Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla is one of the best-selling automotive nameplates in the world. It’s a front-wheel drive compact car offering room for five. First introduced in the 1960s, the current Corolla is prized for its spaciousness, value and reliability.

2014 to Present: Toyota Corolla

The eleventh-generation Toyota Corolla was introduced for 2014. The current version is the largest Corolla yet, featuring a 106.3-inch wheelbase that makes it slightly longer than the circa 2000 Toyota Camry.

The Toyota Corolla reflects the automaker’s current design language philosophy with a narrow upper grille and a gaping lower grille. Sleek, wraparound headlight assemblies and distinct pockets housing the available fog lamps complete the frontal presentation.

From the sides, the Corolla features a high beltline and body sculpting, while available alloy wheels give it a more polished look. At the rear, the fascia is marked by large, wraparound combination lamps and a single tailpipe. Available trim upgrades bring in a rear deck spoiler.

Inside, the cabin offers the space of a midsize car and generous amounts of rear-seat legroom. The current Corolla’s dashboard has a flowing and more upscale design than any previous model. The instrument cluster is marked by three overlapping analog displays and a digital driver’s information center. The stacked center console has a digital clock on top, followed by the audio and climate control systems with the related switches and knobs. In some models a large color display replaces the audio system, providing access audio, navigation and phone settings.

A 12-volt outlet, an auxiliary input and USB connections reside below the center stack. An open storage compartment at the base is designed to house a smartphone. The front seats are split by the transmission shifter, cup holders and an armrest/covered storage compartment.

All models come equipped with power accessories and an overhead console with map lights. Upgrades bring in leatherette seats, keyless access with push-button start, heated front seats, power front seats and upgraded technology packages.

For 2015, Toyota added a Premium sub-trim that brings in a power moonroof, an upgraded Entune infotainment system and navigation. Toyota introduced a Special Edition model celebrating the Corolla’s 50th anniversary for 2016. This model brings in unique 17-inch wheels, a black interior with red contrast stitching, keyless entry with push-button start and special color choices.

The current Corolla is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine making 132 horsepower. On the base model, this engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. Elsewhere, a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is offered. An available LE Eco trim shares the same engine, but adds variable valve timing to deliver 140 horsepower.

Top competitors for the Toyota Corolla include the Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze, Nissan Sentra, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus, Kia Forte, Mazda3, Dodge Dart and Volkswagen Jetta.

Earlier Toyota Corolla Models

Toyota built the ninth-generation Corolla from 2003 to 2008 and the 10th-generation model from 2009 to 2013.

Most ninth-generation Corollas are powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine making 130 horsepower. This engine comes paired with a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission.

For 2005 and 2006, Toyota sold an XRS edition with a special version of the 1.8-liter engine that produces 170 horsepower. The Corolla XRS also came with a five-speed manual transmission and a sport-tuned suspension.

The 10th-generation Toyota Corolla represents an evolutionary change, with its overall dimensions largely unchanged. Toyota continued with the same standard powertrain choices as the previous generation model, with the 1.8-liter engine receiving a slight improvement in performance to 132 horsepower.

Toyota also brought back the Corolla XRS, powering this special-edition model with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine making 158 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic was available with the Corolla XRS. Once again, the XRS had a short life span and was canceled after just two years.

Stability control became standard for 2010 and in 2011 Toyota refreshed the Corolla with updated front and rear fascias. Toyota also updated the interior styling and added a new steering wheel for the S trim.