BY H. THROTTLEAUTO COLUMNIST
Finally, an affordable work car in the new Corolla Hatchback XSE four-door that has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $22,990.
I’ve always liked Toyota Corolla’s, and this is a very good compact work horse vehicle for younger drivers. Why young? This model comes with 188 horsepower and a six-speed stick shift. It drives and handles like a hotrod with McPherson struts and disk brakes.
Stick shift cars are fun to drive, but in heavy traffic around the Denver metro it takes a lot of gear shifting. In this Corolla XSE the transmission works smoothly, and shifting is easy mainly using the first four-gears. The highway fifth and sixth gears are high-speed ratio gears and made for faster cruising and higher fuel mileage.
Driving a frisky front wheel drive stick shift is exciting and this Corolla performs. Nimble, the “blue flame” painted Japanese machine can rumble, fourth gear is especially versatile.
The front seats are heated,
and the air conditioning works well.
The car is loaded with the latest Toyota Sense safety features that include the pre-collision system that prevents a front-end disaster.
Headlights have the automatic dim and bright that are very exact on the highways. Couldn’t figure out how to turn them off.
Interesting incident as I was parking a young man pulled up driving a Lexus and wearing a Lexus shirt from the local district office as he had spotted this new Corolla. So new he had to ask me questions about the car and how rare this new model was on the roads.
He asked if it would get a good review and I said, “Yes, I really like this little car.”
Best features, first it is a Toyota product, that say’s a lot in mechanical features. Secondly, the price is really low for a high-tech car with so many of the latest safety features loaded with cameras, warning lights, and air bags.
The factory mileage is rated at 32 overall, my drive was lower, but I never got the car out of fourth-gear where it was a spirited drive with the horsepower and stick shift.
The car will last a long time, has a long-lasting warranty on the drive train and transmission and is basic solid transportation, but with all of the latest safety features included in the attractive price.
A very good bang for the buck.
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