2017 Toyota Corolla Review

Corolla

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2017 Toyota Corolla Overview

Celebrating its 50th birthday, the Toyota Corolla arrives for 2017 with a facelift and a new trim. Loved by many and loathed by some for its simple approach to motoring, the Corolla has built a solid reputation for economy, safety, and reliability.

This year's Corolla should carry much of what the popular 2016 model did, but will sport a new, more aggressive front grille. On the trim front, expect to see all of last year's trims (L, LE, LE Plus, LE Premium, Eco, Eco Plus, Eco Premium, S, S Plus, and S Premium), plus the new 50th Anniversary Special Edition. As always, the Corolla will have room for you and 4 passengers and will offer a respectable 13 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk.

Under the hood, the Corolla will again be powered by a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine pumping out 132 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque. If you purchase an Eco trim, that 1.8-liter 4-cylinder will produce 140 hp and 126 lb-ft. You'll get a little more choice with the transmission—unless you opt for an Eco, which is only available with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Pick a trim with the less powerful engine and you'll get to choose between a 6-speed manual, 4-speed automatic, and CVT. With the 132-hp engine, expect to see fuel mileage numbers of 27 mpg city/36 highway/31 combined with the automatic, 28/37/31 with the manual, and 29/38/32 with the CVT. The 140-hp version should return 30/40/34.

While the most noticeable change to the Corolla will indeed be the new grille, Toyota has a few more tricks up its sleeve with new standard equipment. Take a closer look at a car in the L or LE range and you'll notice new standard bi-LED headlights. Do the same higher up the range and you'll find standard complex LED headlights. All Corollas will also come with a backup camera, thanks to new federal law. Toyota has said it will update the interior, but details are scarce and we are still unsure as to what those updates will actually entail.

Hop in the base L and you'll be treated to cloth seats, Toyota's Entune infotainment system, Bluetooth, and steering-wheel-mounted controls. Moving up to the LE adds automatic climate control, remote keyless entry, cruise control, and power side mirrors, while jumping to the LE Plus adds all the LE has to offer, plus fog lights and 16-inch alloy wheels. If that's not enough for you, pick the LE Premium for SofTex seats, navigation, push-button start, heated front seats, and a moonroof.

If you're looking for a more environmentally friendly ride, the Eco offers not only impressive fuel mileage, but also automatic climate control, keyless entry, Entune, Bluetooth, and power side mirrors. If you want to be a little more pampered, you'll get Normal and Eco driving modes, 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, and a rear spoiler with the Eco Plus. And if you really desire the good life, upgrading to the Eco Premium will add a moonroof, SofTex seats, push-button start, navigation, and heated front seats.

For those who want something a little more sporty, the Corolla S is just the ticket. Pick the sporty model and you’ll enjoy Normal and Sport driving modes, automatic climate control, keyless entry, fog lights, Entune, Bluetooth, and paddle shifters. Want even more of a thrill? Take home the S Plus with CVT and you'll enjoy 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, and rear disc brakes. If you opt for the S Plus with the manual, however, you'll also get navigation, moonroof, push-button start, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. Go all the way with the S Premium and find yourself surrounded by all the S Plus with manual has to offer, plus SofTex seats with heated front seats.

If you're a Corolla fan who wants to take home something special, consider this year's 50th Anniversary Special Edition. Complete with 50th Anniversary badging (inside and out), the trim is based on the S Plus with CVT and comes in silver, white, or black cherry, with interior black cherry stitching. If you want one you'll have to be quick once the car goes on sale — Toyota will only make 8,000 of them.

On the safety front, all Corollas come with Toyota's Star Safety System standard, which includes traction control, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, start/stop technology, and electronic stability control. Other safety features include front side airbags, driver and passenger airbags, and curtain airbags.

The Corolla has become one of the world's best-selling cars through a mix of economy, safety, and reliability. Expect the 2017 Corolla to continue the legacy — albeit with some 50-year-old flair.

Updated
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Zach is a gearhead and travel junkie who loves to check out cars wherever he goes. Having lived abroad in Germany and Russia, he has grown particularly fond of European cars, but has found nothing able to top his love for his first car: a 2001 Toyota Tacoma.

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