Wheels comparo goes to Corolla! What the??!
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  1. #1
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    Wheels comparo goes to Corolla! What the??!

    Just picked up Wheels and was quickly infuriated by the comparison of 307 XS, Focus 1.8, Golf 2.0, and Corolla Levin.

    Corolla won the comparison.

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    My issues with the review:

    - A $29000 Corolla was used in the comparison, when all other cars where around the $25K mark. This disadvantages Focus, where you can get a 2L Zetec for the same $1K less. The Pug is disadvantaged, but going up to the 2L XSE would push up into the $30K mark. But at least that is a $1K gap tothe $4K gap here.

    - Pug came second, but from what I can see, had the best handling and steering response, best safety kit and most standard equipment of any car. (Same kit in a Corolla will quickly exceed $30K and it doesn't even have a rear lap sash belt).

    - From all I can see 307 didn't win because it didn't handle as well as 306. It's hardly fair to compare a car to it's predecessor which was a class leader in handling. No car handles as well as the 306 anymore, so shouldn't all cars be disadvantaged by the apparent 306 superiority? It's a comparison against each other, not it's past.

    I expect this drivel journalism from Drive/SMH/NRMA, but not Wheels.
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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    So what did they say the Corolla had over the 307?

  3. #3
    Sense Pug307's Avatar
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    The 307 didn't win because it wasn't as fast as the Corolla.

    Think about it - where did the Corolla beat the 307? Only in acceleration.

    I think the main disappointment in the 307 is in regards to its ride - and what Wheels said is true. Sometimes, when I read reviews on the 307 - I shirk at phrases like "traiditional lush Peugeot ride" - did they drive the car? You've got to be joking!!!

    Why was a 1.6 307 compared to a 2.0 Golf S, when there is a 1.6 Golf S at the same price as the 307?

    Interestingly, in the FEB 02 edition - Wheels put the 307 2.0 XSE ahead of the Corolla Levin.

    I wouldn't say it's a disastrous review, but Wheels is a tad lost. After all, how can you give a car that made it to your second last round with the E-Class, Camry & Range Rover only 2.5 stars???

    Makes no sense.

    Cheers,

    Justin

    Hope my Corolla driving friends don't see this

    Peugeot 307 XS 1.6
    Aussiefrogged in MEL, PER, SYD, BNE & ADL.
    Rendezvous Adelaide 2005

  4. #4
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    You've got to ask the question..... does inchcape have a 307 2.0 XSE press car available at the time of testing. Would Peugeot Australia be notified of the test? Comparo's like this should not be allowed to happen and surely some of it reflects back on demo availability and PR / marketing department knowledge of who's testing what and what it's being compared to? Sure it's unfair to compare chalk against cheese, but demo / press car availability must come into the equation.
    Peugeot 306 GTi6
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  5. #5
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    Yes, that traditional pug ride comment makes me shreek. Compare it against the other cars in the comparison, not against a pre-conceived notion of what that make of car should drive like.

    A Toyota drives like a bland peice of rubbish, so does that mean it's better than Peugeot because it's more in tune with it's "white-good" philosophy? Doesn't make any sense to me. The 307 holds itself very well on it's own, without backward comparisons or idealistic notions as to how the car should handle.

    As for Golf, well, that's a fair spot to put the Golf, regadless of what model they used. It's sparcely specced, handles poorly, and has a lethargic 2L SOHC engine which demands PULP.

    I'd forgotten about the previous comparison between the 307 2L and Corolla, so I'm relieved to know that it did better it in that class. Maybe a change in Editor since which is more "sensationalist"?
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  6. #6
    Sense Pug307's Avatar
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    Key Points.

    Corolla Levin 1.8 $28,290

    * Much faster than the others - yet lowest fuel consumption. Lively, responsive, eager to please.

    * "Engine is quite refined" - bah, even a friend admits his Corolla is a noisy thing, it doesn't have underbonnet insulation either. Wheels admits that noise can be tiresome at cruise speeds.

