If you're looking for a small sedan that competently covers all the basics, the 2016 Toyota Corolla may be just right for you. We've found it doesn't inspire much excitement, but its sensible blend of fuel economy and value are definitely appealing. Take a closer look at the newest Toyota Corolla.
The Toyota Corolla gets little respect from most car reviewers. It's a soulless appliance, they'll tell you; where's the excitement and flair? But the Corolla is now in its 11th generation. It's been on the market nonstop for almost half a century and ranks as the world's best-selling small sedan. Toyota seems to know more than it gets credit for about its customers and their taste in cars, and the 2016 Corolla is bound to be yet another crowd-pleasing choice.
Many of the current Corolla's strengths can be found inside. The overall design is fresh and brings, dare we say it, a stylish edge to the traditionally staid small sedan class. The interface for the infotainment system is easy to use thanks to clear displays and well-placed controls. We also like the Corolla's rear seat that provides more legroom than many midsize sedans. Add the Corolla's laudable crash-test scores, high fuel economy and exceptionally high resale value and you have all the ingredients for a car that pleases more than it dismays.
Just keep in mind that if you value driver engagement, those reviewers are right -- the Corolla is hardly inspiring from behind the wheel. More dynamic alternatives include the sophisticated and similarly fuel-efficient Mazda 3 and the frugal yet fun-to-drive Ford Focus. Although the Hyundai Elantra isn't that sporty, it offers ample style at an attractive price, and the always-popular Honda Civic and Volkswagen Jetta have been remade into strong all-around contenders. But the Toyota still earns a solid Edmunds "B" rating. Other small cars may steal the headlines, but don't let that distract you from the 2016 Corolla's fundamental competence.