Mechanical Sympathy

MZEA12 Corolla hatch

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Well after 16 years of faithful, faultless motoring in my NCP10 Echo - I got a flat tyre. So I bought a new car!

I'd been watching the development and release of the new Corolla and last weekend I put a deposit down on a 'Blue Flame/Eclectic Blue'  manual Ascent Sport with the factory option Satnav/privacy glass/Double J radio pack.

Evidently nobody buys manual cars anymore, let alone bright blue ones optioned with Double J radio, so at worst it will be on the slow boat from Japan to arrive "before Christmas!"

I would love to have bought a 6 speed ZR but the geniuses at Toyota Australia didn't think they'd sell any. It strikes me that Toyota's best cars are often their cheapest anyway. 

Nonetheless I was fairly impressed with the standard equipment, particularly the rev-matching gearbox, radar cruise control and speed sign reading. And I think Toyota have made a pearler of an engine in the M20A-FKS.

The Ascent misses a couple of cool options that the SX gets, such as keyless entry and folding mirrors. But I figured I could add or arrange to get a couple of the other fruits myself, like the fog lights, leather wrapped steering wheel and a couple of silver garnishes. But there's no way I'm buying a CVT, launch gear or not.

I've uncovered the part number for the USDM stick-on rear wing, and have hit the dealer up for a set of 18' wheels should someone happen to swap them out for some Rotas.

Has anyone else had a drive or a look? The blue probably isn't to everyone's taste, but I've come from 16 years of silver.

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I had a drive of a new ford mondeo something (work car) and it had the radar based cruise control. Absolutely bloody brilliant! Probably the best new car feature i have experienced. 

hows the interior on these things? is it an improvement over the last few corollas? where it feels like the inside of a plastic milk bottle?

18" wheels on a corolla, who would have thought:)

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It's fair to say that I'm coming from a low base with in the Echo Dave, but I was generally impressed.

It felt like a nice place to be, even in the Sport, which just seems to lose a couple of silver garnishes on the wheel and dash over the SX, and the push button start. Soft plastics and piano black glossy bits throughout.

The big central table seems contemporary (read, I reckon it'll date once tablets go out of vogue. It looks awkward in photos) but hey everyone is doing it. And it seemed well functional with voice recognition for texts/calls/music/directions. And doesn't obstruct the view from the drivers seat. The seats are grouse.

SX CVT

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Ascent Sport manual

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I'm certainly keen to source a wing and a set of 18s once they come onto the 2nd hand market. (nb USDM yellow indicators - we get clear)

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part number PT29A1219508 apparently just "glues" onto the standard wing. Toyota Australia really shit me that they don't get onto the desirable accessories. We get useless bonnet stone protectors instead.

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Edited by Mechanical Sympathy

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Well the Blue Meanie is scheduled for production tomorrow, with delivery  just over a month later.

Happy to report that the spoiler arrived safely in the meantime! 

However the listing and installation instructions referred to a drilling template that hasn't made the journey.

With the tyranny of distance and timezones I haven't quite been able to figure out from the seller whether it was included at his end or even if a template is provided at all - despite having it's own part number PT29A-12195-TL.

It would seem that eBay have repackaged the item in the US as part of their "Global Shipping Program" before processing through customs and sending to me, and I suspect that the plastic sheet template was probably considered unnecessary extra packaging and thrown out.

But the seller has been very helpful in providing me with the instructions and I think I could probably fashion my own template once I have both the car and spoiler in front of me - next month!

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With polite persistence and conviction I was able to convince my Californian friend that there is indeed a template missing from my package, and a replacement is now on the way.

Woohoo! Build day. The dealer has told me that once it's assembled a tracking number can be issued.  

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