I wanted a car that was very reliable and practical, but also had personality and caught the eye. When you say Corolla, you don't think about the XRS model, but this model is great. The 2.4-liter engine has great pickup with the manual transmission, and climbing grades is a lot better than with the 1.8 liter, with extra power on tap for passing. The interior is cheap, like others say, but it's a Toyota and 7 years old at that, so I am not expecting much. For a guy in his twenties that wanted something awesome but still practical and reliable, I have to say I am in love with my XRS Corolla. I just bought the car yesterday, but I will update this review when I have had it for some more time.
I traded in my 2007 Prius on this sporty Corolla thinking it would be fun to drive and economic as my 1994 Mazda Protege was. I am very disappointed in the interior comfort as well as the manual transmission.
Exterior design is very sporty and nice. Powerful acceleration and handles well. Sound system is great.
Manual transmission shifts like a truck, not like a small car should. It is my biggest complaint. Sometimes I can hardly get it into reverse without first pulling forward. Steering wheel hangs up when starting car. Clock that is not visible all the time is really annoying. Wouldn't buy again.
I really like the Corolla XRS that I just purchased. I looked at Mazda 3 , Honda Civic and chose Toyota because of relialbilty and the way they redesigned the exterior. It's a great practical vehicle with performance at an affordable price. Nice interior.
I bought the Corolla XRS and as a birthday present my father had it supercharged it for me at the factory($3,190, the same TRD supercharger available for the tC). I now put out 206 hp and 171 lb.-ft of torque. With the supercharger I now get about 22 to 24 mpg city and close to 34 mpg highway. I also love the shift feel of the five-speed gear box,very smooth. In gloss black my Toyota XRS with tinted windows, interior LED light enhancements and awesomely crisp JBL sound system the car has proven fun and stylish.
If anything I guess a six speed close ratio transmission would be nice for even better shifting and highway fuel consumption. The two red rear reflectors on the lower portion of the back look ok at night in your headlights from behind, but in the daylight they look a bit tacked on.
I am a long time Toyota owner and a first time Corolla XRS owner. I am a male in my late 20s and for how agressive and clean the car looks, the name evokes a complete opposite response from people. Everyone thinks it is a weak chick mobile. I wish Toyota would keep the platform, change the name and market the car more like the Civic. Anyway, the bottom line is I wanted a car that got great gas mileage, carried 5 passengers, has decent speed, is reliable, and looked good. It was the smart choice due to unforeseeable gas prices, but unless your friends, family, or peers know what the new XRS looks like, they will think you drive that old school rollerskate.
Airbags galore. I also like the extra horse power over the stock. It is more noticeable at speeds between 0-30 mph and 70-100 mph. I don't know exactly why? Maybe the 30-70 mph is the mpg sweet spot and they toned it down in that range. I test drove the S in automatic for comparison.
It needs a beefier looking rear end and I wish that they improved the sound system performance. They should have added a subwoofer. Also, the XRS needs TRD exhaust or something that will make it louder. The car is so quiet. People with manual transmission like a nice sounding growl.