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May 30, 2011

2011 Toyota Corolla S

Recently, I test drove a 2011 Toyota Corolla S , as in Sport, because it has a spoiler on the back. I drove a Corolla back in 1998 when Toyota redesigned this model. I loved this car, it drove across the country twice, logged many miles and only needed regular oil changes and maintenance in the 12 years I owned it. It was a great car without a lot of frills, but it worked and didn't feel too cheap on the interior either.

That was 1998, this is 2011. I was disappointed with the new Corolla. At the Detroit Auto Show in January, I briefly checked this car out and was not impressed. It's grown tired and even with a sporty spoiler it doesn't sing. As I drove along Texas and New Mexico roads I felt the car continuously shifting (this was an automatic) no matter what speed I drove it. It doesn't zip either. Bumps are felt and exterior noise is heard loud and clear. The inside is all plastic and while that is the norm for this price range it doesn't have to "feel" so plastic. Chevy and Ford can show you that. There was nothing impressive about this car. It gets less highway (35) MPG than a Chevy Cruze or Hyundai Elantra but slightly more in the city than those two.

As a four door sedan in the under 20k price range it holds up well against the Honda Civic and Chevy Cruze. It has a wider face and seats five with 12.3 cubit feet of cargo room. That's smaller than most of its competitors. As a four door sedan it doesn't have any zing or zip. There is nothing about this Corolla that sets it apart from its competitors.

MPR Rating: Two Stars.

Disclaimer: MPR was not paid for this post. Products received are for review and test purposes only. Opinions are MPR's only.

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