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2015 Toyota Corolla S Premium

GAYOT Rating

Pragmatists Rejoice!

2015 Corolla front three quarter
In short: Practical and popular small sedan

2015 Toyota Corolla S Premium Review

Toyota’s vastly popular compact remains a competent and reasonably economical choice, and now comes with some well-integrated apps, too. Still the quintessential basic sedan, the Toyota Corolla doesn’t disappoint as an A to B machine. All 2015 Corollas sold in the US come with 1.8-liter inline-4 engines. Oddly, the efficiency-minded ECO trim level gets 140 horsepower while all other trim levels including the sport-oriented “S” make do with 132 ponies. Our blue-crush metallic test car was a top-of-the-line S Premium model equipped with vinyl upholstery, LED headlights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and the Entune premium infotainment system. Along with the suite of apps and easy Bluetooth phone integration, a back-up camera is standard on the Corolla S Premium. We found that the infotainment all worked well, cabin ergonomics were good and most controls were sensibly placed.

Being a Toyota Corolla, our test car offered few surprises in the driving department. The engine provides adequate power for most situations, though the continuously-variable transmission produces some lag and a rubber-band feeling under hard acceleration. Paddle-shifters allow the driver to select among seven artificial “gears,” mimicking the functioning of a traditional automatic. Handling is secure without feeling sporty, with decent steering but plenty of body-lean. The brakes remain only so-so, despite the S model’s substitution of rear discs for the drum units found on other trim levels. Fuel economy, as expected, was very good, with our test Corolla S returning 22 mpg in heavy stop-and-go city traffic, 27 on a typical major surface street with moderate traffic, and 39 on a freeway with mild traffic and the air conditioner switched off. Compared to the EPA ratings of 29 city/37 highway this was a decent showing indeed. Most vehicles we test return lower economy figures than their stickers advertise, likely due to the fact that the EPA’s testing regimen doesn’t simulate big city traffic conditions. In fact, only hybrid models have ever reached their “official” city MPG numbers during our informal tests. Therefore, it’s best to think of the city mpg number on a new car’s sticker as a “suburbs” mpg number instead. Conversely, we’ve found that the EPA’s highway mpg figure is often conservative.

Warranty/Service: 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty; 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty; 8-year/unlimited-mile corrosion warranty

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Make: Toyota, Vehicle Type: Sedan

You can click on each photo to enlarge

Base Price: $22,905 / As Tested: $23,730

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front engine, front-wheel drive, five-passenger, four-door sedan

Engine: 1.8-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower: 132
Torque: 128
Transmission: CVT

Curb weight: 2,865 lbs
Wheelbase: 106.3 in
Length/Width/Height: 182.6 / 69.9 / 57.3 in
Turning circle: 35.6 ft

Vented front disc/ solid rear disc brakes, ABS
Suspension: MacPherson strut with anti-roll bar front, torsion beam with anti-roll bar rear

Traction: Traction and Stability control standard

0-60 mph: 10.5 seconds
60-0 mph: 130 ft
Top Speed: 110 mph

EPA City: 29 mpg
EPA Highway: 37 mpg
Combined MPG: 32 mpg

Seating Capacity: 5
Safety: NHTSA: 5 Star Overall. IIHS: M, G, G, G, G

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Photography: Alpha Media