Toyota Corolla Seca Review and Specs

Toyota Corolla Seca Review


  • Reliable engines
  • Sturdy build quality
  • High value for money
  • Performance of early RV models


  • Slow acceleration on some all models
  • Bland styling on a few generations
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Overview, Look, and Feel of the Toyota Corolla Seca

The Toyota Corolla Seca is the five-door hatch of the Corolla range. With extra luggage capacity and bulletproof engines, the Toyota Corolla Seca is a practical source of transportation. It isn't what you'd call exciting, but the Corolla Seca is sensible and reliable – and that's what most people are looking for in a car.

Introduced in 1983, the Toyota Corolla Seca gave buyers the cargo capacity of a much larger car, without the heavy fuel consumption. Over the years, the Toyota Corolla Seca became more modern, but the styling remained on the conservative side. Competitors like the Ford Focus and Mazda3 offeredd more daring style, but the Toyota Corolla Seca still had a huge following due to its rugged engines and Japanese-spec build quality.

Taking a trip back in time, the second-generation Toyota Corolla Seca was now much more refined than the previous rear-wheel drive model, and featured front-wheel drive, along with a pair of Australian-made twin-cam engines (1.6L and 1.8L). A more powerful 100 kW 1.8L was also available in the top-spec Seca Ultima and Seca RV. The sloping glass hatch made the E90 Toyota Corolla Seca the most attractive model in the Corolla range.

Following the successful E90, the Toyota Corolla Seca was redesigned for 1992 and dubbed the E100. Now larger than the previous model, the Toyota Corolla Seca had a reinforced body structure, and extra soundproofing. This resulted in a much quieter, more refined small hatch. The E110 Toyota Corolla Seca was a lightly refreshed version of the E100, and it continued its affiliation with local assembly at Toyota’s Altona plant, outside of Melbourne. Notable changes to this generation include new front and rear fascia, a new suspension which created a more supple ride, and more confident handling.

The completely redesigned 2002 E120 Toyota Corolla Seca was now larger, quieter, and safer than ever before. The previous top-spec 100kW 1.8L became the standard engine, and the suspension did a better job of smoothing out road imperfections. ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution were also offered on the E120. While the new car was indeed safer and more comfortable, the output of the 1.8L was reduced to 93kW in 2005 in order to meet the tighter Euro IV emission standards.

In 2007, the all-new E140 Toyota Corolla Seca got a brand-new 1.8L which increased power back to 100kW. The standard transmission also gained a gear, becoming a 6-speed manual. A 4-speed automatic continued to be offered, along with a host of new kit like satnav, parking sensors, and 5 additional airbags. ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution also became standard, along with air-conditioning and electric windows.

Toyota Corolla Seca Engine Specs and Performance

The Toyota Corolla Seca has always been powered by a reliable engine. Toyota knows how to build a sturdy vehicle. While they might not be very powerful, the engines used in the Toyota Corolla Seca are known to last for several hundred thousand kilometres. There have been different engine sizes over the years, from 1.3L, to the more recent 1.8L with variable valve timing (VVT-i). A few diesels have even been offered over the years.

Fuel efficiency has always been a trait of the Toyota Corolla Seca. Early versions averaged 7.7L/100km, and more recent versions managed a similar 7.9L/100km. Power is considerably higher in the modern versions though – 100kW versus 51kW in 1983.

Standard Equipment and Options for the Toyota Corolla Seca

Early versions of the Toyota Corolla Seca were pretty basic, but later versions had more available equipment. The 2006 to 2010 Toyota Corolla Seca came with air-conditioning, power front windows, and remote central locking as standard kit. More equipment was available on higher-trim Corolla hatch models, as the Seca name had been relegated to the name of the base trim model.

Neither the petrol-powered 2006 to 2010 Toyota Corolla Seca nor any previous version sold here were ever fitted with standard electronic stability control. The safety system came standard on the diesel model, but it wasn't available on petrol cars. Toyota finally decided to include it on all post-2010 models.

Toyota Corolla Seca's Competition

The hatchback market has always had a nice assortment of cars from which to choose, from inexpensive Protons to the fussy Peugeot 308 to the popular and well-made Ford Focus. No matter what your taste or budget, there's a hatchback to suit you. If you have practical taste, the Toyota Corolla Seca is the one to look at.

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