Toyota Corolla 2009

Toyota Corolla 2009: Toyota's upgraded Corolla is a bit like the healthy-fare part of a dining establishment menu: On paper, its qualities ought to draw a lot of left-brained buyers, yet like the overcooked tilapia you're always stuck forking through, its overall charm is missing something. If portable sedans drew only on sensible sensibilities, this Corolla might have risen to the top-- and, undoubtedly, with rising gas costs, it still might. Given that today's best little automobiles take care of to ignite both sides of the brain, nevertheless, Toyota's newest entry underwhelms.

The Corolla comes in Requirement, LE as well as XLE trim degrees; most consist of an automatic transmission. Click here to see a comparison with the 2008 model. A sportier version is offered in S or XRS trims, while the upgraded Toyota Matrix as well as Pontiac Vibe work as hatchback spin-offs. I drove a Corolla XLE.

Toyota Corolla 2009

How it Steps

Many trim levels, consisting of the one I drove, have a 1.8-liter four-cylinder. As I've usually located to be the norm among portable vehicles, the Corolla's accelerator responds with a light touch, offering the engine an eager feeling around town. Highway velocity is less energetic, where the Corolla's four-speed automatic ends up being something of a liability, specifically if you're bring guests. Prompting the transmission to kick below 4th to third takes a collective prod on the gas, and speeding up from 30 to 50 mph often calls for second equipment-- and also a fair bit of engine sound-- to obtain up to speed. The Honda Civic, which we had in the fleet the week before the Corolla, has a five-speed automated, and also its drivetrain feels distinctly extra approximately the job of high-speed death.

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

Though I really did not drive the Corolla XRS, I've driven that engine in the brand-new Matrix, and also it's an incredibly versatile powertrain. Its gas mileage fine is considerable, though: In the Corolla it returns 22/29 mpg (city/highway) with a stick or 22/30 with an automatic, as compared to 27/35 mpg with the 1.8-liter engine and also either transmission. The gas mileage figures for the base engine are especially impressive:

Antilock brakes are common, though all trims however the XRS have low-tech drum brakes in back. The pedal in my test vehicle appeared a bit mushy, specifically compared with the braking feedback from four-wheel-disc cars and trucks like the Hyundai Elantra or uplevel Civics. Senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder took the Corolla out in the rainfall, and also he found in one circumstances that ABS begun too soon and caused an upsetting side lurch as the car came to a stop.

Suspension hardware consists of an independent front as well as semi-independent, torsion beam back-- again, substandard to competitors with four-wheel-independent suspensions. (Specific Matrixes have an independent rear suspension, however even the Corolla XRS sticks to the torsion beam; a Toyota spokesperson said that's due to the fact that the Matrix is a naturally sportier car.) Freeway ride top quality serves, with minimal wind and roadway noise, but or else the Corolla conveys a sloppy driving experience. Strike a growth joint while rounding an offramp, as well as the wheels shimmy sideways considerably. The steering wheel has a comfortable on-center feel, however it turns with a numb, remote feel, and hard corners generate lots of body roll.

The Civic as well as Lancer, which both have four-wheel-independent suspensions, seem more precise in all 3 regards. The Corolla XRS might verify sharper, also-- it has a quicker guiding ratio as well as a suspension-stiffening strut-tower brace, so if you're searching for much better handling, it's probably worth taking a look at. Note that the XRS has a frustrating 36.3-foot transforming circle, while other trims make it in 35.6 feet. The last figure is affordable with the Civic as well as Sentra, though it loses to the Elantra (33.9 feet) and 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, seems extra hostile than that of the Japanese-market Corolla. Triangular headlights and also an imprint in the grille for Toyota's logo design make it much like the bigger Camry, while the tail remembers the outward bound Corolla's. It's an organized look that takes couple of dangers, and I doubt it will discover several followers or critics.

Tires variety from 15 to 17 inches in size. The Corolla S and XRS add haze lights, bumper extensions and a rear spoiler, increasing the styling mercury to someplace around that of the body-kitted Camry SE. You can decide whether that's an advantage.

