Toyota Corolla goes ahead of the curve with a 2020 model


The 2020 Toyota Corolla has the power for a smooth ride up Navy Hill. (Jon Perez)

The proximity of the Marianas—the CNMI and Guam—to Japan makes it easier for Toyota diehards and would-be buyers to come check the 2020 Corolla.

You read it correctly—the 2020 Corolla—the 12th generation of Toyota’s subcompact vehicle that was first introduced in 1966 and developed into one of the best-selling cars in the world, making it a major player in the competitive sedan market.

The 2020 Corolla is now on Saipan—fresh off the boat—and ready for curious car buyers to test drive. That’s unlike the North American market, where they have to wait at least two more months as the new Corolla will make its debut this spring.

Ernie A. Galito, Atkins Kroll Inc. marketing and communication director, said that the company is getting the new Corollas this early by taking advantage of the Marianas’ proximity to Japan, its geographical location being just nearly 1,600 miles away from the Marianas.

“We’re really excited for the 2020 Corolla. First of all, it is part of the new generation of Toyota design automobiles—the Toyota New Global Architecture, which means it is more driver-centric. To make it driver-centric, they [Toyota] wants to make sure that it has a lot of safety features,” Galito told Saipan Tribune.

That includes making sure the new Toyota vehicles have performance features and a lot of comfort, so that the driver is comfortable when driving the vehicle.

“It has got some characteristic sidelines to make it a little bit sportier looking than previous Corollas,” he added.

And like the 2019 RAV4, which AK rolled out last December, the new Corolla gives drivers more visibility and a load of other safety features for a comfortable and worry-free ride. It has blind spot monitoring where lights would blink telling you there’s a car that’s close to you and a pre-collision system that stops the car even before you step on the brake , It also has dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steer assist, lane tracing assist, automatic high beams, and road sign assist.

The new Corolla has a lower center of gravity, which is also part of TNGA, but has a wider stance. Short and stout, but stable as the tires provide more traction on the road, especially when you’re making a wide or a sudden turn.

Saipan Tribune took the new Corolla for a spin and the first thing you would notice is the sleek new design. Once you get in the driver’s seat, you would hardly notice the engine running but it quickly responds once you step on the gas and begin to cruise.

The wider stance elevates the Corolla’s stability. I tried rocking the vehicle while moving at 40mph and you hardly notice the car swerve. Don’t be fooled by the Corolla’s new look; it has the power when going up Navy Hill.

Another cool feature of the new Corolla is that a spare tire is no longer needed, giving you more trunk space. The Corolla comes with an inflator—liquid would go inside your tire and seal any puncture, giving you the chance to drive to the nearest tire shop to have it fixed or replaced. The liquid inside the inflator would expand and cover the holes. If your tires are still a little bit deflated, it also comes with a compressor pump.

The Corolla’s base model LE starts at $24,495 and offers a 139-horseower engine with 126 foot-pounds of torque while the Sport and Hybrid models are coming in later. The new Corolla has a 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder engine that offer fuel economy of at least 29mpg for city driving and 38mpg in highways.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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