By on November 16, 2010

With strong new C-segment competition coming in the form of the Chevy Cruze, Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus, upcoming refreshes of the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla seem to be taking a low-key approach to the extroverted upstarts. Are the kings of the compact class resting on their laurels? Can they afford to coast on reputation alone? History tells us that complacence leads to trouble in this industry…

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106 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: 2011 Corolla Gets Nosy Edition...”


  • avatar
    86er

    When did getting uglier and uglier become a sign of keeping up?  I think this new mug is an improvement on the very pokemon-like beak of the 2008-10.

    Rest of the exterior has a mature look to it. I guess the real story will be inside and under the hood.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    Oofa. I can’t believe Toyota and Honda are basically punting in this segment. Honda in particular, which not long ago offered major updates to the Civic every 3-4 years.

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      My impression of Honda was formed when a new car came out every four years and a new style every two.  It’s still hard to get out of my head they aren’t that company any more.

    • 0 avatar
      EChid

      Umm, Honda does what every other manufacturer does. 5 year model, three years it stays almost the same, then for the last two it gets upgraded. For instance, the last gen Accord got a new rear end in 2006, three years after it came out.
      Sadly, Honda does seem to be getting more and more minor with their changes. The Accord got new wheels and a red strip stuck on the trunk lid, the CR-V just got new wheels and a very slight HP boost.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      Honda has been releasing many new models of hybrids due to the demand they get.  The 50k annual sales for its hybrids more than make up for the 150k loss in market share for their standard models while Honda sells more larger vehicles.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I think one of the keys to customer loyalty is gradual/incremental change. This is a fairly handsome car. Nothing groundbreaking, but far more palatable than any of the current offerings from Honda or Mazda.

    • 0 avatar
      maniceightball

      Yeah, I agree. Toyota has a stronghold on their market, and they know that their target demo likes conservative, incremental designs. As long as the Corolla keeps changing, no matter how small or restrained (boring as most gearheads would say) the change is, they’ll keep selling them.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Kind of looks like a smaller Camry to me. Do not want.

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    4-speed automatic…
    Lightly-revised interior…
    New front/rear clips bookending the same dumbass midsection…
    Let stew for nearly a decade.

    Sounds like the perfect receipe for a Cavalier. Except that the Cavvy was dirt cheap and Toyota still thinks this car commands any sort of premium. At least dealers do.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Lets not get carried away. The difference between a Cavalier and a Corolla was never subtle. GM’s take-away from NUMMI was that they should never even bother to build a car as well as Toyota does.

  • avatar
    RGS920

    I caught the press release and the big thing that I took away from it was that the Corolla is only being offered in base, CE and S trims.  Which means Toyota is getting rid of the Corolla XRS.  Not that anyone will miss the last generation XRS considering that Toyota decided to give it the anemic 2.4L found in the Camry.

  • avatar
    Wagen

    Exterior: trying to be both luxury and sport and succeeding at neither.  Evokes memories of the plastic-clad Pontiacs of the ’90s.

    Interior: Materials and hard plastics worthy of a 1988 Hyundai Excel and a clock placed so low on the center console as to require a hefty distraction from the windshield/IP just to tell the time.  I’m no apologist for domestics, but contrast with Focus and Cruze. It’s one thing to give this kind of interior in a discount-priced car (cobalt), but another entirely to expect a premium price to be paid for it.

    I doubt they’ve done anything to fix the chair-like seating/driving position that more befits a minivan or SUV than a now-midsize passenger car. 

    It seems Toyota has not learned its lesson and is continuing its rampant decontenting and cost-cutting rather than returning to its premium quality heritage.  Yet I’m sure it’ll sell well on name alone.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      Sympathy for the devil.  I’ll speculate that this reskin and interior refresh was already on the books when the proverbial crap hit the fan.  Probably was too late to steer in a new direction.  Also the very weak US Dollar to Yen to is going to impact how Toyota contents their car.  Just a few years ago every US dollar that went back to Japan generated 105 to 110 Yen (give or take).  Now it is hovering at 80 to 85, and that is on top of zero percent offers and the steepest rebates Toyota has offered in its history.  Faced with those headwinds, and answering to very nervous shareholders, the bean counters would naturally scream, “decontent!”

      I think we’ll need to see what Toyota has in its 2012/2013 bag of tricks to get a real view on if it is business as usual (to the peril of Toyota) or if a real commitment to getting it right has been put into place.

    • 0 avatar
      Canuck129

      I agree that 2012/13 will be more telling.  But as for the impact of the Yen, don’t they build almost all, if not all of these in Canada for the N.A. market?

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Toyota has copied what Chevy did in the sixties. Their Chevelles looked like the younger brother if the Impalas. That’s not a bad thing if done right. Even though I was not impressed with our rental Corolla in L.A. two years ago, a friend owns one and he likes it a great deal. The back seat is no place to be, though. It just goes to show you, there’s a car for everybody.

