"Other than a borrowed grille from the Camry SE, some 'character lines' in the sheet metal and the Camry’s 2.4L 4-cyl. engine/5-speed automatic transmission in the top trim, there’s little to get excited about with the new model." WardAuto proclaims that "Toyota has delivered a downright boring Corolla for ’09." On one hand, Christie Schweinsberg seems to appreciate the value of vanilla, pointing out that the Corolla didn't suffer a sales slump prior to the new model's introduction (a la Honda Civic). But she can't get her head 'round the fact that Toyota didn't do, well, anything about the Corolla's narcoleptic sheetmetal and driving dynamics. And that's bad because…? "Toyota says it is aiming to conquest Mazda3 buyers, the youngest demographic in the segment, with its new Matrix hatchback rather than the Corolla, but that seems shortsighted. A more dynamic Corolla would have given Toyota more ammunition with which to target that crowd." Or less pleasure for its existing customers. The article disses the Corolla's delayed intro while flagging ToMoCo's quality issues (the reason for the delay). Schweinsberg concludes with a quote that could have come straight from the mouth of a domestic competitor. Oh wait, it did. "But with Toyota’s quality reputation beginning to suffer just as competitors are building better small cars, there’s no guarantee the auto maker will be able to continue selling '350,000 appliances a year,' as a competing OEM exec recently put it."
Find Reviews by Make: