This week’s test drive: 2018 Toy­ota Corolla

The Republican Herald - - CLASSIFIEDS - By Greg Zyla ( Greg Zyla is a syn­di­cated auto colum­nist)

En­try Price: $ 18,600 Price As Tested: $ 24,150

This week, we’re driv­ing a 2018 Toy­ota Corolla, ar­riv­ing in top- level XSE trim and coming off a com­plete restyle last year. No longer the tiny light­weight com­pact we learned to

love when it de­buted in North Amer­ica, Corolla has grown from a tiny 90- inch wheel­base com­pact to to­day’s 16.3- inch

longer wheel­base beauty.

In co- op with its growth in size, the new Corolla is now cat­e­go­rized as mid- size ve­hi­cle on the EPA fuel mileage chart, a fact that so­lid­i­fies Corolla as one of the “big­gest lit­tle com­pacts” in the world. Now in its 11th gen­er­a­tion and un­der­go­ing sev­eral nice up­grades, the ’ 17 and ’ 18 Corol­las fea­ture new front end de­signs, LED head­lights and the elim­i­na­tion of the out­dated four- speed au­to­matic in fa­vor of a con­tem­po­rary con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion ( CVT) au­to­matic.

Our XSE tester ar­rived with a base re­tail of $ 22,730 well equipped. The en­try “L” starts at only $ 18,600 while the LE starts at $ 19,035. The re­main­ing Corolla mod­els in­clude the LE Eco ( econ­omy model) start­ing at $ 19,435, XLE 22,305, and SE at $ 2 0 , 5 4 5 . In­clud­ing our XSE tester, this gives prospec­tive buy­ers six dif­fer­ent Corol­las to choose from.

No­table are the stan­dard fea­tures even on the en­try “L,” in­clud­ing all the pow­ers, key­less en­try, air con­di­tion­ing, a great sound­ing stereo, USB, Blue­tooth and much ore. There­fore, don’t think the en­try model is a stripped down Corolla be­cause it isn’t.

Equally sig­nif­i­cant if not most prom­i­nent of Corolla’s DNA is cor­po­rate Toy­ota’s com­mit­ment to safety. Ev­ery Corolla built comes with Toy­ota’s Star Safety Sys­tem and Toy­ota Safety Sense Pre- Col­li­sion sys­tems. The “Star Safety” in­cludes all trac­tion con­trols, four- wheel anti- lock brakes, rear view safety cam­era, and Smart Stop tech­nol­ogy. The Safety Sense fea­tures a pre- col­li­sion sys­tem, lane de­par­ture, sta­bil­ity con­trol, elec­tronic brake­force, brake as­sist, pedes­trian de­tec­tion, radar smart cruise con­trol and much more. Add eight air bags and you’re rid­ing in one safe ve­hi­cle.

I will con­tin­u­ally ap­plaud Toy­ota in ev­ery col­umn I write as these high tech safety fea­tures should be stan­dard in ev­ery car built to­day… but they are not. So, for of­fer­ing all of its top line safety even in the en­try L, Toy­ota goes be­yond the call of duty when it comes to pro­tect­ing those who shell out de­cent monies to buy their cars and trucks re­gard­less of which model they can af­ford.

With the ex­cep­tion of the LE Eco, all Corolla mod­els come pow­ered by Toy­ota’s fuel friendly 1.8- liter four- cylin­der that de­liv­ers 132 horse­power and 128 lb. ft. of torque. It per­forms all du­ties ad­e­quately with sur­pris­ingly good low end torque. If you want to shift man­u­ally, you still can still pur­chase the SE model as it comes with a six- speed man­ual trans­mis­sion for $ 1,220 more! Back in my baby boomer days, con­sumers paid more for the au­to­matic trans­mis­sion cars.

Fuel mileage is near iden­ti­cal be it man­ual or CVT. The SE six- speed man­ual churns out 28 city and 35 high­way ver­sus the CVT, which does one bet­ter high­way at 28 and 36, re­spec­tively. The LE Eco comes with a 140- horse 1.8- liter en­gine, lighter curb weight,

less co­ef­fi­cient of drag and is a Cal­i­for­nia emis­sion LEVEL 3 model. It gen­er­ates 30 city and 40 high­way EPA, the best of the bunch.

Over­all, from mil­len­nial to boomer, Corolla’s out­stand­ing

low en­try, ex­cel­lent fuel mileage es­ti­mates and an In­sur­ance In­sti­tute for High­way Safety Top Safety Pick makes it a win­ning choice re­gard­less of trim.

The XSE line, not sur­pris­ingly, fea­tures a bevy of ex­tra ameni­ties that make it stand out. In­cluded are power tilt/ slide moon roof, en­hanced LED head­lights, day­time run­ning lamps, com­fort­able heated front seats, push but­ton start, up­graded in­te­rior, 16- inch Toyo Proxes tires on ma­chined al­loy wheels, tilt/ tele­scopic steer­ing wheel, fog

lamps, heated out­side mir­rors, rear spoiler, and power front seats. New for ’ 18 on the SE and XLE trims is a stan­dard

leather wrapped steer­ing wheel.

Our Corolla came with just one op­tion, a highly rec­om­mended En­tune Premium Au­dio sys­tem for just $ 525 more. In­cluded are Nav­i­ga­tion, Toy­ota’s App suite, 7.0- inch split touch screen, AM/ FM/ CD, MP3/ WMA play­back, USB 2.0, six speak­ers, Sir­iusxm satellite with 90 days

2018 Toy­ota Corolla

free, HD ra­dio with itunes, ipod, Blue­tooth, hands free phone ca­pa­bil­ity and much more. Un­like prior years, the En­tune sub­scrip­tion is now to­tally free. With $ 895 des­ti­na­tion, the fi­nal tally came in at $ 24,150 re­tail.

On the road, Corolla is ac­tu­ally quite peppy and gets you up to free­way merg­ing speeds eas­ily. You’ll also en­joy good han­dling thanks to a Macpher­son strut front setup and tor­sion beam rear ar­range­ment. The cabin is quiet and has a nice “mid- size roomi­ness” to it with ex­cel­lent leg and head room both fore and aft. Trac­tion comes via 17- inch Fire­stone FR740 all- sea­son tires on re­ally sharp 10- spoke ma­chined al­loys with black painted ac­cents.

Im­por­tant num­bers in­clude a curb weight of 2,885 pounds, 106.3- inch wheel­base, 6.7 inch ground clear­ance, 13 cu. ft. of cargo space, 35.6 ft. turn cir­cle, and a 13.2 gal­lon fuel tank.

In sum­mary, right now may be the very best time to snag a left­over Corolla at a great, in­cen­tive based dis­count. Corolla is one of the most af­ford­able “big com­pacts” avail­able while the in­com­ing 2019s are iden­ti­cal. If you de­sire a Corolla hatch­back, the Corolla im ( for­merly the Scion im) is also avail­able and starts at $ 18,850 with sim­i­lar in­cen­tives await­ing your visit.

Likes: Price, up­grades, top line safety, his­tory.

Dis­likes: Rear drum brakes still uti­lized on L se­ries mod­els.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.