Toyota sells 1.5 million units of its compact Corolla family each year globally, and the company is understandably not about to mess with a good thing. This latest 2017 model gets a bit of a front-end refresh and a new trim line or two, but basically, the Corolla remains a safe choice for middle-of-the-road consumers.
The limited-edition trim is built on the nearly top-of-the-line SE trim and comes with a 7-inch touchscreen running Toyota’s Entune Audio Plus infotainment. Toyota seems to be one of the last manufacturers to hold out against adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a decision that is putting it behind rivals.
Toyota Safety Sense is commendably standard across all trim lines, and it includes pre-collision alert with pedestrian detection and automatic high beams. Also included is lane departure alert with steering assist. Adaptive cruise control is also standard, but it doesn’t work below 25 miles per hour, making it useless in stop-and-go traffic.
New for 2017 is a redesigned front end, with a fresh grille and LED headlamps. The Corolla sports a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood, producing 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. That’s pretty low for the segment, with the, and all offering at least 20 more horses and more torque to boot.
Behind the wheel the Corolla drives just like you would expect: businesslike with an emphasis on efficiency over fun. The suspension is tuned for comfort, so any high-speed cornering results in a pretty good amount of body roll. Acceleration is a but sluggish, but I mostly drove it in Sport mode.
The EPA gives it a fuel rating of 28 miles per gallon in the city, 35 miles per gallon on the highway and 31 miles per gallon combined, which is middling for the class.
The 2017 Toyota Corolla starts at $18,500.