All this while, the Toyota Corolla has been to me what my father is to my friends, “Hi, Uncle!”


Yeap, an uncle who thinks the weirdest things are ‘cool,’ who wears socks with slippers and isn’t tech savvy at all… Okay, maybe just enough to play Facebook games and take uncomfortable selfies. But yes, that has always been my prevailing impression of the Toyota Corolla.


The Corolla is Toyota’s most famous nameplate of all time, even though most of us have come to call it the Altis ever since the suffix was added to the name at the start of the century. For its latest incarnation, local distributors UMW Toyota opted to drop the Altis nomenclature from its communication, although the badge curiously remains, and emblazoned in larger fonts too.

Yes, we know the engine is old tech, but the TNGA platform’s rear double wishbones gives the all-new Toyota Corolla amazing dynamic sparkle.


Hearing about all the new technology that the Corolla has such as Dynamic Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with steering assist, Pre-Collision System (PCS) and Automatic High Beam (AHB) which is all under the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) umbrella, I was rather sceptical as to how well it would all gel together. Even just speaking about it was a mouthful.


The other change that many others were looking forward to was the double wishbone rear suspension. I didn’t understand why Kon couldn’t stop going on and on about this until I learned that this configuration was mainly used on sports cars and racing cars throughout the history of automotive.


Now for those who are unfamiliar with the term, it is an independent suspension that has double control arms or some even refer to as double A-arm. Just imagine a stick and at both ends of the stick, you have a wishbone attached to it and perpendicularly on top of that wishbone is a smaller wishbone and it is all connected. Now, if you still can’t imagine that… Here’s a photo below to help with the visual image.


The engine and transmission remain the same from its predecessor – the tried and tested 1.8-litre NA four-banger with CVT combo. Toyota inevitably claims that some retuning has been done, but our entirely comprehensive and scientific market survey, that is the comments section of our Youtube channel, is that many people are distinctly unimpressed at the reused hardware.


Nevertheless, it was my first time in the new Corolla and I was excited to see what it had to offer despite it having the same engine and transmission. Plus, the New Corolla is seated on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) which meant to me if it drove anything similar to the New Camry or C-HR then it would be a very fun and engaging drive.

Laying my eyes on it for the first time, similar to all other new Toyota models, the front portion of it looked fierce and angular with many lines controlling the design language of the front. Vertical lines on the bonnet, horizontal lines on the grille and a mixture for the headlights and fog lights casing which is a complete contradiction of what the back portrays.


Yes, the back bumper protrudes out more than the lights giving it a little attitude there but the taillights represent so much more. The combination of the horizontal chrome lining that connects both taillights as a single design unit just makes the entire back composition look droopy and rather sad. But then again at certain angles, it does give the Corolla quite an ‘atas’ feel.

Easy access into the car is provided by keyless entry; whilst the interior gave a very clean feel and safe design. However, the area at the passenger dashboard did feel like it was protruding out a little too much as it obstructs the leg room especially for tall people. I must emphasise the superb comfort of its leather seats. I instantly melted into them and even after a long drive, I didn’t feel as drained like how I usually would.


The rear windshield covered with sunshade, the car felt less warm and thus less air-conditioning was required. Thankfully for dual zone air-conditioning, I could comfortably adjust the fan blower speed and temperature so that I wouldn’t feel so cold and my passenger could enjoy his time in an igloo like temperature zone.

Driving around Klang Valley, the obvious day-to-day routine that I had to overcome was getting stuck in traffic. This was Corolla’s time to shine and for me to try the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). Having heard so much about it and the hype that it had, I was pretty sure it wouldn’t perform as well but was I pleasantly surprised. Not only did it control the car but it even did it in stop and go traffic. The braking feel was progressive and so was the acceleration – no sudden movements to ensure the comfort of the driver and passenger. The DRCC was assisted with Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) and Lane Departure Alert (LDA). LTA ensures the car is kept in its lane while LDA alerts the driver should the vehicle sway out of the lane unintentionally and also assists with pulling it back into the respective lane. Immensely amazed with the Toyota Safety Sense.

Seeing how much Chris enjoyed himself behind the Corolla's wheel on the way up Genting, while being seated in the passenger’s side was somewhat satisfying. My teammate, Chris Wee at the wheel, throwing it at corners in hopes to hear the tyres squeal but out of 10 times, we heard the tyres squeal once. It was amazing how well the rear followed through with the front input of the steering. No signs of understeer at all. Of course, Chris is also a very talented driver and not once did I feel him put our lives at danger – just pure adrenaline fun.

Being jealous of how Chris Wee had the opportunity to drive the Corolla up Genting, I insisted that I had to have the wheel coming down. There was fresh rain on the road coming down so I was extra cautious but also telling myself to push the car to see if what I felt as the passenger was legitimate as a driver. The immediate annoyance was the gearbox. The transmission scream was annoying and it will never get any more pleasant to the ears. No – it wasn’t music. On the other hand, I do love the fact that it was a naturally aspirated engine without a turbo. Nowadays so many new cars slap on a turbo just like that and it takes away so much character from the car. With a naturally aspirated engine, I was able to push the car progressively, there was no sudden turbo kick, there was no sudden hike of torque and in the turbocharged automotive world we live in today, it is worth cherishing.

The double wishbone rear suspension was something else to shout about. It was so unbelievably planted and I could go at corners with just the right amount of adrenaline rush without the fear of the car suddenly snapping on me. The drive was so engaging that the thought of it being underpowered was non-existent. Never in my life would I have expected a Corolla to bring such a wide grin to my face and that was when it hit me… The Toyota Corolla is now #UncleNoMore.