THIS BORING COROLLA WAS 'PEOPLE'S CAR' OF BANGLADESH
I was sitting in my chair, browsing my Google photos in this evening and then I found the only picture of the Corolla my dad bought back in 2009. He bought this as a daily driver for our family. As a 12-year-old kid I was excited knowing that I was going to learn how to drive a car with this.
There were two variants of the Corolla in the market, X and G. Ours was a Corolla X, 2006 model. It looked kinda cute without the steel bumpers that we use to protect our PRECIOUS cars from rickshaws. It had a 1.5 liter 4 cylinder VVT-I engine and a 4 speed automatic transmission. The engine was smooth. It didn't feel like it was running when it was stationary. It almost didn't make any sound. It outputted 110 hp or less when it was brand new but as it was reconditioned, many of the horses had escaped by the time my dad bought it.
It wasn't a very luxurious car. The interior was boring. The door panels and the other things felt plasticky. It had air-conditioning which stopped working after 6 months and my dad had to change the full system four times in 4 years. It came with a CD player (!?) which got replaced immediately. It only had two speakers fitted on the front doors. They were rubbish. They had no bass at all and when I tried to listen to my music at decent volume it felt like I was in an earthquake and the whole car would shiver like a typhoid patient. Those seats would give me backache and they would make my arse hurt after sitting for 5 minutes on them. They were uncomfortable as hell. I used a tiny pillow for my back so that my journey would be less painful. Very small amount of road noise could enter into the car so it was kinda peaceful inside. But there wasn't enough legroom. The ride was harsh. Even on a smooth road it felt like it was being driven on a rail line. Sometimes I was scared that the car would fall into pieces.
The car was slow as you'd expect. The steering felt heavy when turning, maybe because it was an FWD but it was awful even though it had power steering. It had some issues with acceleration like the turbocharged cars have turbo lag. When I reached 40 kph (Yes. ONLY 40 kph.), I would take my foot off the pedal and put my foot down again and nothing would happen. It wouldn't accelerate at all. The brakes were decent. ABS system never failed so it stopped when it needed to. But If you went over 100 kph and braked, the wheels would've come off. And it felt like it would flip over when turning at 30 kph. It was that bad.
We sold it back in 2014. It was like a toy to me. It taught me how to drive. I used it roughly. It taught me how to cope with the rural road. It taught me how to park. It taught me the driving basics. It wasn't a supercar. It wouldn't do over 200 mph. It didn't have a V12. It was a family sedan that could take us to the destination without breaking down once. It took me to the school. It took us to places. The Toyota Corolla X was boring. But it got the job done. It was reliable. This explains the reason why 70% (presumably) of the cars on the roads of our country were full of these. Most of the families chose this as their first car. As a reconditioned car it wasn't actually that cheap but it was cheaper than the other options. It still has a good resale value and still hasn't depreciated much as the others did. The Corolla X now has been replaced by another corolla, the Axio. But it was and it will remain as the people's car of our country.