Following a complete redesign last year, the 2015 Toyota Corolla remains the same as its one year older sibling with a few minor exceptions.

The new edition of the best-selling car in history now has a fold-down real center armrest in all trims except the base L model. The Toyota Corolla for years has had a lengthy list of standard features, and it’s now even better. The upper level trims for 2015 get the Driver Convenience package as standard equipment.

The Weekly Driver Test Drive

The S trim premium was my weekly test drive, and it’s most equipped of the four Toyota Corolla trims, which also include L, LE and LE Eco. All models have a four-cylinder engine. A manual transmission is standard. But the options include a four-speed automatic and a continuously variable transmission.

I drove the latter option. Like the 2014 model, this year’s Toyota Corolla is a keen reminder of the definition of reliable transportation. Like many smaller sedans, the Corolla is rated to seat five, but it’s more comfortable for four adults. It’s front-wheel drive and powered by a 1.8-liter, 16-value engine with 140 horsepower.

The 2015 Toyota Corolla remains much the same as the 2014 model.
The 2015 Toyota Corolla remains much the same as the 2014 model.

The S trim (premium/plus) has 17-inch alloy wheels, firmer suspension tuning and rear disc brakes (versus the standard drums). The exact list of features on the “upscale” Corolla is slightly confusing. Overall, the S Premium starts with the S Plus’ equipment and shares the upgrades of the other Premium models, including the premium vinyl upholstery.

Driving the Corolla can be spirited. As a small sedan, the top-line has some spunk, although it shouldn’t be mistaken for a sports car on any level. The drive is smooth and steady, and the vision is good and void of any blindspots.

I like the layout and functionality of the gauges and dials. The navigation system is ideally placed and the six-inch screen offers a clear picture and sound directions with plenty of advance warning.

Several reviews of the new Toyota have cited its generic presentation and personality. The entry level L trim is a basic vehicle, yes. And that’s a good reason to consider upper levels.

Likes:

Spacious interior, particularly for its segment.

Strong fuel economy.

Lengthy standard features list.

Comfortable ride.

Dislikes:

Not the quickest small sedan in industry.

Facts & Figures: 2015 Toyota Corolla

Acceleration: 0-60 mph, unavailable.
Airbags: 8.
Fuel economy: 29 mpg (city), 37 mpg (highway), 32 mpg (combined) six-speed automatic transmission.
Horsepower: 140.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $22,905.00.
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.toyota.com.
Price As Tested: $24,659.00.
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited miles.

What Others Say:

“The 2015 Toyota Corolla isn’t built to excite, but its sensible blend of fuel economy, features, versatility and value make it a compelling choice for typical small sedan shoppers.” — Edmunds.com.

“While the Corolla is solid, it’s not sporty or sexy or even luxurious. If you’re looking for any or all of these attributes in a compact car, we suggest the Ford Focus, Dodge Dart or Hyundai Elantra.” — Kelley Blue Book.

“The controls are still laid out sensibly, and the ride is still smooth and compliant. In other words, Corolla loyalists aren’t likely to jump ship, but there’s a lot more attitude in this redesigned model, no doubt, and Toyota hopes that will enhance the Corolla’s crossover appeal.” — AutoTrader.

The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:

“The Toyota Corolla has been the go-to car for a long time for those seeking competent transportation and longevity at a fair price. The Corolla is no longer inexpensive and there are other great small sedans on the market. But there are still plenty of reasons to buy a Corolla, and it’s no surprise it’s the best selling car in history.”

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