There are seven trim levels for the Corolla, spanning from the base L with an MSRP of $19,365 to the XSE, which starts at $23,545. Variations include the very popular LE, which includes keyless entry and a backup camera for $19,800, and the SE, which includes more assertive-looking trim, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel in its $21,310 asking price. (All prices include destination.)
The Corolla takes a tried-and-true approach to vehicle engineering: no turbocharger, no dual-clutch transmission, no multilink rear suspension. Some advanced technology does show up in the form of the emissions-reducing and fuel-saving continuously variable transmission (CVT) that replaces the traditional automatic in most Corollas. A six-speed manual is available on the SE for a bit of variety.
Power for the Corolla comes from one of two subtly different 1.8-liter four-cylinder engines. The LE Eco's Valvematic motor is tuned for fuel economy and returns EPA estimates of 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. Regular CVT Corollas score 28 city/36 highway estimates; the six-speed drops each of those results by 1 mpg.
- Cars wearing the Corolla badge have now been in production for a full half-century, and Toyota is not about to let that milestone pass without notice. The 50th Anniversary Special Edition takes an SE and adds different wheels and upgraded interior trim and appropriate badging. Toyota will offer 8,000 of these cars, painted in pearl white, silver, or an attractive dark cherry red.
- Toyota has been attentive to marketplace demands for better safety technology. All Corollas feature an advanced Safety Sense system that includes forward collision warning with emergency braking, lane departure alert, and adaptive radar cruise control. Passive safety considerations include a healthy barrage of airbags and whiplash-mitigating seats.
- The list of available options is quite short. A Premium package with sunroof, navigation and alloy wheels is available on the LE, Eco, and CVT-equipped SE. XLE and XSE buyers can opt for an upgraded infotainment system.