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Small Step Tactics
Small Step Tactics


TEST: 2004 Toyota Corolla



Toyota Corolla 2003

1.6 liters, 110 liters. with., a five-speed manual gearbox, R1 grade, $ 17, 900.

Toyota Corolla 2004

1.6 liter, 110 hp, five-speed manual gearbox, Terra equipment, $ 18, 400.

Toyota Corolla

The ninth generation debut took place in 2001. The car is produced with sedan, hatchback, station wagon, and also a mini-van Toyota Corolla Verso / Corolla Verso. In 2004, an updated version was introduced.

Engines: gasoline 1.3–1.8 liters (88–192 hp), diesel 2–2.2 liters (79–110 hp). In Russia, they offer 1.4–1.8 liters (97–192 hp) with gasoline engines.

Transmissions: 5- and 6-speed (with a 1.8 liter engine) mechanical, 4-speed “automatic” (1.6 liter).

Options: Terra, Terra with ext. equipment, Sol.

The price in Russia is $ 17, 400–28, 900.

Will it turn out to be so fashionable today in the color of “wet asphalt”? This thought haunted us while we drove in the dark gray editorial Toyota Corolla 2003 to meet with an updated version of 2004. The photographs show that the car is not too different from its predecessor. And if the color is the same too … The photographer will be "thrilled"! By the way, the press release says about five new colors, among which regency red - dark red metallic and dark green - oasis green.

Of course, it turned out to be gray - though noticeably brighter than ours. And that’s good …


We put the “corollas” of the past and present years close by and look for differences in six eyes. The front bumper has changed a bit, the radiator grill began to resemble Avensis. The moldings are now in body color, and the taillights with fashionable “rounds”.

There are also few changes in the cabin. The edges of the seats, which are responsible for lateral support, became higher, the steering wheel can be adjusted not only vertically, but also moving back and forth. The dashboard, called Optitron, is now constantly lit.

To the right at the end of the dashboard is the passenger airbag switch, and in the middle is its indicator. By the way, there are four pillows in the standard Terra, and side curtains can also be ordered. Heated front seats are also basic equipment. In addition, the air conditioning control was slightly changed: instead of the slider, which was previously responsible for taking air from the street or from the passenger compartment, two buttons. Here, perhaps, are all the differences.

There is nothing unusual in this update. There is a theory that the movement to the intended goal is always zigzag, which means that the shortest path will be provided by small steps. The majority of automobile companies, including Toyota, adhere to this quite reasonable principle. Many changes are clearly useful, external ones are pleasant. Both those and others will certainly foster interest in the popular model.


Of course, we did not expect technical or driving surprises from the updated Corolla. Those who are interested in the dimensions of the cabin and trunk are sent to the test in the August issue of the magazine, in which Toyota 2003 participated.

But on the dynamometer and other roads of the Korolla training ground, they still tormented them - the benefit is that both editorial and test cars are equipped with the same 1.6-liter engines. The measurement data differ from those obtained in the group test in the summer (ZR, 2004, No. 8), is not significant. The difference can be attributed to other tires and weather conditions.

But the general feeling of the updated Corolla is slightly different: the car has become softer, more tender. The clutch pedal is noticeably lighter, although the information content has deteriorated. Gear shifting also requires less effort.

And the suspension softened. In terms of handling, the car lost a little to its predecessor, but won in comfort. What is more important for everyday use, of course. Adaptation to Russian conditions? According to experts of the company, no changes were made to the chassis. What is the matter?

Perhaps the nuances of manufacturing and assembly played a role. Indeed, strictly speaking, our experimental Coroll have different nationalities. Before cars arrived in Russia from Turkey, now only station wagons will be imported from there. Sedans and hatchbacks are delivered from Japan, and the sports Corolla T-Sport is delivered from the UK.

The updated sedan with a 1.6 liter engine as standard will cost $ 500 more than its predecessor. Are small, in general, worth the changes in this money? Those who are interested in novelty, and recognize only one model year - the last, will probably find that it is inexpensive. Others … However, it makes no sense to argue: the 2004 Toyota Corolla has already arrived at dealers, displacing last year's model.


Small, mostly cosmetic changes went to Toyota Corolla, although it costs five hundred dollars.

+ Excellent dynamics, good brakes, good suspension.

- Noisy engine, lack of information on the clutch pedal.


Toyota Corolla (2004) (2003)

Fog lights


central locking

Power windows. (front / rear)

Electric mirrors

Adjustable steering column *

Seat heater

Air conditioning

Audio system

Belt tensioners

Airbags (qty) 4 2

Convertible trunk

Full size app. wheel



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