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What do people think
about Toyota Corolla ?
Very reliable, good handling, good gas mileage, pretty inexpensive to maintain, very very few problems with it. Quite comfy....

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2006 Toyota Corolla CE Road Test


Toyota Corolla
Okay, that may not be the kindest way to introduce the Toyota Corolla, because it really is a good car. Its the kind of vehicle that gets good grades because it shows up to class on time every day, does all its homework, answers all the questions on the test, and gets good solid Bs across the board. Neither prodigy nor delinquent, it steadily reaches its potential through hard work and dedication, without slip-ups, but also without the ability to reach any great heights of accomplishment.

Not to be too negative, but being a good car is about the only box on the check list of vehicle requirements that the Corolla ticks off. Zestful cornering? Not exactly. Comfortable passenger accommodations? So-so. Cargo space? Enough for the basics. Cool trick features you can tell your friends about? I dont think so. Lexus-like refinement? Maybe for the next generation. But it will start every morning, move along with traffic at a steady pace, and it is an easy car to get used to and an easy car to live with.

The Corolla, as simple as it is, is a legend in its own time. It is an icon of safe, reliable transportation, but is it capable of doing anything beyond getting you and 4 others (in a squeeze) from point A to point B without incident and without using too much gas? It starts up every morning without fuss and requires a minimum of space to park every night, helped out by even, accurate steering. In fact, the steering was one of the highlights for this car: it was firm and fairly responsive as base economy sedans go.

Of course, its competition consists of the recently redesigned Honda Civic (a dynamic and lively car), the acclaimed Mazda3, the stalwart Focus (which should be getting its Mazda3 update soon, starting with engines), GMs Delta platform twins Cobalt and upcoming G5 coupe (oh yeah, theres the plasticky Ion, too), the black sheep Mitsubishi Lancer, upstart Korean Kia Spectra and slightly more established Hyundai Elantra, and pretty soon the Dodge Caliber will be joining the fray. Yikes. Each of those vehicles (except the Caliber) has carved out a niche doing something well, even if that something is simply not getting scratched and dented.

So what does the Corolla do? A little bit of everything, I guess, but its signature trait is its vaunted Toyota reliability. It is the turtle to many of the other hares out there racing to pump up horsepower, but while competitors dally with fallible new gimmicks, only to end up in the shop, the Corolla is out there chugging along for years and years, as you can see from the number of Corollas on every street in every neighborhood, in every city, town or community.

And how reliable is it? The gold standard, JD Power ranks Toyota as the most reliable entry-level nameplate (unless you count Buick as entry level, and Lexus, Toyotas luxury brand is first overall) in its Vehicle Dependability Study (compiled in 2005 for 2002 vehicles over a 3-year period), ranking 7th overall out of 37 nameplates. Consumer Reports is always high on Toyota, and it lists the Corolla as a Most Reliable pick for the 2004 model in the compact class. Sorry, none of the 2005 stats were out at the time of this writing. When it comes to reliability, Toyota doesnt mess with whatever formula they have that has kept them on top for years.

Another feature the Corolla often gets knocked for is its styling, but I LIKE it. I may not be passionate about it, and I definitely like the XRS trimmings (or even Sport, for that matter), but I think the Corolla is an attractive car, a vast improvement over its predecessor and better looking than its biggest rival, the previous Honda Civic. Compared to the new Civic, I find it delightfully tasteful and good looking in its simple charms, no wind-tunnel styling to test the limits of its shopping audience.

The interior, too, is plain yet appealing, nothing flashy, nothing confusing, and all the basics that I would look for when doing a mental checklist: power windows, power mirrors, AM/FM radio with CD, air conditioning, keyless entry, cupholders and an automatic transmission. The aforementioned equipment, included with this tester, bumps the price up from the base $14,105 to $16,595. At under $17,000 I could imagine putting money towards this car, but tack on another $580 for freight and delivery, and the sticker is tickling $18Ks chin. Thats a lot of coin for a very basic car. About the only upside to that price is that the Corolla holds its value so well that it is practically an investment. Once you knock off the initial depreciation, the Corolla keeps its resale value like a fading Hollywood starlet clutching her plastic surgeons cell number.

After only a week with the car, I understood that the Corolla is not a car that tugs on the heart-strings or moves its customers to great passions. No, it is a car that gets purchased after long and careful consideration over just what is the best value available, not necessarily the cheapest outright, but with running costs and maintenance factored in, plus that all-important resale, it starts to look more and more like a bargain with every passing year. Of course, I cant guarantee that this 06 will actually hold up as its predecessors have, but I wouldnt put my money on any other car to beat it. Its just a solid, sensible choice.

keeps its resale value like a fading Hollywood starlet clutching her plastic surgeons cell number.

After only a week with the car, I understood that the Corolla is not a car that tugs on the heart-strings or moves its customers to great passions. No, it is a car that gets purchased after long and careful consideration over just what is the best value available, not necessarily the cheapest outright, but with running costs and maintenance factored in, plus that all-important resale, it starts to look more and more like a bargain with every passing year. Of course, I cant guarantee that this 06 will actually hold up as its predecessors have, but I wouldnt put my money on any other car to beat it. Its just a solid, sensible choice.

Automobile.com





2006 Toyota Corolla CE Road Test
Japanese Import Car, New & Used Car, 2007