2018 Toyota Corolla is the best yet

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, January 20th, 2018

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Special Contributor

The Toyota Corolla is one of the best-selling cars in the world.
This model year marks its 52nd year of production and currently on its
11th platform.
We reviewed the 50th Anniversary Edition a year ago and for 2018
there are some minor upgrades that make Corolla safer than ever
The new Corolla is arguably the best-looking that Toyota has
delivered to date and now it is also the absolutely safest in its
lineage. All Corolla models now come standard with TSS-P, a system
that bundles the likes of pre-collision technology with pedestrian
detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, dynamic radar
cruise control (yes, on a base Corolla), and automatic high-beams.
Toyota states this puts the brand four years ahead of the model-year
2022 industry target for standard automatic braking, an initiative
backed by NHTSA and IIHS.
There are some minor vanity upgrades for the 2018 Corolla, in
the form of all model grades getting illuminated driver and front
passenger visor vanity mirrors. Other enhancements include upgrades on
individual trim levels which are minor in nature as most automakers do
this year-over-year.
The new Corolla rides and drives as politely and easily as it
has in recent years reviews and is a highly recommended model.
One of the most unique characteristics of the Toyota Corolla is
that buyers can still get (drum roll please) a manual transmission.
This may be the singular aspect that made my week behind the wheel
more enjoyable. It had been quite some time since I last reviewed a
vehicle with manual shift and a clutch and it really takes my back. I
was nostalgic but so few automakers offer a “standard” transmission
these days, just like very few new vehicles have CD players anymore.
And to really engage the “way back machine”, this tester came in the
same color blue of my sister’s very first car in the late-70s….a
Toyota Corolla.
Aside from the nameplate and the body color, little else in the
2018 Corolla reminded me of that ’79 model. There is so much new
technology in vehicles today, even at the base levels.
Our tester arrived in sporty SE trim powered by peppy little
1.8-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine making 132hp and 128 lb.
ft. of torque. Mated to the six-speed manual gearbox, this little
sedan provided an enjoyable driving experience and there was ample
passing power.
Toyota has done an admirable job at reducing the noise,
vibration, and harshness that used to be commonplace in small
vehicles, with small engines, and the Corolla is no exception.
Creature comforts and amenities are plentiful in the new Corolla
so long as occupants keep in mind this is not from the corporate line
of luxury vehicles known as Lexus. Corolla holds its own in the
subcompact segment with features such as 17-inch alloy wheels with
all-season tires, integrated backup camera, three-spoke steering wheel
with tilt/telescoping column, Entune Audio system with touchscreen
display, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, and automatic climate control
with dust and pollen filter. Work your way up the trim levels and
Corolla offers a lot.
Pricing for a 2018 Toyota Corolla begins at $18,550 with our SE
tester arriving with final window sticker of $22,834.
Fuel economy is rated at 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway and
Toyota offers an LE Eco model that sees 40 mpg highway.
Since those first models began arriving in the U.S. some 50 years
ago, the Toyota Corolla has been one of the most popular cars here.
Eventually it yielded its Uncle Sam crown to sibling Camry, but in the
150 countries where it is sold around the globe it is still in high
demand. That’s about 1.5 million cars sold annually around the world
where Corollas roll of the assembly lines at 16 plants – bigger,
better, and safer than ever before.


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