Toyota Corolla Ascent Car Reviews | NRMA Motoring & Services

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Toyota Ascent hatchback

Toyota Corolla Ascent Car

Author: NRMA Motoring 1 July 2007

The iconic Corolla first seen in way back in 1967 as a two door has been a main player in success ever since and is now in its generation.

There are four and three sedans (the has been discontinued in the new line-up), all offering either manual or transmission except the Ultima The top specked Ultima Sedan is as an auto only. That’s 13 Body shapes differ the Ascent hatch is designed in the sedans are from Japan. are built in Japan.

Power-wise the new 1.8 engine has been further and made more powerful. variable valve timing output to 100kW@6,000 and 175Nm of at 4,400rpm.

Also new is the six speed transmission replacing the previous five speed, although the still remains a four

Value for money

The entry Ascent tested was the automatic and it retails for $22,990. The manual is $2,000 cheaper, at $20,990. around $1,000 more the outgoing model.

Every manufacturer has something to in this class — with its award winning VTi is $23,490 (auto), Mazda has the Neo priced at $22,990 (auto) and has the Elantra SX auto at $21,990 it’s only available as a

The entry level Ascent between the smaller Toyota YR auto — $17,890 and the Altise at $29,500 in the Toyota

Standard features

Some have had the jump on the most Corollas when it comes to features especially safety. new model rectifies that to extent with ABS braking now across the range.

Other features include:

100kw 1.8 engine

driver and passenger airbags

tilt and telescopic

AM/FM radio with CD and MP3 compatibility


power with auto function for (on the front windows only).


metallic paint $300

Safety Pack includes five additional air — $750

Cruise — includes cruise and leather bound steering with audio controls and a — $1,500

plus a of Toyota ‘accessories’ like Navigation, different alloy options and reverse park

Design function


The new model has grown up in all key dimensions. longer, wider, higher and than the last model back in 2002. Interestingly, the Corolla hatch is now bigger in (except in length) than the pre body Toyota Camry the 90’s.

The Ascent Hatch from its sedan counterpart in design. The hatch has a high gear lever that in a sweeping centre console gives a snug ‘cockpit’ feel for the front seat Front and rear leg room and room is generous and the rear is a 60/40 design with backrests. The hatch has a wide aperture and a flat floor and the seats down there is 1.4 metres of cargo length. storage for small items is by a two piece glovebox, a smaller section and a larger lower for street directories etc. is a sunglass holder in the overhead console, door pockets on all doors and map pockets on the backs of front seats.

The front are a huge improvement over generation Corollas. The new models are sculptured with additional bolstering on the seat base and Rear seat comfort is better although taller could do with some thigh support.

Toyota Ascent hatchback


Toyota Corollas always been a user vehicle and the latest hatch is no Door openings for front and allow for easy access interior door handles are positioned and take a while to get to. Once seated the driver has forward vision through the rectangular front screen. On the large windscreen ‘A’ didn’t block vision cornering — a definite and there is a small fixed glass to help.

Rearward is hampered by the high waistline and C pillars although the Corolla alone in this regard.

of the driver two large dials for and engine revolutions are simply but not particularly striking to look at. gauges for fuel and temp are easy to see. In the centre three large rotary for heating and ventilation are clearly — although not as tactile to as some opposition models. the audio controls for sound a bit old school and small. The higher models have the controls on the wheel, a much better

The new Corolla Ascent has dual airbags, ABS braking with Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution. This latest also scored a five safety rating in the latest of Euro NCAP safety Australian versions may differ though. The optional safety adds an additional five including, for the first time for a driver’s knee airbag, the total to seven.

Build quality finish

A point for Toyota is their reputation for build and finish with the Ascent there a couple of minor disappointments. The of seat fabric looked and low-rent, and the dash board, it didn’t squeak on test, was flimsy between the windscreen and cluster.

Remote keyless and an engine immobiliser form the of the Corolla’s security armoury. An is standard for the top line Ultima, for the rest of the range. A security of 57/120 is better than the model but still below for class.

On the road

The combined ADR fuel figure for the new Ascent is 7.4 litres per 100km. On test we a higher figure of 8.8 litres per on our city cycle, out on the highway dropped to 7.6 litres. Compared to the Corolla tested with a engine in 2002, the new Ascent is better by nearly 7 per cent and despite a weight gain of 125kg for the new model.

The 1.8 litre powerplant powering the model delivered 93kw of Dual variable valve on the new 1.8 has increased this to 100kW. to the four speed automatic, is adequate without being too Accelerating hard to overtake it to get a little busy with noise increasing.

Up front and proven MacPherson struts are in the front suspension layout the rear utilise a torsion design, which helps in suspension intrusion into the area. A lot of work has gone matching springs and dampers for the new and it shows with the new Ascent less body roll its predecessor, and a cabin that is well insulated from and road irregularities. One of the best recently.

Compared to the old model the Ascent feels much accomplished out on the road. There’s no that the Corolla has become but with the growth has come an chassis and more communicative although with fairly self centring. The new Ascent something back to the driver.

The level Ascent now has the braking standard that that in the same class have had for a of years. ABS brakes with Brake Force Distribution and Assist plus 275mm front and solid rear form a solid brake On test the brakes performed with a reassuring brake feel and solid stops.

Mechanically the engine becomes a noisy when pushed to its rpm limits but if you are less heavy the right foot — at higher speeds, the new Ascent is with its levels of quietness and It’s a nicely balanced The four speed automatic also provides engine when travelling downhill.

Toyota Ascent hatchback
Toyota Ascent hatchback
Toyota Ascent hatchback


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