Redesigned for 2009, the Toyota Corolla compact economy sedan gets sleeker styling, a roomier interior and more powerful engines. With seating for five passengers, the front-wheel-drive base trims are powered by a 1.8L four-cylinder engine rated at 132 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque via a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic. With either transmission, Toyota Corolla fuel economy is 27 mpg city/35 mpg hwy. Moving up a notch in power, the Corolla XRS is motivated by a 2.4L four-cylinder engine that pushes out 158 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque paired to a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic; however, XRS fuel economy drops to 22/30 mpg for either transmission. Toyota Corolla safety features include antilock brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Stability control is standard on the XRS but optional on the other trim levels. The XRS has four-wheel disc brakes, while the other trim levels have rear drums. The Corolla comes nicely equipped and offers the versatility of a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat.Read more Read less
The new Toyota Corolla is only about 2.5 inches wider and about an inch shorter in height than the previous version, but it has been completely redesigned for 2009 and borrows some styling cues from the latest Camry sedan along with more luxury and convenience features. Five exterior colors, all metallic, are new to the lineup: Classic Silver, Magnetic Gray, Barcelona Red, Capri Sea, and Blue Streak.
Affordability; fuel efficiency; redesigned interior; new XRS performance model.
The Toyota Corolla has a longstanding reputation for being one of the most affordable small sedans, especially when considering its reputation for reliability, high fuel efficiency, and low operating costs. The redesigned 2009 model brings a new level of interior comfort, plus optional features such as a navigation system that aren't otherwise offered in this class. The new XRS model, with its torquey 2.4L engine, promises much-improved performance.