The Toyota Corolla - One of the Best Japanese Family Cars

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

On the fairly safe assumption that many people Will soon be shopping for more economical cars, we decided to look at a few more of these before the year ended. The first thought was to ask British Leyland for a High-Line Allegro but, alas, although, like Barkis, they were willing, they were unable to extract a car from the strike-bound Triumph factory where the BL fleet is now stationed. This seemed odd, because while we can understand a chauffeur, refused a rise, not wishing to drive his master’s car, we would not expect him to block the garage door and prevent it being taken out by its rightful owner. . .

Our next thought was that Peugeot make reputable small cars which we have not sampled for a long time. We put in a telephone call to their new Western Avenue headquarters but the PRO was out and the promised return call was never received. In the past MOTOR SPORT has not been among those papers which press the claims of the Japanese manufacturers against those of Europe. But there is no point in refusing to look occasionally at what the Opposition is doing, for an ostrich-like head-burying stance tells you nothing. Earlier in the year we were to have tested some Datsun and Toyota products, but for reasons outside our control no cars materialised. Now a call was put in to Toyota in this country, prompted by recent excellent rally performances of this make. They were efficiency personified, arranging at very short notice to provide us With 3 Corolla for appraisal. The car available was the least-exciting model of the Corolla ranee, the posh-rod, 1,166 c.c. de luxe Saloon, whereas we would have liked one of the twin-cam Toyotas. But MOTOR SPORT, under its present Editor, has never scorned small, non-sporting cars, believing that most cars are of some interest to most men. So we accepted this humble Corolla and a very acceptable car of its kind it turned out to be.

Japanese cars have improved since they first commenced to invade Britain but too many of the “imitation Escorts” from the Orient still have poor suspension, an indifferent ride, and brakes which leave something to he desired. Not so the Toyota Corolla!

The Japanese opposition has gone in for the smaller-engined family cars with enthusiasm. Thus you have the 1,171 c.c. Datsun 120Y at £1,239, the 1,169 c.c. Honda Civic at £1,154, the 1,277 c.c. Mazda 1300 At £1,229 and this 1,166 c.c. Toyota Corolla at £1,151 in two-door form (prices prevailing at the time of writing). Against which the Ford Escort in its most basic 1,098 c.c. farm costs £1,213 and the same-capacity Austin Allegro £1,757.

The Corolla may sound like a cigar but it is not exactly a road-burner. Its claimed top speed is 90 m.p.h. but it is happier cruising at just under 80 m.p.h. This is of little Moment, however, now that we are all restricted to 50 m.p.h. on ordinary British roads. However, speed apart, this Corolla has an alloy-head engine of 75 x 66 mm. which pokes out a claimed 73 (SAE) b,h.p. at 6,000 r.p.m. This makes for enjoyably lively acceleration, reminding me of the pleasant surprise I had when first driving the now-doomed Fiat 124. The other thing which impresses with the Corolla is the lightness of the controls—a light clutch, a very smooth gear change from the long floor lever, with reverse going in so easily, and the light disc/drum brakes. The ride, too, is good, in spite of leaf springs for the back axle (this is -a front-engine& rear-drive car), although it has MacPherson struts at the front. It gets somewhat lively over had roads but no more so than other lightweight ears. Cornering is about average, with the Japanese Dunlop SP68 radial-ply tyres gripping reasonably well. Nor is the noise level of the engine at all excessive. So the Toyota Corolla is a very nice little car to drive or be driven in.

It was tested in de luxe form, for which the previously-quoted price applies. It has a matt-black interior finish and upholstery, the front-seat Squabs being tall, to provide head restraints, and springing forward under lever control for entry to the back seats, while also adjusting nicely for angle. If doors and boot shut somewhat “tinnily”, suggesting lightweight construction, the window-winding action is pleasingly smooth and the door, locks also function nicely, albeit there can he confusion over which of the two keys fits the boot-lock.

The facia has black-dialed speedometer and a matching dial containing water thermometer, and fuel gauge and warning lights labelled “Brakes”, “Chg.” and “Oil”. Total and trip mileometers read in decimals. A r.h stalk control works lamps-dipping, turn-indicators and flashers, the steering wheel spoke the horn. There is a divided under-facia shelf, a good but non-lockable cubby hole, its lid spring-loaded, and a deep rear shelf, and the facia has adjustable fresh-air vents at its extremities, Very neat are the push-button radio, the flap-covered map-lamp, and the heater with its four well-labelled control levers. One of these visibly lifts a big hot-air flap off the floor! Symbol-identified knobs look after choke-cum-hand throttle, cigarette lighter, bonnet release (on the correct side) hazard-warning lights and two-speed screen wipers-cum-electric washers. There is a steering lock, with a tiny button on the top of the column to release the ignition key, and reversing lights are provided. The rear side-windows are hinged for ventilation. The substantial fuel filler cap, with lock, is hidden under the lift up dummy air-vent on the rt/s of the body. The tank will take sufficient petrol for some 330 miles of fast driving. The consumption under normal conditions was 34.8 m.p.g. of 4-star fuel (the c.r. is 9.0 to I) and no oil had been used in 680 miles. The bonnet-lid props automatically and releases on its own and battery. dip-stick. washer-reservoir, plugs and distributor could hardly be more easily accessible.

The luggage space is not great but loading is easy. The boot interior is untidy, with some exposed wiring and a “cardboard” wall. Altogether, however, it is impossible not to be impressed with this Toyota Corolla and the delivery driver, who should know about them, said he liked them so much he was contemplating buying a Toyota 1000.

It is just as well for Europe to know the kind of competition it faces.—W.B.