By on March 17, 2015

1024px-2014_Toyota_Corolla_LE_ECO

I’ve recently reached the conclusion that sometimes, for some people, in some situations, the Toyota Corolla is the right car to recommend.

I know, I know: this is sacrilege. As automotive enthusiasts, it sometimes seems like our sole purpose on this earth is to steer people away from boring automobiles like the Corolla. Sometimes, when I’m sitting around with my friends and we’re playing the “Would You Rather” car game, the discussion turns to the Corolla and the question is always something like: Would you rather drive a Toyota Corolla for a year? Or eat a garage door?

And about half the time, you think really hard, and long, and seriously about what it would be like to walk outside every day and get inside a Corolla, for God’s sake, and drive it to work, or school, or whatever, and you get kind of depressed, so you pause for a while and then you say: Is it a single-car garage?

As car enthusiasts, we tend to recommend sportier, more engaging, more exciting alternative choices, such as the Mazda3. But while the Mazda3 is objectively better than the Corolla in a wide number of areas, and subjectively better for most car enthusiasts, some people just won’t have it.

In fact, I recently had someone come to me looking for a compact car, and before I could even get the words “Mazda3” out of my mouth, he was already on some long tirade about how they would “never buy a Mazda again.” Have you ever met anyone like this? It seems that every single person, no matter how much automotive experience they’ve had, has at least one automaker that they will “never buy again.” And they always have some severe reason, like the fact that it broke down when they were going to a job interview, or it left them stranded on the side of the road, or they had an accident and it crumpled like a Snickers wrapper.

Well, as soon as this person launched into his tirade about Mazda, I knew the car had no chance. His mom had a Mazda 626, and it was always breaking down, and it depreciated like crazy, and it never ran right, and it killed his father, and it would sometimes sneak around to sorority houses and peep inside the windows late it night, etc.

So then I recommended the Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra, which are two excellent compact cars in the sense that they offer such a wide variety of body styles, and engine options, and trim levels, that I hoped it would be enough to shut my friend up. But I was met with the famous Hyundai-Kia response: “A Hyundai? A Kia? Really?”

It was at this point when I realized, horrified, that I was not being asked to recommend an automobile. I was being asked to confirm this person’s own preconceptions of what car he should get. He wasn’t really coming to me for automotive advice: he was coming to me, a bona fide automotive journalist in the sense that I am sometimes served short ribs at automotive press events, solely to justify his own automotive decision. He wanted a pat on the back from someone who “knows.”

So I gave him exactly what he wanted. “The Toyota Corolla is an excellent car,” I said. And you know what? It really is. It isn’t a fun car, and it isn’t a wildly advanced car, but it’s a great car in a lot of objective ways, like the fact that it can run for weeks, months, years, without ever needing any sort of maintenance including a tire rotation or an oil change or a new battery, because those are the kind of items that Toyota people aren’t really very likely to remember to address anyway.

And you know what he said? “Oh, that’s good to hear. I’ve been thinking about the Corolla.” And then I presume he went to the dealer and bought one, because some expert automotive journalist told him to, when in reality the automotive journalist a) tried to suggest practically anything else, and only capitulated to the Corolla when it became clear there was no other option, and b) is only an “expert” in the sense that he sat through an entire presentation about the Lexus NX at an automaker press event in British Columbia.

And this brings me to my point today, which is that sometimes the best automotive option for someone is the most boring one. Oh, sure, you may know there are better cars on the road, and you may be aware the person is making a mistake, and you might understand that certain vehicles would offer more equipment, and more power, and better gas mileage for less money.

But some people have such dramatic automotive preconceptions that you realize you simply won’t be able to change them. And when someone is dead-set on a boring car from a tried-and-true brand name, there are really only two things you can do: compliment their decision. And never, under any circumstances, accept a ride.

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193 Comments on “Sometimes, You Have to Recommend the Boring Car...”


  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    If I never own a Toyota Corolla again, I’ll consider my life well-lived.

    Of course, mine was 25 years old when I got it and had one foot in the grave, but…

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      NoGoYo,

      After your spate of troubled Skylark followed by similarly unreliable Thunderbird (correct me if I’m wrong), I’d think you of all people could benefit from a reliable and efficient commuter like a new Corolla.

      I look at my commuter as something that needs to get me to work in reasonable comfort, with minimal expense and no surprises.

      My weekend hauler, that’s more of a labor of love and it takes me to interesting places to do interesting things, I am rather fond of it.

      My motorcycles are for true fun on the roads, something no car can match IMO.

      For my purposes, a Corolla (or in my case a Civic) is just what is needed for the daily commute over boring roads. I can drive it for 7-10 years and 100k with nothing but tires, oil changes, wipers, a few cabin and air filters, maybe a set of brake pads, and a few changes of the manual transmission fluid. At which point I can trade it in for a very reasonable sum of money and start the cycle over again.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Two friends of my family own businesses in the Los Angeles, CA, area which use Toyota products (Corolla, Tacoma, Sienna) as their preferred business vehicles, and have never had complaints about how well the Corolla products have held up. And they each have a small fleet of them.

      They may keep them to well over 200K miles on them but none were kept for 25 years. They were usually sold to a junk yard to be parted out after about 6-7 years.

      Maybe you’re being a little harsh in your judgment based on your personal experiences because if these vehicles didn’t pay for themselves and make money for the business, the owners would have switched a long time ago.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        I don’t care if they pay for themselves. I want a car that makes cool noises and can actually surprise and excite me, even at sensible speeds.

        A Corolla will never be that car.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Does this mean that we put you in the NO column?

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Until Toyota makes some bonkers turbo Corolla coupe, yes.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I’m glad you brought that up. Toyota used to have a Celica and a Supra,

            I don’t know if you remember those.

            They were crazy fun! When my oldest son applied for his drivers license for the very first time at age 16, I rented a Celica (basically a 2-dr Corolla with some styling) for him to do the road test in.

            After he passed the road test and got his drivers license, I didn’t see my son or the Celica until it was time to turn that rental in, the following day.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Of course I remember the Celica and Supra!

            I’m not saying there has to be a 300 horsepower Corolla STi, but something with more than 140 horsepower and more aggressive styling would be nice.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            You have to be of a certain driving vintage to remember those two.

            I never owned either but I was sad to see them discontinued.

            I did rent a Supra for one day (24 hours) for my #2 son, at his request, so he could get his first drivers license at age 16.

            And when he got his license, I didn’t see him until the next day either, when it was time to turn it in.

            It was very tricky, since in New Mexico the rental companies at that time would not rent to minors or people under the age of 25 (for insurance reasons I guess).

            So I rented both of those cars in my name on my credit card and sweated blood that my sons had not wrecked them, since they were contractually not allowed to drive them.

            This was in the days before cellphones and my sons were having way too much fun with their buddies to give old dad a call from a pay phone, once they got their first drivers license.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          My Toyota made a cool noise…of course it was rod knock, but still.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny ro

      The article is not about corollas, its about non-car people asking car people about what car to buy.

      Safe and least costly approach:
      – What do you drive now do you like it.
      – Ok that is a good summary. What are you thinking about next?
      – Ok that is good. After careful consideration I think you are on the right track, go for it.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    “It was at this point when I realized, horrified, that I was not being asked to recommend an automobile. I was being asked to confirm this person’s own preconceptions of what car he should get.”

    Goes hand in hand with the article on TTAC from a few weeks ago.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Human nature in a nut shell.

      We do not seek truth we seek confirmation of our beliefs.

      I don’t recommend anything any more. People get pissed off when your opinion doesn’t match their’s.

      I’ll do the research for people and lay out the facts and let them decide.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Human nature in a nut shell.

        We do not seek truth we seek confirmation of our beliefs.

        I don’t recommend anything any more. People get pissed off when your opinion doesn’t match their’s.

        I’ll do the research for people and lay out the facts and let them decide.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Yeah, although not a journalist by any stretch of the imagnation, been there/done that.

    My last case was a female cycling partner, looking to get rid of her Volvo wagon. Her first thought was a Honda CR-V, because they’re “cute”. After spending two weeks going thru possible alternatives, she ended up buying the only car she bothered test driving.

    A Honda CR-V. The one car I didn’t recommend.

    At which point she couldn’t fathom in the slightest why I was annoyed. I have since decided that I will never help a female buy a car if they use the term “cute”.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, last year, Grandma thought a Camaro SS was “cute”—plus she had several new ones back in the sixties and seventies—and was all set to get one (which made me very happy)…until she realized she’d be in a lot pain trying to get in and out of something that sat so low.

      • 0 avatar
        johnny_5.0

        That would have been a cool car for grandma. I remember seeing an old granny in a then new C6 Corvette at a stop light. I thought “what a waste” and all of the Vette blue hair stereotypes. She proceeded to get it awfully sideways and prove me wrong.

  • avatar
    Ion

    I always recommend the fit or crv. Toyota reliability isn’t what it used to be and the hatches are more practical.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I agree that Toyota reliability is no longer what it used to be when they were made in Japan, but I also believe that they are no better and no worse than the best Detroit has to offer, since they all use the same parts suppliers.

