Ten Observations About a Rented Toyota Corolla

The WRX is getting re-clutchified, so for the past three days we've been tooling around the greater Los Angeles area in a 2007 Corolla. Our impressions are thus:

  • Features the world's most legible instruments.
  • Comparing the Corolla to Wonder Bread isn't fair — to Wonder Bread. The Corolla is more like a sack of flour, and not that fancy King Arthur stuff, either.
  • Still, surprising power. Another reason why modern engines are amazing; even a pair of brown shoes like the Corolla has both DOHC and variable-valve timing.
  • Enjoys going around corners. Even so, negative feedback from the tiller. It's like turning the hollow plastic steering wheel attached to your kid's crib.
  • Rock solid at 70 mph. Becomes 20-times more sketchy at 75-80 mph. Puny wheelbase doesn't help matters.
  • We will never bitch about cheap GM/Ford/Chrysler interiors again without mentioning el Corolla. Way to cut corners (and fingers), Toyota.
  • Worst driving position of any modern car in memory. The seats are overstuffed and feel like bad dorm furniture. Frankly, just terrible.
  • After taking my friend out to lunch in the Corolla she asked, "What kind of car was that?" I told her it was a Toyota Corolla. She answered, "Really?"
  • Has a simply cavernous trunk
  • Easy to lose in parking lots, as it looks like a lumpen gray blob with wheels.