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2015 Toyota Corolla Test Drive

There’s really no such thing as a basic car anymore. Over the years even today’s least expensive vehicles, come with features that were optional on high end cars only a few years ago. Power windows and mirrors, air conditioning, steering wheel mounted audio controls and a CD player with MP3 decoder are just a few of the standard features of the base 2015 Toyota Corolla L. Spend a little extra for the 2015 Toyota Corolla S Premium though, and you’re talking about a small car with all the modern amenities a prudent consumer can ask for.

Competing against the Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Jetta and Chevrolet Cruze, the 2015 Toyota Corolla is a stylish alternative in the compact car class. In order to get better acquainted with the notoriously reliable Toyota Corolla, the company let us spend a week with a 2015 Toyota Corolla S.

Years ago the Toyota Corolla was thought of as a budget-minded automobile that was heavy on economy, but light on comfort and conveniences; however, in the last decade, Toyota has worked hard to put the Corolla name in new light. Today, the 2015 Toyota Corolla is a compact sedan that offers standard features like LED headlights, power windows and steering wheel control for a hair under $18,000. This means the 2015 Toyota Corolla is no longer the penalty box that its forebears were.

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Exterior

In today’s automotive market it is sometimes difficult to tell entry-level models from higher-end models. Manufacturers have finally realized that regardless of cost, each and every model it produces must leave the factory with a feeling of quality. This not only helps to boost brand recognition in the marketplace, but it can also change the public’s opinion of what a certain model should be.

In the case of the 2015 Toyota Corolla, a new wind tunnel tested shape not only improves fuel economy, but also offers a style that likely won’t look dated in the near future. With standard LED headlights, a massive piano-black grille with chrome trim, a rear spoiler and a set of 17-inch alloys, our 2015 Toyota Corolla S test car made an impression that was far from bargain basement.

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Interior

Upon entering the 2015 Toyota Corolla you’ll notice that the fluid styling of the exterior continues into the cabin. The dashboard incorporates smooth lines that accentuate everything from the instrument panel, to the gauges, to the center console itself. Seating surfaces in our Corolla S test car were covered in SofTex, a leather-like material that is not only said to be water and stain resistant, but is also ultra supportive for long trips.

High-gloss black accents in our test car emulated the front grille. Set dead-center within the dash in our 2015 Toyota Corolla S was Toyota’s Entune Premium audio system with App Suite, a rear backup camera and navigation system. The system is touchscreen and, like the climate controls that sit beneath it, is intuitive and easy to use. Voice recognition software and Bluetooth make mobile phone communication a snap, and thanks to the steering wheel-mounted controls one never has to take his or her hands off the wheel.

Other interior features in our test car included heated front seats, a 3.5-inch information display in the center gauge pod and, of course, power windows, air conditioning and cruise control. Trunk capacity comes in at 13.0 cubic feet. Thank to fold-down rear seats, there’s even more available room for your storage needs.

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Performance

Under the hood sits a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 132 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque. Power went to the front wheels by way of a continuously variable transmission in our 2015 Toyota Corolla S test car. Passing power is adequate and cruising at an indicated 75 mph on the interstate presented a stable and quiet ride.

Handling was adequate, with minimal body roll in corners. Our 2015 Toyota Corolla S also came with the addition of rear disc brakes over the standard 9-inch rear drum brakes found on lesser Corolla models.

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Overall

Those looking at the 2015 Toyota Corolla must focus on the fact that it is a instead a nicely equipped entry-level sedan. It manages over 400 miles of range per tank and incorporates loads of technology, style and comfort into a small package. In short, it’s a nice little sedan that’s sure to please.

Photos by Mike Musto

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