Toyota continues to keep things simple and straightforward by offering a single engine that appears in all but one model of the Corolla. This primary engine is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder affair that produces 132 horsepower and delivers fuel estimates as high as 29 mpg city/38 mpg highway.
The second engine, offered only in the LE Eco, is a 1.8-liter that produces 140 horsepower and gets fuel estimates as high as 30 mpg city/42 mpg highway. As usual, a six-speed manual transmission is standard but more popular is the four-speed automatic or continuously variable transmission (CVT).
The L comes with the basic features you would expect for this class including LED headlights, Bluetooth and USB compatibility, a four-speaker sound system with CD player, eight airbags and steering wheel-mounted controls. No additional options are available at this level.
Moving to the LE builds on the L with some convenience features such as an integrated backup camera, automatic climate control, remote keyless entry, touch-screen audio display, cruise control and heated outside mirrors. No additional options are available.
This level adds on to the LE with 16-inch alloy wheels and integrated fog lights. It also marks the first level where additional features are available. These include a moonroof and a driver convenience package that adds Entune Premium Audio, integrated navigation, and smart key system.
Going Premium adds leather-like upholstery and heated front seats along with the additional features offered for the LE Plus. These include Entune Premium Audio with integrated navigation, smart key with push-button start and a moonroof.
The primary reason for selecting the LE Eco is to have the economy of the fuel-saving engine, it is also the only add-on from the LE level.
Starting with sportier, sharper styling throughout, the S builds on the LE with paddle shifters and integrated fog lights.
S Plus CVT
Building on the equipment in the S, the S Plus CVT features some additional sport styling elements including 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and rear disc brakes.
S Plus 6MT
Choosing the S Plus 6MT starts with all the features in the S Plus CVT and adds Entune Premium Audio with integrated navigation, smart key with push-button start, a moonroof and leather-trimmed steering wheel.
The S Premium mirrors all the features found in the L Premium but houses them in the aggressive styling of the S line.
S Special Edition
Created primarily to offer an option with a more highly stylized look, the Special Edition builds on the S Plus CVT with unique 17-inch gloss black alloy wheels, red contrast stitching, special edition floor mats and a special edition exterior badge.
If all you're looking for is tried-and-true reliability then we recommend the LE -- the L will be too bare bones for all but those on the strictest budgets. However, if you appreciate a bit of playfulness in your commute, we suggest considering the S Plus 6MT or even the S Premium.
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