Toyota introduced Corolla back in 1968 to American consumers. Since then, millions have been sold and Corolla today remains one of the most popular cars in the world.
The 2012 Corolla is a 5-passenger compact with a wide array of amenities and comfort that comes in a variety of ways.
Corolla has three trims: L, LE, and S. The LE was my Corolla for the week of my test drive. All three trims are the same in exterior dimensions: Overall height 57.7”, overall width 69.4”, overall length 179.3”, wheelbase 102.4″, and a ground clearance of 5.8”.
Interior dimensions (front/rear, also in inches) show head room 38.8/37.2, shoulder room 54.8/54.7, hip room 53.0/43.9, and leg room 41.7/36.3.
Corolla’s cabin is comfortable with crafted seats and sport fabric, as well as adequate seating.
The Corolla has a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve engine with dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which puts out 132 hp@6,000 rpm and 128 lb-ft @4,400 rpm. My Corolla was a 4-speed automatic transmission with front wheel drive, but the Corolla has a 5-speed manual transmission as well.
Add to those, innovations like Electronic Power Steering to lessen Corolla’s engine load and an Electronic Throttle Control System to lend it precise acceleration, and all combine for a pretty good mix.
Corolla’s cabin is comfortable with crafted seats and sport fabric, as well as adequate seating. The center console had good storage and the 60/40 split allows a configuration that consolidates available space with a comfortable roominess for passengers.
You can get the Corolla with a moonroof and The Display Audio System with navigation and EnTune. But cruise control, air conditioning with filter, remote keyless entry with lock and unlock, AM/FM/CD/ MP3, tire pressure monitor, and power window and locks are just a few examples of standard equipment.
3 yrs/36,000 miles basic complete warranty
5 yrs/60,000 miles powertrain warranty
5 yrs/unlimited miles corrosion perforation warranty
Complimentary Toyota care:
2 yrs/25,000 miles factory maintenance coverage
24/7 roadside assistance
Standard safety features:
Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control
Anti-lock Brake System
Electronic Brake-Force Distribution
Smart Stop Technology
The base price for a 2012 Corolla is $17,900. The week I drove the LE, I got 29 mpg which was the EPA standard for a city and highway average.
No matter your seat setting or tilt steering position, nothing blocks your view of the displays that feature vehicle speed, engine rpm, outside temperature, average speed, and travel distance.
Buttons and knobs were large enough to easily use and read labels. The transmission shifted smoothly and the stick for shifting was just the right position for the driver to do it precisely and easily.
The two cup holders were handy, but lacked enough depth to hold medium size drinks well. Cabin noise was at a minimum and doors tightly sealed.
On the downside, there were times on the freeway when I needed more speed for passing or lane changing. It took the Corolla a little bit of time to reach a speed needed to do that safely.
But then I thought about the great miles per gallon and tremendous price, and that made me more patient.
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or email@example.com
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