2009 Toyota Corolla | new car review

Posted on Feb 2, 2010 by



The Corolla nameplate was launched by Toyota way back in 1966.

Since then and many generations later the Corolla has achieved the status of being the best-selling car in the world having sold more than 30 million units worldwide.Now in its tenth generation the Corolla continues to do well in the Middle East and is Toyota’s bread and butter model catering primarily to the first time sedan buyer.

Though recently the Corolla has come under heavy fire from arch rival Honda’s brilliant Civic it continues to appeal to buyers looking at an economical compact sedan which offers more than bare bones commuting and amazingly reliable performance. Corolla owners hardly need to bother about maintenance apart from the regular service and oil change till the car reaches 100,000 km and Toyota also backs the car up with a three year warranty.

2009 Toyota CorollaMany had criticized the previous Corolla as being too conservative and boring. Toyota took that to heart and has restyled the new Corolla more on the lines of big brother Camry with bold styling cues like the incisive head lamps, horizontal slat chrome grille with a big Toyota logo bang in centre and elegantly inset front fog lamps. Though the current car is immediately recognisable as a Corolla and is not as futuristically designed as the Civic, it seems more mature now and also more upmarket.

While the previous generation car seemed built to a budget the new Corolla’s build quality is much better. It does not have the unsettled suspension of the old model neither it feels skittish at higher speeds. The steering feel is good as is the suspension setup offering a good blend of ride and handling. Straight line stability and reduced roll on cornering make the Corolla a keen performer.

2009 Toyota CorollaThe power comes via two four-cylinder power plants; a 1.6-litre 107bhp and a 1.8-litre 130bhp motor which gives the 1.2 ton Corolla enough grunt to match Honda’s Civic. Both engines come with an option of either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission with the smooth automatic being the preferred option especially for urban driving.

The Corolla comes in three variants; 1.6-litre XLi, 1.8-litre XLi and 1.8-litre GLi. The GLi gets a long list of goodies which beat even the Civic. These include halogen headlamps, sunroof, 16-inch alloys, parking sensors, headlight washers, fog lamps, climate control, leather seats, MP3/6CD system with six speakers, full power options and cruise control. The Corolla has some thoughtful touches to it like the reverse gear linked outside rear view mirrors which point down when you engage the gear.The rear seats split 60:40 and fold too to accommodate more cargo. The audio system has a Bluetooth features as well as a auxiliary jack for USB or iPod connectivity.

2009 Toyota CorollaSafety wise, the Corolla has enough kit to keep up with the competition and include dual front airbags, side airbags, ABS with brake assist and EBD as standard fitment. Priced from UAE Dirhams 52,000 to 81,000 (ex-showroom Dubai) the Corolla compete with the formidable Honda Civic, Mitsubishi Lancer, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Chevrolet Optra, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Cerato, Mazda 3 and Renault Megane.


Body TypeEngine (litres)Power (bhp)Torque (Nm)Transmission

Price Range (AED) 52,000-81,000

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