2017 Toyota Corolla Review: Mediocrity sells

– Detroit, Michigan

Applebee’s doesn’t make the world’s greatest cheeseburger, but it definitely sells a lot of them; sometimes you just want simple, dependable food. The Toyota Corolla isn’t the world’s greatest compact car, either, but its popularity – America’s fifth best-selling vehicle – is a testament to the enduring appeal of an affordable, easy-to-use, reliable small sedan. Refreshed for the 2017 model year with more equipment and a revamped interior, the Corolla continues to be a dependable, if not desirable, pick.

 

 

Pros

  • This Corolla XLE is a marvel of trickle-down technology. That a car priced below $24,000 can feature gadgets like lane-keep assist, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, pushbutton start and unlocking, and LED headlights would have been unthinkable even five years ago. It’s a great thing for the car market in general that even drivers shopping the most affordable end of the dealer lot can be privy to the latest and greatest in-car conveniences. Better still, those active safety features are standard on every 2017 Corolla, regardless of trim level; democratizing crash-prevention systems is a laudable achievement.
  • Using and driving the Corolla is ridiculously simple. The plus-sized controls and gauges are all elementary in their function, and the ultra-legible gauges are simple to read at a glance. Likewise, you’ll never wonder what time it is with the large, microwave-style digital clock staring out of the center stack. The Corolla is ide...