Intro: It's hard to argue with the numbers. The Toyota Corolla compact sedan is one of the top selling cars on the market, and for a reason. With Toyota reliability, accommodating 5-passenger seating, and a focus on value, the 2012 Toyota Corolla remains one of the cornerstones to the small car segment.
The 2012 Corolla is one year removed from a 2011 freshening that included a revised grille, rear bumper, chrome decklid accent, and taillights.
Trims for the Corolla are Base, LE, and the Sporty ""S"" model. We drove the S model which featured black-accented headlights, 16-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels and an aerodynamic body kit that includes a lower front spoiler and side skirts.
Performance: The Corolla comes equipped with a 1.8-liter inline-4, sending 132 horsepower to the front wheels through either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.
Fuel Economy: Here are the highest and lowest EPA estimates for fuel economy:
Features: Inside, Toyota took the ""If it ain't broke, don't fix it"" approach with minimal updates including a tilt and telescoping steering column, and new seats designed to better accommodate taller drivers. Our test model featured a unique multifunction sport steering wheel, an available one-touch power sunroof, and a standard 4-speaker AM/FM stereo with CD player, MP3 capability, and auxiliary audio input.
To get some real high-end sound out of the Corolla, we suggest upgrading to the available six speaker stereo package which includes a USB port with iPod connectivity, Bluetooth hands free phone, streaming music and a three month introductory subscription to XM Satellite radio.
Safety Features: Standard safety features include 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, Smart Stop braking technology, front and rear crumple zones, side impact door beams, and a full array of front, side and rear airbags.
Pricing: Base MSRP for the 2012 Toyota Corolla is $16,130. A range-topping S model equipped with the automatic transmission starts at $18,820.
Warranty: The Corolla is backed by a transferable 3-year, 36,000-mile basic warranty and a transferable 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Summary: With the focus on sharp styling, reliability and value, the 2012 Toyota Corolla continues to be among the leaders in the small car market.