    There’s a lot of talk on here about the Japanese automakers losing their touch. Have they? Or has the competition caught up with them? It appears we have reached a point in auto styling due to many factors – safety, content, pollution control, etc. that caps what one can reasonably do in what one may call a good-looking car. Grow up in the 40’s? Big fenders. 50’s & 60’s? Well, we know what looks good there – there’s a reason so many commercials and TV programs show the principals driving classic rides. 70’s? Compromise. 80’s? Japanese-anything! 90’s? Ditto. Now? Everything’s on the table. Of course, that’s a very wide generalization of an observation of an industry, but I believe I’m 70% correct.

  • avatar
    HoldenSSVSE

    A sea of black plastic and cloth.  Primitive monochromatic stereo display.  Plastic swooping into the center console past the manual shifter.  Holy ass crackers, Toyota has out General Motored General Motors on that interior.

    Compared to the Chevy Cruze, Hyundai Elantra, and the upcoming Ford Focus, these innards are pretty icky; think the Subaru ad campaign, just call this the 2011 Toyota Medicority and get it over with.

    If it was sold at a Nissan Versa or Kia Forte price well then I could forgive that sea of black plastic (how 2004 GM can you get?) but over $15K gets you no AC and no cruise control, and the worst electric steering on the planet.  No thanks

  • avatar
    Pahaska

    Boring car.  Someone should tell them that spoilers died out years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      Hey, that spoiler add 20 horsepower, replenish the ozone layer by the slipstream they create, and can be eaten by starving polar bears when the car is finally sent to the crusher.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    A lot of people think the Mazda3 and new Elantra are too “wild,” so this should do just fine.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    If Toyota and Honda want to bore us to death, they’re in for a rude awakening.
     
    Car buyers are becoming more fickle.  Just look at Scion’s fall from coolness in a few short years.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      Well you need to redo your halo sports coupe from a body style stand point more than once a decade.  And when you’re offering a 4-banger that gives you under 180 HP and gets 27 MPG, while your competition is offering 210, 260, and 300+ HP with 30 MPG or better, and for just pocket change more, damn hard to keep up.

      The Kia Soul’s spokerodents nail it.  You can have a squirrel cage or toaster on wheels, or something with soul.

    • 0 avatar
      EChid

      Be careful when you lump the Civic in with the Carolla. Common as the Civic may be, it is still fun and agile, still very high quality and still has an extremely good reliability reputation. It is miles ahead of my 3 in pure quality feel. Honda hasn’t fallen in the same way Toyota has.

  • avatar
    Tree Trunk

    You seem to be ignoring who buys the Corolla, it is not the person looking for excitement and adventure with their cars, but those who will take their car in plain vanilla.
     
    The Corolla needs to be inoffensive in style and driving dynamics, reasonable priced, economical and reliable.  Why change when you have a winning plan?
     
    Full disclosure: there is a Corolla in the driveway with 200K trouble free miles, boring as hell, reliable like Swiss watch.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      I agree with this statement 100%.  The problem is somewhere along the way the Corolla didn’t just become vanilla, but artificial vanilla flavoring in very cheaply made ice cream.  You know, the kind that comes in the little plastic cup with the wooden minature paddle to scoop it out.  The stuff that tastes like plastic.

      If you like vanilla ice cream, plain, there are lots of other choices that offer 100% natural vanilla flavor, with real vanilla bean specks, and at a lower price.  I’d rather have a quart of B&R French Vanilla than a vanilla fat-free frozen yogurt cone out of the back of Old Country Buffet.  Especially if that quart of B&R costs the same, or is less.

      The big problem is the people who want vanilla are returning to the Toyota dealer like spawning salmon, and won’t even taste another version out there.  But if Toyota keeps this up, they’ll kill that cashcow and the cheap plastic tasting fake vanilla ice cream it churns out.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      Holden put it to words better than I can.  To me, the current Corolla is what it is because it is built to offer an affordable option to current Toyota owners – which ain’t too bad of a niche, given that they’ve moved 180K vehicles this calendar year.
       
      That said, what you have here isn’t a half gallon of vanilla ice cream, but more like a quart and half of cost cutting ingredients, which spells short term profits for Toyota.
       
      My guess, after driving the 2010 Corolla XRS, is that you may not want to own the current version for a full 200K miles.  Knock on wood, the engine and four speed automatic transmission may be sound, but the body and interior have definitely been cheapened.
       

    • 0 avatar
      dastanley

      I’m with you Tree Trunk.  I own a 2006 Corolla CE.  It’s not a Lexus, it’s not a Supra, it’s not a Tundra.  It’s not supposed to be anything other than good, reliable, economical transportation.  And that it does well.  I’m not sure what all the hostility towards the Corolla is about.  We already know that the Corolla is boring.  I wonder how many people jumping on the bandwagon to flame the Corolla have actually owned one? Granted, compared with my previously owned ’89 Corolla SR5, the 2006 had been decontented, but I knew that when I bought it.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I’m wondering if this isn’t a new model as much as it’s a refresh of the current one with cues from an upcoming “all-new” Corolla that’s 1-2 years distant.   I recall that happened with the 98-02 model: same basic body, but the front a rear clips changed over the years to resemble the then-new 2003.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      If a new model were only a year away, Toyota would be just offering special equipment packages to move the old models.  Given that they are spending on the tooling for the facelift, I would suggest that a new model is two or (more likely) three years out.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      My guess is two years. Waiting for the 2014 would be really stretching it, given the increased competition in this segment.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      This is nothing but a simple mid-cycle refresh.  It’s still the same current generation Corolla.
      The 98 Corolla was not a full redesign, it was still based on the 93 model, but there were very extensive changes, and it is considered to be a separate generation.
       
