2016 Toyota Corolla

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The Toyota Corolla, in the words of the captain of the Edmund Fitzgerald, is holding its own.'16 Corolla lead

It is one of the few sedans that still is.

As a class, they have been plummeting in popularity.

People are starry-eyed for crossovers, leaving traditional sedans to collect dust on dealership lots.

The Reasons Why are not hard to divine. Crossovers are basically cars that ride higher (people love this) and which have much more cargo space and versatility than a sedan, with its traditional (and traditionally tiny) trunk.

This also probably why one of the Corolla’s main rivals – the Honda Civic – is now as close to being a crossover as Bruce Jenner is to becoming a woman. The just-redesigned ’16 Civic has a crossover-esque roofline and if it rode two inches higher off the ground (and came with all-wheel-drive) it would be a crossover.

But if you’re not into that – if you don’t want a sedan that’s, errm, “transitioning” – there are still a few traditional choices left.

Like this Corolla.

WHAT IT IS'16 Corolla art shot

The Corolla is Toyota’s compact sedan, a notch above the Yaris in size and a notch below the Camry in price.

It’s not flashy – despite some movement in that general direction – but it is as Blue Chip as cars get, with a decades’-long track record of better-than-most reliability, lower-than-most upkeep costs and higher-than-most resale value. It helps that it also has more interior room than some full-size sedans – including Toyota’s own Avalon sedan.

And much more than all its compact-sized competition.

Base price is $17,230 for an L trim with six-speed manual transmission.

The same trim with a four-speed (yeah; give me a minute) automatic lists for $17,830.

There are also sporty S and max-economy LE Eco trims. The LE Eco starts at $19, 065 and runs to $22,835. A top-of-the-line S Premium with a CVT automatic has an MSRP of $23,055.

Cross shops include the Honda Civic (all-new for 2016), the Mazda 3 (which is available as a sedan as well as a crossover-esque wagon) as well as the Ford Focus and the Hyundai Elantra (which is available as a coupe as well as a sedan).'16 Corolla rear view

Of the above, only the Elantra and Focus undercut the Corolla on price … by about the price of a large pepperoni and sausage pizza ($17,210 and $17,225 to start, respectively).

And neither comes even close to matching the Corolla’s class-best roominess (8.1 inches more legroom in the second row than either of them).

They are compacts in every sense of the word.

Even the new Honda Civic – which is a much roomier-than-before Civic – can’t touch the Corolla on spreading out room.

Or, on price.

The ’16 Civic starts at $18,460 – $1,230 higher than the Toyota. And bet your bippie – as they say in the Big City – that there’s less haggle room on the Honda, it being both “all-new” and an almost crossover.

WHAT’S NEW'16 SE pic

Well, there’s inflation.

Despite being pretty much the same car this year as it was last year, the ’16 Corolla is $280 more expensive than the ’15.

Don’t blame Toyota.

Thank Uncle. Our money is worth less and less each year – so it takes more money to buy stuff, including the same stuff.

There is one new thing: You can buy a 50th Anniversary SE edition that comes with a special red/black interior and exterior treatment and a unique-to-this-model 17-inch wheel/tire package.

The Entune suite of apps has been updated, too.

WHAT’S GOOD'16 Corolla apps detail

Untouchable backseat room.

Probably the best value of the bunch, especially when you take the blue chip rep (and lower-than-average depreciation) into account.

Simple mechanicals. No turbos or automated manual gearboxes to break down, post warranty.

Sensible 15-inch steel wheels with soft-riding (instead of stiff-sidewalled) tires.

Plush, quiet ride.

No Motel 6 issues. This is a low-cost car that does not feel cheap.


Smallish trunk (13 cubic feet) for the class and otherwise.

Just one engine; no optional upgrade. Slower than almost all the others in this class.

Four-speed automatic (base L trim) is two gears shy of what’s currently par for a 2016 car. Gas mileage with this box is slightly less, too.

Toyota charges extra to get gas-saving features such as variable valve timing and the more up-to-date CVT automatic transmission – which cost may no longer be justified given the current low cost of gas.

UNDER THE HOOD'16 Corolla engine 1

The turbos are coming! The turbos are coming! Which is why you might want to buy something like the Corolla – which (for now) hasn’t got one.

The new Civic does. So does the Ford Focus.

It’s likely more – maybe all – of the others will go down this road, too. It’s become a popular way for the car companies to tout theoretically very high gas mileage… if you don’t actually use the turbo. If you do, the mileage is (in my experience) usually less-than-advertised.

