13 May 2012

The first of the new Toyota Corolla has arrived - Axio & Fielder

Toyota Japan has launched the first in the line of its new generation Toyota Corolla model, the Corolla Axio and its Touring version named Corolla Fielder. It has become the trend with Japanese marque nowadays to downsize their car, and the new Corolla Axio is no exception. Measuring 4,360mm in length, 1,695mm in width and 1,460mm tall, the new Axio is some 50mm shorter than the outgoing model. The wagon version, Corolla Fielder is also measures 4,360mm, some 60mm less than the current car. Majority of the length reduction was achieved by chopping off the front overhang. Wheelbase is 2,600mm - retained from the outgoing Axio/Fielder.

Further downsizing has been made too in powertrain department where the base model is now powered by a 1.3L engine instead of 1.5L as the outgoing model. Overall strategy-wise, this car seems like the 8th generation Corolla where at that time of non-existence of Toyota Belta/Vios when Civic/Corolla segment is fat-free and not bloated with space expansion like they are now. The latest generation car was termed to the concept of  "car for four adult to travel a long distance in comfort, safe and peace of mind". The A-pillar and C-pillar has been re-positioned and re-sized to liberate extra cabin volume and to increase visibility.

Toyota Corolla Axio sedan is available in 1.3X, 1.3XG, 1.5X, 1.5G and 1.5 LUXEL, increasingly expensive in this order. The 1.3L version is powered by 1NR-FE lump producing 95PS@6,000rpm and 121Nm@4,000rpm and  driving the front wheel via CVT-only gearbox. Toyota Corolla Axio 1.3L achieved 20.6 km/L in JC08 fuel cycle test. This version is the lightest (really light actually) at 1,050kg.  The 1.5L version meanwhile is powered by 1NZ-FE engine kicking 109PS@6,000rpm and 136Nm@4,800rpm. Gearbox option is either 5 speed manual or CVT and available in either FF or 4WD. The 1,090kg Axio 1.5X/G can achieve 20.0 km/L while the much heavier (and better-equipped) LUXEL stands at 1,200kg and 16.0 km/L, performed over the same test cycle.

The Corolla Fielder version is pitched in a different class compared to the sedan Axio sibling. No 1.3L version is available, where the range starts with 1.5X, 1.5G and 1.5G Aero Tourer and all variant are available with 5 speed manual or CVT and driveline option is either FF or 4WD. The range is topped by 1.8 version, offered in S and S Aero Tourer trim. The 1.8L version is the variation of 2ZR-FAE lump producing 140PS@6,200rpm and 172Nm@4,000rpm. This version is only available with CVT although it can be paired with either FF or 4WD driveline. 

In terms of interior trimmings, Corolla Axio is available in either grey or beige trim, depending on exterior shade. The fabric color not only is for the seat upholstery, but also fitted to the dashboard fascia in front of the passenger and at the top of the door trim. Garnish is either gloss black, silver or simulated wood depending on the variants.

Corolla Fielder meanwhile is offered in sportier black trim, adorning the seat, door trim and dashboard. However, the fabric used for the Aero Tourer is different from the non-sporty version, with more catchy shining lining instead of subdued dark tone of the other version. The wagon boot is 407L in capacity.

Mechanically, Corolla Axio/Fielder is suspended by MacPherson strut up front and cost-conscious torsion beam at the back. Braking is by ventilated disc at the front, while rears are taken care by drum setup for all version.

What does the Corolla Axio/Fielder means to us in Malaysia? The previous Axio varied from our Corolla Altis on the A-pillar front-wards and C-pillar rear-wards. The cabin is exactly similar. If this trend continues,  we can expect the Hachiroku inspired dashboard design with more dazzling centre console than the plain, luxury-oriented console of the current Corolla Altis. Interestingly though, at 4,360mm the new Corolla Axio/Fielder is suprisingly close to Toyota Vios/Belta which stands at 4,300mm long and 2,550mm wheelbase. Will the new Vios/Belta shrunk in size?

Full gallery can be found after the jump, courtesy of Carwatch.

Corolla Axio 1.3X
Note the door-mounted wing mirror. Grille is two-chromed bar elements.

Corolla Axio 1.5LUXEL
The front grille is different from the 1.3X, gained fog lamps and alloy wheels.

Corolla Fielder 1.8S Aero Tourer

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