Toyota Corolla 2009

Toyota Corolla 2009: Toyota's redesigned Corolla is a little bit like the healthy-fare section of a restaurant food selection: Theoretically, its top qualities must draw lots of left-brained customers, however like the overcooked tilapia you're always stuck forking through, its overall appeal is missing something. If compact sedans attracted just on prudent sensibilities, this Corolla might have risen to the top-- and also, without a doubt, with increasing gas prices, it still might. Considered that today's ideal tiny autos take care of to ignite both sides of the brain, nonetheless, Toyota's latest access underwhelms.

The Corolla is available in Criterion, LE and also XLE trim degrees; most consist of a transmission. Click here to see a comparison with the 2008 model. A sportier variation is offered in S or XRS trims, while the upgraded Toyota Matrix and also Pontiac Vibe act as hatchback offshoots. I drove a Corolla XLE.

Toyota Corolla 2009

How it Relocations

Many trim degrees, consisting of the one I drove, have a 1.8-liter four-cylinder. As I have actually usually found to be the norm among compact autos, the Corolla's accelerator responds with a light touch, providing the engine an eager sensation around town. Freeway acceleration is less energetic, where the Corolla's four-speed automatic becomes something of an obligation, especially if you're carrying passengers. Motivating the transmission to kick down from fourth to third takes a concerted prod on the gas, and accelerating from 30 to 50 miles per hour in some cases calls for second gear-- as well as a fair bit of engine noise-- to obtain up to speed. The Honda Civic, which we had in the fleet the week before the Corolla, has a five-speed automated, as well as its drivetrain really feels decidedly more as much as the task of high-speed passing.

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

Though I didn't drive the Corolla XRS, I have actually driven that engine in the brand-new Matrix, and it's an incredibly adaptable powertrain. Its gas mileage fine is substantial, though: In the Corolla it returns 22/29 mpg (city/highway) with a stick or 22/30 with an automated, compared to 27/35 mpg with the 1.8-liter engine and either transmission. The gas mileage figures for the base engine are especially excellent:

Anti-skid brakes are standard, though all trims yet the XRS have low-tech drum brakes in back. The pedal in my test auto seemed a little bit mushy, especially compared with the stopping feedback from four-wheel-disc vehicles like the Hyundai Elantra or uplevel Civics. Senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder took the Corolla out in the rain, and he located in one circumstances that ABS begun prematurely as well as caused a disturbing lateral lurch as the auto pulled up.

Suspension hardware consists of an independent front and semi-independent, torsion beam of light rear-- once more, inferior to competitors with four-wheel-independent suspensions. (Certain Matrixes have an independent rear suspension, but also the Corolla XRS sticks to the torsion beam; a Toyota representative stated that's since the Matrix is an inherently sportier vehicle.) Highway ride high quality is acceptable, with limited wind and road sound, but or else the Corolla imparts a sloppy driving experience. Hit a growth joint while rounding an offramp, and the wheels vibrate sidewards significantly. The guiding wheel has a comfortable on-center feel, however it turns with a numb, remote feeling, as well as hard edges evoke lots of body roll.

The Civic as well as Lancer, which both have four-wheel-independent suspensions, appear much more exact in all three relates to. The Corolla XRS may show sharper, too-- it has a quicker steering proportion and a suspension-stiffening strut-tower support, so if you're trying to find much better handling, it's probably worth checking out. Note that the XRS has an unsatisfactory 36.3-foot transforming circle, while other trims make it in 35.6 feet. The last number is competitive with the Civic and Sentra, though it sheds to the Elantra (33.9 feet) and also Lancer (32.8 ).

How it Looks

The Corolla's most current expression, which Toyota says it established with the help of design studios in Italy, appears extra hostile compared to that of the Japanese-market Corolla. Triangular fronts lights and also an impression in the grille for Toyota's logo make it just like the larger Camry, while the tail remembers the outgoing Corolla's. It's an organized appearance that takes few dangers, as well as I question it will certainly locate several fans or critics.

Tires array from 15 to 17 inches in size. The Corolla S and XRS include fog lights, bumper expansions and a back spoiler, elevating the styling mercury to somewhere around that of the body-kitted Camry SE. You could determine whether that's an advantage.

