As Toyota celebrates their top spot in American sales, the new 2009 Toyota Corolla is a solid entry in its class. The Corolla remains one of America’s top five selling vehicles, and there is definitely a reason. They haven’t done much to the design however, so don’t expect any major changes for the 2009. They’ve kept it to basic upgrades and a few tweaks here or there.
Although the interior doesn’t shout luxury, it does the job quite nicely. All the materials are of the highest quality and should provide several years of high quality service. You’ll find a lot of plastic inside, but it’s usually finished off with a little silver and a high gloss finish to make it look a little better. As always, it’s not hard to read the interior gauges in a Corolla, since they focus on making everything easy to find and easy to see.
The setup of the cockpit follows a logical flow and it’s very simple to find everything you need, even if you’ve never drive a Corolla before. All the buttons and levers operate smoothly and don’t give you the impression that you’re driving a substandard compact cheap car. Even though the materials may not be burl wood and chrome, it’s still a solid cockpit that gets the job done. In fact, the same materials used in the Corolla can be found in Toyota’s higher end vehicles.
The 2009 comes standard with stability control, which is a nice feature. The base model doesn’t really offer anything else, but at just under $16k, this is to be expected. If you don’t mind spending a bit more, you can trick it out with things like keyless entry, cruise control and other options, that would normally come standard on many vehicles. When they say base model, they really mean it when it comes to a Corolla. This is perhaps one of the biggest downsides of the car since so many other manufactures include these things in their base models.
A fully tricked out Corolla with all the options climbs to about $19k, which is still reasonable, given the overall price range of this class. At least they do offer air conditioning and little extras power mirrors and a nice multifunction display that will let you know how you’re doing on fuel economy as well as mileage on all Corolla models.
The engine is a 1.8L capable of reaching about 132hp, so while it’s not a powerhouse, it does get very good gas mileage. 27/35 is the new standard for the Corolla, bringing it well within the new limits that will soon be imposed by the government for automakers. What you lack in power, you’ll certainly get back at the pump. With gas prices at an all time high, this may be the factor that excites potential buyers the most.
While the Corolla may not necessarily inspire you or offer all the latest toys, it is certainly one of the most competent and reliable vehicles in this class. If you’re looking for a minimum of frills and you want to save money on gas, this is a very solid choice.