The Toyota Corolla was introduced way back in 1966 and gained so much customer support over the years it’s now listed as the best selling car in the world. Although SUVs and crossovers of all shapes and sizes are hugely popular, there are lots of people out there who prefer a compact sedan and for them, Toyota places great emphasis on the Corolla and is constantly updating the model. Corollas have long had a list of features that have helped build its reputation. It’s a roomy, five-passenger, front-drive car with decent power, excellent handling and lots of “fun-to-drive” content. Safety has always been a priority, as has dependability and a high level of build quality.
The 2019 model, which is on sale now, adds a wide range of improvements, some practical, others cosmetic. The ’19 Corolla is not a complete rework, that will come in another model year, but following Toyota practice, it does bring buyers more features and even better value for money. One of the cornerstones of the Toyota philosophy is that its products hold their value very well and this is certainly the case, as anyone shopping for a used for a good used example soon finds out.
The 2019 Corolla includes a number of key features that are now included in the most basic model. Among these are a 60/40 split folding rear seat, which seriously increases the car’s load-carrying capability. Previously, you had to move upmarket in the Corolla lineup to get this. All models get display audio and Bluetooth connectivity. Also added are steering wheel mounted controls. All 2019 models also include LED headlamps, dual power heated mirrors, power doors and windows, map lamps and a 12v outlet to hook up personal electronics.
Corolla power comes from an economical 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine delivering a respectable 132-horsepower and buyers can choose either a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable automatic. All Corollas have the same power unit and there are various trim levels available including CE (basic), LE, LE Upgrade, XLE, SE, SE Upgrade, XSE and LE Eco. It may seem a little confusing, but your dealer will explain the differences and this policy does mean that there is a model for every buyer and every budget. It’s worth mentioning that all these Toyotas incorporate current Toyota safety Sense P features – a long list of active and passive security assets.
Despite the aforementioned popularity of SUVs, expect this updated Corolla to continue gaining accolades as the world’s top selling sedan. Like so many families, we have a Corolla available that’s used almost daily, despite having a more “exotic” vehicle in the garage. The car has never once let us down over several years of ownership and it still looks like a new car.
SPECS AT A GLANCE…
BODY STYLE: Four-door, five-passenger sedan
ENGINE: 1.8-litre 4-cylinder
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual or CVT
PERFORMANCE: Zero to 100 km/h in approx. 9.5-secs
FUEL ECONOMY: Approx. 7.5-litres/100 km combined
PRICE: Corollas start at $16,790 MSRP