      The new Civic is a redesign.  The styling looks similar to current model, but it’s supposed to be all new.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      This is nothing but a simple mid-cycle refresh.  It’s still the same current generation Corolla

      That’s my point about the 98-02: Toyota touched up the head- and tail-lights in, I think, 2001 or 2002 to echo those of the all-new 2003.  I think we’re seeing this here, as we did on the Avalon (and, to a lesser degree, the Sienna) in the headlamp shape; we’ll see the full expression on the next Camry and Corolla.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      They did restyle the headlights and grille in ’01, but it wasn’t major, and the ’03 was a massively different car altogether.  The taillights were almost unchanged in the ’01 refresh.  Here’s a comparison of the 98 vs 01 vs 03.
       
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:%2798-%2700_Toyota_Corolla_S.JPG
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Toyota_Corolla_–_07-09-2009.jpg
       
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:03-04_Toyota_Corolla_LE.jpg
       

  • avatar
    SV

    As an A to B transportation module the Corolla does just fine, and this facelift will do nothing to change that. Personally, I prefer the pre-facelift model, which I’ve always felt was one of the best-looking Corollas in recent memory – though that’s admittedly not saying much – but the 2011 still looks decent.

    What does concern me is the cost-cutting Toyota’s been doing in the cabin. My friend’s 2000 Corolla had a soft-touch dash and door panels for crying out loud; the 2003 Corolla went to mostly hard plastics but was still one of the nicest cars in its class inside. Fast-forward to the current gen and it’s near the bottom in terms of presentation and finish. Toyota would also do well to upgrade to a 6-speed automatic, and soon.

    The Corolla will be outclassed not only by Honda and Mazda but also by Hyundai/Kia, Ford and possibly even Chevy this time next year. Will most Corolla buyers care? As long as it continues to be a serviceable transportation device, and it will, I doubt it.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      And possibly Chevy?  Have you even sat in a Cruze?  It is already outclassed now.  By a landslide.  Shoot, even TTAC said that in their Cruze review, and TTAC doesn’t hand out much GM love.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      I owned a 2000 Corolla, and the current Corolla has a much better interior.  A few soft bits don’t make a good interior.  The part on the dash I think you’re referring to felt like a diaper.

  • avatar
    PeregrineFalcon

    Anyone else think the new Corolla looks lke Mr. Camry got cuckolded by the last-generation Mazda6 next door?

  • avatar
    Bancho

    If you removed the silly “nose” toyota emblem the grill would look like a Dodge grill that melted.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    Maybe Toyota should do what GM does and rebadge a better Korean version version of it’s own car.

  • avatar
    segfault

    The automatic is a 4-speed?  What decade are we in?  The interior looks cheap enough to compete with the new Jetta.

  • avatar
    ehsteve

    Presenting the new Dodge Corolla?

  • avatar
    klossfam

    Mazda called – they want their last-gen Mazdaspeed 3 fascia back!  NOW!

  • avatar
    ash78

    Toyota hate is just getting a little too cliche. I’ll start criticizing them once the Corolla drops below its “best selling car of all time” status.
     
    For the shareholders and managers, as well as for probably 99% of owners, it’s a resounding success and I doubt anything will change with this one.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      Yeah, but how many Cavaliers did GM sell?  I agree that the hate is too extreme, but Toyota has coasted a bit, especially with the current gen Corolla.  The current Corolla and Camry actually have interiors that are worse than the previous gen models.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      GM pulled off marketing their wares to faithful GM owners all through the 90’s and made oodles of money.   Toyota is currently doing the same with the same don’t get too far ahead of pack strategy.
       
      Will this last?  Maybe, if Ford, GM and Hyundai build unreliable cars, but it looks like the Jac Nassar days are over at Ford and the Koreans are building desirable vehicles. Long term reliability of the competition is the key.

    • 0 avatar
      Canuck129

      @ash78
      While this car is far from a barn burner, I agree with your refreshing common sense.  This is actually a wonderful car to ‘own’ and use for a purpose.  And while pricing may need to keep in check, this should remain successful enough to carry through to the model change (2012 for 2013 MY)

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      ash78,

      I can’t agree vociferously enough. How many of the Toyota bashers are actual Toyota owners? Personally, I’ve never been much of a Toyota fan. I’ve always found Toyotas that were built throughout the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s were lacking in quality of user interface and handled worse than their European contemporaries. Everything from ’76 Corolla SR-5s to my company ’94 Lexus SC400 company car was a nasty penalty box compared to the German cars I drove instead. I hated every moment in flimsy right hand drive rented Tercels and Corollas in the mid ’90s, and I didn’t understand my grandparents enthusiasm for their Toyotas in ’80s. The gas pedals were like toy toggle switches and the steering wheels were hard plastic of a sort generally reserved for bargain brand lawn tractors. Yet owners loved these cars. They loved them because they worked every day and held up better than whatever they replaced.

