PL Automotive News

2017 Toyota Corolla (Review)



by Philippa Lane 


The 2017 Toyota Corolla is a 5-passenger compact sedan that from first glance may not appear very exciting, however for more than two decades; it has been one of the bestselling compact vehicles in the U.S. with over a million sales annually and has gained a reputation for being reliable, dependable, and affordable.

With the Corolla, reliability is one of its most well known strengths, but after undergoing a major redesign a few years ago, the Corolla is now better than ever with a more sleek and refined exterior, advanced technology features, great on the road performance, and improved interior elements throughout the front and rear cabin, including a fold-down rear center armrest which is available on the upper trim levels.

For 2017, the Corolla has gotten a new and updated exterior that makes the sedan appear much more upscale and appealing. Also, LED lights and backup camera are now standard features and the new exterior is bolder with a large trapezoidal lower grille and an attractive taut upper grille.

The Corolla is available in six trims- L, LE Eco, SE, S, XLE, and a special 2017 50thAnniversary Edition.  All models are equipped with a 1.8 liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 132 horsepower and 128 ft-lb of torque. A Plus and Premium package are available on LE and S models, an Eco package is available on the LE trim, and all of the trims, except for the L trim are accessible in both Plus and Premium sub-trims.

Standard features on the base L model include 15-inch steel wheels, LED headlights, air-conditioning, running lights, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with auxiliary controls, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB/iPod interface, an auxiliary audio jack, and a 4-speaker sound system with a CD player.

The LE adds 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, cruise control, keyless entry, metallic cabin accents, automatic climate control, back-up camera, voice controls a 6-speaker sound system with a 6-inch touchscreen display, and Bluetooth audio connectivity.

The LE Plus Package adds 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, piano black interior accents and eligibility for both an optional sunroof and the Driver Convenience package, which includes the sunroof and adds keyless entry and ignition, a roof-mounted antenna, Entune App Suite, satellite radio, HD radio, and a navigation system.  Available and optional features include heated front seats, premium vinyl upholstery, and a power driver seat.

The LE Eco Trim includes all standard features but adds 15-inch steel wheels, a rear spoiler, transmission tuning, low-rolling-resistance tires, an efficiency-maximizing engine, and better aerodynamics. The LE Eco Plus adds 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome window trim, fog lights, and an Eco driving mode.  

The sporty S trim offers all of the features that the LE trim has, but adds special wheel covers, a chrome grille frame, color-keyed mirrors, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, a chrome exhaust tip, sport instrumentation, a rear spoiler, sport front seats, trip computer, and a sport driving mode.

Starting at $21,825, the XLE trim includes heated front seats, a 7-inch touch screen with phone-linked navigation, leatherette seats, an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, proximity key entry, a sunroof, push-button start, and satellite radio. Integrated navigation and an Entune app suite are optional.

The 50th Anniversary Special Edition is a limited model, which offers upgraded exterior/interior styling as well as special upholstery stitching, badges, and wheels.

Advanced standard safety features include- stability and traction control, antilock brakes, a driver knee airbag, front side airbags, a passenger seat cushion airbag, and side curtain airbags. All trims except the base L include a rearview camera.

After undergoing a complete redesign in 2014, the exterior and interior is much more refined, with a better style, an easy to use touch screen display, and an attractive dashboard.  In the upper trim levels, the 6.1-inch touch screen and bolstered seats give the sedan a more upscale appearance.  There is ample room to accommodate taller passengers in the front and rear cabin and the seats feel comfortable and supportive. Trunk space measures approximately 13 cu. feet, which is average for its class.

If you are looking for more cargo and interior space as well as more powerful performance and quicker acceleration, then the Toyota Camry is a great alternative. The Camry is a midsize sedan that has comparable safety and reliability features to the Corolla, but because the Camry is bigger and has more advanced technology, it is more expensive. The Camry offers all of the great elements of the Corolla, as well as a variety of desirable extras.

On the road, the Corolla offers a quiet, comfortable ride, which is similar to the Camry, handles very well on the highway, and road noise is very minimal. The 4-speed automatic yields an estimated 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway and the LE Eco yields an impressive 30 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway.

Even though the Corolla may not appear particularly exciting upon first glance and is not the cheapest car in its class, the compact sedan has a lot to offer and is extremely dependable, fuel efficient, versatile, and with a starting MSRP of only $18,500 and a three-year/36,000 mile basic warranty/five-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty, the Corolla represents an excellent value for anyone looking for a sedan that is affordable, stylish, and reliable.

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