Saturday, March 8, 2003
G O O D  M O T O R I N G

Now find Corolla & Camry cruising on Indian roads
H. Kishie Singh

Power drive: Camry with 2362-cc engine
Power drive: Camry with 2362-cc engine

ONE of the most sought after names in passenger cars has finally made an appearance on Indian roads. Toyota now offers the Corolla and Camry in addition to the Qualis. "Touch the perfection," says Toyota. The fact that there have been over 30 million Corollas manufactured and sold in 140 countries is a tribute to Corolla and consumer satisfaction. It is one of the highest selling cars in the world. The point that weighs most in the Corolla’s favour is its reliability and ruggedness. Which really is the hallmark of any Toyota — they run forever!

The new Corolla is a sensational-looking car and, according to the manufacturer, has been adapted for Indian conditions, whatever that means. It looks the same as any other Corolla anywhere in the world. It boasts about safety, style and comfort. The shape is not just for looks; it helps the aerodynamics of the car. This in turn means better fuel consumption.

Lurking under the sleek bonnet of the Corolla is a 4-cylinder in-line 1800-cc Double Over Head Cam (DOHC) engine with VVT-I, which means variable valve timing-intelligent technology. The engine puts out a powerful 125 ps which translates into about 125 bhp at 6500 rpm. Of course, it is a 16-valve engine.


Camry has a 2362-cc engine with 4 cylinders and in-line Twin Cam with 16 valves. It puts out 141 bhp at 5600 rpm. This gives it a top speed of over 200 kmph.

The secret of the high performance engines is Toyota’s proprietary VVT-I technology. This simply means that the valve timing is just that, variable, not fixed. It provides smooth acceleration, maintaining economy and reducing emissions. The engine is Bharat-II compliant.

Camry has the ETCS-I (electronic throttle control system-intelligent) in addition to the VVT-I. The ETCS-I controls gear shift changes by adjusting the throttle valve relative to the accelerator opening.

Both cars have disc brakes on all four wheels, the front discs are ventilated on both Corolla and Camry. In addition, Camry has the "electronic brake force distribution" (EBD) with "brake assist" (BD). The brake assist system is a boon for inexperienced drivers or drivers who in a panic situation do not apply enough pressure to the brake pedal. The brake assist system increases the braking force, when the brake pedal isn’t pushed enough or the pressure is reduced when the driver intentionally eases up on the brake pedal. For these cars that are capable of very high speeds, it is necessary to have disc brakes on all four wheels.

Corolla has lately designed multi-reflector headlights, which have integrated fog lights. The rear lights are also multi-reflector combination lamps. A cosmetic touch has been given: the tail pipe has been concealed. There is no ugly discoloured pipe sticking out of the rear bumper.

Luxury personified: The plush upholstery of Corolla
Luxury personified: The plush upholstery of Corolla

Seat belts, both front and rear, are standard equipments on both cars. So are air bags for the driver and the passengers. Camry has additional air bags on the doors for the front seat occupants. Air bags offer additional safety along with seat belts and decrease the impact of injury.

The crash-safe body, referred to as the Global Outstanding Assessment (GOA) Body, means having a high-integrity cabin with front and rear crumple zones that help absorb impact energy in a collision. The cabin structure is hardened with strategically placed reinforcements to protect the occupants and minimise the damage. These improvements were based on tests taking into account various types of collisions experienced in actual accidents. The GOA Body is common to both Corolla and Camry.

As compared to Corolla, Camry has some additional features. The front seats for the driver and the passenger are power operated. It has keyless entry with an immobiliser. The rear-view mirrors, of the same colour as the body, are fully retractable. The side protective body mouldings are also of the same colour as the body.

Corolla has air-conditioning; while Camry has automatic climate control.

Fabric for upholstery is standard. Leather upholstery is optional in both cars. The base price of Corolla is Rs. 9.81 lakh and goes up to Rs. 12.01 lakh. Camry costs Rs 18.04 lakh, and only leather upholstery is available, which costs an additional Rs 50,000.

Corolla is available with an automatic gearbox. This facility is not available in Camry in India.

Happy motoring!