      This year I’ve rented two more Toyotas. For the first time, they were actually rewarding cars to use over a period of weeks rather than years. The Camry reminded me of nothing so much as the W124 Mercedes 300E I drove in the late ’80s. If only Mercedes were still as reassuringly solid and efficient. The Corolla wasn’t as luxurious as a Civic, but it had a great drivertrain and returned 31 mpg while being hammered around a metropolitan area. It also didn’t have doors that flapped in the wind and plastics usually only found in packaging, a notable upgrade from the revered Corollas of the past. The herd mentality that now wastes blogspace praising cars that burn their owners is reaching critical mass. I wonder if it will overpower people’s actual experiences with cars that work.

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      +1 Ash

      I too don’t understand the dismissive and hateful comments about Toyota on almost every car blog.

      The Corolla (the best selling car of all time) may not compare to the competition as well as it once did, but how many buyers look at it as anything but what it is, one of the most reliable cars ever?

      Does Mother care if the car has been de-contented? No, what she cares about is whether or not it will provide five to ten years of service-free driving. With the odd oil change thrown in, the 2011 Corolla is probably still capable of providing many years of hassle-free driving.

      The Yaris is excoriated for the same reasons. We bought a Yaris for my son over four years ago, and other than oil-changes (I have to remind him every couple of months, otherwise he forgets) it’s given us over 50K miles of absolutely trouble free ownership.

      Like the Yaris, the Corolla defines bland, unexciting, but incredibly reliable driving, and virtually every owner buys them for exactly that reason.

      What’s wrong with that?

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @ash: As for the Corolla bashing, I think folks are just reacting to the things they’ve been afraid to react to earlier. For a long time Toyotas, any Toyota, has been held up as a paragon of all that’s good and right with Japanese cars. They were the default choice in transportation. We arrive at the present day, after comparing notes with owners of other brands we realize that the grass MAY REALLY BE greener on the other side.
       
      This situation is not unlike what happened to many GM owners back when the Japanese makes were taking market and mind share away from GM. For many years, GM cars were the default transportation choice. Many people looked over the fence to see that they COULD get a better car from the Japanese makers. Even people who had never owned GM’s heaped derision on GM, just because they were being trounced by the new upstarts.
       
      30 years later and Hyundai/Kia is in it’s full ascendency. Ford, GM, Mazda, VW and others have decided to fight for this piece of the action. Now Toyota owners and intenders are looking over the fence to see that there are other choices out there, regardless of whether or not the Corolla remains a good car.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    I don’t think it’s a bad looking ride, tasteful and conservative, though a little boring.  A “grown-up” wouldn’t feel awkward driving it.  Compared to other cars in this segment, it’s better looking that a lot of other cars I can think of.  I do agree the spoiler needs to go, they really make a car look ridiculous in this day of age.
     
    What’s always puzzled me about Corolla’s is how expensive they are new.  I’m a believer in Toyota’s quality (though not perfect) but there’s no way I would pony up the near- $20k out the door for one of these. I’d either go upscale with a Camry or Accord, or downscale with a dirt-cheap Hyundai.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      The price difference isn’t that much between a Corolla and an Elantra.  I priced them out back in 2008 and a basic Corolla with AC actually cost less than the comparable Elantra.  I’m sure if you did a True Delta style pricing based on features the Hyundai will beat it out every time, but Corollas also have rebates on them now.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      Regardless of what the MSRP states, I guarantee you get out the door of a dealership with an Elantra for THOUSANDS less than a similarly equipped Corolla.  Just open up a paper and see what the dealerships are offering.  My guess is you could get a Sonata for a little more than the price of a Corolla, which is a MUCH better car.
       
      If I wanted a cheap, new compact I’d probably buy something like a Nissan Versa or Hyundai Accent.  The Corolla is probably the better car, but not worth the huge premium.
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      Actually, Edmunds TMV has a basic Corolla with AC coming in at $15,398 vs $15,985 for an Elantra with AC.  The invoice price is significantly lower on the Corolla. I think you get better value with the Hyundai when you want to load it up with options, which a lot of people do.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      According to Hyundai, the starting MSRP for the Elantra is $14,145, according Toyota the Corolla the starts at $15,450.
      Looking at classified ads, I see USED Corollas going for $16,000, so I don’t think it’s too far off the mark to say your probably likely to get out the door with a similar Elantra for a few g’s less than a similar Corolla.
       
      Toyota is widely known for not being a “wheeler and dealer” when it goes to discounting new cars compared to other makes.  Whereas, with Hyudai, they regularly offer HEAVILY discounted cars, especially their lower lines.  I’ve seen new Accents go for $7,000.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      That MSRP for the Hyundai doesn’t include AC, which makes it completely worthless and irrelevant, and you would probably never be able to find one on a lot anyway. AC is like a $1500 option on the Elantra, and the difference between invoice and MSRP is smaller on the Hyundai.
       
