Toyota Corolla 09

Toyota Corolla 09: Toyota's revamped Corolla is a little bit like the healthy-fare portion of a dining establishment menu: Theoretically, its high qualities must attract lots of left-brained customers, but like the overcooked tilapia you're constantly stuck forking via, its total charm is missing something. If small cars attracted just on sensible perceptiveness, this Corolla can have risen to the top-- as well as, without a doubt, with climbing gas rates, it still might. Considered that today's finest little cars and trucks take care of to ignite both sides of the brain, nonetheless, Toyota's most recent entrance underwhelms.

The Corolla comes in Requirement, LE and also XLE trim levels; most consist of an automatic transmission. Go here to see a comparison with the 2008 design. A sportier version is provided in S or XRS trims, while the redesigned Toyota Matrix and also Pontiac Ambiance function as hatchback descendants. I drove a Corolla XLE.


Toyota Corolla 09


Just how it Actions

Many trim degrees, including the one I drove, have a 1.8-liter four-cylinder. As I have actually typically discovered to be the standard among portable automobiles, the Corolla's accelerator reacts with a light touch, offering the engine an excited sensation around town. Highway acceleration is much less energetic, where the Corolla's four-speed automated ends up being something of a responsibility, especially if you're bring passengers. Prompting the transmission to kick below 4th to third takes a concerted prod on the gas, as well as increasing from 30 to 50 miles per hour in some cases requires second gear-- and quite a bit of engine noise-- to obtain up to speed. The Honda Civic, which we had in the Cars.com fleet the week before the Corolla, has a five-speed automatic, and its drivetrain feels decidedly more as much as the job of high-speed passing.

A 2.4-liter four-cylinder powers the Corolla XRS. Below's just how both engines compare:

Though I didn't drive the Corolla XRS, I have actually driven that engine in the new Matrix, and it's a remarkably versatile powertrain. Its gas mileage fine is significant, though: In the Corolla it returns 22/29 mpg (city/highway) with a stick or 22/30 with an automatic, compared with 27/35 mpg with the 1.8-liter engine as well as either transmission. The mileage numbers for the base engine are especially outstanding:

Antilock brakes are standard, though all trims however the XRS have low-tech drum brakes in back. The pedal in my test vehicle seemed a bit mushy, especially as compared to the braking response from four-wheel-disc vehicles like the Hyundai Elantra or uplevel Civics. Senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder took the Corolla out in the rainfall, and he discovered in one circumstances that ABS kicked in too soon as well as caused an unsettling side lurch as the auto came to a stop.

Suspension equipment consists of an independent front and also semi-independent, torsion beam back-- again, substandard to competitors with four-wheel-independent suspensions. (Specific Matrixes have an independent rear suspension, however also the Corolla XRS sticks to the torsion light beam; a Toyota representative stated that's since the Matrix is a naturally sportier cars and truck.) Freeway trip quality serves, with minimal wind as well as road noise, however otherwise the Corolla imparts a sloppy driving experience. Hit an expansion joint while rounding an offramp, as well as the wheels vibrate sidewards substantially. The guiding wheel has a comfy on-center feel, but it turns with a numb, remote feeling, as well as difficult corners generate a lot of body roll.

The Civic as well as Lancer, which both have four-wheel-independent suspensions, seem much more precise in all 3 pertains to. The Corolla XRS may show sharper, as well-- it has a quicker steering proportion and a suspension-stiffening strut-tower support, so if you're searching for much better handling, it's most likely worth checking out. Note that the XRS has a frustrating 36.3-foot transforming circle, while other trims make it in 35.6 feet. The latter figure is affordable with the Civic and also Sentra, though it sheds to the Elantra (33.9 feet) and also Lancer (32.8 ).

How it Looks

The Corolla's newest expression, which Toyota states it created with the help of style workshops in Italy, seems more hostile compared to that of the Japanese-market Corolla. Triangular headlights and an indentation in the grille for Toyota's logo design make it much like the larger Camry, while the tail recalls the outward bound Corolla's. It's an organized appearance that takes few dangers, as well as I doubt it will locate lots of fans or critics.

Wheels variety from 15 to 17 inches in size. The Corolla S as well as XRS add fog lights, bumper expansions and a rear looter, raising the styling mercury to somewhere around that of the body-kitted Camry SE. You can determine whether that's a good idea.

