2011 Toyota Corolla Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2010

Highlights

Red 2011 Toyota Corolla S
  • Refresh for 2011
  • New front and rear exterior styling
  • New interior upgrades
  • Increase in side-mirror size to improve visibility
  • New Toyota Care Complimentary Maintenance Plan
  • Standard stability control
  • Standard traction control
  • Standard 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine

Introduction

Introduced more than four decades ago, the Toyota Corolla is a compact sedan with seating for up to 5 passengers. The front-wheel-drive Corolla is now in its tenth generation, last redesigned for the 2008 model year. With a focus on economy, the Corolla is offered in three different models (Corolla, Corolla LE and Corolla S), with one standard engine choice. For the 2010 model year, the automaker added stability control and traction control as standard equipment across the Corolla model range. For 2011, the changes are much more visible; the small sedan receives an interior and exterior facelift, plus several minor equipment improvements.

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OverviewThe exterior of the 2011 Toyota Corolla has been freshened with styling input from studios in Turin, Italy, says the automaker. Design changes-with the intent of giving the model a more "sporty" character-have been made to the front bumper, radiator grille, front lower grille, and headlamps. Changes to the rear include the trunk lid, rear license surround, rear combination lamp, rear bumper, and rear reflector. The interior design has been upgraded with new seat colors and patterns. The trim around the instrument panel and door have been changed, and the Corolla S is fitted with a newly designed steering wheel.

All three Corolla models are fitted with the same 4-cylinder engine in 2011. The 1.8-liter dual-overhead cam powerplant features Toyota's Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which controls valve timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts to help optimize performance and fuel economy, the automaker says. The engine is rated at 132 horsepower and 128 lb.-ft. of torque.

The Corolla's 4-cylinder engine is available with a 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic electronically controlled transmission on the standard model, while the Corolla LE model features the 4-speed automatic as standard (it uses a torque converter with flex lockup for increased fuel efficiency). There is also a manual mode, allowing the driver to shift the automatic transmission manually by moving the shift lever from its "D" position into the "S" position (in that mode, pushing forward will select the next higher gear, while pulling back will drop one gear). The driver is alerted to the correct gear by an indicator on the instrument panel.

According to the EPA, the 2011 Corolla earns an estimated fuel economy rating of 28 mpg city and 35 mpg highway with the 5-speed manual transmission, and 26 mpg city and 34 mpg highway with the 4-speed automatic transmission.

Safety

2011 Toyota Corolla S Interior2011 Toyota Corolla S InteriorAll 2011 Toyota Corolla models are equipped with six standard air bags. These include advanced (passenger-sensing) front air bags, front-seat-mounted side air bags, and front-and-rear side curtain air bags. Driver and front passenger seat belts feature pre-tensioners that are designed to retract the seat belt during a frontal collision, reducing slack. In addition, there are dual-stage force limiters designed to reduce the seat belt force applied to the passenger's chest. The two front seats are equipped with integrated active head restraints. According to Toyota, if the vehicle is impacted from the rear with sufficient force, a cable-actuated mechanism in the head restraint moves it upward (and forward) to help limit the movement of the occupant's head. The steering column in all Corolla models is of an energy-absorbing design. Lastly, vehicle stability control, traction control, and anti-lock brakes are standard on every 2011 Corolla model.

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