Classic Silver Metallic; DLX USB Audio ($420 -- includes AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, six speakers, XM satellite radio with 90-day trial subscription, auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod connectivity, CD-text display function, auto sound leveling, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology, Vacuum Fluorescent Display, in-glass antenna); V.I.P. RS3200 Plus Security System ($359 -- includes remote anti-theft alarm, rolling code technology, glass breakage sensor, engine immobilizer); Aluminum Wheels Cap ($205 -- includes LE Extra Value Package, 16-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels with P215/60R16 tires); Carpet Floor/Trunk Mat Set ($200 -- includes five-piece set); 50-State Emissions ($0)
DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, variable intake-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
169 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
167 @ 4,100
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
I = 3.538, II = 2.047, III = 1.375, IV = 0.975, V = 0.744, VI = 0.659, R = 3.545
This is no wheezy four-banger, that's for sure -- it's got some power. Allows wheelspin even with traction control on -- rare for a Toyota. Best launch came with automatic tranny in Sport, stability control and traction control off and power-braking to 2,600 rpm. Manual shifting via console lever does not hold gears (pull back for downshifts); does not blip throttle on downshifts; shifts automatically at 6,100 rpm.
Reasonably firm pedal feel and good fade resistance. Lots of front-end dive and, correspondingly, very light rear end, with some side-to-side movement. More-than-usual ABS pumping felt through pedal.
Skid pad: Plenty of understeer. But with stability control off, the chassis was willing to cooperate with drop-throttle. Overlying factors here: soft suspension and slippery tires. The stability system wasn't overly intrusive even when switched on. Slalom: Another rarity for a Toyota product -- Stability control stayed out of the equation when turned off in the slalom. Surprisingly tossable and controllable, considering this is a ho-hum midsize four-cylinder family sedan. The steering doesn't have much in the way of feel, but turns in reasonably quick. Suspension is soft, giving a lot of body roll, and tires don't have much grip. But for what it is, it worked well. When turned on, stability control can be very intrusive if you aren't dead-smooth with your inputs.