So is the six-speed manual Corolla S fun to drive? Well it is more fun than the automatic or CVT version but it’s still not super exciting. The clutch is easy to operate and light and the shifter itself works smoothly and is very positive and has a good feel to it. The clutch uptake is a little high, so I often find myself revving the engine a little too much before moving away.
What about the rest of the
Corolla traits? Well, the 1.8L engine gets the car moving but not very
quickly and the engine is noisy when revved. When cruising in sixth
gear, the Corolla hums along between 1,500 and 2,000 rpm on the highway
and is surprisingly quiet.
The steering and suspension are both
soft, so you won’t get your thrills carving corners, but the lightness
of the car does make it somewhat fun to toss around. But hey, most
people aren’t buying a Corolla to carve corners. It excels in parking
lots and is nimble and easy to park. Visibility is also great all around
in the Corolla with large windows and well-placed mirrors.
only downside is the high rear deck which makes it difficult to see
backwards, but the back-up camera certainly eliminates most of that
Sometimes it is a bummer to “have” to drive a
compact-class vehicle when a lot of your time is spent driving fully
loaded vehicles in the $40-$50,000 range and beyond. But I honestly got
into this tester and thought it was pretty darn nice at pretty much any
price, especially at just over $23,000 including delivery.
red trim pieces along the dash add an extra flare and the red stitching
on the leather edged seats looks great. The black painted wheels are not
my style but they look okay on the bright red car, which by the way
kind of looks like a Kia Forte now. For the class of vehicle there is
nothing out of place or “cheap” feeling, except for perhaps the armrest
that wiggles loosely when you open it, causing concern of breaking the
hinge if one is not careful.
In terms of adjustability and
comfort, the Corolla offers a height adjustable bucket seat with tilt
and telescoping steering wheel. The clutch pedal is a little far to
reach, causing me to sit perhaps a little more forward than I normally
would. Rear legroom and headroom are on par for the class, because of
the more forward driving position due to the clutch I actually found the
rear legroom to be plentiful — but I’m short.
Trunk space is
okay but the hinge arms do interfere considerably when closing the
trunk. I picked up a 20L tub of oil and dropped it into the trunk and
was confused at first why the trunk wouldn’t close — it seems most
manufacturers have moved away from these interference hinges, so I
forgot they existed and how annoying they are.