      OTOH, when it comes to putting my money where my mouth is, I would much rather put my money on the better-engineered, better-thought-out, Toyota products than anything else out in the market place.

      And as to us owning a 2012 Grand Cherokee? That was an aberration, a lapse in my wife’s better judgment, swayed by the attractive styling and vibrant color of the most awarded SUV ever.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Corollas and the like are good for people who have too much risk and drama in other parts of their lives and need a respite, at least for a little while.

    Having said that, I certainly wouldn’t turn down an AE92 GT-S in good working order.

    • 0 avatar
      immortalsix

      I understand this well. I have a basket-case BMW right now, and I’m non-ironically looking at Camrys and stuff because I’m just plain exhausted

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I go through pendulum swings where an unreliable old car drives me to something new and reliable, but also bland and boring. I actually start to miss hunting down parts on Rockauto (I’m sick, I know). Then I end up buying an old car,as a second vehicle this time at least, and now I complain about having to fix all the little odds and ends that inevitably need attention.

        I think I’m finally wising up and learning to have one boring new, reliable car to get to and from work in, and a second vehicle that I don’t mind wrenching on a bit (but not too much).

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          I think I have the same disease. I would be bored if the cars in the garage gave me nothing to research or fix.

          I get frustrated with the repairs so I head to a dealership for a test drive or two. Then I decide that if the new car I’m testing is representative of what you can get for what I will spend, I decide I’lljust deal with the repairs.

          I suppose I have the “privilege” of a flexible work schedule, including telecommuting if necessary. I also don’t have kids. If I had an inflexible job and/or kids I should be spending most of my time with, you would see me in a new car pretty quick. Until then, I’m happy with the older car and the occasional DIY challenge.

      • 0 avatar
        carlisimo

        Wouldn’t an IS250 be a closer equivalent?

        Or at least an Accord over a Camry…

      • 0 avatar
        Car Ramrod

        This sounds like my life exactly. As I drove my misfiring BMW to the shop yesterday I caught myself wondering what a 2 year old accord goes for these days.

      • 0 avatar
        Beemernator

        I know how you feel. When my E39 530i broke down last year, I parked it and bought a lightly used Lexus RX350 as a daily driver. The Beemer is back on the road now after a new radiator but still leaks oil, so I don’t use it much. I really should sell it as I don’t have enough garage space and the Lexus tends to get left outside.

        The Lexus is not as boring as I expected. It is only boring in a good way – nothing has broken yet. The big V6 means that it can haul pretty well, but that means high fuel consumption. The high ground clearance means I can take on roads that I would avoid in the BMW. The best part of the Lexus is the Mark Levinson sound system. It puts a smile on my face every time I play a CD.

    • 0 avatar
      Toy Maker

      Precisely. If my life is perfect I would be Baja racing with my trophy truck while my 911 rests in my 4 car garage after the Nurburgring stint.

      But right now I have people to drive around and stuff to haul and a paycheck that is not trophy truck worthy. I get my fun where I can, but function definitely comes before it. Being responsible with car choice do mean compromises, but a boring car that won’t break down will transfer to more time for me to enjoy whateverelse I like in life.

  • avatar
    frozenman

    This guy sounds like an bit of a “goof”, advising him on a Corolla is the best way to ensure you never have to see him again, well played.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I consider myself an automotive enthusiast, but I drive a Toyota. I mean, a 1g Scion xB is pretty much a Yaris in a box, right? There’s nothing sporty or enthusiastic about it. It’s a competent, average handling vehicle, and I like it swell. It also never breaks.

    I was about to buy a Hyundai Elantra GT to replace it, buy it seems like Hyundai USA is about to pull the plug on it. ’14 and ’15 models are thin on the lots, and there are no ’16 models to be seen on the horizon.

    Along comes the Scion iM concept. I’m pretty sure it won’t be much more than a Corolla hatchback. If the pricing is right, I’ll probably replace my xB with an iM.

    Does this make me a bad enthusiast?

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Until recently, my DD was a Corolla.

      And it *is* a fun car, if you drive it fun.

      If one derives the fun of a car from “looking fast”, no.

      But I don’t.

    • 0 avatar
      DeeDub

      The Elantra GT will still be sold for the 2016 model year. It’s right there on Hyundai’s website: https://www.hyundaiusa.com/elantra-gt/index.aspx

      It can’t hold a candle to a 1st gen xB for interior space though. It can’t even compete with the Elantra Touring it replaced. It’s just another squashback hatchback with no real cargo space behind the back seat.

      • 0 avatar
        eggsalad

        NOTHING can hold a candle to a 1g xB for space utilization. We will never see the likes of that again. But I think the Elantra GT or Scion iM will be suitable for my current needs.

        • 0 avatar
          Internet Commenter

          A few thoughts as a fellow 1st gen xB owner:

          * Coming from a 1994 V8 Thunderbird (family hand-me-down), RWD V8 isn’t the panacea many make it out to be. I think the xB is more fun despite barely pumping out 100 hp. Still, I prefer RWD when done well.

          * I kinda think the 1st gen xB is the VW Bug of our era; it’s cheap, quirky, and is timeless in it’s own way.

          * I don’t think the xB makes you a bad enthusiast. It doesn’t make sense to have an “enthusiasts” choice if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle.

          Life has too many stressors to worry about what other people think. You’re the one who has to live with the car, and presumably, pay for it.

          On a side note, I hope Mazda offers the Miata as coupe. I’d love to park one next to the xB.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      Scion iM will start at $20K, same as the tC. The latter has a standard 2.5L I4, panoramic sunroof, and alloy wheels.

      Perhaps the iM won’t be a Corolla 1.8/CVT, steel-wheeled base model after all.

      • 0 avatar
        eggsalad

        I dunno – I’d be more than happy with a 1.8/6MT. It would be an upgrade from the 1.5/5MT I’m driving now.

        A $20k price point will be too much. I’m hoping for $18.5k, right in line with the Elantra GT and Mazda3 2.0 hatch.

        • 0 avatar
          Richard Chen

          The $20K MSRP figure comes from Scion’s press info last fall.

          The local one-price dealer (fitzmall.com) sells the tC/6MT for $18K ($2K off MSRP) and the Corolla S 1.8/6MT for $19.4K. I figure the iM selling price will be between those two.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Fitzmall is awesome.

            They also have new Camry LEs for 18k, new Sonatas for 19k, etc.

            Why people with no negotiation skills don’t who live near there don’t just default buy their new vehicles there is a mystery to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      You’re still a good enthusiast for the time being—just don’t start lusting after a Prius.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The GT (Euro i30) was refreshed recently and the US version should also be getting the 1.6T/DCT combo which is much better than the current powertrain.

  • avatar

    By far the worst car I’ve ever owned was when I first got married and we bought my wife a gently used – 20k miles, 2 years old – 1995 Geo Prism which was a slightly better looking Toyota Corolla in all but name. Lots of things went wrong on that car and the automatic transmission never ever seemed to know what to do. My mother in law currently owns a 2006 Corolla and while I haven’t driven it more than 50 miles myself I’m not sure I could go much further given how obnoxiously distracting the interior is. The plastics seems slightly higher than average for the segment but there are flimsy doors everywhere, mismatched colors and patterns on everything. The engine/transmission feel like they came right out of the 90’s version and the gas mileage isn’t that spectacular given for how much you’re compromising on every other front. My mother in law is not a large lady by any means but the padding on the doors arm rest caved in years ago and the vinyl on the center one is peeling off. The drivetrain may last forever but I couldn’t imagine having to drive that uninspired pile for more than a week before eating the garage door sounded like a pleasant alternative. Yuck!

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Odd.

      I have an ’05, which was my DD for a year and a half, and I don’t recognize a thing about it from your description.

      (Apart from the drivetrain coming from the 90s version – I’m sure it’s exactly the same between 2006 and 1997. And perfectly good, at that.)

      But then, mine’s a low-miler, not one with twice as many miles, and evidently very hard ones, if the interor is failing already.

      • 0 avatar

        To elaborate, the center console has 2 or 3 little pull down doors in super fake walnut look plastic that cover cubby holes, they feel flimsy as hell but since they’re still fully functional on her car they must not actually be as bad as they feel.

        I don’t care for the sitting position in the car or the way the radio is way up high. Her car has a brown/beige interior. There’s a dimpled/golf ball like texture on the steering wheel but nowhere else. The fake grain in the dash doesn’t match the fake grain in the hard plastic below the dash or anywhere else. The darker brown on the dash doesn’t quite match the darker brown on the arm rests which in turn doesn’t quite match the steering wheel, stuff like that. I realize I’m nit-picking but the short amount of time I’ve spent in the car have not been pleasant.

