By on April 5, 2012

Having suffered behind the wheel of a few rented Corollas during my travels with the 24 Hours of LeMons Circus, I’m here to tell you that the current generation of Corolla— the version you get in rental fleets, at any rate— is one of the least fun motor vehicles you can buy. I am convinced that the suits at Toyota have ordered their top engineers to devise a Fun Prevention Control Module™ for the Corolla, a little box under the dash that does everything from preventing you from finding a good song on the radio to ensuring that you will never, ever be able to pull off even a half-assed e-brake turn in a muddy racetrack paddock. With the FPCM™ in full effect, you’ll drive your Corolla for hundreds of thousands of trouble- and fun-free miles, all the while fantasizing about setting the thing on fire and giving some crackhead $119 for a much more fun ’95 Mercury Mystique rolling on three space-saver spares. So, it came as a shock when I spotted this Corolla-hustling ad on a Saigon Toyota dealership during my recent trip to Vietnam.
According to Toyota’s global website, the Corolla Altis “throws in a staggering change that will definitely blow you away.” Wait, a 21st-century Corolla that will blow you away? A woman in red high heels flashing a few yards-o-leg… associated with a Corolla? What’s going on here? Could this be the foot in the door that banishes the FPCM™ from the Corolla and brings us back to the spirit behind the FX16 Corolla? Well, probably not. But we can hope.

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8 Comments on “Adventures In Marketing: In An Alternate Universe, the Corolla Is All About Sex...”


  • avatar
    aristurtle

    When the average vehicle is a Honda Super Cub with an odometer that’s rolled over dozens of times, a Corolla becomes a luxury car.

    • 0 avatar
      MrWhopee

      Indeed, if your’re a young, poor woman living in Vietnam and all your other potential mates ride beaten-up old Honda Cub, the guy in a new Corolla suddenly seem like a good prospect.

      Unfortunately for Corollas, these are the only kind of competitions it can beat handily. It’s like the loser kid who can only win against others much younger than he is.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Yes it is all about perspective. Although one woman I know said she didn’t want a guy in a new car cause that meant he was spending all his money on car payment and didn’t have any for her.

  • avatar
    Tree Trunk

    Rented two corollas back to back. The first on Corolla S was dare I say a little fun to drive. Good seats, decently equipped, responsive handling so all around a solid, borderline fun ride.

    The other one was their stripped down rental version Le Ce ??? what ever it is called.

    That one was awful even for a guy that takes his cars in plain vanilla any day. It some suspicious dings to it so I am really hoping that car has been in an accident because no new car should ride that bad.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    I call my 98 Corolla, “The sex machine” cause it vibrates so damn much, no girl can resist riding it for a while.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    It’s ok – some folks will find the Corolla sexy, kind of like they enjoy necrophilia.

  • avatar

    It may be boring but it is a Toyota. Actually very popular among women of all ages (?) and girls – my son even refused to sit in one such a bad reputation it had at school.


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