You may also have to deal with expensive turbo repairs, post-warranty. More parts – more stuff that could go wrong.

No turbos here.'16 Corolla speedometer

Just what you’d expect – and, arguably, want – in an economy-minded car: A straightforward 1.8 liter four that makes 132 hp (140, if you opt for the LE Eco trim, which gets variable valve timing, VVTi).

A racehorse it’s not (zero to 60 in about 9.2-9.3 seconds, slower than the Mazda3 and the new Civic as well as the Focus ) but it’s likely to need nothing but oil and filters for the next 200,000 miles. The Toyota engine has a sterling rep in that respect.

A weakness, though, is what’s mated to the sturdy little four.

Base trims can be had with either a six-speed manual or  – incredibly, for 2016 – a four-speed automatic.

Yeah. A four-speed automatic.

That’s like finding a tape deck inside a 2016 model year car. There’s nothing wrong with it, per se. Like a tape deck, the four-speed box works; it does what it’s supposed to do. It’s just dated technology for 2016 – and vs. what you’d find in rivals.

In Toyota’s defense, the four-speed box is … simple. It’s like they used to make ’em, back in the ’90s. That’s probably good in terms of long-haul reliability (simpler, proven technology is less likely to break on you) and lower repair/replacement costs if the thing does break on you.'16 Corolla CVT

The downside is the base Corolla’s fuel economy is a bit less than rivals deliver and the blame for this can be laid at the feet of the simpler – and less efficient – four-speed automatic.

To wit: An L with the six-speed manual rates 28 city, 37 highway. But with the optional four-speed box, this dips to 27 city, 36 highway. It’s not much of a difference – but it is a negative difference.

In pretty much every new car, the automatic version will give you better mileage than the same car with a manual transmission, because the automatic is more efficient than the manual.

Not here.

How much better would Corolla do with a more modern transmission?

Actually, we know the answer to that question.

With the continuously variable (CVT) automatic that’s available in the higher trims (S, LE) the Corolla’s mileage rises to 29 city, 38 highway – within a hair of being best-in-class.

But wait, there’s more.'16 LE Eco pic

If you buy the LE Eco trim – which adds variable valve timing (VVTi) to the 1.8 liter engine and also buys you the CVT box, the Corolla’s mileage upticks to 30 city, 42 highway – and that is best-in-class.

Better than the Mazda3 (30 city, 41 highway) and the new Civic (27 city, 40 highway) and the Ford Focus (also 27 city, 40 highway).

The catch is the models just listed give you those numbers with their standard engines and standard transmissions. The Corolla only gives you its best numbers if you buy the LE Eco trim, which comes with the variable valve timing-equipped engine and the CVT transmission.

It also comes with a base price of $19, 065 – an upward bump of $1,835 over the base L trim with the non-VVTi engine and the standard six-speed manual transmission.

ON THE ROAD'16 Corolla road 1

The Corolla is the comfort food of compact economy cars.

Nothing daring or exotic here. But lots of down-home goodness. It’s what has – historically – sold this car.

It’s not as quick as a Mazda3 or the new Civic, but the Corolla is quick enough to satisfy the typical buyer, who probably just wants enough scoot to comfortably keep up with traffic.

Which the Corolla has – and does.

One thing it specifically doesn’t do is make a lot of noise.

Toyota has put a great deal of thought (and sound deadening) into making the engine a non-presence. Even when the gas pedal is floored, the engine is noticeably less audible than rival cars’ engines. This is deliberate policy. People who buy Corollas are not looking for loud.

The Mazda3, in contrast, touts its sportiness and one way this manifests is – you guessed it – mechanical music. The 3 sounds snarly – but the point is, not everyone wants to hear the engine (or the exhaust). '16 Corolla road 3

The Corolla is supremely quiet – uniquely so, among cars in this class. This includes the CVT-equipped versions, incidentally. Some CVTs make a lot of racket. The Corolla’s is so quiet you’ll only know it is a CVT if you read the paperwork that comes with the car. Or decide to play with the manual mode via the paddle shifters (Sport trims).

Ride is another aspect of the Corolla’s quietude.

This car comes standard with 15-inch wheels, which means fatter and more forgiving sidewalls and a more compliant (and more quiet) ride. Rivals like the Mazda3 and Civic come standard with 16-inch wheels, which means stiffer sidewall tires and a firmer, less forgiving ride.'16 Corolla road 2

The downside – if you care about such things – is that the Corolla’s not a high-speed corner-carver. If you try to make it do such work, it won’t slide so much as balk.