    * Best gearbox - albeit some dumb ratios

    * Poor driving position - bad relationship between pedal, steering wheel and seats. Insufficient adjustment range for the angle adjustable steering column. Good pedal placement and supportive seats though. Good controls.

    * Front & rear seat good - rear seat best of the group. But less foot room than in Focus & Golf.

    * Smaller boot than the others - it's pathetic IMHO, how can a car the size of the Corolla have a boot barely larger than that of a 206?

    * Adequate handling - up to a point, incoherant therebeyond. Traction problems out of corners. Bumps send shudders through the column, ok ride comfort.

    * Questionable value - not as good as the 307.

    * No centre 3 point belt.

    307 XS 1.6 - $25,990

    * XS 1.6 manual much different to auto - matches Focus off th eline and beats it for rolling start response.

    * Performance not brilliant - but "fights well for its weight division". Wide torque spread and short gear ratios. Noisy above 6000.

    * Gearshift Peugeot like - ok, not slick.

    * Fidgety ride - not supple like a 406 or even a 206 (I agree on the even comment - 206 doesn't ride that well).

    * Pug XX7 models signify the end of crisp steering, fluid ride and adjustable handling. But better stability at the limit - less involvement than a 306. Can still oversteer - needs more provocation and has better body control.

    * 307 still a skilled dynamic device - neutral balance, communicative steering (marginally most kickback), keen turn in, strong grip.

    * Pretty good brake feel & response.

    * Feels one dimensional lacking the satisfying passive rear wheel steer of the Xsara & 306, but miles better than Golf & Corolla.

    * Ride - bottomed out over the big dipper, but did not thump and isolated noise well. Ride borders on supple with speed & weight onboard.

    * Most improved quality - generally quite upmarket, although there are some minor details that would make a VW engineer frown.

    Peugeot has aimed for quality instead of wacky design and the outcome makes comparable PSA products (like Citroen's six year old Xsara) look nastier than pilchards on toast.
    * Wheels has reservations about wasteful cab forward design, but rear space better than Golf. Bench offers impressive comfort, high cushion with good underthigh support & good vision.

    * Boot space almost Golf size & wagon like when seats folded down.

    * Front seats best of the bunch - but driving position can be awkward for some & fine for others. Pedals positioned high and to the left - but not like the 206's lucky dip.

    * Digital climate control easy to operate - good cooling ability. Stereo good (hmmn, I don't agree), forward vision expansive.

    * Outstanding features list - questions equivalent $25k Corolla Conquest's value (need to add safety pack to a Corolla) - "but does this make 307 the class achiever?"

    Conclusion

    Corolla 3
    307 2.5
    Focus 2
    Golf 2

    My comment? Sometimes I think Wheels needs to grow up. Focus and Golf are hardly 2 star cars. If the Corolla is now the best in the class, it's very sad that only the best in the class can muster 3 stars.

    I've driven all bar the Golf. Reading the comments, I really think basically all of what has been written is correct, but on the basis of what's written, the conclusion is questionable.

    The Corolla has a noisy engine - it's simply noisy, and especially so, because the rest of the car is well hushed. I'd say it's definately better built than the 307 (although Wheels doesn't mention this) and has a more supple ride. In addition, the Levin is the only small hatch that has brakes to match the 307 - but other Corolla variants are decidedly average in this department. In all fairness - going for the cheapest Corolla would make no difference to the performance comments - it might be faster without the body kit. You still get the same 100kW 1.8 in the $19,990 Corolla Ascent.

    But value for money, the 307 makes the Corolla a joke. It handles better, has more room inside, has far more features, has a larger boot, is quieter and safer. Rear comfort is equal, because the 307 may have less legroom than the Corolla, but it needs less, because of the high seating position - actually, it's rather cinema like.

    It seems the 307 lost because it doesn't ride like a Peugeot should, it's not as roomy as they expected (but still roomier than the rest anyway), and isn't as fast. When you weigh up the 307s disadvantages with its advantages over the Corolla, it probably should've won.

