Toyota Corolla — Something for everyone

By David Finkelstein

Frankly speaking, I'm trying to get a grip on all of the build combinations and trim levels offered from Toyota Motors in respect to the 2016 Corolla compact four door, 5-passenger sedan. Certainly, the choices help create appeal to a wide customer base.

For example, the entry level car is designated as the “L” model. Focused on the car's exterior, it includes LED low beam headlights with halogen high beams, LED daytime running lights, color-keyed power outside door mirrors and outside door handles, 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers and P195/65 R15 tires, color-keyed front grille assembly plus intermittent windshield wipers and an in-glass AM/FM antenna.

Next is the “LE” version which also includes all of the above items plus a front grille with special gray painted inserts, color-keyed heated power outside door mirrors, 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers and P205/55R16 tires as well as variable intermittent windshield wipers with mist cycle.

Next up is the ”LE Eco” model. In addition to, or in place of LE grade features, it also includes a rear wind spoiler. Then there is the “LE Plus” trim. It has all of the LE and LE Eco grade features as well as integrated front fog lights from the factory. Toyota also offers the '16 Corolla in "LE Eco Plus" build version, which contains added chrome accents around the windows. The “LE Premium” grade is next in the class structure. LE Premium has a power tilt/slide moonroof with sliding sunshade plus a roof-mounted antenna.

From there, the factory has the “LE Eco Premium” grade. You'll discover added chrome window accent trim, a rear spoiler as well as 16-inch aerodynamically designed alloy wheels. Then we transition into the “S” grades. The S model has an attractive front chrome grille surround with piano black inserts that tend to give the car dominance, color-keyed heated power outside mirrors with built-in turn signal indicators, a rear spoiler, 16-inch steel wheels with unique wheel covers and P205/55R16 all season tires and a chrome-tipped exhaust tail pipe outlet.

Perhaps the “S Plus” will meet your car shopping needs. The S Plus is nicely equipped as it also has a power tilt/slide moonroof with sliding sunshade (standard with the 6-speed manual and optional with the CVT automatic transmission), 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/45R17 tires and a roof-mounted antenna. Moving forward is the “S Special Edition” Corolla. In addition to everything on the S Plus grade, there is Special Edition exterior badge as well as unique 17-inch alloy wheels with a gloss black finish.

And finally, there is the “S Premium” grade which is fully equipped including a power operated moon roof and sliding sun shades.

As expected, with each trim level upgrade, assume additional amenities with the car's interior as well however, even the entry level “L” model has a notable list of items. The short list includes; air conditioning (with a dust and pollen filter), USB and iPod connectivity capabilities plus Bluetooth for hands-free phone control, phone book access and audio streaming, a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat as well as tilt and telescoping steering wheel, overhead console with map light, entune audio with multimedia bundle that also includes a 6.1-inch screen and six speakers.

Furthermore, the entry level Corolla includes instrumentation with a speedometer plus a tachometer, odometer, tripmeter, outside temperature display, current/average fuel economy readout, cruising range/ECO indicator and a helpful warning message monitor (4-speed automatic only). Also included is a one-touch 3-blink lane change turn signal stalk, power door locks with automatic locking feature, power windows with driver’s side one touch up/down, rear window defogger with timer, day/night rearview mirror, center console with storage compartment, passenger-side glove compartment, front and rear door storage pockets with sculpted bottle holders, a digital clock plus a 12V auxiliary power outlet port. With the “L” version, you'll be able to choose from a 6-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.

What further helps make this automobile so attractive to buyers is the fact that the rear seat legroom is among the most generous in its category. Its about 6-inches larger than what's generally offered from most of the competitors. This unique “class above” feature has made Corolla one of the best selling vehicles in its category.

And when it comes to fuel savings, it reflects 42-MPG EPA (estimated) highway fuel economy for the Corolla LE Eco model for 2016.

Powering Corolla is one of two choices of their reliable 1.8-liter four cylinder engine, with one having more power output than the other. Corolla’s unibody is manufactured with an extensive use of high tensile-strength steel. This provides a rigid platform for tight handling, ride smoothness and occupant safety. Many other comprehensive safety features are also included as standard.

Unwanted noise is at bay due to an extensive array of noise dreading counter measures throughout the body structure.

Marketing has indicated that the LE Trim suite is the most popular, with the base “L” MSRP model pricing starting at $17,300. It elevates up to $23,125 for the top end model, excluding shipping charges of $835. The basic warranty is for 3-years/36,000 miles that also includes a 2-year/24,000 mile complementary vehicle maintenance package.