If you’ve been paying attention to Toyota in the last two years or so, you may have noticed the TNGA acronym show up. But what does it mean?
Toyota New Global Architecture. That’s what TNGA stands for, and it refers to the platform (or backbone) on which most new Toyota models are built on. TNGA made its debut with the Toyota C-HR crossover, and eventually formed the basis of the range-topping Toyota Camry. Now it’s here with the Toyota Corolla, and it is as downright impressive as ever.
As cars evolve from generation to generation, they grow in size and strength – and the TNGA is no different in that it provides a much stiffer body with a lower centre of gravity to aid with handling dynamics, while also being stronger and safer as a result. After all, you always want to protect your loved ones and a good, solid chassis is the best place to start. That being said, torsional rigidity and strength isn’t the real crown jewel of the TNGA platform.
What makes the TNGA so special? In the case of the C-HR, Camry, and Corolla, the platform comes with MacPherson strut front suspension, and double-wishbone rear suspension – a combination that’s used even at the highest levels of luxury vehicles. The terms may sound a little alien to you, but we’ll try our best to explain them! The front suspension is really simple (it’s just the suspension strut connected to the wheel hub and lower arm), but it is carefully calculated and optimized to give you great steering response and feel.
The rear is where the real magic happens. It’s a little strange to imagine, but the back of the car is where most of the discomfort comes from when you go over bumps and undulations – which is why it’s more important that the back of the car takes bumps smoothly. Double wishbones are pretty complicated, but they are also really good at controlling what the wheels do precisely – which is great for both hard driving and gentle cruising.
With the front and the rear working in harmony, the result is a car that handles with high agility and responsiveness at a level you don’t find even in higher end cars, while also being extremely comfortable to drive. The steering is crisp and precise in your hands, the nose turns in eagerly but not in a way that scares you, and the car stays super flat when you take a corner. You usually need a car’s body to roll in a corner for stability, but the Corolla manages to get away with very little body roll, without causing any funny problems.
The way a car handles is something people rarely consider when it comes to what will probably be the second largest purchase in their life. Handling can be such a subjective topic – but it raises the question of what makes a car handle well, and why it even matters.
When handling is assessed, it’s more than just how fast a car can drive around in a circle (yes, there is an actual test that’s like this). The way a car handles is a whole bunch of different things in a single, interconnected package. From the way the steering feels in your hands, to how smoothly a car turns as you enter a corner, to how a car behaves when you have to brake hard in an emergency – these are all a part of handling too, just a little more based on feel than hard data.
But there is a point where the two worlds converge, and that’s in driver confidence and electronic driving aids. A car that handles well gives the driver confidence when driving in any situation – rain or shine – and the driver will know with certainty how a car is going to behave when they steer, brake, or accelerate. Knowing how a car is going to behave is important when dealing with unexpected situations on the road.
On the other hand, electronic driving aids like Vehicle Stability Control are there to try and save you if your tyres lose grip or the car becomes unstable. If a car handles well, these systems don’t have to intervene until much later – so one of the hallmarks of a great handling car is one that rarely needs to wake up those electronic nannies to stop you from careening off the road.
But what if you really aren’t the kind of person who layan corners or go for a Sunday drive down some twisty back roads? As we mentioned earlier, the other benefit of the TNGA layout is that it is super comfortable as that rear suspension can take the shocks and undulations of the road in stride. Again, this is a place where the Corolla punches far, far, far above its belt and price-tag.
You could read all of this and still not be convinced – and that’s a good thing, because we encourage scepticism in anything that you read or hear. The best way to understand this is to go to your nearest Toyota showroom and test drive the Corolla – or C-HR, or Camry – for yourself. Any of these cars will show you just how great the TNGA platform is, whether you’re driving slow or quick, on smooth or rough roads.
With the EZ Beli Auto Financing Plan that is currently available, you get a 9-year financing plan that progresses in instalment amount as you progress with your career. For the Corolla, you pay just RM 978 for the first three years of the loan. This then goes up to RM 1,418 for the fourth to sixth year, and finally RM 1,858 for the last three years of the loan. Check out the details here.
There’s also the Toyota Service Savers campaign that is currently ongoing which lets you pre-purchase your services ahead of time – up to 5 years for a brand-new Toyota Corolla. For the program, you need to fork out RM 3,410 – which lets you save up to RM 511 over the next five years as you get a preferential rate on pricing for parts and other components.
Time for a Corolla maybe?