The In

For the most part, the Corolla's cabin appears affably tidy-- the two-tone dash in my test cars and truck had regular, if not impressive, top quality, as well as whatever from the center regulates to the gauges appeared customized for straightforward functionality. The directional signal and home window switches run with precisely fitted activities, and though many plastics are tough to the touch, overall fit as well as surface is decent. Storage space areas are plentiful, with 2 stacked handwear cover compartments, an enough facility console and even small pockets flanking the center controls.

I'm not exactly sure simple cleanliness suffices, nonetheless. The Civic's cabin elevates control precision to an additional realm-- the Corolla's A/C dials really feel awkward in comparison-- as well as the Elantra boasts soft-touch products and also high end features. The Lancer and Focus opt for braked with interior styling. Caught in the crossfire, the Corolla seems unremarkable-- dumbed-down, even-- and that could not be a place Toyota could pay for to be.

Front-seat headroom is adequate, though my examination cars and truck had no moonroof, which would certainly remove about an inch of above space. The cloth seats were the subject of much dispute at I discovered the furniture comfortable as well as nicely groomed, however editors Mike Hanley as well as David Thomas thought it was dated and also low-grade. The chauffeur's seat changes won little support-- a height-adjustment jack is conventional, but the seat has actually restricted rear movement for taller vehicle drivers.

Probably that's a good idea; if the pole positions traveled any kind of farther back, back legroom would end up being illogical. As it stands, legroom and headroom in back are just appropriate for grownups. Congratulations to Toyota for maintaining the floor in between the back seats hump-free, which means a fifth guest may really have the ability to endure a short trip in the facility seat there.

Trunk volume totals 12.3 cubic feet, which goes to the low end of this section. Here's exactly how interior quantity compares:


The 2009 Corolla earned the greatest score, Good, in frontal crash examinations from the Insurance policy Institute for Highway Safety. IIHS has not yet evaluated the auto for side-impacts. The Corolla's 6 common air bags include side-impact airbags for the pole positions and also side drape air bags for both rows. Energetic front head restraints and also antilock brakes are additionally standard; a number of rivals make ABDOMINAL optional.

Grip control and a digital stability system run as a $250 package on all trims but the XRS, where they're basic. The option is well worth the cost, given that numerous rivals get security control for higher trim degrees or don't supply it in all. The outgoing Corolla charged $650 for the function. Toyota claims it's mounted on simply 14 percent of all '09 Corollas, however, so it could take some searching to locate one with it.

Features & Prices

Without the location charge, the Corolla starts at $15,250. Basic functions include cooling, power mirrors and also a CD stereo with an auxiliary jack. Note that there's no iPod-specific connection like Scion, Toyota's brother or sister nameplate, supplies.

The Corolla LE adds power home windows as well as locks, while the XLE gets phony wood trim, backlit evaluates and also keyless access-- a $245 choice on the LE that truly should certainly be basic. Both the LE and also XLE include a transmission. The S and XRS sport different outside attachments, together with sportier seats and also a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls. Both designs return to manual door locks and windows, though-- especially frustrating for the XRS, which costs greater than the better-equipped XLE. Power accessories, warmed natural leather seats, a moonroof and a navigation system are optional.

Load an XRS to the hilt, and the sticker comes up simply timid of $25,000. All told, the Corolla doesn't boast quite as much value for the money as several of its rivals do. Check out just how an easily geared up version contrasts:

Corolla in the marketplace

Gas mileage and security credentials offer the Corolla plenty of book allure, as well as if the vehicle's 40-year history is any indicator, the most recent variation should prove as trusted as the sunrise. Barring any top quality snafus-- a substantial unidentified, considering the latest Camry V-6's performance history-- these factors could be sufficient to drive the Corolla's success.

As a portable auto that hits on all fronts, nevertheless, the Corolla lets down. It's the sort of choice substantiated of your inner sense of duty-- a strong choice, maybe, for moms and dads buying their teen chauffeur. The problem for Toyota is that a lot of rivals have handled to package book perceptiveness with engaging designing and also fun-to-drive appeal. Evaluated versus these opponents, the Corolla comes off as an also-ran.