Toyota – recognizing the car’s limits – set up the traction/stability control system to intervene early, like a good friend at a bar who keeps you from picking a fight with a bruiser twice your size. The throttle dials back, the ABS is applied as necessary – and you stay on track.

At normal (legal) road speeds you will notice nothing – except that the car is exceptionally pleasant and easy to drive. Try to make it go fast – in a curve – and it just won’t comply. It is almost impossible to upset this car’s apple cart.

Loping along, it feels bigger than it is – not in terms of its physical size but in terms of solidity and calm and – yes – quiet. Rack it up to 80, 90 MPH and see for yourself. Virtually no wind or drivetrain noise.

It’s easy to imagine you’re in a Camry – or even an Avalon.

In part because the Corolla’s got more room inside than either of them.

AT THE CURB'16 Corolla curb 1

Fault the Corolla for not being particularly sexy, not quite as speedy as some of its rivals, not quite as fuel-sippy as they are (well, without paying a little extra).

But there’s no faulting the Corolla’s spectacular spaciousness.

This is a compact car with a full-sized car’s interior specs.

No exaggeration.

Unless you think that having 8.1 inches more second row legroom than several rivals (Elantra, Focus) and 2.5 inches more back there than you’d find in a Camry is not “spectacular.”

The Corolla – remember, Toyota’s “compact” sedan – has more backseat room than the full-sized Avalon (and also the Lexus ES350, which is based on that model).'16 Corolla back seats

41.4 inches.


As opposed to 33.1 in the Hyundai Elantra, 33.2 in the Focus, 35.8 in the Mazda3 and 37.4 (nice try) in the all-new ’16 Honda Civic sedan.

Nothing in the Corolla’s class even comes close. To get close, you’ll need to move up a class, to mid-sized cars.

Or even full-sized cars.


'16 Corolla curb 2

But physical space is not the Corolla’s sole virtue.

In addition to the interior roominess of a much larger car, it has the ambiance of a much more expensive car.

The dash pad, for example, is literally padded – and stitched, too. Below this are brushed nickel trim plates (with handsome, contrast color “pinstripe” accents) and available piano black facings, standard chrome-ringed main gauges and a standard 6.1 inch LCD color touchscreen in the center stack.

The car has a very almost-Lexus ambiance that will pleasantly surprise you, especially when you consider the Corolla’s un-Lexus-like MSRP.

Even the base L trim comes with LED headlights, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, as well as an infotainment suite that includes Siri Eyes Free voice control and the latest version of Toyota’s Entune system with Pandora and Stitcher audio piped through a six-speaker audio rig.   

Add heated seats and a few other bells and whistles and you’ve got a helluva nice car for relatively little coin.     

THE REST'16 Corolla cut away

Another manifestation of Toyota’s simpler is cheaper (and so, better … in an economy car) is the Corolla’s standard rear drum brakes.

The others in this class mostly have four-wheel-disc brakes.

Discs all around are available, if you want them (Sport models) but the drums – like the standard 15 inch steel wheels – will cost you less both to buy and to maintain.

It’s true that disc brakes will usually stop you a bit sooner, but the rotors and calipers are also more expensive – and more fragile. All it takes is one careless greasemonkey with an air gun at state inspection/tire rotation time to ruin the rotors (by overtightening the lug nuts). Then you have to replace them. Calipers, meanwhile, seize up.

They are not cheap to replace, either.

It’s harder to hurt drums – and you’ll never have to worry about buying a set of expensive new rear calipers, either.'16 LE

The four-speed automatic in the base L trims is more of a perceptual than functional issue. The gas mileage difference between it and the CVT that’s available in the higher trims is not huge, making it hard to justify spending the extra money to get either the CVT or the VVTi version of the 1.8 liter engine (which, recall, will add about $1,800 to the tab) when gas is only about $2 a gallon vs. $4 a gallon.

I’d go with the base L trim myself – with the six-speed manual. It just about matches the MPGs of the CVT-equipped Corolla and it’s more fun to drive.

I asked Toyota reps why, given both the burgeoning popularity of crossovers and the fact that several of the Corolla’s competitors are available as almost-crossovers (i.e., hatchback wagons) they decided not to offer such a variant of the Corolla. Especially given that they do offer such a variant in Europe – where the Corolla is known as the Altis.

I got no good answer.         


