Excellent fuel economy; nice interior with big back seat; sharp design; reasonable pricing
Outdated base 4-speed automatic; inferior rear drum brakes (except S Plus); could use more technology
The Corolla's only real update for 2016 is a new Special Edition model that offers a few unique exterior revisions, bold colors and larger alloy wheels. Otherwise, the sedan is unchanged for the latest model year.
We like the S model's engaging paddle shifters and snug seats, and we'd want the S-only optional disc brakes, too -- and that makes the Corolla S the one to have. Choosing between the Plus and the Premium will depend on exactly how many comfort and convenience features you need and want. Find a Toyota Corolla for sale
The 2016 Corolla is offered in four trim levels: L, LE, LE Eco and S.
The entry-level L ($18,000) starts with 15-in steel wheels with plastic covers, LED running lights, power accessories, air conditioning, Bluetooth, an adjustable-height driver's seat and a 4-speaker audio system with iPod/USB connectivity and an auxiliary audio input. Drivers can choose between a 6-speed manual and a 4-speed automatic transmission.
The LE ($19,500) adds 16-in steel wheels with plastic covers, keyless entry, cruise control, a 6.1-in touchscreen interface, a rearview camera, automatic climate control and a 6-speaker audio system with Bluetooth audio. LE models also feature a standard CVT automatic. The LE Plus package ($20,000) adds 16-in alloy wheels and fog lights, while the LE Premium package ($23,000) tacks on those items plus SofTex faux-leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power driver's seat, keyless access with push-button starting, a power sunroof, a navigation system and Toyota's Entune mobile-app-suite integration.
The LE Eco ($20,000) features the special 140-hp engine with improved fuel economy, aerodynamic tweaks (including a subtle rear spoiler) and eco-biased tires, but otherwise it mostly shares the LE's equipment roster -- including the available Plus and Premium packages.
The S ($20,200) adds on to the base-level LE model with a sport-tuned suspension, a sportier version of the CVT with paddle shifters, a different gauge cluster with a thin-film-transistor trip computer screen, piano-black dashboard trim, sport front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The S Plus package ($21,000) adds 17-in alloy wheels and rear disc brakes; the S Premium package ($24,000) includes those items, plus all the LE Premium's additional features.
Notable options include a sunroof and a driver-convenience package, which includes keyless entry and ignition, smartphone-app integration, satellite radio and a navigation system.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||5 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||2 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Maintenance||2 Years/25,000 Miles|
2015 Ford Focus -- The Focus feels larger and more substantial than the Corolla, and it's more fun to drive -- but it's also more expensive.
2016 Hyundai Elantra -- The stylish Elantra continues to provide excellent value, and its performance and fuel economy are close to the Corolla's.
2016 Mazda3 -- A more premium option, the latest Mazda3 is an intriguing alternative with its adept handling and improved technology.
Used Toyota Camry -- If you like the Corolla's reliability but need a bigger interior, consider a Toyota Camry, though you may need to choose a used one to match the Corolla's budget-friendly pricing.