The Toyota Corolla sedan has had a revamp. A small facelift and some deeper work done below the surface, it’s now a valid contender for a family car.

Don’t think of sedans as family cars? Some have bigger boot space, which is surprising, and they also work well as second cars so you’re not driving around a big lug SUV all the time.

This particular Corolla is the Ascent Sport which is the bottom of the range and I had it in the petrol engine, which costs $24,385, before on-road costs.

There is also the new addition of a hybrid engine in the range for an extra $2000, so that’s a great option, too. The Corolla is in competition with cars like the Mazda3 and Hyundai Elantra.

There is a sleek nose and a modern back end. It’s not going to win any design awards but it’s still a decent looking vehicle with enough going for it that it feels fine to drive. But there are no fancy additions, it’s all very standard.

Inside is also basic with a fair amount of man-made materials on the dash and the doors, so things do look plastic-y but at least they’ll be easy to wipe clean.

There are plain fabric seats but they are smooth, not scratchy. You won’t get any bells and whistles on the interiors but you do get a clean layout with some high gloss panels around the gear shifter to lift things.

The Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport is a perfectly agreeable car that now has enough interior space for a family to fit comfortably and also a large enough boot to haul around family necessities (read: useless My Little Pony backpacks your kids insist on bringing with them everywhere).

It drives well enough with good safety and technology included and is on the affordable end of a new family car scale. I gave it a family rating of 7.5 out of 10. My kids gave it the same, they liked being able to climb in easily.

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