Some rivals do this – or that – better than the Corolla. Few do everything as well as the Corolla does.

Which explains why it’s still selling well… even though it’s not a crossover.

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  1. My daily driver is a 2006 Corolla, base model, and at 51 years old, it is the most reliable car I’ve ever owned. Never broke down, very little maintenance, and still returns 37 mpg on highway, and 32 in mixed driving. It’s comfortable, a/c and heat are excellent. It’s not sexy, but it gets the job done. When I trade again, it will be a new Corolla. Love your reviews Eric. Thanks.

  2. Toyota boosting Tacoma production in Mexico – 9/18/2014

    Toyota plans to start hiring 300 workers in order to add a third shift at its manufacturing facility in Tijuana, with the additional crew set to begin work in April. Annual production there should reach 89,000 units, providing an extra 13,000 Tacomas available for purchase at U.S. dealerships

    The San Antonio plant, which was built to produce 200,000 trucks a year, is on pace to set a record at 235,000 units this year.(2014)
    – – –


    Toyota do Brasil Ltda.

    São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo – Corolla autoparts.

    Indaiatuba, São Paulo – Corolla. Production started in 1998.

    Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada

    Cambridge, Ontario – Corolla Engine Plant. Production started October 1995.

    South Africa
    Toyota SA — Prospecton, Durban — Corolla

    Takaoka Corolla since Sep. 1966 179,000 units 3,293 employees

    Toyota Motor East Japan, Inc. Corolla since July 2012 343,000 units 7,441 employees

    Toyota Gateway Plant, Chachoengsao – Corolla, Camry

    United States
    Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi, Inc., (TMMMS) is located in Blue Springs. Vehicle manufacture and assembly – Corolla.

    Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc., (TMMK) is located in Georgetown. Engine manufacture – 2GR-FE and 2AR-FE. Vehicle manufacture and assembly – Camry, Hybrid Camry

    Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas, Inc (TMMTX) is located in San Antonio. Vehicle manufacture and assembly – Tundra & Tacoma.

    Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, Inc. (TMMI) is located in Princeton, Indiana. Vehicle manufacture and assembly –

    Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Inc. (TMMAL), is located in Huntsville. Engine manufacture 1GR-FE, 1UR-FE and 3UR-FE. Engines mostly for TMMTX and some TMMI.

    Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, Inc. (TMMWV), is located in Buffalo. Engine manufacture 2GR-FE, 2ZR-FE and 1AR-FE.

    Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is located in Lafayette, Indiana. Vehicle manufacture and assembly – Toyota Camry from February 28, 2007 to Autumn of 2016 then production moves back to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky.

    Tianjin FAW Toyota – Toyota Corolla, Toyota Crown, Toyota Reiz, Toyota Vios

    Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Limited, Bangalore – Corolla

    Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Limited, Harare – Corolla

    Toyota Motor Vietnam – Corolla, Camry, on the outskirts of Hanoi

    All Toyota Manufacturing Facilities

  3. Can’t believe how many of these I’m seeing on the road already.
    This may be the perfect transportation appliance for people who don’t care about cars.

    • Hi Mike,

      I’m a car guy, so I love cars that have personality. But I like the Corolla because it’s exactly the kind of car I’d buy if I had to commute into aDC and back every day… with my fun car safely tucked away in the garage!

        • ” I’m sure there’s not too much fun to be had commuting to DC.” Boy, you got that right. I don’t even go all the way in, only to Gaithersburg, but it makes we wish I could afford to retire.
          Well, I was tired yesterday, and tired again today, so I guess I am ‘re-tired.’

          • I hear you PtB. A mere loading a big rig, taking the load 160 miles one way, come back, re=load, service the truck, work on a few things and it’s a 10 hr day or more. I did double duty today starting at 3 am and getting in at 6 pm. It was wonderful loading with a backhoe the 4WD didn’t work on, had NO brakes and trying to do it all in the mud with 40 mph 40 degree wind. Pftt pfftt…..still spitting dirt and still avoiding those damned water haulers. I wish to hell those Ford pickup drivers who won’t, can’t, don’t pass those waterhaulers would move over and let the rest of us around. They gas you out when they even remotely try to pass. I don’t think the ecoboost is going to be a winner in the ‘work pickup’ dept. A big difference I see every day is a GM pickup or a Dodge come up behind me and don’t need to see to Mexico to pass vs the Ford’s that actually don’t pass….and the GM and Dodge will pass that waterhauler so I can get my chance. I’m done in and everybody’s glad for it…..good night.

