2020 Toyota Corolla ZR

2020 saw a few subtle changes in the Toyota Corolla lineup.

We loved the Toyota Corolla at the official launch in Queensland’s fabulous Noosa Heads a few years ago. READ ABOUT IT HERE

We loved it then and we love it now. Toyota made huge leaps in both design and function. No longer are they boring whitegoods, oh no.

There are 3 models in the range, each with a hybrid option for a few extra shekels.

The biggest leap is Toyota finally joined the Apple CarPlay/Android Auto show. Below, we’ve explained some of the functions and terms used in the video.

What Is Apple CarPlay/Android Auto?

Put simply, it extends your phone, allowing the user to operate the phone through the car’s systems. Now the world as extended nanny-state status to photographing every single driver, the government looks in to your car to see what you’re doing.

Should you be handling your phone in any way, bang goes your points, and your ability to drive legally on a road.

To combat this, smartphone makers got together with car audio makers to bring full mirroring. You can use the infotainment system through the screen, buttons, or full voice control. Apple users have an interface that looks exactly like the phone screen. Android looks a bit different, but is still familiar.

Both can be used without ever having to lift a finger.

Maps, messages, music, and of course, phone calls, can be handled easily but simply telling the system what you want it to do. It is very Star Trek.

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What is HUD or Heads Up Display?

Many new cars have a form of HUD. Driving data is displayed either on a small plastic or glass plate swings up out of the dash, or directly on the windscreen.

Navigation, speed, music data, traffic signs, and all manner of sundry information is clearly projected into the driver’s line of sight. It is full adjustable for position and brightness.

Anyone who wears polarised glasses will need to bin them, because like LCD screens at railway stations, the display is difficult to read while wearing such glasses.

What Is Blind Spot Monitor?

A bright indication is given, usually in the mirror on the side of the hidden object. It may even be shown in the driver display and/or HUD.

Active Blind Spot Monitor uses the lane keep assist to steer you back into the lane if you try to change lanes while something is I your blind spot.

What is Lane Keep Assist?

On cars with ELECTRIC POWER STEERING ONLY, this system is known by many names which all perform the same function. It keeps you within the lane markings. Most brands need lane markings on both sides of the car, but some can also recognise road edges without markings.

Some even allow you to remember where in the lane you like to position your car.

What Is Rear Cross Traffic Alert?

Rear Cross Traffic Alert combines with the reversing camera system and uses radar to detect oncoming traffic. As you back up, beeps and/or lights warn you of the direction of the danger. Some include emergency braking so that if you do not react, the car slams on the anchors for you. It can be alarming, so watch where you’re going.

What is Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)?

Autonomous Emergency Braking comes in many forms, but all will try to brake to avoid a crash. High speed AEB works at highway speeds to slow you down. It won’t prevent an accident, but will mitigate the damage.

City Braking works at lower speeds, and may avoid an accident altogether. Don’t be an idiot by trying to test it out.

Detection may include pedestrians, cars, trucks, bikes, and many other objects. Some systems work day or night. Check your user guide to see what you have. Be prepared, because if the system fails, you’ll get a visit from men in blue.

What is Active or Radar Cruise Control?

Like regular cruise control, it allows a driver to relax, especially on longer trips. Once set, your foot can rest, but always be prepared to take over if needed. Don’t go nodding off.

It differs from regular cruise control by using radar and/or cameras to detect vehicles in front. It then slows your car to match. As the traffic in front speeds up, so do you, until you reach the speed you’ve selected. Of course, some fail to notice that they’ve been beetling along at 30kph under the limit behind a granny who only goes to church on Sundays.

Known by many names, queue-assist works in traffic, right down to a stop. While some brands will move off again when the traffic moves of, most require a dab of accelerator or a press of the RESUME button.

You might even find lane assist working for you too, but you must always pay attention. I prefer to brake myself if I see a car wanting to change lanes, to be polite and allow them in. The system isn’t quite that smart, yet.

What is Auto Brake Hold?

This is handy in traffic. As you come to a stop, your car will continue to hold the brakes for you, like Hill Start Assist does. Whereas the latter only works on a hill, Auto Hold works on any road, regardless of the grade of the slope even if the road is completely flat.

Brands like Mercedes Benz have their system on all the time. A harder press of the brake activates it. Toyota likes the driver to press a button instead. You have to press it again whenever you restart the car though, and that can be annoying. First world problems?

What is an Electric Parking Brake?

This is a really nifty gizmo.

Chavs the world over gnashed their teeth when this was introduced. No longer could they yank the lever for a handie (handbrake turn to you and I, not that other handie).

Corolla activates it for you when you select park, and releases when you drive off again. You must have your seat belt on for the release to work properly.

Corolla? Is it worth the money?

A car in the mid 36’s is a lot of ask, and competition is stiff. Mazda3 says it is top dog, and the Koreans are also racing up the charts. Toyota can’t afford to rest in its laurels. For the time being, Corolla is as good as the maker’s claim.

Model range pricing:

  • Ascent Sport manual – $23,335
  • Ascent Sport CVT – $24,835
  • Ascent Sport hybrid – $26,335
  • SX CVT – $28,235
  • SX hybrid – $29,735
  • ZR CVT – $33,635 (approx $36,500 on the road)

Corolla RZ details:

Engine: 2.0L 4cyl Petrol, 91ron fuel

Price: $33,635

Engine: 2.0L 4cyl Petrol, 91ron fuel

Transmission: CVT automatic


Economy: 6.0L/100k


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