$13,365 - $17,562

2017 Toyota Corolla Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Toyota Corolla was new.


Performance: 7.0

The 2017 Toyota Corolla has adequate performance for everyday use, with a responsive automatic transmission and comfortable ride quality. Fuel economy is also excellent for the class. The standard engine only provides mediocre power, and it can struggle to accelerate quickly. Other driving dynamics on the whole are unexciting. 

  • "What Toyota has not changed for 2017 is the Corolla's snooze-worthy driving dynamics. Aside from discontinuing the yester-tech 4-speed automatic in the base L trim level and replacing it with the continuously variable transmission offered in other models, the latest Corolla is the same as it has been for several years." -- New York Daily News
  • Enthusiasts won't find much to like about the 2017 Toyota Corolla, but remove that sliver of the buying populace and you have a car that's inarguably one of the most popular vehicles ever made. It's comfortable, with a ride quality that absorbs bumps without making the car feel like it's wallowing around. … The 1.8-liter 4-cylinder favors fuel economy over acceleration, but at least now it's paired with the continuously variable automatic transmission in all models -- 6-speed manual notwithstanding -- which makes the most of the engine's meager output for respectable acceleration and passing, as long as you're willing to let it rev. At full throttle it gets noisy inside but the rest of the time the Corolla is certainly quiet enough for day-to-day living." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "But keep in mind that if you like cars with quick reflexes and that boost your mood on an open road, the critics aren't wrong. Between its softly tuned suspension, dull steering and 'just-enough' power and speed, the Corolla is a bit of a snooze behind the wheel." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The Corolla comes standard with front-wheel drive, a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 132 horsepower. Eco models have the same engine, but with an output of 140 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is also available.

 According to EPA estimates, the standard Corolla gets 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, which are very good numbers for the compact car class. The Eco model gets 30 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, which are among the best figures for the class.

 Power and acceleration from the standard engine is sufficient for daily driving, but it's lacking when trying to get up to speed quickly. The CVT shifts smoothly but can exhibit a loud droning noise in certain situations. 

  • "The Corolla's four-cylinder engine is tried and true but pretty underwhelming. Acceleration is adequate and not much more. The LE Eco's engine adds a few horsepower, but not enough to notice. The CVT has computer-simulated 'shifts' to mitigate the constant rpm drone common to these types of transmissions. That drone can rear its head, however, when you switch into Sport mode." -- Edmunds
  • When you really need power to get moving, the 2017 Corolla can't deliver, but the car's CVT is plenty responsive and smooth the rest of the time." -- Motor Trend
  • Under part throttle acceleration, the Corolla feels lively enough, but under such conditions you're not trying to get anywhere in a hurry. Optimistically, Toyota provides paddle shifters for the CVT, but they're rather pointless." -- New York Daily News

Handling and Braking

The Corolla has a poised ride quality and stays soft and comfortable over bumps or uneven pavement. Steering is stable and confident, but overall, the Corolla’s handling is not sporty. Its dull handling can also make you feel disconnected from the road. 

  • On the road, the Corolla's steering is weighted nicely, but you don't feel as much of the road as you hear from it, at least on the XSE we drove. The SE and XSE trims get a Sport mode, which has a helpful if subtle effect on the transmission's responsiveness. If you want a compact sedan that does more than just look sporty, consider other options." -- Motor Trend
  • The electric steering felt heavier than what's supplied in the LE Eco, too, lending the car a sense of greater stability. The ride tends toward busy, what with the relatively rudimentary rear suspension design and stiffer tuning, and the Corolla XSE doesn't feel as securely affixed to the road as several of its competitors." -- New York Daily News
  • "The ride is compliant and shakes off most of what the road can throw at you." -- Edmunds

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