    Funny that a car can win a comparo, just because it's faster. Never mind it doesn't do anything else better

    Cheers,

    Justin

    BTW: Wheels, next time you review the E-Class, Range Rover or Camry, I expect only 2.5 stars. After all, if the 307 manages to get to the 'semi final' of COTY and ends up with 2.5 stars, so should the rest

    Edited to fix spelling.

    <small>[ 30 January 2003, 03:12 PM: Message edited by: Pug307 ]</small>

    Peugeot 307 XS 1.6
    Aussiefrogged in MEL, PER, SYD, BNE & ADL.
    Rendezvous Adelaide 2005

  7. #7
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    Walshé:
    You've got to ask the question..... does inchcape have a 307 2.0 XSE press car available at the time of testing. Would Peugeot Australia be notified of the test? Comparo's like this should not be allowed to happen and surely some of it reflects back on demo availability and PR / marketing department knowledge of who's testing what and what it's being compared to? Sure it's unfair to compare chalk against cheese, but demo / press car availability must come into the equation.
    Toyota couldn't provide a Conquest, and it's noted as such. The thing is Toyota use the same engine across the range, whilst Peugeot save some $$ by using a cheaper, smaller engine, but not cutting out the kit. Toyota cut out the kit and leave the same engine in. The Toyota is not good value at all, and that doesn't appear to have been taken into account...well not enough for my liking. They could've gone and hired a manual Conquest from Bayswater if they really tried. What they've produced is sub-standard as a result.

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  8. #8
    Sense Pug307's Avatar
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    I think Peugeot (Sime Darby) had it right to give a 1.6 - because being a comparo against Corolla, Focus, Astra & Golf - you'd expect it to be at the lower end of the price scale.

    Secondly, Wheels did a 2.0 comparo last year.

    It's simply Wheels' poor judgement - they shouldn't have taken a 2.0 Golf. It actually makes less difference in the Corolla - ok, drive the Levin (same powertrain, just more kit), but do the comparo on the basis that it's a Conquest.

    A lot of people knock the 307 because it doesn't drive like a 306. It drives no where as bad as what some might have you expect. In fact, watch your speedo, and you'll find it's going quite briskly, just not as fun, thanks to the different perspective you get in a 307 (higher seating position, cab forward design, etc).

    Wheels Editor is now Ged Bulmer - I believe he was from Motor before. In all honesty, Wheels has had a few whackos over the past year.

    Cheers,

    Justin

    Peugeot 307 XS 1.6
    Aussiefrogged in MEL, PER, SYD, BNE & ADL.
    Rendezvous Adelaide 2005

  9. #9
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    There's one vital part of those assessments missing.

    "Last year Toyota only spent $xxxxx with us in group advertising, however after our last tests, & assurances we made to the PR department of Toyota, this year they have agreed to spend an extra $xxxx with the parent group. This accounted for another full point in our performance assessment. Fords general overall quality & performance is expected to improve dramatically once they have re negotiated the coming years advertising budget after reading this comparison."

    What can you say??? roll_lau roll_lau roll_lau roll_lau

    They are so bloody silly I don't bother wasting money or time on them any more; if there were more who thought the same way, they'd have to smarten their act up, after all, advertising isn't cheap if the publication it's appearing in isn't selling in volume. mallet

    Alan S cheers!

    <small>[ 30 January 2003, 04:12 PM: Message edited by: Alan S ]</small>
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  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! DTwo's Avatar
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    It's worth noting that in the review in which the 307 beat the (current model) corolla.....it think it was 2lt not 1.6.

