The newly rebuilt 2018 Toyota Corolla has added more flair and a sportier edge to its profile. The sleek front facade lends itself to a bold first impression.
The XSE is the top-of-the-line model. LED daytime running lights in the bumper and multi-LED headlamps with accent lights provide you with excellent lighting for both daytime and nighttime driving. The color-keyed and heated power-adjustable outside mirrors provide views from the sides, and a rear spoiler gives the Corolla some noisy pizzazz.
The power tilt and slide moonroof lets in sun and fresh air and still keeps you covered under bad weather. The XSE’s 17-inch machine alloy wheels, with black-painted accents, keep all those good looks and the charm rolling.
A car’s true spirit is found in the performance. The XSE’s 1.8-liter four-cylinder DOHC 16-valve dual VVT-i engine provides a maximum of 132 horsepower at 6,000 rpm in sport drive mode. The power is coupled through a continuously variable transmission with intelligence and Shift mode (CVTi-S). This drivetrain delivers an estimated fuel consumption of 28/35/31 city/highway/combined mpg.
The interior is dominated by a sporty instrument cluster, housing a chrome-rimmed speedometer, tachometer, and coolant temperature gauge. The 4.2-inch color TFT multi-information display with customizable settings allows easy monitoring of useful numbers, like cruising range, average speed, and more.
The leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic three-spoke steering wheel with paddle shifters and audio controls lets the driver feel more involved and thus provides a more personal driving experience.
The 2018 Corolla’s high tech and high style lend themselves to easily found connectivity. A $525 options package for the XSE adds Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite. This package features a navigation system, voice recognition, SiriusXM, HD Radio, auxiliary audio jack, USB 2.0 port, music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology, and Siri Eyes Free, as would be expected from an advanced infotainment system. All this magic tech works on a 7-inch high-resolution touchscreen with split-screen display.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Predictive Traffic and Doppler Weather overlay. It was really exciting to watch the snow-carrying cold front come in from the Texas Panhandle to the Big Bend Country.
The Entune 3.0 App Suite seamlessly joins the infotainment system with compatible smartphones to put internet services like Pandora, iHeart Radio, and Yelp at your fingertips.
Safety is the biggest and most expansive feature for the 2018 Corolla. Every trim level is standard-equipped with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), Toyota’s umbrella branding for a set of advanced safety features.
Included in this safety package is pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beam, and dynamic radar cruise control. All these are standard even for the $18,550 L model.
The top-of-line XSE model carries a manufacturer’s retail price of $22,730.
Toyota has a no-cost maintenance program for all new Toyota products purchased or leased for two years or 25,000 miles.
The Corolla is spacious, quiet, and fun to drive. Five folks fit comfortably, and storage is available for nearly everything. The 60/40-split rear seats provide extra storage space.
The SofTex-trimmed front seats with “sport” description are heated and eight-way power-adjustable on the driver’s side, making it effortless to find a comfortable driving position.
A pleasure to drive, reasonably priced, safe, and comfortable are reasons to give the new 2018 Corolla a good look.
36-month/36,000-mile All Component Basic Warranty.
60-month/60,000-mile Powertrain Warranty.
60-month/Unlimited mile Corrosion and Perforation Warranty.
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or at [email protected]