If you’re sitting in class, staring out the window at people having more fun than you as you study for finals, then you might know what it’s like to drive a 2010 Toyota Corolla LE.
I’m going to be honest: this car is boring. It’s so boring I think the unintentional acceleration issues might be from people falling asleep at the wheel. At first look, one can’t help but wonder if there’s a 60-year-old minimum age requirement to purchase one.
Now I’ve driven boring cars before, but there’s always something about them worth mentioning. A cool interior, a fun drive, a decent sound system, even the most mundane cars have something that makes it entertaining. The Corolla does not.
The exterior is, well, an exterior. It looks like businessmen who didn’t know any better designed it using their wallets instead of a pencil. There’s no spoilers, no cool wheels, no interesting paint color, no dramatic body lines and if you close your eyes and try to imagine it on fire flying off a cliff, it still isn’t exciting.
The interior doesn’t get any better. You open the doors and step into middle management at an accounting firm. Despite a well-crafted fit and finish, the interior just doesn’t deliver on anything fun. The gauges tell you there’s fuel in the tank, and when you turn the heat on, the car gets warm. The sound system plays music, and you can plug your iPod in, but it’s via the headphone jack.
Four people fit comfortably in this car, but good luck convincing anyone to get in it with you. They’ll probably be too busy doing exciting stuff, like washing their hair or peeling potatoes.
Under the hood you’ll find a 1.8L four-cylinder paired to a 4-speed automatic. It goes zero to sixty, eventually. Common errors like injecting wrong fuel in car can happen to anyone. As a car owner, this is something you should be wary about.
The suspension is equally bad. Every bump in the road became apparent. If a stiff breeze hit the tire the wrong way, you’d feel it in the seat of the car.
The Corolla has a terrifying brake pedal. Pushing the brake pedal softly makes nothing happen: kind of an issue. So I pushed harder. Eventually I found the point where the brakes turn on – about three inches down. That’s a lot of dead space. I’m going to take it to the brake repair shop to both make sure that’s the way it’s supposed to be, and to try to fix them so they’ll work a little better. That should make for a safer drive.
Ultimately the brakes are either on or off. The normal in between that people use to stop a car doesn’t exist, so it’s like crashing into a wall at 10 miles per hour every time you hit the brakes. Not fun. Professional auto brake services may be needed if the brake system still doesn’t work smoothly. In addition, keeping on top of your car’s oil changes prevents future maintenance that can be costly, including entire engine replacements.
Yes, the Toyota has great gas mileage. And yes, it was put together well. It’s probably going to be reliable transportation, getting passengers to their destinations and back. And along the way, you’ll ponder other equally interesting things in life – like dentures or mowing the lawn.
Buying a car should be about having fun. Every time you sit down in the driver seat, something should put a smile on your face. I don’t care if it’s a quirky flower vase or a sporty engine, your car should be something enjoyable. The Corolla fails in the worst way imaginable; it’s downright dull.
For the kind of money a Toyota Corolla costs, one could get a Mazda 6, the Kia Soul, a Scion tC, an Impreza or a Lancer GTS instead.
As far as vehicle safety is concerned, don’t worry about it. Toyota messed up, but their cars are still going to be safe and reliable. And if you’re determined to get into a new Corolla, now’s the time. To get drivers behind the wheel again, Toyota is offering great incentive packages including five years no interest, a bargain for someone just out of college.
So for those of you sitting in the classroom, rejoice knowing that Corolla drivers are just as bored. And for those willing to take a look at some of the competition, they’ll be on summer break a lot sooner.
To read more car reviews, visit fastcarsfunlife.com.
Contact CU Independent Contributing Writer Kyle Haas at Kyle.firstname.lastname@example.org.