    • 0 avatar
      kmoney

      That 4speed AT basically did come out of the 90’s version — I think the only thing that really changed along the was a TV cable getting replaced by an EPC. These are probably the most evolutionary cars out there. My dad has a 2004 Corolla and in terms of component layout and overall parts similarity it’s mostly the same as his 93 and 99. This makes for a lame car, but it can be awesome if you do your own work, as there is really nothing new to learn in terms of repairs or diagnosis.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Yeah I think there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as it works well. The corolla 4spd in my friend’s 95 was butter smooth, about the same as the 2011 one I drove much later. The engines went through some big changes, the original timing-belt twincam 4AFE and 7AFE being replaced with the timing chain equipped 1zzfe. All of them at one point or another had some oil burning issues, particularly on cars with lackluster maintenance.

        My beef with Corollas is the poor seat/steering wheel position on the 2003-2008 cars, and the general cheapness of the 09-13 interiors. It also felt like my head was super close to the a pillar in the 09-13 cars, just something that stood out as a negative.

        The 93-97 cars were just total bank vaults compared to anything else in the compact class at the time, heck probably compared to some mid-sizers of the era. Interiors just ooze quality with soft touch vinyl, padded arm rests, soft and durable velour. My buddy’s ’95 DX had the purplish interior in high school, I was jealous of his Corolla with my bone jarring 1990 Civic. of course, he coveted the Civic’s go-kart ride and handling. Grass is greener and all that I guess.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          “My beef with Corollas is the poor seat/steering wheel position on the 2003-2008 cars”

          That generation was a great little car ruined by a driving position built for short people with the arm:leg length ratio of orangutans. The engine was strong for the time, the interiors were excellent, and the steering at least felt natural and connected.

        • 0 avatar

          Those ’93-97 Corollas were indeed built like tanks

          One of my best friends bought a brand new 1997 Corolla in white with beige interior. He was just looking for a car and was the perfect Corolla customer

          Fast forward to when I met him in 2009, and he was still driving it with 140k miles on the clock.

          Shortly after he fell asleep at the wheel (he was driving a Corolla after all) and crashed into a BMW and Lexus at a stoplight. Both of those cars were totaled from the crash, and despite the front being pushed in, hood buckled, and deployed airbags, he was able to drive away from the accident scene.

          He drove that car for several more months until he traded it in for $500 toward a Hyundai Tucson. For those six months or so, the car started like nothing happened and still drove smoothly with no rattles or creaks. The passenger door didn’t open, and I had to do a dukes of hazard jump through the window each time. But it is a testimony to how tough those cars were

  • avatar
    is_lander

    My mother says that her car is an appliance. She buys Corollas. There is a huge market for appliances as evidenced by the sales of Japanese mid-sized/compact appliances and Ford F150 trucks. And a different one for enthusiasts who will lean towards Mazdas etc., and Jeep off-roaders, rock crawlers, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Carilloskis

      I would not consider the F150 to be an appliance vehicle,in so much as the thing is rwd/4×4 with a v8and the 3.5 eco boost in addition to the more enthusiast oriented Raptor, and tremor models. People actually like enjoy driving trucks yes they might not handle as well as a car but they can go a lot of places cars cannot go. I recall an episode of top gear where games may said that driving a fiat panda around the track flat out was more fun than doing the same thing in a super car, and i would have to agree with him. While visiting my parents I drove my dad’s 2011 mustang 5.0 manual with Brembo brake pkg (on 13+ called track package) its fun accelerating but then you hit the speed limit, and you don’t want to go too much over the speed limit on mountain roads do to wild animals and cops, driving on the same roads in the raptor going 80% of its top speed is more fun to drive, as the truck is near its maximum potential for handling where as the mustang isn’t even close. As a teenager I drove my parents suburban 4×4 to and from school my friend who lived up the street drove a mini we would drive to and from school in a competitive manner with me trying to get the suburban to take a similar line to the mini with it=a whole lot of fun. Many vehicles out there can be fun if you push them to their limits, which is easier in a truck than a sports car.

      • 0 avatar
        johnny_5.0

        Just a quick note, it was still the Brembo package on the ’13+ cars. There was a different Track Package that was basically the Brembo package + Torsen diff + cooling bits.

        • 0 avatar
          Carilloskis

          You sir are correct. I’m just woundering what the diffrence is in the real world of the torsion lsd vs what lsd ford used on the gts without the track package. My dads car also has the 3.55 gears instead of the 3.73 of the track pack. I normaly pay more attention to trucks than cars, but the new gt350 really has my interests right now, but with my raptor rolling over to 90k hard miles and the replacement two years away it’s the one that is Im leaning towards, or compromise and buy the 5.0 l supper charged Range Rover sport. , I guess I’m the type of person who will never recomend let alone own an appliance car.

          • 0 avatar
            johnny_5.0

            I doubt most buyers would notice a difference on the street. I actually wanted a Track Package when I bought mine, but there weren’t any on local lots. A dealer in Houston had friggin’ 13 of them, so I negotiated a price on a black GT Premium/Track Package/Recaro over email. I was to drive up one Saturday morning to buy it, but was wise enough to call and make sure it was still there that morning. Some knob had plowed it into a phone pole on a Friday afternoon test drive.

            The 3.55 gears may be the best compromise. 1st is extremely short with the 3.73 rear and you get to deal with the revs at toll road speeds.

            I’d love a new GT350. My (awesome) wife actually wants me to get a new performance pack GT despite the impracticality of it with our second child arriving soon. Every time I watch this video of the same build I’d do, I temporarily forget how terrible they are to get kids into/out of…

            [Edit: Stupid link wasn’t showing up. It’s the Vaughn Gittin Jr. in Ordos one.]

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      is_lander -you don’t sound like a truck guy. There probably isn’t a product available in USA or Canada that has the depth or breath of option choices and configuration choices.
      In some cases a truck is just an appliance but since Ford, Chev, GM, and Ram tend to sit in the Top 10 perennially in sales that would tend to indicate the opposite.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Can’t you be an auto enthusiast for things other than lap time performance? I’m sure a Caterham Super 7 is a fine car, in small doses, but maybe it’s not the best road trip or commuting car.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      Agreed, jmo. I had several relatives, who’d be well into their 100s were they alive today, whom I’d consider enthusiasts but not speed enthusiasts. They loved cars, but they were especially enamored of comfort and reliability, since those qualities were in short supply in the early years of their driving. I can also be enthusiastic about something like a Yaris if practicality and low cost of ownership are my goals. And I love a boaty interstate cruiser if I’m on a long road trip.

    • 0 avatar
      slance66

      I’m getting there myself. From my love of muscle cars as a kid, my first 1970 Cutlass Convertible, to my Prelude, Acura Legend, little V6 Ford Counter SE and current BMW 328, I prioritized sporty fun (with 2 accords thrown in for stints). I’m done. If I had a three car garage and lots of funds, I’d have a sporty car for those moments I want one. The rest of the time I want it to be be comfortable, quiet as a tomb, never break, have all the luxury features I crave, haul a decent amount of people and stuff, handle snow over six inches easily, and manage potholes with no crashing sounds or jarring impacts. No, a Corolla is not that car.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Doug, could you please confirm this preconceived idea I’ve been kicking around? Or tell me to get lost.

    Retire my E46 from daily driving, keep it in the garage and slowly give it the maintenance it deserves as a hobby. All while DD’ing a used cheap Corolla. I love to drive but commuting is not driving. I’d be fine with a toaster-on-wheels for daily driving.

    This is why I came up with that idea:

    1. I hate to get rid of the E46, I love to work on it, but I no longer have time to spend hours wrenching on it. Would be cool to keep for another 20 years or so, just because.
    2. A Corolla is cheaper to run day-to-day.
    3. I love driving the BMW but it’s best qualities really have no use in my daily commute.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      There’s much to be said for having the right automotive tool for the job. I voluntarily take public transit to get to school and work, because it lets me take out my Miata (formerly my sport bikes) whenever, and only when, I feel like enjoying it. As you say, commuting isn’t driving, and if I were to use it for that purpose, I’d be sick of its rattling, noisy, uncomfortable ride inside of a few months. Instead, I take it on curvy roads or road trips, where the open top, responsive suspension, and engaging transmission, coupled with an engine that requires you to use it in order to make decent speed, make it a joy to drive. It also means I don’t put much wear on it, and the dings, scratches and dents I’d inflict upon it by using it as a commuter are reduced, as well. An $80 monthly transit pass fulfills my daily transportation needs, which means I can put a bit of money into the fun car without feeling guilty. I can also tear into a project that might put it out of commission for awhile without worry. Like Jack demonstrated in his article about the high-mileage Lexus, you can get good prices on parts, and save labour money by doing the work yourself, when you have the luxury of time on your side. Working on a car is much more fun when you can consider it a hobby, and not a requirement to get to where you need to go. Also, a car that isn’t driven in the winter is much more fun to work on because the fasteners aren’t all seized and rusted.

      If you live someplace where public transit isn’t viable, you can substitute in an economical, reliable, comfortable car to serve as your transportational oatmeal.

    • 0 avatar
      zaxxon25

      Why a used cheap Corolla instead of, say, a used cheap Infiniti G20 or some other reliable vehicle that isn’t as toaster like.

