2018 Toyota Corolla: budget ride with a not-so-budget price
This is the last year of the current generation, now the 11th iteration of the venerable small car. Toyota sells about 300,000 of them a year, give or take. What used to be a small car with a small price tag, has grown a bit in both size and cost. With some clumsily added features and finishes, the current Corolla has strayed a bit from the original’s intentions. With a new one on the way soon, let’s take a look at the outgoing model to see what decades of changes have brought us.
When you think of a Corolla, you’re not thinking luxury, design or performance. It’s all about the economy. That’s why it feels like an odd choice that Toyota tried to add so many different materials to the interior. Just on the dashboard alone, there are over a dozen different non-matching finishes, some of which downright clash with each other. It seems like it would be more expensive to have such diversity in materials, but on top of that, some of the materials look quite flimsy and inexpensive. If the goal was the make, the Corolla feels a bit upmarket, so it didn’t quite work out.
The 1.8-Liter, 132hp four-cylinder has no bells or whistles, it’s just an engine. In the current climate of turbocharging, hybrid powertrains and other creative solutions to make power and save gas, this seems lacking. Power is transmitted by a CVT, which tries to keep the engine’s RPMs in the narrow power band. Unfortunately, due to the lack of a turbo, the powerband is at a higher RPM, meaning the sound is buzzy when you try to accelerate…
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