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2022 Toyota Corolla - current model year update - via rental

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Lately, I've been getting the category of car that I selected during the on-line rental process.  That means I haven't been upgraded in a while.  For a rental while away in May, and for a very good price in these crazy times, I was given a new Toyota Corolla base model.


- the legendary reliability

- the engine was a 2.0 L 4 cylinder, but there is a base 1.8 L 4 cylinder; also, Toyota has really cleaned up its engine bays and everything is easy to identify and reach

- the fuel economy, with the CVT (also in cons) delivering better fuel mileage, per the EPA ratings, than the 6 speed manual option

- it's a car that a driver becomes familiar with very quickly, for the most part

- the instrument cluster is very logically laid out; you get to keep your speedometer and set the square display at the right of it to display the speed digitally, which I prefer and use

- the climate control is simple to use and the infotainment center (also in cons) has some interesting features, such a graph of how it is faring in fuel usage - some stretches of highway when easing up on the pedal might go to 60 mpg, or higher, while in-town stop and go might not even get to 20 mpg.  Overall, I was getting about 35 mpg in mixed driving

- the car is very nimble

- decent legroom up front for adults

- a good sized trunk

- ergonomically comfortable seats, with the rental car having interesting two-tone gray cloth seating 

- a grouped interior pull tab trunk AND fuel door release cluster, and easily reached by the driver, which is a big plus, with some cars costing over $35,000 not having one or having deleted that feature


- it's not the quietest car and tire drone intrudes into the cabin

- the CVT feels like what driving a golf cart might be like, even though I don't golf; and there is supposed to be a "launch gear"* (the sensation of a 1 : 2 automatic shift), but I didn't feel it and I was looking for it!

- the "laptop left open" look of the infotainment center is not appealing and it also looks oversized for the size and type of car

- some of the settings via the stalks or steering wheel controls take a little bit of time to set up, even though the basic dashboard is very user friendly once on the road

- rear set legroom is better suited to children and smaller adults; for more rear legroom, one would probably have to opt for the Camry

- the front grille is unbecoming and the wimpy sideways teardrop rear taillamps don't look as good as some rear light assemblies from recent past models

- the silhouette is more jellybean like than angular, but that's a matter of personal taste

* term used by a Toyota salesperson at a major dealership I went to and at which there was a paltry new car inventory

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Overall, I'd give this current Toyota base model a solid "B," even though it would fetch an "A-" for reliability and economy.

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Photos forthcoming

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"Photo collection"


Everybody likes recent Toyota front grilles (not!), but kudos for an identifiable front bumper "strip" lurking behind it


The styling is generic and jellybean like, but safe, with this base model having wheel covers


This car has had better rear taillamp treatments in the past than the current model; I don't know why so many rental cars have FL plates, wherever you may be!


The main instrument pod is intuitive and user friendly


I like the speedometer AND digital MPH display, as well as the always on "distance to empty" readout;  the 93 degrees F was without the "real feel," which pushed it up over 100 degrees F!


I don't like this big infotainment screen jutting upward, except for the bar graph with the mpg


Kudos for excellent trunk space for this size of car


This is the front of the cabin viewed from the driver's door; the seats were fairly comfortable and the two-tone gray interior was more interesting than a standard black one; the more "modern" parking brake feature is in the console, but the storage box itself is a little narrow


This is the front of the cabin viewed from the passenger's door; the fit and finish for the the seating, the console, the dashboard, and the switches was about average for this type of car


The rear of the cabin is decently sized for this type of car, but taller passengers may find it confining

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End of photos

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