New Toyota Corolla is a real sassy package

I QUITE enjoy the computer term wysiwyg - "what you see is what you get!"

I QUITE enjoy the computer term wysiwyg - "what you see is what you get!"

Though normally linked to the information technology environment, it has found its way into everyday vocabulary.

In fact, for me, it suits the new-generation Toyota Corolla perfectly. The Corolla doesn't pretend to be something it isn't.

It might lack the design flair of some of its French competitors. It might even lack the power of some of the Germans.

But with Toyota it's definitely wysiwyg! And that's just fine.

Having the vehicle for a two-week period was an ideal opportunity to give it an extended road test and with 2500km driven during this time, it came through with flying colours.

Being a top-of-the-range 1,8-litre it has a wide range of features, some of which you would normally associate with the "German brigade".

Air-conditioning with climate control, automatic rain-sensing wipers, automatic on-off light system, front and rear electric windows, engine stop/start button and, for me the cherry-on-top, cruise control.

With the traffic authorities out in force these days, I was determined to stay on the right side of the law and found the cruise control a blessing.

If the speed limit said 120km-h, that's exactly what I set the cruise control to. If it said 80km-h, so be it.

And believe me, it definitely saved me a couple of rand as to date I've had no nasty little letters in the post.

The 16-inch alloy wheels, along with colour-coded door handles and the attractive chrome grille, add a bit of bling to the Corolla and actually helps turn it in to quite a sassy package.

The Corolla is equipped with an easy-to-use six-speed gearbox and the 16-valve engine was more than willing.

In fact, reading up on the vehicle recently I was surprised to see the power output is 100kW, since it actually felt more powerful on the road.

Safety is always an important factor when looking at buying a vehicle and the Corolla scores high.

Front and side airbags, side impact beams, ABS brakes, central locking and keyless entry are all standard features and all necessary for today's driving environment.

Equipped with a 6-CD shuttle it helps to pass the time on a long drive and the six speakers provide a pleasant audio experience.