The Within

For the most part, the Corolla's cabin appears affably tidy-- the two-tone dashboard in my examination cars and truck had regular, if not outstanding, top quality, and everything from the center regulates to the determines appeared tailored for simple usability. The directional signal as well as window buttons run with specifically fitted activities, and though the majority of plastics are tough to the touch, general fit and also surface is reputable. Storage space locations abound, with two stacked handwear cover compartments, an enough center console or even small pockets flanking the facility controls.

I'm not exactly sure simple cleanliness suffices, nevertheless. The Civic's cabin raises control precision to an additional world-- the Corolla's A/C dials really feel awkward in contrast-- and also the Elantra boasts soft-touch materials as well as upscale amenities. The Lancer and Emphasis go for braked with interior styling. Caught in the crossfire, the Corolla seems plain-- dumbed-down, also-- which may not be an area Toyota could pay for to be.

Front-seat headroom is adequate, though my examination auto had no moonroof, which would certainly take away concerning an inch of overhanging room. The cloth seats were the topic of much dispute at I found the furniture comfy and perfectly brushed, however editors Mike Hanley and also David Thomas believed it was dated and low-grade. The driver's seat changes won little support-- a height-adjustment jack is basic, yet the seat has restricted back motion for taller motorists.

Perhaps that's a good thing; if the pole positions traveled any kind of farther back, rear legroom would become illogical. As it stands, legroom as well as headroom in back are just ample for grownups. Kudos to Toyota for keeping the flooring between the back seats hump-free, which suggests a fifth passenger may in fact have the ability to endure a short journey in the center seat there.

Trunk volume totals 12.3 cubic feet, which goes to the low end of this segment. Right here's just how indoor quantity compares:


The 2009 Corolla gained the highest possible score, Great, in frontal accident examinations from the Insurance policy Institute for Freeway Safety And Security. IIHS has actually not yet assessed the auto for side-impacts. The Corolla's 6 conventional airbags include side-impact airbags for the pole positions and also side drape airbags for both rows. Active front head restraints as well as anti-skid brakes are likewise basic; a variety of rivals make ABS optional.

Grip control as well as an electronic security system run as a $250 plan on all trims however the XRS, where they're common. The alternative is well worth the rate, considered that several rivals reserve stability control for higher trim degrees or do not provide it at all. The outward bound Corolla charged $650 for the feature. Toyota says it's mounted on just 14 percent of all '09 Corollas, however, so it may take some searching to find one with it.

Functions & Pricing

Without the location cost, the Corolla begins at $15,250. Standard attributes consist of air conditioning, power mirrors as well as a CD stereo with a supporting jack. Keep in mind that there's no iPod-specific connection like Scion, Toyota's brother or sister nameplate, supplies.

The Corolla LE adds power windows and also locks, while the XLE obtains fake wood trim, backlit evaluates and keyless access-- a $245 alternative on the LE that truly should certainly be basic. Both the LE and XLE consist of a transmission. The S and XRS sport numerous exterior attachments, in addition to sportier seats as well as a leather-trimmed wheel with audio controls. Both designs revert to manual door locks and home windows, however-- especially frustrating for the XRS, which costs more than the better-equipped XLE. Power devices, warmed leather seats, a moonroof as well as a navigating system are optional.

Lots an XRS to the hilt, and also the sticker label turns up simply shy of $25,000. All informed, the Corolla does not flaunt quite as much value for the money as several of its competitors do. Take a look at how a comfortably geared up version compares:

Corolla out there

Gas gas mileage and also safety and security credentials lend the Corolla plenty of textbook allure, and also if the vehicle's 40-year history is any kind of sign, the latest variation should show as reputable as the dawn. Barring any kind of quality snafus-- a significant unidentified, considering the most up to date Camry V-6's performance history-- these aspects could be sufficient to drive the Corolla's success.

As a compact automobile that hits on all fronts, however, the Corolla lets down. It's the kind of choice born out of your inner sense of obligation-- a strong pick, possibly, for parents shopping for their teen chauffeur. The problem for Toyota is that a great deal of rivals have managed to package book sensibilities with engaging styling as well as fun-to-drive charm. Judged versus these rivals, the Corolla comes off as an also-ran.