Since its introduction the Toyota Corolla has been a mainstay in the American marketplace. Renowned for high reliability, economical functionality, and an attention to safety – Toyota has managed to sell over 33 million Corollas since its inception.
Yet, like all good things, the startling gap between what was once Toyota superiority has quickly become nonexistent. Many advantages the Corolla once possessed have been replicated or even surpassed by other auto manufacturers. Even so, the Corolla is one of the premier compact sedans on the market today. Despite the upsurge in quality of the competition, Corolla still remains the standard bearer for affordability and dependability.
The 2013 Toyota Corolla is a five-passenger compact sedan powered by a 1.8 liter inline four-cylinder engine. This power plant produces 132 horsepower and 128 foot-pound of torque and is controlled by a standard five-speed manual transmission, though an automatic transmission is available as an upgrade. Available in several trim levels (the L, LE, and S), the Corolla comes standard with keyless entry, air conditioning, adjustable driver’s seat, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, 15-inch wheels, trip computer, CD player, and auxiliary input jack.
Like all Toyota’s, standard safety features are plentiful. The Corolla performed well in front-impact and side-impact testing. And the Corolla earned high marks in frontal-offset, side, top and overall safety ratings.
The interior of the Corolla is bland and utilitarian, but the controls are easy to use and laid out in a logical manner. Drivers and passengers alike will enjoy the cushy seating. Trunk space remains average (12.3 cubic feet), but the extra wide opening makes loading and unloading a breeze.
Driving the Corolla is like driving a compact sedan designed for fuel economy and safety. It’s not a sports car. However, the interior is quiet, and the soft ride is perfect for city driving or long commutes to work. The engine is designed for fuel economy – not speed. Cornering and handling is ponderous at times, but the engine is silky quiet and effortless.
Overall the Corolla is what it claims to be; a small sedan designed for excellent fuel consumption and reliability. It seats five, puts out 27 MPG/city and 34 MPG/hwy, and hauls about what you expect. Outside of the safety features, there’s a lot of stiff competition in this class and Toyota, once a leader in this field, has fallen back with the rest of the pack. That said, the 2013 Corolla remains a solid choice in a bloated field.
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