a matter of fact it does. To individuals rather than companies who buy one. As a company car, no one cares what version they get, not as much as individuals who buy it, even if chauffered around. Which is one reason why the Optra 1.8 LS and LT do so well. People actually have bought that car for its interiors alone. Especially since in a day, most people in cities like Mumbai do spend atleast 1.5-2 hours a day in their cars, good interiors do add to that pleasing effect factor.

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Old 9th October 2004, 16:07   #6
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agreed ,but i have known people who buy cars without as much as a glance to whats inside . when i point that out , they say arre driver to chaleya ga na !!

i guess , to each his own. but i wudnt buy a car with shitty interiors !! they have to be respectable at the least !!

cheers
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Old 9th October 2004, 16:29   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Revvmaster @ Oct. 09 2004,14:10)]With a 4 speaker tape deck, the system can be best for your driver, but a saturday night out with friends and chicane would start sounding like Madan Mohan. So on a scale of 5 for equipment and interiors i give it 2 on 5.
Any car with company fitted system sounds crappy.
They should charge less (say around 25-30k minimum) and leave it to the choice of individuals. That's how Palio was launched if one remembers. That's a much better option.

Nice review Rev. I never liked that car though. Except for a good engine there is nothing to talk about.
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Old 9th October 2004, 18:10   #8
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Awesome stuff Revv!! Your review echoes my test drive in the Corolla. But I drove the H2 version and really like its interiors.

BTW one of my closest friends is getting his Corolla H2 from Shinrai on the 15th. 10.47 lacs on the road ex-thane. Net discount was 1.0x lacs.

Truly value for money, if you ask me.

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Old 9th October 2004, 20:03   #9
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nice review revv...
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Old 10th October 2004, 13:44   #10
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Nice review mate, nothing like a little VVTi-ed action in between lectures, eh? I thought we were supposed to don one of these test drives some time,
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Old 10th October 2004, 15:17   #11
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Haha... yea ported... this one was a bit all of a sudden. Next time round we'll plan and do it.

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