      • 0 avatar
        JuniperBug

        Because a cheap *insert used sporty/luxury car* will either be more expensive, or older, than an equivalent *insert automotive oatmeal*. To some extent or other, parts will be pricier, it’ll drink more fuel, and likely need more complicated service, more often. It may also be less pleasant to zone out in during mindless rush hour commutes. Some people might be fine with making those compromises, while others might not. For some, it might be worth it to have a car you don’t have to care about in order to have another one that you do.

      • 0 avatar
        VW16v

        Where can you find a cheap used Infiniti G20 that is not completely falling apart? please send link.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        The newest G20 is now 13 years old. How reliable do think it’s going to be?

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      But there are other decent cheap cars that are a little better for the enthusiast, like the Mazda3, Focus, or even the Civic. You don’t have to go to extremes!

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Do it. It’s so refreshing to drive a beater on a grocery run, or hit a pothole with, etc etc.

      If you’re looking in the $3k range, I recommend the 98-02 generation Corolla, or even better the Chevy Prizm for reduced resale value. Just make sure it’s not an oil burner, and you’re good to go. Bombproof cars. I helped my friend’s gf buy one as a cheap first car to learn on (she got her license when she was 23, grew up in NYC). We found her a ’98 Corolla with 140k miles for $2200, 4 speed auto. Faded paint, side airbag light on (first year they offered them, common non-serious issue). After replacing a high pressure steering line and a valve cover gasket, she was in business. Still drives the car 2 years later, no other issues that I recall. As long as an eye is kept on the oil level and the oil is changed regularly, there’s no reason for these cars to not go 500k miles.

    • 0 avatar

      My path as well. I love my e46 Sport package, but it was leaving me at the curb occasionally. What forced my hand was a local Judge who mentioned that I could probably afford a reliable car, after missing a Court Date because the door lock broke and I was locked out of the car, 45 minutes before I had to be in his Court. I got a TDI VW as daily driver. The long ago paid off e46 now comes out for nice days. When something poops, it isn’t a crisis to get to work…it is a small project. The VW starts and goes, and isn’t a penalty box by any means-it may even be quieter at highway speeds.

      The various things that break, break less frequently at 10k/yer than 30/k per year. I drive from Court to Court all day, in all weather.

      I can DIY the BMW till it eats some part that isn’t worth fixing, and on dry sunny days, the trip across Harriman State Park can be my personal BurgerKingRing.

      If you have the space/$ for more than one vehicle, you no longer need one car to “all sing and all dance”. You see this in stats like “the typical 911 owning household has three cars”. Luggage in your Ferrari isn’t an issue. If the whole family goes, the Cayenne is probably the choice from the motor pool.

      If you have the space, then a Corolla that allows you to keep the old Vette, or classic MG on the road is doing the Lord’s Work, automotive division.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      @LeMansteve –

      I don’t think that’s a bad idea at all. I had an e46 330izhp that I was using as a daily driver. I loved the car and it made sense when I bought it but life circumstances changed and it was no longer the ideal car for me (for a lot of the same reasons as you – no time to work on it or coordinate maintenance at indie shops, driving environment didn’t let me enjoy its abilities). Because the trade in value of the car was nothing, my original plan was to buy a cheap appliance for the (mostly boring traffic congested)daily driving I do and keep the BMW as an occasional weekend car. The only reason the Corolla wasn’t on the list was due to its lack of an available hatchback or wagon model (the Matrix, perhaps due to being based on the older model, didn’t get good enough mpg to warrant consideration). Ultimately, I did end up selling the BMW when I bought my new car for two reasons –

      1.) the replacement car I ended up finding (Fiat 500 Abarth) was sufficiently entertaining, fun to drive, and special that I didn’t feel I needed the BMW for occasional relief of boring car induced depression.

      2.) I did the math on how much it would cost to keep the BMW and even with the minimal trade in value and a 100 mile/month budget, the cost were still high (over the 6 years I financed the Abarth, the BMW’s ownership cost + opportunity costs would’ve approached $7k). As one of my friends put it to me, would you rather have cable (currently don’t but am trying to budget for it), or the BMW? If I could’ve spared the extra $100/month or so I would’ve kept it.

  • avatar

    The thing is, most people who’d buy the Corolla will readily admit that it’s an appliance, or that they simply aren’t concerned with the kind of spirited driving that the Mazda3 is well-suited for. Or they just want a car that’s drama-free. I can appreciate that.

    Still why not a Civic? It’s every bit as reliable as a Corolla, but quite a bit more fun and better-looking…

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Is the Civic really any better to drive, especially in CVT form that most will be purchasing? I haven’t been behind the wheel of either of the current gen, but most reviews make the Civic seem like a Corolla clone, with little of the Honda handling and engagement that made prior generations stand out a bit.

      I wasn’t that impressed with the driving character of the 2007-2011 Civic (the Mazda3 was far more entertaining), and the current Civic is reportedly quite a bit softer than that one. I don’t see it as an “enthusiast” choice at all.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        @30-mile fetch – I’ve had them both as rental cars and it’s a wash. I think I’d give the Corolla a few more points for driveability with the exception of the powertrain, which was better on the Civic. Neither impresses with it’s ride, handling, or materials quality. It’s been a while since I had a Corolla, but I think I found it’s interior style and infotainment to be mildly better, and even enjoyed it’s handling more.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        You’re right, the 2012 like mine in particular were softened up into total commuting, pothole swallowing marshmallows.

        The biggest difference for me is the interior/dash layout. The Honda’s is much lower and farther away from the driver, creating the impression of more space. The Corolla’s is higher up and out towards the driver. Civics seem to be slightly more common with a 5spd manual, and the shifter is thankfully still 100% Honda goodness. I also prefer the current Honda seat designs to the Toyota ones, Honda seats seem a tad wider and better sculpted for my body shape.

        If/when I replace the Civic, I will certainly drive the Corolla and other competitors like I did before I bought the Civic. Back in 2012, I could have gotten one of the old body 2011 Corolla LEs for $14,9 brand new. The grey interior in those was much more dreadful than the 2012 Civic interiors, and judging by the lashing the Civic got in the press, that’s saying something. I ended up paying that same $14,9 for my Civic with 11k miles on it.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          OK, good to know that the reviews are being supported by tjh8402’s and your experiences.

          The 2011 era Corolla was shockingly cheap inside. I’d certainly rather have the Civic.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        See, I had a pretty basic ’10 Civic with the 5-speed, and found it considerably more lively than the base automatic 3 I got to try out around the same time. That said, the current Civic is a step backwards, and hopefully they improve it on the redesign.

        • 0 avatar
          tjh8402

          @maymar – I test drove a 2014 Civic LX sedan with a manual transmission and I will say it definitely gave it more personality than the slushbox. That being said, I also drove a 2015 Fit and I felt the Fit was close enough to the Civic in terms of driving that it was no contest between the two when the Fits cargo space was factored in. Had I gone the Honda route, it would’ve been the Fit, although a Civic wagon/hatchback could’ve changed the math.

          I would actually say that both the Civic and the Corolla are dramatic improvements over their predecessors. I’ve driven the previous generations of both cars and found them to genuinely unpleasant to the point of being bad cars. I would not say that about the current ones; they are good, adequate cars for what most people need, but they suffer in comparison to the competition like VW, Ford, Mazda, Dodge, Chevy, and yeah even Hyundai. I will say they are the gas mileage champs – the Civics and Corollas I’ve had have all handidly trumped their EPA ratings by wide margins.

  • avatar
    PeterKK

    Enthusiasts need not be elitist. Or at least not elitist pricks, haha. Well said, imo. I’d be more than happy with a corolla. Though I’d also not know what I was missing out on probably. :p

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Got a new ’98 Civic EX right out of college so I know the boring but sensible car thing. At least mine had a manual, but it was still about as exciting as watching paint dry. I was happy to drop it for an E36 M3 as soon as I could afford real Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese.

    I imagine this thing would be even more excruciating because it’s auto-only, slower, and doesn’t get the same gas mileage. But still, just out of college, you just need something that gets you from Point A to Point B. I guess the Corolla fits the bill about as well as anything on the market now.

  • avatar

    As time goes by, I find a lot to like about contemporary Corolla. I met people who are nostalgic about the 2001 model, but IMHO it was pretty dreadful. Fortunately, they addressed the headroom and overall it’s a very nice car in 2015. The lower-end radio light is a ghastly blue, but it’s nothing a trip to Crutchfield website can’t fix. The basics are in, fortunately.

    I would still buy a Civic or Elantra instead, I think.

    Mazda 3 is basically the worst of the lot, actually. Sure, it handles as well as a Golf, but that’s about all I find commendable about it.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Really, its fuel economy, safety or driving dynamics are not commendable?

