Reviews

2018 Toyota Corolla Driving Impressions


Like its appearance, the performance of a Corolla ranks as average in every area. Handling with confidence, the Corolla provides a safe and sufficient road experience.

Steering feels light, providing minimal feedback from the pavement, but that’s hardly uncommon in family-friendly compact sedans. Body lean can become evident when taking corners energetically. The ride is smooth and easygoing, though not remarkably soft or lavish. Sedan suspensions permit considerable wheel travel, which helps absorb bumps and pot holes.

Corolla engines exhibit a refined nature. For most owners, that’s more important than brisk responses to the gas pedal. Toyota’s continuously variable transmission tends to keep the engine at higher speeds much of the time, but acceleration is wholly adequate. Sufficient sound-deadening tones down most engine rumbling.

Expect a firmer ride from the iM hatchback, but few trouble spots on the road will jar Corolla passengers.

Fuel economy doesn’t lead the compact-sedan pack, but Corollas qualify as thrifty. EPA estimates for 2018 have not yet been issued, but 2017 figures hover around 30 mpg in combined driving. L and LE sedans with the CVT are EPA-rated at 28/36 mpg City/Highway, or 32 mpg Combined. Upper trim levels are a hair less frugal, due to bigger wheels. Manual shift in the SE earns an EPA rating of 27/35 mpg City/Highway, or 30 mpg Combined. The LE Eco is EPA-rated as high as 30/40/34 mpg.

The Corolla iM is EPA-rated at 27/35 mpg City/Highway, or 30 mpg Combined, with 6-speed manual, rising to 28/36/31 mpg with the CVT.

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