My family has enjoyed the use of a 1998 Corolla that was purchased new. For the past eighteen years and more than 235,00 miles, problem free driving was ours with only routine scheduled maintenance. Two weeks ago we decided to purchase a new Corolla. We test drove the 2017 Corolla. The lack of comfort and the level of road noise in "that cabin", as compared to what we had become accustomed to in our 1998 model was no small matter. The noise especially, was so annoying that we decided to purchase a Camry after giving one a test drive that very same day. I had learned from the sales manager that a lot of owners of our generation Corolla had decided to upgrade to a new Camry instead of repeating their purchase of a new Corolla after test driving the new Corolla. The manager also mentioned that Toyota made certain design changes between the model years that probably contributed to the issues we had with the new Corolla.
I read all the reviews before purchase and I am really happy with this car. It is a great value. The safety features that come standard are awesome. I like the radar-responsive cruise control for highway commuting, as well as the lane alert. The design of the car is such that there are very few blind spots. The seat is very comfortable, and it is just comfortable to drive. The turning radius is great and it is very responsive. I live in a city with hills and I love the hill assist feature--no rolling back! It is also great for city parking. The temperature control and sound system are wonderful. The gas mileage is fantastic! And this is a car which holds its value and comes with years of mainteance support, keeping the mainteance costs lows. The only two areas that could be improved are consistent with what the fancy car reviewers say: 1) it could go from 0 to 60 a little faster. That being said, it is consistent with other value cars that I have driven. No better but no worse. 2) The gear shifts in lower gears are a little louder than they could be. There are quieter cars out there. But overall this is car is a great value! I needed a car at a good price, that would hold its value, had great fuel efficiency, high safety standards and low maintenance costs. This car wins in all those categories. And it is fun to drive. The bonus for us is that the trunk is big enough to take the two kids camping, and the 60/40 split means one person can sit in the back seat and we can still haul longer items. Very pleased!
The car is not that good looking to begin with, but it comes in any color you want as long as its white, black, 50 shades of grey, or Christmas tree ornament blue or red, very boring. You get what you pay for, but surprisingly for the price the fit and finish are very good.. The interior does seem to contain a lot of shiny cheap plastic. They also put a lot of emphasis on back seat legroom, but they didn't leave any upfront and that makes the car uncomfortable on a long trip. I have already stopped to stretch my legs so as not to get a DVT. My major complaint is the CV transmission. I'm sure this may be an adequate transmission is a state that is flat, or in a snowmobile; but where I live It is very hilly and there is the problem. First it is noisy under acceleration and that acceleration is very poor. It is slower that the 4 speed automatic it replaced and a snail when compared to a manual shift. The engine races when accelerating, and it seems you are always waiting for the transmission to catch up. The RPM are all over the place, and passing can take a long time and be dangerous. Toyota put phony shift points in a transmission that doesn't shift; this is very irritating and it is one more thing to go wrong. I wonder what Toyota was thinking? Has anyone asked why the 2018 Camry started with a clean sheet of paper and they didn't put a CVT in that car? My theory is that this transmission is light duty only. Instead of gears there is a belt between two drums, and unlike a gear that meshes, the belts probably need a high coefficient of friction to function and friction spells wear. I was going to purchase this car until a friend, who is a transmission technician , suggested I lease it because in about 60k-70k miles there is a good chance of transmission failure. Visits to various websites appears to bear that out. If the factory has all this confidence with this gum band transmission why don't they offer a longer FACTORY warranty to give the buyer peace of mind? If there are a lot of problems model wide, resale will suffer. Before you buy one insist on an overnight test drive to see if you can live with it. Why can't Toyota give us options like a 6 speed auto, 5 speed manual, or a dual clutch auto? There really is no alternative except Kia, Hyundai, or Mazda since the Honda civic, Nissan Sentra, and Nissan Altima also have CVTs. I realize that auto companies are being forced into this with CAFE averages, but I'm not happy with this transmission and a potential of a $4500+ replacement charge, when it is out of warranty, so they can meet the CAFE and be able to sell a Tundra. This is just my opinion, but if you are buying for the long term maybe you should research CVTs on some websites Other complaints are lack of road feel, visibility is poor, and one has no idea where the front bumper is (maybe they need an upfront camera too), too much pedal travel in the brake, and difficulty getting in and out Other than the transmission, and some minor stuff, this is a very decent car for the price. As mentioned, fit and finish are excellent. It has a five star safety rating. The lane departure is good for those who like that tech. The air is great even though the fan is loud. I think this is my last Corolla especially when the next generation is going to be made in Mexico. Well that's my review, choose wisely.
I have only had this car a little over a day. I drive 45-60 minutes one way to work everyday. So a total of 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours a day in my car. If you do any kind of long distance driving, beware, the seats are extremely uncomfortable. There is zero support. Also, hard to get in and out of unless you are young in age and or in great shape. I wish I would have paid more attention before I leased it.
Pros: Superb headlights with every even and bright illumination; tight fit and finish, very solid construction; low operating cost. Cons: If you want to know what it feels like driving a coffin this is it! Very dark claustrophobic interior, poor outward visibility; noisy at speed; poor straight line stability; persistent and irritating understeer. Boring exterior design. Some very hard and sharp plastic in the wrong spots that really will hurt you.