The Toyota Corolla celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016, and with 43 million units sold, it’s being lauded as the best-selling car of all time. The Corolla continues the tradition of being a no-frills, economical solution for getting from point A to point B, but there’s a lot more to it than fuel efficiency and an affordable price tag.
Speaking of price, the all-new Corolla has an MSRP of $19,820 out the door, making it one of the most affordable compact sedans on the market this year. In terms of features, the Corolla doesn’t disappoint either. The interior has a new stylish edge, intuitive infotainment system, and all the safety features you would expect to find in luxury sedans costing twice as much.
When you factor in its fuel efficiency, inexpensive maintenance, and great resale value, it’s clear the 2017 Corolla offers much more than meets the eye.
The 2017 Toyota Corolla is equipped with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder motor for all trim levels. However, there are two other engine variants to choose from. All trim levels except for the LE Eco make 128 pound-feet of torque and 132 horsepower. In an effort to maximize fuel efficiency, the LE Eco utilizes a more sophisticated valve train, giving it a slight boost of power with numbers peaking at 140 horsepower and 126 pound-feet of torque.
Most 2017 Corollas, except for the SE, also come equipped with a variable CVT transmission. The SE, on the other hand, is available with an optional six-speed manual transmission, providing you with a sportier feel.
In performance testing, the Corolla had a 0-60 acceleration time of 9.2 seconds. While fine for day-to-day driving, this means the Corolla is nearly a second slower than the Honda Civic, Ford Focus, and other compact sedans.
- Drive type – Front wheel drive
- Engine size – 1.8L four-cylinder
- Horsepower – 132@6000 RPM
- Torque – 128 pound-feet
- 0-60 mph – 9.2 seconds
Safety and Entertainment Features
All 2017 Corollas come standard with anti-lock brakes, side curtain airbags, front side airbags, passenger seat cushion airbag, driver knee airbag, and traction and stability control. Unlike many other 2017 compact sedans, a rearview camera is also standard on all Corolla trim levels.
While these safety features alone should be enough to impress, all 2017 trims are also equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense P system, which includes automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning with steering assist, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic high beams.
It’s important to note, however, that most 2017 Corollas roll off the line with outdated rear drum brakes. In fact, rear disc brakes are only available on the SE and SXE. In brake testing, the rear drum brakes of the Corolla LE Eco could stop the car in 130 feet at 60 mph. This result is poorer than the industry standard.
However, in government crash testing, the 2017 Corolla earned a five-star rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also awarded the safety-conscious Corolla a top rating in side impact, moderate overlap front impact, whiplash protection, and roof strength tests. On the other hand, it also scored poorly in the institute’s small overlap front impact test.
As far as entertainment features go, the Corolla earns high marks as well. All trims come with a modern and well-placed infotainment system with clear graphics and large quick response touchscreen buttons. It’s one of the easiest-to-use infotainment systems available in the economy compact class.
In addition to its thoughtful design and ease of use, the Corolla’s infotainment system also comes equipped with the Entune App Suite, which integrates real-time traffic data, Pandora, Facebook, Bing, Yelp, and other smartphone-connected services. Unfortunately, it also lacks Android Auto and Apple Car Play app integration.
That being said, with a large 6.1-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity, voice controls, and a 6-speaker Entune audio system, the Corolla’s entertainment features are right up there with some of the best in its class.
If you upgrade to the Corolla XLE, you’ll receive an upgraded driver display, a larger 7-inch touchscreen, Scout GPS Link, and HD and satellite radio.
- Anti-lock brakes
- Traction and stability control
- Side curtain, front side, driver knee, and passenger seat cushion airbags
- Automatic emergency braking
- Lane departure warning with steering assist
- Forward collision warning
- Pedestrian detection
- 1-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Entune App Suite and six-speaker audio
How It Stacks Up Against the Competition
The 2017 Toyota Corolla is slightly more expensive than the Ford Focus sedan, but gets two more miles per gallon. Nonetheless, it gets less miles per gallon in the city than the Chevy Cruz and Honda Civic Sedan, both of which are slightly more expensive based on MSRP.
While all four of these economy compact sedans feature four-cylinder engines, the Corolla delivers the least amount of horsepower and torque out of the bunch, only creating 132-hp and 128 pounds of torque.
All models seat five passengers and are equipped with front, side, and roll sensing side curtain airbags. Bluetooth, backup cameras, keyless entry, power windows and mirrors, and a multi-function remote come standard on all models as well. However, an MP3 player only comes standard on the Corolla and the Focus. Meanwhile, only the Corolla offers an optional sunroof or moonroof.
The estimated EPA fuel economy of the 2017 Corolla is 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway for models equipped with a manual transmission. Automatic models with variable CVT and 16-inch wheels get an estimated 28 city mpg and 36 highway mpg.
The LE Eco leads the Corolla lineup with 30 city mpg and 40 highway mpg, putting its fuel efficiency right up there with the Chevy Cruze and Honda Civic Sedan.
Pros and Cons
If you’re in the market for an economical, compact sedan that does a good job of checking all the boxes, the 2017 Toyota Corolla is a great option. While several competitors offer more thrills behind the wheel, the Corolla is a sensible blend of fuel economy, value, and space. Leading the pack in these three categories, the Corolla practically sells itself.
The backseat of the Corolla is the roomiest in its class with plenty of leg room for adults to stretch out. It also comes equipped with a myriad of safety and entertainment features. From TSS-P technology and a standard rearview camera to Bluetooth and Entune audio, it offers anything you could ask for in a car, especially at such a low price point.
However, before you fall in love with the Corolla and decide it’s your dream car, it’s always a good idea to check out the competition. The Corolla ranks last among its competitors in acceleration, and drum brakes come standard on all models except for the XLE, leaving a lot to be desired in terms of overall road performance.