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2017 Toyota Corolla hatch | new car sales price

Toyota has boosted optional safety gear available for hatch variants of its Corolla small car including lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking (AEB), however the new kit will come with a price tag of $750 for all variants bar the top-spec ZR.

Standard fitment of the new tech means the ZR incurs a price hike of $450, bringing it to $30,020, while the rest of the range remains unchanged in price, starting with the Ascent manual from $20,190 before on-roads.

The mid-level SX variant has also dropped its manual option, meaning only the base-level Ascent and Ascent Sport will be offered with a stick shift from 2017 onwards.

Additional safety equipment includes a pre-collision braking system and automatic high beam, features that were included in the updated Corolla sedan rage announced earlier this week.

The braking system scans the road ahead for obstacles using a windscreen-mounted camera and LIDAR (light detection and ranging) sensor and activates audible and visual warnings if a crash is imminent.

According to Toyota, the system "primes the brakes for extra stopping force" and if the driver continues to not react, "initiates autonomous emergency braking to reduce the vehicle's closing speed."

The lane departure system, which can be toggled on and off, uses the camera and LIDAR sensors to detect and warn if the car is leaving the lane.

The Corolla already managed a five-star ANCAP safety rating without the optional safety equipment, thanks to its existing seven airbags, reversing camera, electronic brake-force distribution, and vehicle stability and traction control.

No change has been made to the Corolla's 103kW/173Nm 1.8-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol unit, which returns an economy figure of 6.1L/100km when mated to a continuously variable transmission, and jumps to 6.7L/100km in the six-speed manual.

Hybrid versions reduce that figure to 4.1L/100km with a 1.8-litre engine mated to a 60kW electric motor for a combined output of 100kW. 

The Corolla celebrated a successful 2016 in terms of sales, finishing second overall behind its HiLux stablemate and first for passenger cars with 40,330 registrations for the year.

It outpaced other hot sellers such as the Hyundai i30 (37,772), Ford Ranger (36,934) and Mazda3 (36,107), despite a 4.1 per cent drop in sales compared to 2015.

Can the Corolla keep the mantle of best-selling passenger car in 2017? Tell us what you think in the comments below.