The Road Ahead : August 2013
MOTORING | NEW CAR REVIEW KEY STATS MLP: $30,490 (CVT)^ SAFETY: Dual front/front side/curtain and driver's knee airbags, electronic stability/traction control, anti- lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, front seatbelt pre-tensioners/force limiters. KEY FEATURES: Dual-zone auto climate-control; 17" alloys; bluetooth, CD, six speakers, adaptive front lighting, cruise control, heated leather front seats (driver gets powered lumbar), heated/folding exterior mirrors, tilt/reach steering, reversing camera, sat-nav, front fog lamps. ENGINE: 1.8-litre, 16-valve petrol, 4-cyl. MAX. POWER: 103kW @ 6400rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 173Nm @ 4000rpm. 0-100 KM/H: 10.3 sec (tested). 80 KM/H-STOP: 23.3m (tested)*. FUEL (ADR FIGURE): 6.6 litres/100km. ANCAP CRASH RATING: EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Improved dynamics, performance and fuel economy. AGAINST: Spacesaver spare, tight with three in the back. toyota corolla levin zr ^MANUFACTURER'S LIST PRICE. REVIEWS BY BARRY GREEN. *BRAKING DISTANCE ONLY. ACTUAL STOPPING DISTANCE WILL BE LONGER, AS DISTANCE TRAVELLED DUE TO DRIVER REACTION TIME IS NOT INCLUDED. KEY STATS MLP: $42,990^ SAFETY: Dual front/front side/ curtain airbags, electronic stability/ traction control, anti-lock brakes, active headrests, hill start control. KEY FEATURES: Dual climate-control, 19" alloys, 10-way powered front sports seats with four-way lumbar, choice of driving modes, mechanical limited slip differential, Brembo front brakes, body kit, premium audio system, sat-nav, bluetooth with voice control, rear park assist. ENGINE: 2.0-litre, direct-injection turbo-petrol, 4-cyl. MAX. POWER: 206kW @ 5300rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 400Nm @ 2400-4800rpm. 0-100 KM/H: 6.0 sec (claimed). 80 KM/H-STOP: N/A. FUEL (ADR FIGURE): 8.1 litres/100km (95 RON). ANCAP CRASH RATING: EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Performance, handling, braking. AGAINST: Tyre inflator kit, busy dash. opel astra opc ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 52 THE ROAD AHEAD AUG/SEP 2013 A REPUTATION FOR reliability and retained value, along with a ubiquitous dealer network, has won over many, many buyers to Toyota's Corolla throughout the years. That remains true of the latest, 11th generation of this small car icon, but even better is the news that Corolla now involves and entertains the driver dynamically. We're not talking hot -- or even warm -- hatch, but across our broad road testing spectrum, Corolla circa 2014 showed ability to grip and turn in well, ride compliantly and stop impressively. While peak power is up only slightly and peak torque is the same as before, the 1.8-litre petrol unit is more flexible, revving 400rpm higher and delivering its optimum torque 400rpm lower. The overall drive, though, is let down a little by the optional seven-step CVT. While delivering better fuel economy than the previous generation's auto (6.6 litres/100km pays 7.4), under full acceleration it sounds stressed. Like most small car interiors, it's a stretch with three adults in the back, but make it two and there's plenty of room. Our top-of-the-range Levin ZR wanted for little by way of standard equipment (see accompanying stats panel) including rear-view camera, which is just as well as visibility is not good through the narrow rear window. On test, average fuel consumption lapsed from 6.6 to 9.1 litres/100km. OPEL'S ASTRA OPC boasts more power and torque than arch rivals Megane RS 265 Cup (195kW/360Nm) and VW Scirocco R (188/330). Unfortunately, it tips the scales at 1494kg (some 119kg heavier than the RS and 143kg more than the R), so some of that under- bonnet advantage is negated. However, the OPC still soars from 0-100km/h in a claimed and rapid 6.0 seconds. There is a little turbo lag, and some torque steer when the hammer goes down, but a slick-shifting six-speed manual gearbox brings out the best of the 2.0-litre turbo four. The suspension settings, throttle response and steering weighting are able to be adjusted via Sport and extreme OPC switches. The latter is really only appropriate in a controlled environment, like a track day. There's a nice handling balance between grip and agility, though the ride on optional 20-inch alloys fitted with fat rubber is harsh on anything less than smooth hot mix, but this is par for course with most Euro pocket rockets. The leather sports seats have plenty of powered adjustment, but the dash is busy with way too many single-purpose controls. Bristling with a performance portfolio developed at Germany's fabled Nurburgring race track, Astra OPC should be on any hot hatch buyer's short list. And, yes, you could live with one every day -- with a little compromise.