Toyota South Africa Motors says its box-fresh Corolla sedan has been “repositioned” to attract a new type of customer not traditionally associated with the nameplate.

Earlier in March 2020, the Japanese firm’s local arm confirming pricing for its rationalised, three-strong Corolla sedan range, with the 12th-generation version of the (now-imported) saloon starting at R372 700 and running through to R425 200, positioned alongside the similarly high-spec Corolla hatch range.

The 11th-generation line-up, of course, had comprised as many as eleven derivatives, priced from R288 800 to R384 900 (the latest Corolla Quest, of course, now covers this lower end of the market).

“The new Corolla will be repositioned to attract a customer whose needs are emotional and revolve around performance and technology,” Toyota SA said in a presentation distributed to the media.

“As you’ve seen, the new Corolla Quest plays a bigger role in the Corolla line-up, which will ensure mass appeal to the traditional Corolla customer, who is a rational buyer who seeks value and QDR [quality, durability and reliability],” the company added.

Toyota SA said the “new customer” took the form of a “dashing expressive who is image- and status-conscious, and is motivated by luxury, vehicle styling and high performance”.

As a reminder, two trim levels and two engine options are offered in the new Corolla sedan line-up (which does without the turbocharged 1,2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine from the hatch).

The range kicks off with the Corolla 1,8 XS CVT, which draws its urge from the Japanese firm’s familiar naturally aspirated 1,8-litre four-cylinder engine. Priced from R372 700, this model offers 104 kW at 6 000 r/min and 171 N.m at 3 900 r/min to the front axle via a continuously variable transmission, resulting in a sprint from zero to 100 km/h in a claimed 10,5 seconds and a top speed of 195 km/h.

Next up is the Corolla 2,0 XR, which comes in at R412 300. The free-breathing 2,0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine generates 125 kW at 6 600 r/min and 200 N.m from 4 400 to 4 800 r/min, directed to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. The obligatory sprint time falls to a claimed 8,0 seconds, while top speed climbs to 200 km/h.

Finally, the Corolla 2,0 XR CVT features the same engine but swaps the manual cog-swapper for a CVT (with paddles), pushing the price at R425 200. This transmission adds six-tenths to the 0-100 km/h dash and cuts five units from the top speed. But it’s interestingly the most frugal of the three, with claimed combined fuel economy coming in at 6,0 L/100 km.

The XS trim level includes items such as cruise control, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, partial leather trim, seven airbags, the Toyota Display Audio system (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality), a reversing camera, automatic LED headlamps and 16-inch alloys (with a full-size steel spare).

The XR specification level adds things like adaptive cruise control, bi-LED headlamps (with an auto high-beam function), heating for the side mirrors, 18-inch alloys (with a space-saver spare), an electro-chromatic rear-view mirror, a digital speedometer, a pre-crash system, blind-spot monitoring, brake assist and lane-departure alert.

Eight exterior colours are offered, seven of which are metallic. A three-year/100 000 km warranty and a six-service/90 000 km service plan (with intervals of 15 000 km) are included in the price.