Even though the larger Toyota Camry is the most popular car that Toyota sells, and the most popular non-truck in the country, the Corolla has a lot of the DNA that makes the Camry so popular, just in a smaller size. The Corolla is a safe, fuel efficient package that also provides the young buyer the technology they expect from their next new car.
Of all the small sedans on sale, the Corolla is the most utilitarian. That’s not a bad thing, as it makes the most of its available space and performance. You get plenty of room up front, with decent-sized rear seats for hauling passengers around. Sure, your passengers might not want to ride cross-country in the back seats, but they are surprisingly spacious for a car this size.
Up front, the driver is kept entertained with Bluetooth support for both phone and music, along with SiriusXM, HD Radio, and support for apps like Pandora. Satellite navigation is available as well, along with automatic climate control. All of those features are fantastic on a car this size, and all work extremely well.
One unique feature that the Corolla has over any of the other cars in this class is the standard-on-all-models LED front headlights. These lights shine brighter than normal headlights, use less power, and should never need replaced under normal use. They also make it really easy to see animals, people, and other obstacles at night, improving the overall safety of the vehicle.
Power is adequate from this little runabout, and the continuously-variable transmission (CVT) works pretty well at mimicking a traditional automatic transmission. CVTs have been known to be an annoyance to drivers, especially in how they operate, so it’s nice to see Toyota making the effort to work on the kinks to give buyers a more traditional driving experience.
Fuel economy is spot on the window sticker, and is easy achievable in normal driving conditions. You don’t have to baby the car to get good fuel economy. In fact, the Eco version of the car actually has more horsepower than the Sport version, and is definitely the version to get.
Toyotas come with scheduled maintenance included for the first two years, which sets the Corolla apart from others, and the safety and reliability of the vehicle make it a good, long-term bet. It’s the perfect vehicle for someone starting out, or a great purchase from a parent for their kids.