2016 Toyota Corolla S Premium
Class: Compact Car
Miles Driven: 270
Fuel Used: 9.6 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 28.0 mpg
|CG Report Card|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Room and Comfort||B+|
|Power and Performance||B-|
|Fit and Finish||B-|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
Driving mix: 70% city, 30% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 29/37/32 (city/highway/combined)
Base price: $23,055 (not including $835 destination charge)
Options on test car: None
Price as tested: $23,890
The great: Rear-seat space, reputation
The good: Fuel economy, visibility, control layout
The not so good: Sickle-shaped trunklid hinges and restricted pass-through reduce cargo capability, driving personality isn’t as lively as some class rivals
Corolla is one of the longest-running nameplates in all of autodom, and it consistently ranks as one of the most popular cars in the U.S.; often, it’s within the top three in terms of sales volume. There has to be a reason.
Actually, there are several.
Granted, carrying the coveted Toyota badge has a lot to do with it, as does the established Corolla name. But in terms of the car itself, much of its appeal is that there’s little that would turn a prospective buyer off.
In automotive circles, the Corolla might be viewed as rather bland, and it seems Toyota has picked up on that. A couple of its cars have adopted more aggressive-looking “gaping mouth” grilles — including the Corolla — and our tested S Premium was shod with racy-looking 17-inch alloy wheels, a subtle rear spoiler, and some sporty interior touches.
In terms of the usual rated categories, Corolla falls mid-pack in most areas. Performance is adequate, ride and handling lean toward the “comfort” side (though the S moves the needle a bit toward “sport”), visibility is good, and the control layout is fairly simple and intuitive. Better than most is rear-seat room; slightly below average is cargo versatility, as sickle-shaped trunklid hinges dip into the load area when the lid is closed, and there’s a rather small pass-through with the rear seat backs folded.
Several compact competitors have been redesigned of late, while the current Corolla dates “all the way back” to 2014. And in some ways, it shows. Toyota has been good about keeping the Corolla in pace with infotainment expectations, but it’s now lagging a bit in high-tech safety features — something that’s been at least partially corrected on the 2017 models, with the commendable addition of Toyota Safety Sense-P as standard equipment. (This package of safety features includes forward collision warning and mitigation with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning and mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and automatic headlights.)
Many buyers will be drawn to competitors with sportier, more modern looks, but it’s likely the Corolla will again beat them all when it comes time to sign on the dotted line.