      I actually quite like the way the Corolla looks now, I just wish it had an engine option above 132hp.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I get alot of rentals and will ALWAYS take the Elantra over the Corolla. Its no contest between these two cars. I’m honesty at the point where I refuse the Corolla. The interior of the Elantra is light years ahead in fit and finish plus ease of use. And it seems every Corolla I get is the most low end model they make… I was shocked that it doesn’t have keyless entry! This sucks in the cold because it means taking your keys out of your warm pocket to get into the vehicle. Sorry that is unacceptable in today’s world.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Carpenters are hand-tool enthusiasts. All of them have boring ol’ hammers, screwdrivers, bland fasteners by the millions and beige wood glue. They also have compound miter saws, table saws, industrial drill presses, biscuit joiners, routers, etc.

    Yeah, you heard me right. Corolla is an enthusiast’s car, and anyone who says otherwise is a vainglorious poseur. Every enthusiast should have a beige-mobile, and it should look relatively new with 300,000 miles on it, and people should throw their jackets over puddles so your Corolla doesn’t get splashed on your way to work.

  • avatar
    CliffG

    Funny, this. A while back a single 70 year old lady friend of my wife wanted to buy a car, had about $20k to spend, and asked for our help since she was, quite rightly, terrified of the dealership experience. She wanted a compact four door sedan. Now every manufacturer has one of these, but she nixed a couple of brands (weirdly enough she hated Mazdas for some reason too), we nixed a couple of others (sorry Chevy, no way in hell), and it came down to a shootout amongst the Jetta, Escort and Corolla. Guess which one won? She just liked the Toyota better. The Escort was the best deal but she hated the way it drove. So there you go.

  • avatar
    zaxxon25

    A few years ago a friend asked me to help her select a car, coming from a Ford family all she knew was the Focus. Given her monetary requirements (3 year 12K lease, target was 0 down at 200/mo) I escorted her to test drive the main competitors. She ended up with a Civic because it was the best deal at the time. Two plus years on she still loves it. I have a feeling that’s the way most people look at their car purchasing experience, what’s the best I can get for X budgeted number in my target class.

  • avatar
    steamcorners

    The Corolla is a mind numbing drive for an enthusiast, to be certain. However, it is the perfect car for someone who’s last car was a Corolla.

    My mother is one of those people. The first car she bought after the divorce was a brand new, stripped, ’90 Corolla. Replaced it a few years later with another, and another.

    “Everything fits me perfectly in the Corolla,” mom would say, as I encouraged her to look at ANYTHING else. The lower cushion in most drivers’ seats hit her thigh in an odd, uncomfortable way, she’d tell me, but not in the trusty ‘rolla.

    She was due to replace her ’05 (?) Corolla last fall–had some work that needed done, she was tired of it, etc. Took her to look at all the usual suspects.

    A couple weeks later, she took delivery of a ’15 Corolla.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Boring cars for boring people and boring duties.

    If the glove fits…you must acquit yourself of trying to get the person into something more vivacious.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    Let’s be clear. There are plenty of people who want boring cars, but nobody wants a _bad_ car. Doug’s acquaintance clearly wanted something boring, reliable and smallish, and didn’t feel comfortable outside of what were considered the name brands ca. 1999, but within those parameters there are objectively better options than a Corolla. The Civic (post-refresh) is one. A CPO ILX (pre-refresh) is likely a better one. This could also have been an excellent opportunity for his friend to acquaint himself with the Cruze and Focus. There are always other options than a Corolla, and most people who don’t care about cars won’t know what they are but will likely be happy that you do.

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    A Corolla can be a great car for a lot of people, I’m long past judging. Surprisingly roomy inside, full-size adults fit back there fine, really. You can also trust your 17 year-olds with it because you’re not in love with it either.

    One thing even enthusiasts can appreciate is the low cost of ownership. When you see a great price advertised on tires, or rotors, or anything really, that price almost always applies to a Corolla, not your other car.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    I’m an “enthusiast” and I’ve had FOUR Mazdas, and I won’t buy one again.

    The new Mazda3 looks great and drives great, definitely better than a Corolla, but if I had to keep it for 8-10 years, no thanks.

    Mazdas are TERRIBLE for rust here in Minnesota. They seem to be the only 2000 model year + mainstream cars that are rusted right through their rear fenders. They ALL do it.

    I’ve had my share of “enthusiast” cars, but like the guy above me said, some people have to much going on in their lives to be worrying about a car, like a 3 month old, a 2 year old, a mortgage, etc.

    I have a “boring” Camry SE V6 because I dislike rust, direct injection, CVTs, VCM, etc. more than I like something that may handle a little better, like a Mazda6 or Volkswagen.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Hey, at least a V6 Camry has some get up and go.

      …And the wheels on some SEs are rather nice looking. Huge looking 5 spoke alloys.

      • 0 avatar
        nels0300

        For a car with such a boring reputation, it sure does get my adrenaline going when I put my foot down entering the freeway. ;)

        It’s an appliance that also happens to do low 14s @ 100 mph in the 1/4 mile and causes problems for many “enthusiast” cars that want win stoplight races and two to one merge situations.

    • 0 avatar
      MOSullivan

      The previous generation 3 and 6 rusted like throwbacks to the 1970s. Drives through Montreal can be fun if you make it a contest to see who can spot the worst rusted Mazda. The present gen cars don’t seem to rust like that so maybe Mazda isn’t using recycled bean cans for metal anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      Serious question: Is there a solution to “all-weather sporty practical car that doesn’t rust in 3 years”?

      What about WRXs?

      • 0 avatar
        nels0300

        Really old Subarus were bad, but anything within the last 20 years or so seem to do OK rust-wise here in MN.

        I think a WRX is definitely a sporty, all weather practical car, but the jury is out on how good the new FB 2.0L turbo boxer engine will be. I know the old EJ had ring land issues. The NA FB 2.0L has oil consumption issues.

      • 0 avatar
        AlfaRomasochist

        Any Volvo with “T5” or “R” in the name.

  • avatar
    AH-1WSuperCobra

    Can you imagine if you swapped cars with military aircraft.

    “I’m like to have a look at that CH-47 over there. Need to haul 35+ people and 28,000 lbs”
    “You don’t want that olive drab box. What you need this. The F-22”
    “But thats a fight…..”
    “Look its a two seater, mid engine, and comes standard with stealth and the latest in touch screen navigation.”
    “Sold!”

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      The Air Force has been like this for years but instead of cargo hauling ability vs sexiness, it’s the ability to support troops in contact vs whatever the hive mind deems appropriate.

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        Well, with the military, it’s more like you want the CH-47, the enthusiast recommends the F-22, and then the congressman with a contractor in his district passes legislation requiring you to buy 275 nuclear submarines.

  • avatar
    Chan

    For the driver who wants to point the car to its destination and forget about it, the Corolla is hard not to recommend.

    Toyota’s powertrains are old tech and therefore bulletproof (we will see with the CVT). As a bonus, their interiors are now tolerable.

    If you want a car that doesn’t smell stale right off the dealer lot, now we’re talking.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    What is so bad about a Corolla and great about a Mazda 3?

    I split the difference and got a stickshift SOHC Civic. Just as reliable as the Corolla and as fun to drive as the base 3. Everyone looks at the big motor 3 but that 3 is expensive as hell. It’s nowhere near as good as something like a GTI. And the base one is not much more fun, if at all, than something like a SOHC Civic, while also having spottier reliability and dealer support.

    Memes like “the answer is always a Mazda” is for folks who consume automobiles through the internet, rather than through purchase and ownership. The refrain is boring.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      The “base” Mazda engine is still more powerful the either the Civic or Corolla so you don`t have to go upto the 2.5L (although the choice is there unlike with the others).

      Many memes are boring, like the one that says to get a reliable experience you MUST buy a Honda or Toyota.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        For my Civic (09) the same year 3i makes 8 more HP, but weighs 100 more lbs. So the power to weight ratio is the same. New 3 makes a good bit more power and weighs about the same so it wins on that end, but you pay more for the same features. So it’s not really a direct comparison.

        And yea, you don’t HAVE to buy a Honda or Toyota to have a reliable car, but odds are much higher with those two brands than they are with Mazda:

        http://oppositelock.jalopnik.com/long-term-quality-mazda-the-devilish-god-1686848733

        The whole Mazda-enthusiast lovefest is just teenage contrarianism. They make great cars but let’s not pretend like you aren’t sacrificing anything to get what they offer over the competition. Keep in mind I am probably gonna get a current 3 or 6 for my next ride.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          I am on about 2015 models, not 6 year old models. Powertrains move on! I agree Honda and Toyota are a little more reliable than Mazda but Mazda scores well (i.e well above average) in most surveys of reliability.
          You might sacrifice a little reliability, but you are not sacrificing “sensible” things like safety or fuel economy which are class competitive or leading.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            It’s way too early to say if these new models are more reliable. And it’s only recently that things like fuel economy and safety are things Mazda became known for. Those things are definitely not what enthusiasts promote them for

            The Corolla hate is just a fear of conforming. But the irony is the Corolla hate is in an echo chamber of group think. People think hating the Corolla and liking the 3 makes them special when it just makes them like every other internet unthusiast. End of the day its an economy car that’s a little fun to drive with a spotty reliability history.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      I’ve never heard anyone say, “The answer is always a Mazda.” The meme is, “The answer is always Miata.”

