Toyota: 2015 Corolla GX station wagon

September 22nd, 2015 by Darren Cottingham

A hippie chick once told me she lived her life without expectations and I told her that was rubbish because everyone has expectations – you expect you can walk over your lawn without falling into a pit of sharpened bamboo spears, for example. Having expectations frees us from uncertainty and constant worry. Continue reading “Toyota: 2015 Corolla GX station wagon” »

Toyota: 2014 Corolla GX and ZR sedan review

July 22nd, 2014 by Darren Cottingham

Buying a Corolla is a bit like buying Cadbury’s chocolate: it’s not flash, but it’s dependable. And you know that it’s going to make you fat if use it too much. It achieves its purpose with a minimum of fuss and with the knowledge you paid a fair price.

While the GX is milk chocolate (a little plain, but fills the gap nevertheless), the ZR is a dark, minty block with a slightly silkier texture. It’s still not the kind of chilli and kaffir leaf-infused chocolate that you’d buy in an upmarket boutique, but it does come with a fancier wrapper and more cocoa solids.

Buying a car often comes down to taste: it’s a rocky road to try to please everyone. So if you’re going to remove the wrapper on one of these Corollas, which one is it going to be? Continue reading “Toyota: 2014 Corolla GX and ZR sedan review” »

Toyota Corolla Levin ZR vs Corolla GLX (2013) Review

February 18th, 2013 by darren


When it comes to popularity contests the Corolla Levin ZR and GLX are the Wills and Kate of the car world. The Corolla, a 5-door, front-wheel drive hatchback, is the biggest-selling car by quite a long way, eclipsing the Ford F-Series, Volkswagen Golf and Volkswagen Beetle with (probably) more than 40 million units sold by the time you read this, versus around 36, 27 and 24 million for the others, respectively.

Toyota-Corolla-Levin-f-interiorWhile the new Corolla doesn’t have anything as interesting to the masses as a Continue reading “Toyota Corolla Levin ZR vs Corolla GLX (2013) Review” »

Toyota Corolla Wagon 2012 Review

November 29th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

In human terms, the Corolla’s oldest traceable ancestors would be living in the mid 1700s. In car terms, things move more quickly and 1966 saw the birth of the first Corolla. This new version is the eleventh generation that aims to continue to provide practical, no frills motoring.

It comes with a 1.5-litre petrol engine which needs to be worked hard to get it moving. You can get it in manual (recommended if you want to drive it) or CVT (recommended if you get stuck in rush hour frequently). You will get better economy from the Continue reading “Toyota Corolla Wagon 2012 Review” »

Toyota Corolla takes back No.1 sales spot in NZ

October 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Toyota Corolla has taken back the number one sales spot on the NZ national sales charts, both for the month of September and year to date. The Corolla has faced stiff competition this year from the new 2011 Suzuki Swift and the pair have dueled it out for total sales supremacy.

Official data for the month of September shows Corolla outsold all other passenger and commercial vehicles, and Toyota’s Hilux ute took a strong second place. It was a very strong month for Toyota with four vehicles in the sales top 10 – the others being the Highlander SUV and the Hiace van.

Steve Prangnell, general manager Sales and Operations, said the sales figures reflect the full recovery of Toyota’s international supply chain, which slowed for several months after Japan’s earthquake and tsunami. “To have Hilux at the top of the overall year to date table, and Corolla a strong second, is incredibly pleasing. It shows Kiwis trust the Toyota brand and keep turning to the vehicles they know and love.” Continue reading “Toyota Corolla takes back No.1 sales spot in NZ” »

Ruck and ‘Rolla

September 3rd, 2011 by Tim Grimley

Eight years ago I, the current Mrs Grimley and my old mate Boz were perched on the stained and wobbly stools of Brannigans bar in Hinckley, England. Before us in glorious low definition colour, a projection screen beamed the moment that will forever go down in Pommie rugby folklore as Jonny Wilkinson held his nerve and struck the drop goal that ensured the Rugby World Cup would be heading to Blighty.

Those of you old enough to remember when the All Blacks last clinched the trophy will appreciate the feeling of euphoria that swept through me and thoroughly understand why I decided to celebrate with a breakfast consisting of eight pints of Guinness and a bag of chips. It probably would have been more, but after the eighth pint a man from Rugby Lions RFC called to inform me that they had no one to play first five that day and I wasn’t allowed to say ‘no’.

So while the men in white were still receiving the adulation of the world, I retched and farted my way around a remote pitch in rural Warwickshire in what is still the worst display at fly-half anyone has ever witnessed. I was convinced we lost the game, but apparently I kicked a penalty that I can’t even remember taking and we drew 6-6.

But even through the dense alco-haze of that day I will never forget the play which led up to that historic Wilkinson kick. From Lewis Moody winning the line out, through to the final push from Martin Johnson, everything was orchestrated and manipulated to put England in the place to take their one chance. What little flair the team had was abandoned in favour of utmost pragmatism. The goal was a simple one; win. Continue reading “Ruck and ‘Rolla” »

Suzuki Swift dominates NZ new car sales in April

May 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Suzuki Swift, is re-establishing its dominance as the top selling passenger vehicle in the New Zealand market. The Swift was the number one new car choice in April, according to Motor Industry Association figures, with total sales 66 per cent ahead of its nearest rival – the Toyota Corolla.

A new version of the Swift was launched in New Zealand in February and has reignited the strong sales figures achieved by its predecessor in the last six years. In year to date sales, the Swift is still running second overall to the Toyota Corolla.

“Total new car sales in New Zealand for the opening third of this year are up by 11 per cent but the average sales rate for new Swifts is 29 per cent higher,” said Tom Peck, general manager of marketing for Suzuki New Zealand.

“Swift has a well established history in our country dating back 27 years. However, it was the arrival of the fifth generation model in 2005 that really saw the car take off,” he said. Continue reading “Suzuki Swift dominates NZ new car sales in April” »

Kiwi Corolla owners unaffected by huge US recall

August 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota New Zealand has announced that kiwi Corolla owners are unaffected by a recall of late-model Corolla vehicles in the US.

Over in the States, approximately 1.13 million vehicles are affected by a problem which could cause the 1ZZ-FE 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine to stall. Three accidents have been reported in America, so far, though Toyota hasn’t confirmed that these incidents were indeed caused by this engine stalling issue.

Here in NZ, Paul Carroll, General Manager of After Sales for Toyota New Zealand, says no Corollas in New Zealand — including Japanese imports — are fitted with the electronic control module used in the US market.

“The potentially faulty electronic control module used the US market is supplied by a different manufacturer than those in New Zealand vehicles. No vehicles here are affected and owners can have confidence in their Corollas.”

Mr Carroll says Toyota in the US will replace the control modules on affected vehicles, which could malfunction and cause harsh gear changes, or in the worst case, stalling.

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