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The 2007 Toyota Corolla is a vice-free economy car with lots of name cachet. Unfortunately, it costs too much and suffers from a bland personality.
Roomy interior, fuel-efficient engine, illustrious reliability record.
Awkward driver-seat position, bland on-road personality, lack of model variation and upscale convenience features, gets pricey even when equipped with just the basics.
Available Corolla Models
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For 2007, Toyota has discontinued the sporty Corolla XRS trim level. For the LE trim, leather seating is no longer available.
Toyota's venerable Corolla has gone through many changes since it was first introduced almost 40 years ago. Over the course of its long life, the Toyota Corolla has appeared as a hatchback, coupe, wagon and sedan. Enough people in the world have chosen this Toyota model to make it the best-selling nameplate in the history of automobiles. As you might therefore expect, the Corolla has earned a significant amount of undeterred loyalty.
The 2007 Toyota Corolla, which represents the ninth generation, is an agreeable economy car. On the inside, a user-friendly control layout matches up with materials that seem nice enough to be used in a more expensive Camry. Although room in the front seat is merely average, the backseat is spacious enough to accommodate adults comfortably. On the road, the Corolla is easy to drive, though its 126-horsepower engine provides only mediocre performance.
If that latter trait was the Corolla's only problem, we could probably make an endorsement. But instead it's representative of a more holistic problem -- model age. The current Corolla is past due for a redesign, and it's readily apparent when one compares the car to fresher competitors. For instance, the Corolla's arch-nemesis, the Civic, was redesigned just last year, and it offers a more contemporary look, along with coupe and sedan body styles, more power, better features and a wider range of fuel-efficiency-focused and performance-themed models.
Alternately, if you're looking for nothing more than basic transportation, the 2007 Toyota Corolla -- particularly a loaded-up version -- is overkill. There are a number of compact sedans that offer equivalent accommodations, features and performance for considerably less money. Do they have equally stellar reputations for quality and reliability? Probably not, but with warranties extending as far as 100,000 miles, it hardly seems much of a risk. Only for Corolla devotees or those willing to spend a little extra for peace of mind will a purchase this year make reasonable sense.
The 2007 Toyota Corolla economy sedan is available in three trim levels: CE, S and LE. The base CE comes with 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, a CD player, power mirrors, a height-adjustable driver seat, an outside temperature gauge and a 60/40-split folding rear seat. The S is similar but has a lower body styling kit, a rear deck spoiler, foglights and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Go with the Corolla LE to gain fake wood trim, Optitron gauges, power windows and locks, and remote keyless entry. You can get the power windows and locks as options on the CE and S. Other available options, depending on the trim level, include 16-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, upgraded audio systems and cruise control.
Power for Corolla CE, LE and S models comes in the form of a 126-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a four-speed automatic is optional. Fuel economy is better than average for this class of car; EPA figures are 30 mpg city/38 mpg highway with the automatic transmission.
For the 2007 Toyota Corolla, antilock brakes, full-length side curtain airbags and front-seat side airbags are optional. A stability control system that also adds traction control and brake assist is optional on S and LE models equipped with an automatic transmission and ABS. In NHTSA crash tests, the Toyota Corolla earned five stars (the best score possible) for frontal-impact protection and four stars for side-impact protection. In 40 mph frontal-offset crash testing by the IIHS, it received a "Good" rating (the highest possible). The IIHS gave a worst rating of "Poor" to the Corolla for the car's protection in side-impact crashes. That rating rises to "Acceptable" if the car is equipped with the optional side and side curtain airbags.
The Corolla's interior is furnished with high-quality materials and user-friendly controls that wouldn't seem out of place in a more expensive car. Even with the car's tall cabin design, room in the front seats is only average, with a somewhat awkward seating position for the driver. Meanwhile, two adults can sit comfortably in the backseat without ducked heads or pulled-up legs. Trunk capacity measures a generous 13.6 cubic feet.
From a stop, the Corolla's acceleration is acceptable but nothing more. During highway driving, it's a quiet cruiser, with very little engine noise and even less wind noise. Though not as sporty as some competitors, the 2007 Toyota Corolla offers an appealing compromise between handling and comfort. It rides smoothly enough to be used as a commuter car, while maintaining its composure when occasionally pushed around the corners.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.
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