      Edmunds TMV reflects what people are actually paying at the dealership, and I think it may include rebate discounts as well.

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      Demetri,
      Those figures are way off.  You’re not going to get a brand new Corolla for less than an Elantra.  I’ve shopped around and decently equipped Corollas are closer to $18k.

      I’d argue that it’s better to spend the few thousand more for the Toyota for resale value vs the hyundai, but a Toyota dealer is not going to let one off the lot that cheap.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      Here’s an ad for a new Elantra at a local dealership for $11,465.  They have several at that price.  Please show me an ad for a brand new Corolla at the same price:
      http://www.hyundaiaz.com/Phoenix-Hyundai-2010-Hyundai-Elantra-Blue-0H0443-Scottsdale.htm
       

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      They aren’t off.  You’re talking about models with several options on them which is a different story.  I bought my Mazda 3 two years ago for 14,800.  Base model with AC.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      The models you linked don’t even have AC, which you would never be able to sell in Arizona, and is no doubt why it’s so cheap. It has an “Ac prep package” which means that the dealer will install AC in it and gouge you on it, completely negating any price difference. It also doesn’t have a radio. You can’t rely on dealerships to give you accurate info. I’d call them master’s of deception, but they aren’t. You can see though their BS pretty easily. Journeymen at deception maybe.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      I’m still waiting for you send me a link for a new Corolla anywhere NEAR that price.
       
      Here’s a listing of Toyota Corollas at a local dealership to compare, they average around $18,000-$21,000.  Not a single one is under $17,000.  The most expensive Hyundai Elantra on the lot is around $14,500 with every option.
      http://www.findlaytoyota.com/Inventory.cfm?Dealercode=0004-0002-999-01-7025662573&New_Used=N&Year=2010&Make=Toyota&Model=Corolla&VTrim=-1&Style=-1&Color=-1&Drive_Train=-1&Max_Price=-1&inventory_type=N&Sort_By=Selling_Price+DESC&Page_Results=10
       
      You have ZERO evidence to back up your claim.  Corollas are thousands more, period.  Not ONE Hyundai Elantra on a car lot is anywhere NEAR $20,000.
       

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      $11,465 plus bogus dealer fees, plus tax, plus tag, plus bogus title fee?
       
      HA! My Chevy Cobalt XFE laughs in your general direction!
       
      http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Chevrolet-Cobalt-XFE-2010-Chevy-Cobalt-Brand-New-27-MILES-No-Reserve-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem4cf2d86113QQitemZ330491781395QQptZUSQ5fCarsQ5fTrucks#ht_2385wt_1166
       
      Now all I have to do is buy a house in the bustling metropolis of Detroit for the same money and move north.
       

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      Demetri,
       
      Not really sure why you’re bringing up your Mazda?, but “real-world” Corollas are closer to being an $18k car with a few promotional strippers around $16k. Really loaded ones routinely go over $20k.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      Crosley, I just checked my local dealers inventory. The prices on the 010 Corolla LE have gone up. They start at $19,600. 

      Under “Specials” – I found a $15,999 price advertised. So, I’m thinking there is some end of year rebate money out there.

      http://www.charlesmaundtoyota.com/specials/incentives.htm

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      I said that for a base car with AC the Corolla is a better deal.  Look it up on Edmunds.com.  Base Elantra and check the AC package. Then look at the base Corolla.  Look at the true market value which is based on actual transaction prices.  Look at the invoice price.  That’s the evidence.
       
      You send me a link to a dealership ripoff special.  Dealership advertisements mean nothing anyway, and you’re trying to compare figures between two different dealerships which makes it even more useless because they all have different advertising practices.  That Toyota link doesn’t have any base models btw, it’s all S and XLE.  The Hyundai dealer doesn’t have the top level SE model, and I’m not sure if any of those GLS have the top option package which is another grand on top of it.
       
      I am making no statement in regard to any model other than the base cars with ac.  The loaded models favor Hyundai.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      Smoking deal on the Cobalt, did a dealer go under and it was liquidated?
       
      Regarding all the extra fees on top of those advertised prices, I don’t doubt it, but in my experience EVERY dealer tacks on those fees (or tries to)

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      Jacob, I don’t doubt it.  I was just saying that depending on what you want, a Corolla could actually be cheaper, which was very surprising to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      Hey Demetri, let me know when you find that new Corolla for $11,500.
       
      I did a 10 second Google search to find that Elantra at that price.
       
      You started this whole ridiculous argument that Elantras were actually MORE expensive than Corollas.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      I did not!  I was saying, and I have clarified more than once now, that it CAN be cheaper depending on the equipment you need.
       
      Please stop hammering on about this dealership hook and switch ripoff.  This is a common dealership practice.  The Corolla doesn’t even offer a non AC/no radio model to even compare it it.  Why won’t you accept that dealership advertisements aren’t real?  They’re just trying to get you in the door so that they can put you through the system.  The Edmunds figures are accurate enough for the sake of argument.

