2017 Toyota Corolla XSE

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January 17, 2017 Updated: January 18, 2017

With the production of the 2017 model, Toyota is celebrating 50 years of manufacturing the Corolla. In celebration, Toyota has restyled its front and rear bumpers. Corolla’s new sleek shape is combined with modern features like LED daytime running lights, LED tail lights, pre-collision avoidance system, and Entune with navigation system.

The LE-ECO trim promotes efficiency as well as style. Other exciting trims like SE and XLE have been equipped to show off the sedan’s capabilities as well as style.

The XSE packs classic good looks, good fuel economy (35 mpg highway), plus completely loaded with technology, all for less than $25,000 MSRP.

Toyota has made its new Toyota Safety Sense system (TSS) a standard feature.

Of course, the whole hub of the driving experience is found in the cabin. Technology commands center stage with features like Bluetooth connectivity, which lets you make hands-free phone calls and stream music from your compatible phone. 

I enjoyed using the Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation infotainment system. Use it to discover new restaurants, make reservations, and let it tell you how to get there with turn-by-turn directions. The 4.2-inch color Multi-Information Display helps you keep track of it all. 

The comfortable cabin has a nice quality. Corolla’s rear seats fold down to accommodate large items. The 60/40-split helps, moving cargo and people at the same time.

SofTex 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat and four-way adjustable front passenger seat help upfront folks to get into an optimal comfort position quickly and effortlessly.

The Corolla powertrain consists of a 1.8 L 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve Dual VVT-i engine producing 132 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 128 pound-feet or torque at 4,400 rpm. The LE-ECO model is powered by a different version of the 1.8 L engine, which employs Valvematic engine technology and is capable of producing 140 horsepower at 6,100 rpm and 126 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm.

Transmission choices include a six-speed manual transmission and Continuously Variable Transmission Intelligent Shift (CVTi-S)

The XSE model is equipped with CVTi-S, paddle shifters, and Sport drive mode. The Smart Key System lets you unlock the front doors and trunk, plus start the Corolla with just a push of a button.

The interior of the 2017 Corolla. (Courtesy of Toyota)
The interior of the 2017 Corolla. (Courtesy of Toyota)

Once you get in, automatic climate control keeps you comfortable at the exact desired temperature. The control panel is clean and minimalist with up/down digital switches instead of knobs for key controls.

The only issue I found with the interior was the location of the automatic door and window lock panel. The panel and the side mirror adjustment knob are located next to and behind the driver’s side door handle, making it difficult to reach—especially the outside mirror adjust knob. Also, larger and well-lit radio volume and station changing knobs would have been helpful.

On the safety front, Toyota has made its new Toyota Safety Sense system (TSS) a standard feature on the Corolla. This includes a Pre-collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Automatic High Beams, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. This is on top of eight standard airbags and the standard ABS, stability control, traction control, EBD, brake assist, and Smart Stop safety features.

Corolla is made for the fast lane and for folks like me that simply like to drive a fine car. Whether you admire an athletic ride or a leisurely drive down a meandering road or super highway—your choice may be Corolla. Buckle up! Feel the energy. Let her rip.

36-month/36,000-mile Basic Warranty
60-month/60,000-mile Powertrain Warranty
60-month/Unlimited-mile Corrosion Perforation Warranty

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or at dcaussey@sbcglobal.net