    Having driven the "100kw" corolla i can say it definately fits squarely into the white-goods catagory.....competent but very dull and not really all good value for money.....
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  11. #11
    rek
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    Why don't they compare them based on the worst thing you can say about them.. wink

    Corolla: totally un-interesting whitegoods on wheels for the kind of people who quite frankly probably only feel excitement when they prepare to yell "Bingo" on Tuesday evenings

    Golf: lifeless, under-equipped Wehrmacht staff car purchased strictly by middle-class yuppies who couldn't afford a BMW 3-series compact

    307: uh, it doesn't drive as good as the 306. And the aussiefrog sticker is optional, at this price-point it really should be standard equipment. wink (hmm I'm starting to sound like a wanky motoring journo, I'd better stop)

    Based on this comprehensive analysis, I crown the 307 as the winner.
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  12. #12
    2000+ Brad's Avatar
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    This reminds me of the review done in 1995 between the 306 S16, Honda Civic Vti, Laser Linx and SSS Pulsar.

    Basically the Pug and Honda were in leages of their own, but between the two, the S16 had a better equipement spec sheet and killed the Honda in all but a few of the performance specs, including rolling starts, 0-xx and braking tests. However the review read quite the opposite, stating that the S16 lost to the Honda in almost all of the performance tests and won their priase over the S16...regardless of the vastly superiour ride and drivability of the S16.

    This just $hits me.
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  13. #13
    1000+ Posts Warwick's Avatar
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    GTI124, are they saying that the 307 didn't handle like the 306? That's a bit rich, cos at the time I never read any real glowing road tests about 306. I remember one where the 306 was bested by something like a laser or corolla, and maybe a golf. The same sort of thing as the road test this thread is all about. History and memory judges the 306 very well indeed. It's an excellent car. So I hear is the Focus and I know the Golf is.
    Makes you sick really. WHat car would a journo buy in this comparison? A corolla over the others, especially a 307. Not in a million years.
    Love to know how many dollars Toyota has committed to the magazine in advertising.
    I have never driven a good corolla besides that twin cam thing of the 80's(and that only had a good engine). All competant. All basically crap.
    I've not had more than a cursory glance at an Aussie car mag for 10 years, cos they wouldn't know a good car if they fell over it. Since the last of the car loving journo's (Bill Tuckey) stopped writing for mags it's all been written by ******s, egomaniacs and XR6/HSV/Magna loving snot-noses. Guys who value a car by its size or the number of switches or mostly by sheer power.
    Ghastly types journo's. I remember handing the keys for a Xantia over to one journo years ago, as I tried to explain how something tricky worked, he said "yeah, I know all about these. I driven these before." He proceeded to criticise the exact thing I was trying to explain to him in some article as not working. It worked, he just didn't know how to work it.
    Kevin Norbury is a journo who used to write for the Age, and still tests cars for someone or other. Poor guy, and this is no criticism of him, has only one arm. I kid you not. He tests cars with one arm. I feel bad about saying this, but you get my drift.
    Stick to the British magazines or else you just end up cross reading this Aussie junk.
    "Now my dream lies shattered like the shards of a broken dream"

  14. #14
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    [/Quote]

    "it's all been written by ******s,"

    "has only one arm. I kid you not. He tests cars with one arm. I feel bad about saying this, but you get my drift."

    Sure do; a one armed ****** test driving new cars!! That explains a lot. eek! eek! eek!

    Puts a new slant on a one legged man at an arse kicking contest doesn't it? moon dance moon dance

    Alan S mallet
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  15. #15
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Sort of like the time the Choice people (The Australian Consumers' Association) wanted to get an impartial test of the Falcon and Holden for their magazine...

    They shipped them to England, where the MIRA people tested them (as I recall..) and wrote things like "great dust sealing, but if you don't have dust, what value is this?" and "both have a higher first gear than the Zephyr so the clutch has to be slipped to take off up a 45% slope..."

    Of course, the Zephyr wasn't part of the comparison... nor was it intended to be. Choice bagged them both. Shame it was before the Valiant came out...

  16. #16
    Sense Pug307's Avatar
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    I remember reading, when the Camry was launched, Toyota bought 50,000 copies of Wheels to get it on the front cover (or was it $50k worth? - probably the former).

    Wheels reviews of base 306s were ok - suspension was good, but the engine was average and requiring PULP hardly impressed them.