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      Demetri
       
      You actually did say Elantra’s were more money, here’s your quote:
      “The price difference isn’t that much between a Corolla and an Elantra.  I priced them out back in 2008 and a basic Corolla with AC actually cost less than the comparable Elantra.”
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      That’s right, I said the base with AC Corolla is less money, which it is.  You two are extrapolating that to apply to every type of Corolla/Elantra.  I also made the comment in the first post about the features pricing, which suggested that the loaded models were better with the Hyundai.  I probably wasn’t clear enough in the first post, I’ve tried to be as clear as possible since.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      And why exactly is it a “rip-off” dealer, do you know anything about this dealer?  Do Toyota dealers not also advertise cars?    It’s the same game with all dealers, but you can usually get a good idea of prices by seeing what the dealerships are asking.  Toyota dealers ask more for the Corolla, so it’s reasonable to assume they’re more expensive.
       
      I just used this particular dealer because it was near me, but even the loaded Elantra models WITH AC , automatic, power windows, power locks, etc are around $14,300 at this dealership.  Here’s a DIFFERENT dealership that has a new LOADED Elantra also for around $14,000
      http://www.larrymillerhyundai.com/new/Hyundai/2010-Hyundai-Elantra-8b75bfbc0a0a0002018f73cb96f3ccdc.htm
      You will not find a new Corolla for that price with those options, more like $17,000.  If you want to keep saying otherwise, carry on, but we haven’t seen it yet.
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      FleetofWheel

      You can’t convince someone who actually believes the blatant scam car dealer ads and ignores Edmunds TMV.
       
      Check out http://www.fitzmall.com for real world, out the door prices on both new Hyundais and Toyotas. You’ll see that you can buy an automatic Corolla with AC for $14,448 plus sales tax and no gimmicks. An LE model that adds power locks and windows for $14,899.
       
      Don’t go to this web site if you’re one of those people who can’t grasp that there exists true no- haggle dealers who sell close to Edmunds TMV.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      No one is arguing that dealers add on things like Doc fees, but ALL dealers do this, not just Hyundai.  The point is, why do you not see any Corolla ads that are under $15k for loaded models?  The only ads I see for all the options are around $18,000-$20,000.  Do Toyota dealers have zero fees outside their advertised prices?  Are all Toyota dealers “no haggle” dealers?  Of course not, they play games just like all the rest.
       
      I’ve seen all sorts of different groups that claim to have accurate values for cars, and all of them that I’ve seen are off.  Just go check Kelly Blue Book which is supposed to be “the standard”, they’re WAY off.
       
      My argument is, Hyundai tends to be more aggressive about discounting than Toyota does, and you can usually get a similarly equipped Elantra for less money than a Corolla.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      http://motors.newcar.ebay.com/newcarconfigurator?referrerid=V0&postalcode=92109&dealershipId=6859&trimId=230054&catid=6445&daf=Make,Toyota,Model,Corolla,Condition,New

      You can buy new Corollas for $13,913 nationwide. I drove one recently. It was the first Toyota automobile I’ve ever been impressed by. The second one was a 2011 Camry. I used to drive a Lexus SC400 in the mid-’90s, and it didn’t make the cut. It used to be that it took years to appreciate the quality of a Toyota. The Corollas of the ’70s through ’90s that everyone pretends to be nostaligic about were flimsy and joyless. They just happened to be engineered so as not to fail for years and years. Now the cars actually have solid window frames and controls that aren’t made out of the same plastic used on Craftsman riding mowers. The engines are sewing machine smooth and return improbably high fuel economy. I still don’t lust for a Toyota, but I no longer cringe when I’m handed Toyota keys at the rental counter. That certainly wasn’t the case in the ’90s. Throw in that they still last a few hundred thousand miles, and it will take some pretty faulty thinking to get people to go back to GM or to try another company that has a history of burning their customers.

    • 0 avatar
      FleetofWheel

      Crosley, you are hypnotized by those bait and switch ads.
      We’ve proven to you that there are well-equipped Corollas sold at sub $15K prices without gimmicks.

      You are wrong, not all dealers play the games you seem to like.

      Carmax really sells Corollas LEs for just over $15K with the doc fee broken out so that buyers can compare it to the rip-off dealers that you are so enamored with.

      You’ve been totally refuted with actual transaction prices not flimsy fake ads and you can’t accept it.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I’ll post this again without the link so it can be read:

      You can buy new Corollas for $13,913 nationwide. I drove one recently. It was the first Toyota automobile I’ve ever been impressed by. The second one was a 2011 Camry. I used to drive a Lexus SC400 in the mid-’90s, and it didn’t make the cut. It used to be that it took years to appreciate the quality of a Toyota. The Corollas of the ’70s through ’90s that everyone pretends to be nostaligic about were flimsy and joyless. They just happened to be engineered so as not to fail for years and years. Now the cars actually have solid window frames and controls that aren’t made out of the same plastic used on Craftsman riding mowers. The engines are sewing machine smooth and return improbably high fuel economy. I still don’t lust for a Toyota, but I no longer cringe when I’m handed Toyota keys at the rental counter. That certainly wasn’t the case in the ’90s. Throw in that they still last a few hundred thousand miles, and it will take some pretty faulty thinking to get people to go back to GM or to try another company that has a history of burning their customers.