  • avatar
    See 7 up

    As a car enthusiast I always say this: “buy the cat you like”

    Why? Cars are very personal things. I’ve known non car people to put up with unreliable cars happily because they liked the car. But get someone in a “great” car they don’t really like and you will never hear the end of its inevitable shortcomings that owners of all and any cars experience.

  • avatar
    Car-los

    Doug you are not alone. I used to work for a wine merchant in London for many years and when people came to me asking for advice on what wine to get my first question was “what kind of wines do you like?” There answer would always give a pretty good idea of their taste and very often I recommended boring unexciting wines based on the description of their personal taste, wines that I would never get close to and then few days later they would come back to thank me for the suggestion for they had loved the wine. And every time that this happened I was happy that I had giving them good advise since they were the ones who would drink the wine and therefore to enjoy it. Ant that’s what I wanted, to sell them a wine that they would enjoy.

    As terribly horrid as it may sound some people don’t want to adventure out of their comfort zone and they are actually happy there!

    I guess we all are stagnated in some area or other in our lives…

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I think Toyota makes perfect cars for people who don’t care about cars. They are near perfect transportation appliances. Thus anytime someone asks me for my opinion, I find out what their needs and budget are and point them in Toyotas direction. Got my Mom into a Prius-V, which suits her to a T, and my roommate into a last-Gen RAV4, ditto. A good friend bought a Corolla on my recommendation and is perfectly happy with it.

    Personally, as many on here have heard me say many times, I would rather walk than own a Camry, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t recommend a Camry to someone who just wants a quiet boring appliance to drive to work every day.

    • 0 avatar
      Nicholas Weaver

      The Prius I use as a shining example of a GOOD boring car. I’ll never buy one: they simply put me to sleep. Numb, numb, numb.

      But for those who don’t actually like DRIVING, its the perfect car. Quiet. Comfortable. Very efficient. Very reliable. High utility. And if you keep your cars for >100k miles, quite possibly one of if not the cheapest new car when you consider total cost of ownership: gas mileage, tires, maintenance, and depreciation.

      So I will enthusiasally recommend a Prius family to others.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        @Nicholas Weaver – I think a used Prius is the car that makes it difficult to recommend a used Corolla. the person obviously doesn’t care about driving experience, so why not go with the car that gets fantastic mpgs and has better space inside? For a long time while I was shopping, the Prius was at the top of my list simply because I found so many of my other affordable choices to be dull and uninspiring (especially coming from a BMW). If I was gonna be unsatisfied with what I drove no matter what, so went the reasoning, then I might as well get hte most affordable and practical vehicle I could find. Fortunately for me, a used Abarth reminded me that fun, frugal, practicality, and character can all be found in the same package.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      A lot of people in my area use them (Corolla) for their daily commute, often racking up 100-200 miles per workday for that daily commute. Seeing Corolla scurrying on US54 and US70 is a daily occurrance during peak traffic times.

      These Corolla owners would not be repeat buyers if their Corolla did not hold up well to the point of it being beyond economically feasible to repair – usually around the 200K miles point.

      We chose a 2011 Elantra for our grand daughter’s daily commute to college, but that’s what she liked. For an young girl, at the time, the 2011 Corolla was just too matronly looking and would not attract any boy-toys.

  • avatar
    Flavius

    Corolla, when you want to drive a wet sponge to and from point A to point B.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I love Corollas. My first new Japanese car was a Corolla SR-5 Sport Coupe with a 5 speed back in ’81, and after two domestic automotive messes, that was the car that convinced me to stick with Japanese cars since. If my kid doesn’t inherit the Outback when she gets her license in 3 years, then used Corolla or RAV4 it is.

    I rented one of the last gens on vacation 3 years ago – drove 2000 miles in 10 days, crappy weather, mountain ranges, everything. Beat the daylights out of it. Like a puppy, it just wanted to play more. Steering feel? No. Road dynamics? None. Just pure, cheap competence.

    My sister and her husband are Camry folks. They are on their 4th and 5th Camrys respectively. Like someone said above, great cars for folks who don’t want drama. I respect that.

    Amazingly, in the last 20 years Toyota has become the default brand for a slew of folks cross-generational. When my 80-year-old aunt bought a Camry after a lifetime of GM cars (preferably Buicks), it fully dawned on me that it was not just my generation, but the preceding and succeeding ones as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      My family cars are Toyotas for this reason. They are just drama free for the most part. The MINI… yea, the steering pump caught on fire a month ago. The GTI… LOL.

      I don’t have a problem recommending a Corolla because it is predictable. Sporty? Nope. But you know that when you test drive it. Reliable? Darn good chance it will treat you well for a long time. I have no desire to recommend a “fun” car to someone that has to be told which cars are fun. They’ll eventually tire of the ride, the maintenance, the roofline, the poor reliability, etc. You need to find your car fun by yourself… not what some “car guru” thinks is fun.

  • avatar
    gaudette

    What would one recommend as a Buick Enclave replacement? Doesn’t have to be a seven seater but still somewhat luxurious and reliable.

  • avatar
    carguy

    The Toyota Corolla is one of the most successful cars in all of automotive history; providing safe, efficient, affordable and durable transportation for millions. Yet you feel you need to publish an editorial piece defending your recommendation to buy one? Really?

    It’s easy to see why people who don’t much care about cars find car enthusiasts bewildering and unhelpful.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Especially when many of those people that ‘car enthusiasts’ say don’t know or care about cars make better buying decisions than people that spend their time obsessing about companies that don’t build cars well.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    One of my aunts bought a Corolla on my recommendation and it wasn’t a case of confirming what she already wanted. I asked her about how she planned to use the car, what she wanted out of it, what features and characteristics mattered, etc. When she was done, I told her “you want a borring appliance. go buy a corolla.” although she was a bit miffed that I characterized her taste in cars as “boring” and “appliance”, she still went and bought a Corolla anyway and she’s been happy with it. It’s been an ideal appliance. I’ve rented current generation Corollas and they are a vast improvement over the last. They are actually a “good” car. They only suffer when you compare them to the competition like the Focus and Mazda 3.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    Here’s what I don’t understand. When someone asks for advice and it’s not taken why does that upset the advice giver? I know not all people react like this but based on personal experience and some of the comments on this and similar topics a fair number do.

    People who ask for your advise are interested in your opinion and most likely the reasons behind it. They’re not supplicants genuflecting before a god who’d just as soon strike them down as look at them for not following an edict.

    As far as I know, there’s no moral contract which states ‘thou shall follow the advice thou are given’ so why the discord when someone doesn’t?

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Because we all like to think our advice is good advice, so If you don’t take our good advice then you must not think it good and we get all butt-hurt.

      I’m with you though, my advice is what you make it. If you don’t take it at least that lets me off the hook from being responsible for advice that might not have worked out

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Other than a disappointing 28 mpg highway, the one I rented for 700 miles seemed OK.

    That there is nothing seriously objectionable about it in any way, is a strength, not a weakness.

    On the other hand, I would be opposed to paying a significant price premium for a car like that.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I am going to type this post as I think and talk it in order to demonstrate a minimal amount of proof-reading on my part so lets begin shall we?

    The point of the Corolla being boring is a bit redundant at this point when its been discussed previously on a well made article about suggesting people cars and that was a good read.
    Suggesting a boring car is fine as most people just want reliability and practicality and economy on a budget.

    You can come up with good article premises Doug, but if you’re interested in readership I suggest you trim your work a little, people got no patience these days.

    Everything after “I recently…” is good stuff though.

    I tried owning a boring dull car, ’92 Accord, couldn’t get around the crummy seats, thin sheetmetal, buzzy engine, and the lack of anything interesting about it.

    Boring cars get you places, weird cars build character (if fish-hook your wallet).

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      My BIL had an 2005-ish Accord and it was one of the tinniest cars I’ve been in. I went to see and test drive a new Accord Sport a few months back and it was a very solid feeling car.

      Based on the 2005 Accord and similar Toyota’s I’ve had the displeasure of riding in or driving, they we’re off my list but the new Accords are solid choices. Still don’t want a Camry but it’s a reliable car and should serve its owner well. I actually like the look of the Corolla. Still don’t want one but it will also get the job done with a minimum amount of fuss.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        They’re reliable cars yea, but based off Jack Baruths comments on the brakes I wouldn’t want a newer Accord.

        All the safety in the world doesn’t mean anything if your brakes under-perform.

    • 0 avatar
      tlccar

      Funny because the 92 Accord I owned had fantastic seats, thick sheet metal, and drove like a sports sedan. Are we talking about the same vehicle? It was one of the best cars I ever owned and was totally not boring at all!

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Have you owned anything else beside an Accord?

        If you’ve never driven a Benz or BMW I guess an Accord could be sporty, if you’re short the seats are probably okay, but thick sheet metal?

  • avatar
    suspekt

    The ultimate Corolla to recommend is the one with a rebuilt title due to minor damage.

    $8,000 for a 2012 with 20,000 miles is just sweeeeeeeeetness all day. No car loan, no payments, and minimal operating cost. God bless the 4 speed auto.

