Well, it’s very efficient. Like, incredibly efficient. I traded out the ES300h for the Corolla in Chattanooga while on a work trip and was astounded at how good it was on the way back. Even the combination of driving up Monteagle Mountains 4-6% on I-24 and my lack of regard for hypermiling couldn’t keep the Corolla from averaging over 50 mpg on the trip.
I was also impressed with the general ride quality and driver experience as well. It was quiet and smooth enough I didn’t find myself worn too much after the two-hour drive back and the list of features is quite impressive for a car in its class. Apple CarPlay(recently with added Waze – a godsend on road trips), Android Auto, and Radar Cruise made for an easy drive. The interior itself is well appointed and though I missed heated seats on the LE, for just over $23,000. It’s a great price for a very low maintenance car.
Well, unsurprisingly, it’s not a true driver’s car in the least bit. While 120 horsepower could be fast in a small car like the Corolla, the car also weighs over 3000 lbs. This means 0-60 happens in a mind-bogglingly slow 10.7 seconds. As far as I know, that makes it the slowest car I have ever tested. Now some people say “slow car fast” is fun, but this is definitely waaay too slow.
The overall design of the sedan is not great either. I loved the way the hatch looks, but the sedan just doesn’t quite sit right with me. A hatch version of the hybrid would be great but Toyota does not seem to agree.
So, what’s the verdict?
Well. The Corolla is great. It’s not great for a car guy but it is a great car. It will be cheap to maintain, cheap to operate and fit the needs of so many people. In fact, I agree with Will, this is a better Prius. While it’s not my favorite styling and it is technically smaller, it does look like a normal car compared to the Prius. It also manages to look like a normal car while still having near the efficiency of the Prius. If you need an efficient, affordable car, don’t look past the Corolla. It’s a great car.