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      You show me a DEALER ad for a loaded NEW Corolla that’s cheaper than a similarly equipped Elantra.  You simply can’t because the Elantra is a cheaper car.
       
      I checked out the Ebay link, and it’s not even an ad it’s some “option builder”.  When you actually take a look at Ebay ads for new cars, all I see is new Corollas for over $18k.
       
      Please show me a loaded Corolla for under $15,000.  An actual ad from a real dealer.  I’ve shown several examples from different dealers already.
       
       

  • avatar
    dolo54

    You know what’s really sad? This is what the interior of a 1993 corolla looks like: http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/2576/81/6437540035_large.jpg
    Yes, those plastics are a soft and luxurious as they look. A friend has this car with awesome corduroy seats. From the outside it looks like nothing, but inside it is nice and comfy.
    The new interior looks worse than most cars in the segment in my opinion.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      The 93 also came with an independent rear suspension as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Wagen

      Thanks for the great illustration of what Toyota used to be.  Now that’s some vanilla for which I could understand paying a premium.
      The referenced generation of Corolla and the same generation Camry had interiors whose quality were really far superior to the current versions of the same.  Come on, I’m not asking for Audi levels of materials here, just decent ergonomics and a somewhat pleasant place to sit that is at least no worse than the previous generation.
      To clarify, I’m not complaining in this instance about the Corolla being boring or uninspiring.  That is merely in step with the appliance transportation niche Toyota has carved for itself, and so be it.  But to make obvious downgrades in quality (even while not sacrificing reliability) from one generation to the next is inexcusable.

    • 0 avatar
      FleetofWheel

      You derided the chair-like seating of the Corolla when that is a great feature along with the commanding view out the windshield that bests much larger cars. The same reason that chair seating is so nice in a minivan.
       
      If you prefer to sit low and  hunker down in a boy-racer position, then the Corolla is not for you.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      No one build a subcompact like that anymore.  They’d get eaten alive on cost and/or have to compromise something else in the car’s design.
       
      For one, soft-touch dashes are kind of pointless: you’re aping the leather dash of horse-driven carriages from over a hundred years ago, while the modern buying public sees luxury represented in things like the iPad.  My Saab had a soft-touch dash (as does my father-in-law’s 2000 Corolla), my Fit has rock-hard panels.  The soft stuff fades, splits and gets scuffed and, quite honestly, didn’t make me feel any better about the epidemic transmission problems.  Soft armrests are important, everything else doesn’t matter.
       
      Second, the independent rear suspension really isn’t needed, not with a modern chassis and suspension components.  Back then, sure, but now it just adds weight, cost and packaging compromises for handling characteristics that Corolla drivers will never care about.
       
      I’ll give on the seat fabric, though.  I can’t say I’m a fan of mouse-fur velour that most people use and I’d like to see a return of woven cloth.  I think that’s a style thing, though, not cost, as Chrysler-under-Cerberus made use of it.
       
      Look, I’ve ridden in older Corollas.  I’ve owned one (an ’87).  The current one isn’t bad—it’s not great, and not much of an improvement over it’s predecessor—but the older ones were never as good as people seem to recall.  AE86 aside, they were dynamically suspect, meagrely styled, simply outfitted and kind of costly.  What they were, and still are, is more reliable than nearly anything in their class, easy to use, and cheap to run.  Toyota hasn’t flubbed that yet, not by the objective measures.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    They fixed the taillights and rear end, which was my least favorite styling element on the current Corolla, although they seem to be resorting to Honda’s stupid practice of applying chrome bars to the trunk lid during the MMC refresh.  Otherwise it’s the same old Corolla.  I test drove one 2 years ago and it was slow, the handling was weird, the shifter sucked, and the interior was unimpressive. I’d argue that the Sentra is worse though, and the Elantra is faster and has a better shifter, but the handling is worse.  If you like the Mazda 3 and the Golf, don’t even bother with Corolla, Elantra, or Sentra.  It’s a waste of time.

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    Last weekend I went and looked at a ’10 Corolla. Seeing how I had a ’93 and a ’95 during my college years, the Corolla holds a special place in my heart. Are they exciting? Hardly. Sparkling performers?? I don’t think so. Stunningly good looking??? Not exactly. But as a no-nonsense sedan it hits all the right buttons for me. I’m going to think about it. If I get that need for speed and sporty handling, I’ll just hop in my old 1995 Mercury Mystique with the V6 and sport suspension and take off somewhere…
     
    Oh, and the Corolla interior comes in lighter colors, the one I drove had an attractive beige interior.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      You state the obvious that they are not  “Are they exciting? Sparkling performers?? Stunningly good looking???”
       