    However if you read more widely, you'll find the 306 was well loved for its chassis. It's certainly hard to find bad words about it, although I note the days of Peugeot and magicial suspension comments started to wane with the introduction of the 206 - such a name only invites comparison with the 205, not easy.

    The Corolla engine is nice I have to say from a performance perspective. I don't care for its noise though.

    It's value for money is hopeless at RRP prices, but one thing I've noticed is that Toyota dealers seem to be able to chop huge amounts off that. A friend bought a new metallic Corolla Ascent auto with AC for $22,500 - at that price, yes it's good value for money, and I can understand why he didn't get a 206 XR. RRP without ORC is more than that. Another friend bought a Levin driveaway for less than list price.

    In Europe, the Corolla has done very well in reviews - I have my suspicions they have different suspension tuning. Even though it won the comparo in Wheels this time - you can't accuse them of ignoring its chassis' shortcomings - only the conclusion doesn't match the tone of the rest of the article.

    I remember a SMH Bill McKinnon review criticising the 307 for not having no steering reach adjustment - I couldn't work that out, because that implies he knew that there was angle adjustment - when it has both.

    Yep, in the FEB02 review, the 307 XSE 2.0 was against the Civic & Corolla Levin. Has the same power output as the Corolla, but extra 20Nm of torque, and about 100kg more of weight. It did win - basically on the basis of all rounded ability, and especially value.

    Plenty of crap reviews about though. Even some of the favourable reviews can be annoying - because they read like a press release, and you wonder whether they drove the car (eg. "307 has a supple, pliable ride" - were you in a coma when you rode in the car?). Wheels is just a bit strange at the moment - at times they speak words of truth, at other times, you really wonder.

    Otherwise, I must just be a 307 driving sook

    Cheers,

    Justin

    Peugeot 307 XS 1.6
    Aussiefrogged in MEL, PER, SYD, BNE & ADL.
    Rendezvous Adelaide 2005

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    like i said earlier (i think it was the MICRA thread... ) MOST motoring JOURNOS are SLUTS...
    i wouldn t be seen DEAD in a corrroollla (although the 80s GTi was really nice - engine wise)
    i really wonder though how many pug buyers would choose the corolla instead and vice versa....
    anyways...who cares what they say...have a beer and relax because in my opinion the advertising politics have more to do with results than any other factor....looking back on the 206/micra/c3 debate you wonder why i got myself so deep....although looking back at uk/french politics and the deceision where the new micra was going to be made with so many jobs at stake (plus 400 million pounds)i really do wonder wether it would have made any difference which car they chose to run against the micra.....it would have won anyway.....

    so i ll repeat that again (with my wifes backing-she used to be a journo) MOST journos are SLUTS.....EDITORS(most) are just PIMPS.....

    cheers

    dino

    any journos on this site? i did say MOST...not all..

  18. #18
    Sense Pug307's Avatar
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    although looking back at uk/french politics and the deceision where the new micra was going to be made with so many jobs at stake (plus 400 million pounds)
    Gee, Dino, you really did start to research the Micra

    Cheers,

    Justin

    Peugeot 307 XS 1.6
    Aussiefrogged in MEL, PER, SYD, BNE & ADL.
    Rendezvous Adelaide 2005

  19. #19
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    just got carried away,...i find background politics a little bit fascinating....ie: at one stage british pm. Blair atually publicly praised a couple of the local rags for supporting the micra project so much...therefore it would be unbelievable if the paper does a negative story or comparo against the micra..possibly affecting sales and jobs....a bit like the local geelong rag telling evreybody that ford makes crap engines (an example)...not going to happen is it...?

    anyway....in ref to wheels...its just a light read, though it pisses me of when they get it wrong not because a lot of people will buy a car based on the wheels comparo but because SOME WILL...and yes they will tell their friends how good their corlla is...it even beat the pug 307...european CAR OF THE YEAR.........bla bla bla....some people r clueless....