The Within

For the most part, the Corolla's cabin seems affably clean-- the two-tone dash in my test automobile had regular, if not impressive, top quality, and whatever from the facility manages to the evaluates seemed tailored for simple functionality. The directional signal and window buttons operate with specifically fitted motions, and though most plastics are tough to the touch, overall fit and surface is decent. Storage space areas abound, with two stacked glove compartments, a sufficient center console and even small pockets flanking the facility controls.

I'm unsure plain cleanliness suffices, nevertheless. The Civic's cabin boosts control accuracy to one more world-- the Corolla's A/C dials really feel awkward in contrast-- and the Elantra boasts soft-touch materials and also high end facilities. The Lancer as well as Focus go for broke with indoor styling. Caught in the crossfire, the Corolla seems plain-- dumbed-down, even-- which could not be a location Toyota could pay for to be.

Front-seat clearance suffices, though my examination automobile had no moonroof, which would remove regarding an inch of overhead area. The cloth seats were the topic of much dispute at Cars.com: I discovered the furniture comfy as well as well brushed, but editors Mike Hanley and also David Thomas assumed it was dated as well as low-grade. The motorist's seat adjustments won little support-- a height-adjustment jack is typical, yet the seat has limited rear activity for taller motorists.

Maybe that's a good idea; if the pole positions traveled any farther back, back legroom would become untenable. As it stands, legroom as well as clearance in back are simply ample for adults. Congratulations to Toyota for keeping the floor between the rear seats hump-free, which means a 5th passenger could really be able to endure a brief journey in the facility seat there.

Trunk volume totals 12.3 cubic feet, which is at the low end of this section. Below's just how indoor quantity compares:

Safety and security

The 2009 Corolla earned the greatest rating, Excellent, in frontal accident tests from the Insurance policy Institute for Highway Safety And Security. IIHS has not yet reviewed the cars and truck for side-impacts. The Corolla's 6 conventional air bags include side-impact air bags for the pole positions and side curtain air bags for both rows. Energetic front head restraints and also antilock brakes are likewise typical; a variety of competitors make ABDOMINAL optional.

Grip control and a digital stability system run as a $250 bundle on all trims but the XRS, where they're standard. The option is well worth the cost, given that lots of rivals reserve security control for greater trim levels or do not provide it at all. The outward bound Corolla billed $650 for the feature. Toyota states it's installed on simply 14 percent of all '09 Corollas, though, so it could take some searching to find one with it.

Features & Prices

Without the destination fee, the Corolla begins at $15,250. Conventional attributes consist of air conditioning, power mirrors and also a CD stereo with an auxiliary jack. Note that there's no iPod-specific hookup like Heir, Toyota's sibling nameplate, offers.

The Corolla LE adds power windows and locks, while the XLE obtains fake wood trim, backlit determines and keyless entry-- a $245 choice on the LE that truly should be standard. Both the LE as well as XLE consist of an automatic transmission. The S as well as XRS sport numerous outside attachments, in addition to sportier seats as well as a leather-trimmed wheel with audio controls. Both versions go back to manual door locks as well as windows, however-- specifically unsatisfactory for the XRS, which costs greater than the better-equipped XLE. Power devices, heated natural leather seats, a moonroof as well as a navigating system are optional.

Lots an XRS to the handle, and also the sticker comes up just reluctant of $25,000. All told, the Corolla does not flaunt fairly as much worth for the money as a few of its competitors do. Have a look at just how a conveniently geared up model compares:

Corolla in the Market

Gas mileage and safety and security credentials offer the Corolla a lot of textbook charm, and also if the auto's 40-year history is any type of indicator, the latest variation should prove as dependable as the sunrise. Preventing any kind of quality snafus-- a significant unknown, taking into consideration the most recent Camry V-6's record-- these elements could be enough to drive the Corolla's success.

As a portable car that appeals all fronts, however, the Corolla lets down. It's the sort of selection born out of your inner sense of duty-- a strong choice, perhaps, for moms and dads purchasing their teen motorist. The trouble for Toyota is that a great deal of competitors have actually managed to package textbook sensibilities with compelling styling and also fun-to-drive charm. Judged versus these competitors, the Corolla comes off as an also-ran.

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