      Then the question is why buy it if there are 5 cars out there that are pretty much as reliable (go to True Delta where even if the Corolla is 10 better than other car that means 0.1 faults per year – hardly major). And each of those five cars are either more economical, better designed, better driving dynamics or cheaper to own. It is stupidity to just buy the same thing each time even when it is completely outclassed.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      So you basically admit it isn’t exciting.  But in the same class of cars you have the equally reliable Honda Civic, which can be quite exciting and the Mazda3, which can be VERY exciting.  So two better choices there.
       
      Stunningly good looks?  Subjective, so I won’t touch that one but you admit in your own post, it isn’t a looker.  OK, so vanilla on the outside.
       
      Sparkling performers?  Really?  REALLY?  Where do you start?  Cruze, Forte, Civic, Mazda3 all outperform (the XRS goes away in 2011).
       
      So basically you proved an earlier point.  Toyota owners return to Toyota showrooms like spawning salmon without even evaluating other choices.
       
      If you find a Mercury Mystique as fitting the bill for a performance car itch — well — I guess you like vanilla ice cream too.  The plastic tasting kind, with the fake flavoring and extra soft because so much air got whipped into it when it was made.

    • 0 avatar
      Canuck129

      +1 supreme

      and I keep hearing the term “exciting” when talking about the Mazda3 and Honda Civic.  Sure, they too are pretty good little cars, but isn’t “exciting” a little grandiose for an $18,000 140-150 hp compact car, regardless of the badge?  I’ve driven most of the cars in this segment, and each has a slightly different dynamic, but exciting?  None.

      Also, I like to be able to see out the windows when reversing.  I’ll keep my trouble-free Corolla, thanks.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    It’s not for you.  It’s for your mom.  She can drive whatever she wants, as long as it makes her happy.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    Happy to have my 4 door manual Golf, instead of one of these more mainstream vehicles. The Elantra Touring is about the only other car in this segment I’d like…

  • avatar
    LectroByte

    Wow, 80+ posts, you’d think this was the new Sebring or something. I’m not sure I’d buy one for myself, but I can understand why folks that have these like them and have no problem buying another one every 10 years or so.

  • avatar
    Turbo60640

    A friend of mine has a 2010 Corolla. The first time I rode in it, I was taken aback at how chintzy the interior materials are…it just reeks of cheap. Acres of flimsy, low grade plastic abound. Apparently they’re just phoning it in at this point.

    • 0 avatar
      Canuck129

      Hard plastics? Yes. 

      Chintzy and flimsy?  I disagree 

      “Acres” “abound”?  A little melodramatic don’t you think? 

      In fact, I really don’t see anything flimsy about the Corolla interior.  Why does my dash have to be soft touch?  The car has airbags.  In my experience (albeit with older cars) soft touch interior panels tend to crack and fade.  Don’t forget, a Corolla is a car you keep for ten years.

  • avatar
    AaronH

    “I too don’t understand the dismissive and hateful comments about Toyota on almost every car blog”

    They were told to by their government’s media…Obedient programmable sheeple come out of public schools.

    The Corolla is a perfect car for most people…Cheap and durable.

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      Corolla.. is everything that is wrong with driving.

      Its a gutless, powerless, look-less piece of shit.. with no aspirations to actually be driven.

      Ya could buy a dozen other cars on the market, but ya tastes are so dumbed down.. and ya care SO little about driving..

      That a Corolla works for you..
      Thats pretty damn SAD.

  • avatar
    GrandCharles

    Wow! Ugliest tail light i have seen in a while…i’m surprised nobody mentionned it, steering wheel looks better. I still wish that the general look would be better…and that cheap plastic inside…my vibe has that cheap, nasty dirt magnet unwashable piece of crap plastic and i’m getting really tired of it…

  • avatar
    bodegabob

    I could make an argument that people have died due to the same sort of complacency that makes this car a less-than-stunning competitor in its segment. The same sort of cost-cutting and blind-eye towards quality attitude that caused the whole throttle-mechanism fiasco is visible in 3D all around me when I sit in any post-97 Toyota.

    I look at this revision of the Corolla and think that Toyota has been trading on their name in this country for the last 15 years or so. It’s a little too bland to be ugly, and a little too cohesive to be called crap. But only just. And yes, a lot of people buy them and they are all most people need or want. But they said the same about the Olds Cutlass back in the 1980’s.

    Remember Oldsmobile?

  • avatar

    Okay, I confess. I drive a 2008 Toyota Corolla S (previous generation). As a full-time student who commutes 60 miles each day, I need something that is reliable and fuel-efficient (after driving a 1992 Jeep Cherokee that leaked oil like crazy and got 14mpg).
    It is boring and 2nd gear (Auto) is sluggish, but at least the interior is a grade better than this generation. There is chrome-accented window vent adjusters, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shifter, and (gasp!) soft-touch plastic on the doors.
    The refreshed front reminds me of a busy previous-gen. Mazda 6 and the chrome strip on the trunk lid looks out of place. I do like the new radio and lower bumper skirt that is blacked out (looked like “Bangle Butt” extreme before).
    Ah well, give me six more months and I’ll be ready to trade in old reliable for new fun!

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