    Aint nothing wrong with rebuilt/salvage title so long as you understand:
    – what was damaged
    – how was it repaired
    – impaired resale value (which in the Corolla’s case is actually funny because you will get $5,000 all day everyday for that 2012 for many many years to come)…. talk about operating cost per km including depreciation

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      But some insurance companies will NOT cover rebuilt title cars, I know cause I bought one and was forced to change to Progressive cause mine did not cover me

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Why would you want full coverage on a beater you own outright, even if it’s newer? Worst case, you walk away with junk value, but you take extra care when self-insuring.

        I buy cars new and only run straight liability, for I paid for them in cash. It makes me a better over-all defensive driver/owner, knowing I’d have to eat its value, especially when it’s newer. So I’m betting on myself, same as your insurance co does on you.

        • 0 avatar
          JuniperBug

          Statistically, you’re right and I’m impressed by your balls to take that responsibility. Ironically, when I was a student and made no money, I took the same risk – which paid off – on my first 3 vehicles, too, even though those vehicles cost a greater percentage of my then-very-measly paycheck than my current car does now.

          However, I changed my tune when I bought a brand new vehicle. Sadly, that was the one I totalled with less than 5,000 miles on it. At that point, I was very happy to receive a five figure check as opposed to the nothing I would’ve gotten had I not changed course. I wouldn’t have planned it this way, and I’m not particularly proud of it, but I’m ahead by many thousands of dollars in terms of money I’ve paid to insurance companies vs. settlements they’ve paid out to me.

          Fun fact: In my province, when you total a 5 figure motorcycle, elect not to buy another one with the insurance payout, buy a car instead, and then insure it after disclosing your recent claim, they don’t count that claim against your premiums. 6 weeks after the wreck (single vehicle, my fault) I was receiving every “safe driver” discount in the book, and have continued to since. Go figure!

  • avatar
    Manfred

    For some reason, this article made me realize something…

    I think I recall seeing that Toyota is the number one brand in Maryland (correct me if I’m wrong). They seem to be every third car you see around here. I know many people who own Toyotas. Most of my neighbors have Toyotas in their driveways. Here’s the rub… no one I am FRIENDS with owns a Toyota! None of them. I am not friends with a single person who owns a Toyota! Coincidence?

    Hmmmmmm

  • avatar
    shifter25

    That Mazda example is so classic, and one that I fear Mazda is still trying to overcome. I’ve recommended pretty much any current Mazdas to friends and family and often times, it is their past experience with the brand that left them sour – typically of the 626 era. It’s unfortunate b/c the current Mazda lineup, esp. with the newer Skyactiv platform and engines are close to best in class when it comes to not only driving dynamics but efficiency. I’m not sure how they can beat the long held belief of the quality superiority of the Honda/Toyota duo.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    In choosing a new Corolla you gotta a tough decision to make, if you get the higher classes, you get the CVT. If you want the 4 speed auto, you need the base model which is lacking many conveniences many people look for, yet the LE and S versions sell like tacos around here, which makes me think Corolla buyers don’t really care HOW the car runs, as long as it does!

  • avatar
    haroldingpatrick

    I’m an outlier and contrarian on “boring” cars – there are none. Cars, driving,and roads are so much more than rubber, road, and steel. They are a practicality, but also are sanctuaries, means of escape, zen spaces, expressions of self – particularly when they are not meant to be one, etc. Camry drivers may not care or they may be flying under the radar on purpose. You can’t get in a man’s head.

    I enjoy driving and enjoyed every car I’ve driven, even the crappy ones. Get stuck miserable sick in the hospital for a few days and that Camry is sublime when you finally can get your sick ass out of bed and drive again.

    • 0 avatar
      Kosher Polack

      Thank you. There is such a thing as being “enthusiastic” about function, action, mass production, efficiency, etc.

      Someone with an amazing car and a boring commute may be placated less than someone with a normal car on an interesting commute. And since all cars have stereos with AUX jacks these days, I’d have an easier time just making my commute more interesting.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Not a bad car, not at all. Not one I would personally choose, but that’s not because I’m some stick-shifiting snobbish Miata driving “enthusiast”. A compact really isn’t a good value, and I’m all about value. For the same price as a well equipped Corolla, one can get a Nissan Altima. Bigger, more powerful and more comfortable.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      That is true, but for a pretty basic Corolla, the price difference up to even a cheap midsizer is still significant ($3k or so I’d guess). And the latest Corollas have very good rear legroom and NVH control. But in general I agree: the delta in power, road isolation, and room between my Civic LX and my gf’s Camry SE is substantial with a minimal MPG penalty, and makes me wish I had ponied up for a midsize car when I was shopping. But when I was shopping then, I had a different (read: worse paying) job and I had set a hard limit of $15k. I was atleast $3-4k away from even a Camry LE or Altima S. If I were shopping now, one of the new Accords in LX or maybe Sport trim would be at the top of my list.

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    Do you prefer Panasonic or Leica? It is all perceived value / intrinsic value after all.
    The Corolla is a great car: it not only serves as bulletproof transportation it projects the image you are very successful. In Brazil it does. The top of the line Corolla over there is an “Altis” and in the local porkancheese language “Altis” closely resembles the word ‘alto\'(high, tall) and altesa (royalty). All regular Brazilian aspire to be that. An Altis will transform you and you won’t get your hands on an Altis for less than 36K USD cash. Up-front-cash only. Hence, it is seen and marketed as a luxury super-duper car for the 1%. People don’t even ASK if it is any good, at this price it IS that good.

    A 4-cylinder 2014 Camry is a car you are driven in by a chauffeur. And most likely it will be an armoured Camry. That’s because the President of the country rides in a 2010 Fusion, that’s why.

    An Avalon is a 1983 novel.

    Lexus is something you see advertised on the pages of the Economist while you wait for your wife’s botox application. If there is no picture of an LS460 or RX400 it might as well be a brand of Whiskey or Condom with some nonsense English blurb about smoothness and serenity of the ride.

  • avatar
    Slow_Joe_Crow

    Sometimes they learn, after impulse buying 2 lemon 4x4s my in-laws finally took my advice and bought the Lexus RX. While not my #1 recommendation it at least had the virtues of being competent and reliable with a decent dealer experience.

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    Not sure why a Toyota would be the worst car for people.. Most of the other choices have had bad quality until around 2 weeks ago, have high depreciation, are more expensive to operate (inc. tire cost etc.). and not everyone wants a sporty (= harsh with high wear of the suspension system) ride.

    Let’s dissect the examples from the article:
    – Mazda: rust (i know was fixed 1 week ago and I’m supposed to believe it), expensive tires (useless in snow, harsh ride), higher depreciation and repair cost than Toyonda, more upfront cost than Toyonda
    – Hyundai/Kia: high depreciation, questionable long-term reliability, lying about mpg and hp numbers (and who knows what else). about the same upfront cost as Toyonda if you really compare with true numbers. A Hyundai Santa Fe is more expensive than a Honda CRV… really, they are better than Honda? They must have done the same drugs that Volvo and Cadillac did thinking they justify German pricing (and no, the Tucson is not a CRV competitor with 25 ft³ trunk vs. 36 ft³, more an HRV competitor and should be priced accordingly)

    what else is a good car?
    – Government motors, cars so bad they went bankrupt, dito for Chrysler.
    – Ford, nearly bankrupt because of shitty cars. Also higher depreciation and likely more repairs.
    – Nissan with their CVT and all other mechanical problems? did you ever see a 5 year old Nissan and how worn out it is?
    – Mitsu, Volvo et al: will they exist in 1.5 years?
    – Germans: did you bring your monthly $1k repair retainer?

    Toyonda may not be perfect, but don’t suffer most of the other problems. Yes, allegedly all other cars became better and JD Power confirmed after 90 days they are not so bad. But we will see in 20 years how many 20 year old Kias still drive around with happy owners.

    The only real issue I’d had with a Corolla is the lack of a hatch as I always buy hatchcars.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Buicks are reliable, too.

      That’s what happens when you don’t upgrade the powertrain in ages (really, a 4 spd? and rear drum brakes?).

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        You sell some Japanese line of vehicles for a living, no?

        I trust the advice, wisdom or words of any car salesperson on any subject approx 0.0%.

        You know, conflicts of interest and incentives to lie,mall around.

        • 0 avatar
          HerrKaLeun

          I thought saying something bad about Cadillac makes you agreee:-)

          No sales job, no relations to car industry. Mechanical engineer…. maybe that is why I appreciate designs that last…..

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      I’m OK with most of your points, but wanted to note that the Santa Fe has not been a CR-V competitor for the last 3 years. regardless of your feeling, that position in the Hyundai line is filled by the Tuscon. The cargo space is also the reason the CR-V owns the segment.

      The Santa Fe Sport is a half-size larger and has an optional 260hp turbo-4, and the Santa Fe is a 3-row with a 290hp V6. The former is more of a competitor with the Ford Edge and the Nissan Murano than anything else, and the latter Competes with the Pilot.

