The Right Spec: 2022 Toyota Corolla

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
the right spec 2022 toyota corolla

It might surprise readers to learn that the writing staff at TTAC do not spend the majority of their time in gullwinged supercars or week-old BMWs. We do occasionally put down the jar of Grey Poupon and clamber aboard practical cars – y’know, the type which people actually buy.

The humble Corolla is likely at or near the top of the list made by shoppers who want simple transportation. Your author knows more than a couple of people for whom Corolla could actually be a parallel for the term ‘default car’. This series examined the Civic a couple of months ago, so it’s only right we do the same for the other popular machine in this segment.

We’ll return to six-figure hypercars next week.

Toyota is in a unique position – for now, until Honda shows up with the Civic Hatchback later this year – in that it has both four- and five-door options for those seeking a car with the word ‘Corolla’ on its rump. The sedan has a starting price of $20,075, branded as an L trim, and equipped with a 1.8L engine making 139 horsepower. That’s harnessed by the bane of all enthusiasts, a continuously variable transmission.

For just $450 more, dealers are likely to have the LE trim in stock, adding the likes of a better infotainment system and a fold-down armrest for rear seat urchins plus a USB port back there to limit complaining about not having anywhere to charge the all-important handheld device. The LE also includes 16-inch wheels (still steelies), automatic climate control, and – oddly – variable intermittent wipers compared to the single-speed intermittent motor on the L. Your author truly thought that latter feature went out in the ’90s.

Bumping up to the 2.0L four-banger with a much more acceptable 169 horsepower and the six-speed manual in sedan form means taking a walk to the SE trim which stickers at $23,225. If it is this type of powertrain you seek (and it should be), the smart money will look across the showroom to the Corolla Hatch. Its entry-level trim is the SE, equipped with a 2.0L and the all-important stickshift. Price? Just $20,815.

Other bonuses with the SE hatchback? Despite a sticker just $290 more than the LE sedan, it features – in addition to the better drivetrain – a boatload of equipment not found on the similarly priced four-door. Push-button start is part of the deal (and yes, that makes a difference for some drivers who hate digging for keys), as is a leather-trimmed steering wheel and extra USB charging ports. Other infotainment details are equal, so that’s a wash. In terms of driving aids, the manual transmission forces deletion of lane tracing assist but all other items like dynamic radar cruise control remain intact.

Plus, it’s a hatchback. While the sedan is about 10 inches longer than the hatch, the latter has equivalent headroom and front legroom, though rear seat occupants may feel the pinch with less hip and leg space thanks to platform differences. At least the cargo area is much more versatile, so judge your priorities accordingly.

Our priorities include a manual transmission and more horsepower, making our choice easy.

Please note the prices listed here are in United States dollars and currently accurate for base prices exclusive of any fees, taxes, or rebates. Your dealer may (and should) sell for less (obscene market conditions notwithstanding). Keep your foot down, bone up on available rebates, and bargain hard.

[Images: Toyota]

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  • Polka King Polka King on Aug 09, 2021

    Angry, ugly, hostile face. But what else is new.

  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Aug 09, 2021

    Why not a column on a vehicle that will actually sell more than a 'handful' of models, the Toyota Corolla Cross? I am eagerly awaiting TTAC's comments on that vehicle.

  • Jeff S Corey--We know but we still want to give our support to you and let TTAC know that your articles are excellent and better than what the typical articles are.
  • Jeff S A sport utility vehicle or SUV is a car classification that combines elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.There is no commonly agreed-upon definition of an SUV and usage of the term varies between countries. Thus, it is "a loose term that traditionally covers a broad range of vehicles with four-wheel drive." Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis; however, broader definitions consider any vehicle with off-road design features to be an SUV. A [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossover_(automobile)]crossover SUV[/url] is often defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as with passenger cars), however, the designations are increasingly blurred because of the capabilities of the vehicles, the labelling by marketers, and electrification of new models.The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel drive station wagons and carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Cherokee_(XJ)]Jeep Cherokee (XJ)[/url] is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Some SUVs produced today use unibody construction; however, in the past, more SUVs used body-on-frame construction. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the popularity of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan_(automobile)]sedans[/url] and station wagons.More recently, smaller SUVs, mid-size, and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 45.9% of the world's passenger car market in 2021. SUVs have been criticized for a variety of environmental and safety-related reasons. They generally have poorer fuel efficiency and require more resources to manufacture than smaller vehicles, contributing more to climate change and environmental degradation. Between 2010 and 2018 SUVs were the second largest contributor to the global increase in carbon emissions worldwide. Their higher center of gravity increases their risk of rollovers. Their larger mass increases their stopping distance, reduces visibility, and increases damage to other road users in collisions. Their higher front-end profile makes them at least twice as likely to kill pedestrians they hit. Additionally, the psychological sense of security they provide influences drivers to drive less cautiously. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_utility_vehicleWith the above definition of SUV any vehicle that is not a pickup truck if it is enclosed, doesn't have a trunk, and is jacked up with bigger tires. If the green activists adhere to this definition of what an SUV is there will be millions of vehicles with flat tires which include HRVs, Rav4s, CRVs, Ford Escapes, Buick Encores, and many of compact and subcompact vehicles. The green movement is going to have to recruit millions of new followers and will be busy flattening millions of tires in the US and across the globe. Might be easier to protest.
  • Sckid213 I actually do agree that most Nissans are ultimately junk. (I also think many BMWs are also). I was talking challenging the 3 in terms of driving dynamics. Agree all were failures in sales.
  • THX1136 More accurately said, we are seeing exponential growth in the manufacturing capabilities in this market. Unless, of course, all those vehicles are sold with customers waiting until more a produced so they can buy. Indeed, there are certainly more EVs being purchased now than back in 2016. Is demand outstripping manufacturing? Maybe or maybe not. I sincerely don't know which is why I ask.
  • ToolGuy The page here (linked in the writeup) is ridiculously stupid https://www.tyreextinguishers.com/how-to-spot-an-suvLike, seriously stupid, e.g., A) Not sure that particular Volvo is killing the planet as quickly as some other vehicles we might choose. B) A Juke is "huge"??? C) The last picture shows a RAV4 Hybrid?
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