LACKING DIRECTION

CAM STRIKES A STICKY WICKET WITH COROLLA SAT-NAV

CAMERON KIRBY

REPORT THREE

TOYOTA COROLLA

Price as tested: $26,870

This month: 644km @ 6.9L/100km

YOU SHOULD pity our editor, Alex Inwood.

Not because of his job, he drives some of the world’s greatest cars all around the globe, so he gets zero pity for that.

No, you should pity Alex because he has to suffer me, and because he loves cricket. In the summer months, Inwood switches on every TV within eyesight of his office and tunes them all to the cricket. He monitors the lot like a Wall Street stockbroker, greedily devouring every piece of the action. At least until yours truly wanders through and asks such probing questions as: “Who’s playing?”; “Why is everyone wearing white?” And “What do you mean the game goes for five days!?”

Yes, I am a cricketing cul de sac, having been raised in a family with the simple motto of: “if it doesn’t have an engine, it’s not a sport”. Hence why, with the T20 cricket in full swing, I decided I’d bypass the MCG and set the Corolla’s sat-nav for Avalon speedway, where the sprint-car season was in full, dirt-clumping action.

Yep, I’ll take a cup of greasy chips in my paw and the smell of methanol in my nostrils every time over a KFC bucket on my head.

Unfortunately, as I discovered while racing to make the start of the meet, the Corolla’s sat-nav is designed to avoid idiots like me being able to do anything but drive while driving, and locks out any inputs once the car is travelling above walking pace.

Fair cop, I suppose, but the fact it also won’t allow a front-seat passenger to help out by inputting such info is mildly annoying. Curiously, there’s no such concerns with the driver or passenger using the audio system.

Other than this minor annoyance, the Corolla has been performing its longterm duties with aplomb. The boot can easily swallow a pair of camping chairs and an esky primed with snacks, while the compact exterior dimensions meant it was easily able to slot in between the hulking dual-cabs in the dusty car park.

Active cruise control is now standard on every Corolla variant and came in handy for the bomb back to the city with the speedway traffic.

Having scratched my Speedway itch for now, I’m now wondering if Toyota might allow us to get some clay under the Corolla’s tyres? It’d be more interesting than cricket, that’s for sure.

CAMERON KIRBY