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How the Toyota Corolla is like... Chicken Rice?

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

Who doesn’t love Hainanese chicken rice? Arguably Singapore’s favourite hawker dish, it’s not especially glamorous, but it’s an inexpensive, delicious and comforting staple. Just imagine that perfect mouthful from your favourite stall––a spoon of rice fragrant with chicken fat and pandan leaves, and a bite of juicy, tender, kampung chicken on top. Splash on chilli and ginger sauce on the chicken for a little kick, and drizzle some sweet, dark sauce on the rice. All these beautifully-made elements come together for a meal that rarely ever disappoints, no matter the occasion. 

So what the heck does chicken rice have to do with the Toyota Corolla Hatchback Hybrid?

Image © eXoxideZ/Shutterstock

Hear us out: the Toyota Corolla Hatchback Hybrid might not be the sexiest car around, but like a good plate of chicken rice, it’s well-made, great value for money, and all the elements put together provide a solid and reliable driving experience. There’s a reason the Corolla is the best-selling car of all time––just as chicken rice is the most popular hawker shop meal in Singapore! This is the car that’s going to get you (and your kids/friends/partner/grandparents) from home to work to the malls and back without a fuss and look good while doing it. 

Don’t believe us? Here are a few reasons to make the Toyota Corolla Hatchback Hybrid yours this year: 

Image © Jerome Lee

It’s reliable

If you need a compact car that gets you from point A to B with a fun, smooth and stable driving experience, this car has your back. Single and looking to buy your first car? Great––you’ll have space for friends and suitcases. Have kids? There are ISOFIX hooks for baby seats in the rear, and enough space for a baby stroller in the boot. While it’s no SUV, the car does well on uphills, too, so if you ever drive up to Cameron Highlands (when the borders open again), trust that your Corolla will scale the mountain just fine.  

Plus, each car is 100% Made in Japan––and you know the kind of quality you’ll get with a Japanese model. Like chicken rice, the overall quality of Japanese products rarely ever disappoints. 

Those who have owned or driven a Corolla Hatchback Hybrid will find the new version to be a real upgrade from its past incarnations. It’s sleeker (check out the grills and sporty silhouette), drives better (it handles well, the steering feels beautiful balanced, and it’s comfortable and easy), and even feels nicer inside than the old models (all black, and new leather seats! Gotta love the smell of a new car). It’s like, you know, adding on extra char siew and roast pork to your chicken rice. It's already great, but the extras just make it that much better. 

Image © TILT Photography/Shutterstock

It’s the safe choice

The Corolla is neither a Lexus or a Porsche, which is precisely the point. Safe doesn’t mean boring. Is chicken rice boring? Heck no. Just like chicken rice, the Corolla isn’t super unique or aspirational, but it’s the safe, honest choice. It isn’t the best-selling car of all time for nothing! 

More importantly, it’s packed with safety features. A few we like include: 

  • Lane Trace Assist (LTA): This is for all the drivers who can’t seem to stay in their lane. (You know who you are!) Don’t worry – Lane Trace Assist is here to help. This system basically helps the driver stay in the middle of the lane, even providing a little steering assistance when you’re on the highway! Great for newbie drivers.   

  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC): VSC does what it says on the tin, which is to help your car stay more stable while keeping it going towards where your wheels are pointed. (Hopefully that’s straight and not off into a longkang!) When it’s on, the system applies brake pressure on up to 3 wheels. 

  • Traction Control System (TCS): This is for all those rainy days and slippery roads. Essentially, it sends your wheels and brakes enough power to make sure they’re moving at the correct speed for the right amount of traction. That way, you won’t go spinning off the highway when it’s thunderstorming outside.  TCS is a pretty basic safety feature for cars these days, but you know what they say: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 

  • Active Cornering Assist (ACA): Like the name suggests, this helps you when you’re driving around sharp corners––you’re less likely to veer sharply off-course. 

It’s the efficient and (reasonably) eco-friendly choice

Is chicken rice eco-friendly? From the vegetarian standpoint, probably not. But for the average meat-eating consumer, Singapore imports most of its food, and chicken rice has far fewer food air miles than most. The majority of chicken used comes from Malaysia, and the rice from Thailand. (Imported pasta, on the other hand, probably has a pretty shocking footprint by comparison.) 

Similarly, all cars in Singapore are imported (at the time of writing), and unless you’re going 100% electric, driving is never going to be a perfectly eco-friendly solution. But there are still entirely legitimate reasons to own a car. If you’re going to buy one in 2020, you may as well make it a more eco-friendly one!  

Being a hybrid model, the 2020 Toyota Corolla is a solid choice on that front. Similar to the Prius, it uses the Hybrid Synergy Drive system. Basically, your car is running on a combination of petrol and electrical charge, meaning it’s more fuel-efficient, and its carbon emissions are lower over the long run. 

Indeed, this compact car’s fuel economy is probably its biggest selling point. Practically speaking, you drive further for every litre of petrol in your tank. The Corolla Hybrid can go up to 1000km on a full tank (your mileage may vary), while most fuel-only cars go up to 600–700km. There’s an EV mode that turns the Corolla into an electric vehicle for short distances, and the brakes are designed to be smooth, which also boosts fuel economy. 

In short, your petrol money goes further with this car, and in an economy like this, a bargain is more important than ever. 

It ticks all the boxes 

What do you need from a plate of chicken rice? It can’t be too expensive, but it still has to meet all the minimum requirements. It needs to be tasty, wholesome, and include all the elements from tender chicken to ginger sauce to cucumber slices (and woe betide the hawker who runs out of chili sauce!) Everything you need for a balanced meal can be found in chicken rice.

When it comes to a car for daily life, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid ticks all the boxes and then some. It has all the features you could ask for: comfortable, adjustable leather seats (a complimentary upgrade from us at ST Auto), powerful air-conditioning (200% necessary), a wireless charging port for your phone, an upgraded touchscreen display (also complimentary), Bluetooth capability for Android users, a USB port for charging other devices, ISOFIX hooks, 4 cup holders for your takeout kopi… you get the picture. 

There’s also a colour for everyone. (Unless you’re Xiaxue, then sorry––no pinks here!) Choose from electric blue, dark blue, red, white, and silver. 

It’s never gonna let you down 

The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is not a perfect car. Nor should it have to be. What it does, it does very well. It’s good value for money, reasonably eco-friendly (for a car), and is a fun but safe drive around town. Like chicken rice, this isn’t going to be the most fancy date option. But like chicken rice (and Rick Astley!), the Corolla will never let you down. 

Want to check out the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Hybrid for yourself? Head on over to ST Auto for a test drive with our friendly sales staff. Call +65 6464 9098 or email us at

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