      On this point though:
      ” – Nissan with their CVT and all other mechanical problems? did you ever see a 5 year old Nissan and how worn out it is?”
      You could not be more right. My parents last 2 cars were both Nissans, and both were showing significant signs of wear by 100k that I’ve never seen in any of my personal vehicles.

  • avatar
    kurtamaxxguy

    Once I contemplated buying a “enthusiast” car like the Nissan GT-R, which has AWD, is very responsive and not hideously expensive like most “super cars”. Then reality bit: GT-R’s only carry 485 lbs (2 occupants + luggage = possible overload), ground clearance’s barely over 4″ (you’ll bash into parking curbs, driveway dips, etc.), and every fan boy would try to strip it on sight or cut into garage at night to pick it clean. Add in astronomical insurance and it’s a real world non-starter.
    Let the track racers have fun with GT-R: our Oregon roads would eat ’em alive anyway.

  • avatar

    I have recently driven the 14 Civic and the 15 Corolla, both for a few days. The Corolla surprised me, I was expecting bad. The interior was not el Cheapo and quite well laid out. My only complaint was the lack of any feel with the car, like a Camry, total disengagement. The Civic interior seemed dated to me and a little gimicky, there was more feedback, which I appreciated, but the car felt less solid.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    A friend of mine wanted something sportier than the basic Mazda3 he was driving at the time. Knowing he’s not really an enthusiast, I suggested a Kia Forte Koup – better looking, more powerful, but should be reliable enough. He couldn’t get behind the idea of buying a Kia, and went for a MkVII GTI. I mean, that’s probably what I’d buy if I had the money, but not something I could recommend to anyone (I am happy for him though).

    That said, I’d never suggest anyone avoid a Corolla, but at least the new ones are much less drab and sad than the last generation. Strangely, the Matrix (ostensibly just a Corolla wagon) never seemed as dull or unfortunate.

  • avatar
    fozone

    If you don’t care about cars and just want an appliance, there is no better car than the Corolla, period. I’d recommend one in a heartbeat, at least I know I won’t have someone at my throat demanding to know why their car is rusting through at year 5.

    I just priced out a Corolla LE (in the model-correct refrigerator-white exterior color), with the creature comforts that most normal people care about. TrueCar says it is $17.5k.

    How could you go wrong?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I bet if you went to Beaver Toyota in Santa Fe, NM, or American Toyota in Albuquerque, NM, you could get that LE for less than that, if you can say “NO!” to all the added “sheeeeeit” they will try to sell you.

      • 0 avatar
        fozone

        One of the things I noticed when optioning one up on TrueCar is that for a couple of hundred bucks you can get an optional “TRD anti-sway bar”.

        Who are they marketing that to?
        Does it actually — dare I say — make the Corolla feel sporty?!

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          Something like that should be standard on the Corolla S, but seeing as it took years to get rear disk brakes…

          • 0 avatar
            fozone

            It might be, i was configuring an LE since apparently that’s the most popular version of the Corolla, and the one most car-indifferent people purchase.

            I really dig that you can get 15″ steelies with massive sidewalls — they actually bump MPG by 2, AND i’m sure smooth out the ride.

            Take that, oversized wheels!

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            If someone specifically wants an LE, that’s fine and dandy with me.

            However, given a choice, a person should choose a trim with the most retained value for trading down the road. (Unless financially unable to do so.)

            So, for me, in this case, that would be an S, although they do cost a bit more.

            The added items, like larger alloy wheels, spoiler, firmer suspension and better ride control, will more than offset their added cost at buying time, when it is time to trade down the road.

            And, by the time that S-trim Corolla is 5-7 years old, that firmer suspension will feel like the LE’s suspension, when it was new.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      @fozone – I think the most compelling/interesting alternative to the Corolla is actually the ’15 Honda Fit – for $17.5 you can get a pretty well equipped one that is actually quicker than the Toyota, gets similarly great mpg, great safety ratings, and has a whole lot more space.

      • 0 avatar
        fozone

        But the Fit has typical Honda NVH; the Corolla is trying to be a mini-Camry, so it is a little more serene during the daily commute. At least the 2015 is, some of the older ones were tin-can scary.

  • avatar
    italianstallion

    After renting a 2015 Chrysler 200 last week, I would welcome a boring, but well conceived Corolla. The 200 was a POS.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      That was my impression as well, so I can’t understand why so many people sing its praises.

      The 200 I got to drive was a rental with all the toys but I thought it was noisy on the inside and nervous when accelerating from a dead stop.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    DeMuro could write an article on boxers vs briefs and get 1,000 comments in response to.

  • avatar
    AoLetsGo

    A………………………………..B

  • avatar
    Counterpoint

    When friends and coworkers ask for car buying advice I just send links to the latest crash test results.

    http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Shoppers/5-Star+Safety+Ratings/2011-Newer+Vehicles

    http://m.iihs.org/mobile/ratings/mobileratings/tsps

    I tell them to pick anything that gets at least 4/5 stars and a TSP award. People who don’t know cars at least care about safety, and they can’t blame me later for recommending a dangerous vehicle. So far most have taken the advice. In fact one recently purchased an Accord sedan to replace a wrecked Corolla.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    I tell anyone who asks me for car buying advice to get a two year old Pagani Zonda R from Carmax with the add-on $4,700 Carmax, 5 year, 50,000 mile, bumper-to-bumper warranty.

  • avatar
    bd2

    Many people who are the “mom jeans” or “pleated khakis” type and are behind the times.

    The only thing that the Corolla really has going for it is its larger than norm rear passenger compartment for the compact class.

    A Civic would have been a better alternative for those stuck in the past.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Agreed, I think the only entrant worse than the Corolla is the Elantra. Designer denim looks with mom jeans performance.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      What’s the deal with pleated pants going out? I went by a friends house for a fashion consult and he was so offended by my pleated khakis he gave me a pair of his (we wear the same size pants) so I would never wear mine again.

  • avatar
    mechaman

    At the prices we are paying today, even with incentives, NObody should be selling a boring car. I came around to the latest Corolla iteration until I got inside. There’s no excuse to offer a car that looks like that outside, and make it so plain and old inside. It tells me that maybe the maker doesn’t care all that much – so how do I know something I can’t see is done right? And well? The Hyundai/Kia twins (Elantra/Forte) LOOK like someone gave a damn, inside and out.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      The prices we’re paying today, adjusted for inflation, are cheaper than they have ever been, for cars that are safer, faster, and more economical than they’ve ever been.

      • 0 avatar
        mechaman

        Good point: that’s no excuse to have an interior that is less than state of the art. I know cars have improved greatly. That’s why the Corolla interior underwhelmed me. It didn’t match the outside. And the now biggest car company has a lot of nerve offering something like that. Nobody makes a car out of Unbreakdownium … so no compromises.

  • avatar
    tlccar

    As everyone else has stated, the Corolla is a good safe choice, just boring as hell. Plus Toyota seats, in my honest opinion, are the most uncomfortable I have ever experienced. If you like sitting on a sponge then you will be happy. Absolutely no lumbar support whatsoever. But is it a good car? Yes, it is.
    Funny about the recommendations we give to our family and friends. My nephew drove a 2003 Acura TL for 250,000 miles. He would complain if it needed a repair here and there, and decided to get a 2008 BMW X5. Need I say more? I think he now realizes just how good that Acura really was. I advised him to stay away from the X5 but he didn’t want to hear it.

  • avatar
    drivrBob

    We grew up with just Plymouths in our family till the 1st energy crises came along (1970 something). Then we downsized from a Fury wagon to a Corolla and my dad just loved it. He always claimed in amazement about telling them to just change the oil on the first service. And he just loved that little car, till it rusted out, so much that he got another corolla ten years later.

  • avatar
    kenwood

    Alright, I’m calling you out now. You’ve spewed out a couple routine articles and I’m getting impatient waiting on Hummer updates. Hurry the hell up with those will ya?

  • avatar
    RS

    Not many talking about the oil consumption issues that many Corolla’s (and other Toyota models) have. My brother’s 2001 with 112K on it takes a quart every 1000 miles or so. He’s not alone. The Toyota forums are full of examples like his. Yet the perception of quality persists…

    He feels burned by Toyota ‘quality’ and another one isn’t on his list.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Good luck to him with other brands. Lots of cars from a variety of manufacturers experience oil consumption, and petty much all of those manufacturers will tell you that a quart/1,000 miles is within spec. The grass is not greener elsewhere.

      It’s also not a significant expense. Even if he uses $9/quart synthetic in that Corolla, at 15,000 miles/year that’s only $135/year to top off the oil. Certainly it would be better to not have to top off the oil, but that’s not too bad weighed against statistically low repair rates compared to alternatives.

  • avatar
    Philip Lane

    I know I’m a week late, Doug, but that’s nothing compared to you. John Phillips wrote the same thing (only funnier) in C/D 12 years ago: http://www.caranddriver.com/columns/john-phillips-car-buying-is-easy-when-fido-barks-the-numbers-column

    Mostly I jest, though. Your stuff is still some of the best online!

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