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Toyota Corolla 140 GLS

Broadcast dates : 17th October  2004
21st October 2004

Industry analysts all over the world have been studying the Toyota Corolla for decades in an attempt to understand the reasons for its phenomenal success.

Perhaps its secret is that manages to be more of an everyman’s car than any other model on the South African market.

Journalists are more often than not rather underwhelmed by the Corolla’s appeal, and it hasn’t won a Car of the Year title in this market for some 15 years.

And yet since the early 1980s the Toyota Corolla and its hatchback derivatives have been the top selling model range.

Today, in late 2004, no other model range seems like toppling Corolla from its perch on the top of the sales charts.

In the sedan market it sells double the volume of the runner-up, while the RunX hatch version enjoys a similar success story, averaging 780 units monthly in the C-segment, again almost twice as many as its nearest rival.

So, does Joe and Josephine Public know something us motoring hacks don’t?

Part of the explanation is Toyota’s exemplary reputation for good reliability, backed up by excellent service, low cost of parts and the biggest dealer network in the country.

The 140 GLS is the top-specced model in the 1,4 range and offers such refinements as steering-wheel controls for the audio and electrically operated wing mirrors.

A new two-tone finish in grey is now standard across the range, and the GLS has power windows in front but manual winders for the rear passengers.

The GLS also has driver and passenger airbags, and a six-CD front-loading player.

Changes to the exterior are minimal but distinctive, including a new grille and new headlamp and tail-light treatment.

At 71 kiloWatts, the small Toyota multi-valve four- cylinder engine is powerful for its size, and provides brisk performance. The gear change is not the smoothest in the business, being very much on the notchy side of the spectrum.

The brakes are powerful, even a little on the sharp side perhaps, and at higher speeds the GLS proved to be a little tail-happy when cornered hard.

Time spent with the car impressed the Car Torque team in the way it went about its business in a totally unflustered manner.

Toyota Corolla 140i GLS
  • Engine: Four-cylinder, 1 398 cc
  • Power: 71 kW @ 6 000 rpm
  • Torque: 127 Nm @ 4 800 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
  • 0–100 km/h: 12,1 seconds
  • Top Speed: 186 km/h
  • Fuel consumption: 9,7 litres/100 km (Car Magazine)
  • Price: R146 194

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