Cars.com's Mike Hanley takes a look at the 2011 Toyota Corolla S. It competes with the Hyundai Elantra and Honda Civic.
(upbeat intense electric guitar music) <v Announcer>Cars.com Auto Review. Hi, I'm Mike Hanley with Cars.com. I'm here with a Toyota Corolla.
It's one of the most popular, and most reliable compact cars in its class, but newer competition from the likes of Hyundai, Ford, and Chevrolet are challenging this model quite a bit. The Corolla is a pretty efficient compact car with the four speed automatic transmission in our test model. It's rated at 26 miles per gallon city, 34 on the highway, and that's teamed with a 1.8 liter four cylinder engine. But the competition has advanced. Models like the Hyundai Elantra are rated at 29 city, 40 highway. So against newer competitors the Corolla trails a little bit. Another area where the Corolla really hasn't kept pace with the competition is with its interior. It's pretty functional in its layout, but there are some unrefined elements, like these air conditioning controls that are kind of wobbly. Also, it's kind of tough to get a nice fit in this car, because the tilt steering wheel doesn't go as low as you'd want. And the dead pedal's pretty small, so there's not a great spot for your left foot. Like a lot of compact cars, the Corolla's back seat is snug for adult passengers. There's not much extra head room, and leg room is kind of tight too. One thing that's nice though, is that there's a lot of give to the back of these front seats. So you can make a little more space for your knees if you need to. The Corolla's trunk lid opens really easily, which is nice, and it reveals a wide opening to the trunk. The trunk measures 12.3 cubic feet. That's plenty of room for a couple of golf bags, or a bunch of grocery bags. In many respects the Corolla's newer competition has passed it by in a number of areas, whether it's fuel economy, the driving experience itself or interior quality. And because of that, Toyota really needs to take a hard look at the Corolla, and give it a proper redesign. <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog KickingTires.net.