    cheers

    dino

  20. #20
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    If ever I saw a typical example of brainwashing made good, it was a guy in Europe who had a website in which he constantly made reference to his "wonderful BX" and told stories of where he'd been & what he'd done. He must have sounded genuine as one day just passing through I see he's written an epitaph to the car informing one & all the car had been nicked and he'd been paid out by the insurance and had bought a car fairly new to his country but cutting edge technology & design with style & features unheard of in Europe. He'd bought......................a Daewoo roll_lau roll_lau

    Haven't stumbled across his site recently, possibly due to him parking the car out in the snow as he used to with the BX. My guess is he hasn't seen it since. With Daewoos reputation for rust, it might have simply melted. Just shows you though; some people will believe anything these journos write.
    mallet mallet

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  21. #21
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I wonder if they price Daewoos there in accordance with they hype this guy believes?

    One thing's for sure, he didn't get a discount.

  22. #22
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    Don't know about the S16 and GTI6 but after driving a 307 through the Adelaide Hills I can categorically state that it handled much better than the 306s that I have driven. The rear suspension is noisy but the gas shockers will continue to work well for many years.
    Have you seen the size of the ones on the rear?
    404 size.

    Graham Wallis

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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by dino:

    anyway....in ref to wheels...its just a light read, though it pisses me of when they get it wrong not because a lot of people will buy a car based on the wheels comparo but because SOME WILL...and yes they will tell their friends how good their corlla is...it even beat the pug 307...european CAR OF THE YEAR.........bla bla bla....some people r clueless....

    Weell i think the british car mags screw up every now and then too... recently in CAR magazine, when this long termer reviewer said that the 307 had an 'annoying design fault' which was the automatic windscreen wipers... he complained abt the fact they came on at odd times and he didnt need auto wipers as he had a pair of eyes etc etc... funny he didnt mention that the auto setting on the car can be switched off!!

    cheers

    ollie
    ollie306307

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    GRAHAM WALLIS:
    Don't know about the S16 and GTI6 but after driving a 307 through the Adelaide Hills I can categorically state that it handled much better than the 306s that I have driven. The rear suspension is noisy but the gas shockers will continue to work well for many years.
    Have you seen the size of the ones on the rear?
    404 size.

    Graham Wallis
    i have driven a corolla, a golf mk 4 gti. i have owned a 306XR and now drive a 307XSE.

    all i can say abt the toyota is that its crap, lifeless and plasticky cheap. its good point? it is plasticky cheap.

    the golf GTI? its overpriced, bloated and overengineered. and it drives like a boat. its good point(s)? its posh looking, good to pose (if u r severely small in the confidence department)in and well built.

    the 306? its not so cheap. drives like a brand new scalpel, makes you feel like you can carve up any road like a butcher. its good points (or did i mention them already?)? it trashes the golf and it makes the corolla feel like a cheap japanese white goods vehicle that it is.

    the 307? weellll... its an improvement on all the good points of the 306... and more! it still drives like a scalpel, still makes me feel like a butcher/surgeon... its bad points? you can pose in the car convincingly enuf to pass for a yuppie....

    cheers
    ollie306307

  25. #25
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    Corolla's are reliable and have good resale value.

    From a performance of intended function perspective (ie sales, Toyota being Toyota, Volume is king)the Corolla is a winner, being the 3rd best selling car in Australia last month.

    Obviously many Australians see Value in the Corolla, and its key attributes (see above).

    I personnally would not buy a Corolla. I like the 307 and the Golf a lot. But obviously I/we are in the minority here, a glance at the sales charts will tell you that. People have different priorities, and if you think Wheels is supposed to be exclusively an enthusiast mag, your wrong. Maybe it used to be, but now its more like a Consumer Choice sort of publication, like Which Car used to be.

    And from that perspective, I don't think its findings are suprising, or particularly wanting.

    Justin always moans about the fact the 307 had done well in previous Wheels tests. But Wheels always say the opinions of individual testers will not be tampered with. e.g. the fact that Carey is obsessed with Magnas, and consequently seems to be the only one who tests them....
    Tim

    2013 BMW 320i Touring M-Sport xDrive (Estoril Blue)

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