2017 Toyota Corolla XLE

When you make the top-selling car model of all time, you must be doing something right. For 2017, changes are few to the Toyota Corolla, but even more value has been added.

In the basic transportation department, the Toyota Corolla has been so popular because of just-right sizing, great gas mileage, and dependability. Lots of features for the price sweeten the deal. Extra-bright LED headlights and a backup camera are now standard.

Our review car is a mid-equipped XLE, which surprisingly still has drum brakes in the rear. Move up the SE for disc brakes at all corners.

Interior wise, this is a simple, functional car with a nearly flat dashboard design. It’s roomy with easy to access controls and good visibility all around. You could mistake the vinyl seats for leather and up front they’re heated.

The XLE only has the CVT automatic available while a six-speed manual can be ordered on the SE.

At $500, the entune premium audio system with navigation and satellite radio is a bargain and still has a CD player. Many car makers are dumping CDs. Illuminated door sills for an extra $300 seem silly in a Corolla.

Toyota realizes buyers of small sedans need and use a back seat, so there’s plenty of room; one of the best in class for leg room. Cargo space is very good for a small car as well. I like the optional carpeted trunk mat.

The Corolla’s 1.8 liter four produces 132 horsepower driving the front wheels. An Eco model gets a more modern engine with 140 horsepower. It’s on the slow and noisy side and there’s nothing here for enthusiast drivers to like, but for getting around, the Corolla really works.

So, for the 2017 Toyota Corolla XLE, I say thumbs up to the roomy interior, good gas mileage and value; thumbs down to road noise and lack of horsepower.

I averaged about 33 miles per gallon. The as-tested sticker is $24,086.

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