            • At least you could drive your own car to that salt mine. One day a number of years ago, I was standing on the train platform in DT Chicago, soaked to the skin, in the rain, wearing a once nice three piece suit, waiting for the train that is late yet again. Because every time the weather is bad, the South Shore railroad breaks down. The government agency that runs it, in spite of 40+ years of “experience” still hasn’t managed to figure out how to run a train in bad weather in Chicago and Northern Indiana.

              I was thinking to myself, there is no way in h*ll, I am doing this for the next couple of decades. Working downtown Chicago sucks, my next job was in Indiana, was less then ten minutes from home. You used to make more money working downtown, but taxes, the extra expenses of being downtown and other nonsense have eaten that premium away. Not worth it.

              I laugh every time I read an article how 20 somethings would rather work downtown then some office park in the suburbs. Check back in ten years and see what those kids think then. A 20 year old person body can take being wet in the rain, but it not a good idea in your 30’s and you sure can’t do that in your 40’s, its going to trigger a heart attack or something.

      • I had to laugh when you blamed the government about the higher cost of the car because of inflation. You never had a clue about finances. You want a strong dollar so that we would have zero exports because no one could afford to buy anything we make. Then you want to send money to Toyota to buy their cars? Really? Do you know what that does? It causes a trade deficit and high unemployment. You are giving them IOUs instead of anything that we produce. That ends up causing high inflation and the loop returns. Facts never fit into a libertarian’s brain though.Clover

        • Well, Clover, let’s see:

          Inflation is by definition an increase in the money supply, which Toyota – to my knowledge – has no control over.

          PS: Toyota, like GM, is a multinational corporation that builds cars here as well as abroad. The “buy American” argument has become a non sequitur.

          • Again Eric you forget that the profits do not stay here. You are sending money which in effect IOUs to another country. Eric you tell me what happens if we do not have an increase in the money supply and the population increases? Tell me Eric. Does our standard of living fall because each of us has fewer dollars or does the dollar increase in value and thus Toyota no longer can make a car here because it costs them too much?Clover

            • Really, Clover?

              Then where does the money go that’s paid to the Toyota employees who work at U.S.-located plants? Were you aware, my sweet muse, that the Camry is built here? That every Camry is built here? How about the Americans who own Toyota stock?

              And what do you have to say about the Mexicans who are paid to assemble GM and Ford trucks?

              Me gusta!

              There! I told you.

              PS: Inflation is still by definition an increase in the money supply – which Toyota has no control over.

              Poor ol’ Clover!

              • Clover falls for every trick government, media, and so on play on the public. The intellectuals like Krugman are paid very well to deliberately mislead and misinform the public into favoring those things which benefit the top of the pyramid.

                So Clover hears on TV or in his government school textbook that inflation is a rise in prices and believes it. Clover blames manufacturers and retailers instead of the fed, the congress, and the other insiders.

              • Eric companies every day move manufacturing to another country because the cost of labor is too high here. The dollar is too strong.
                I will give you an example. Today $1000 dollars is worth 10 gold pieces. You produce car for 200 gold pieces or $20,000. Another country also produces the same car for 200 gold pieces. The value of the dollar goes up. $1000 is now worth 250 gold pieces. The other country still produces the car for 200 gold pieces. Since you live in our country to be competitive you need to sell the car for 200 gold pieces also which is now $16,000. You either take the $16,000 now for the car or your workers go into unemployment.Clover

                • Well, Clover, the cost apparently isn’t “too high” here for Toyota and Nissan and Honda and BMW (among others) all of which have extensive manufacturing operations in the U.S. and employ thousands of American workers.

                  I notice your non-answer to my mention of the fact that the Toyota Camry is the “most American” car sold here. Also my observation that GM and Ford have extensive operations in foreign countries, such as Mexico and China.

                  You also seem incapable of grokking that inflation is an increase in the money supply.

                  Toyota has no control over the Fed, Clover.

                  • Eric,

                    Correct me if I’m wrong, but every Camry Tundra and Tacoma sold in the U.S. is built in the U.S., right?

                    The buy American slogan should really be called “buy union” to support the politically connected and the idea of coercion through labor and the minimum wage, among other things.

                • Clover, what drives manufacturing out of the USA is not relative strength of the dollar. What drives manufacturing out of the USA is labor overhead. You know, all those programs and taxes you and your ilk demand so you can shape society and tell people how to live. That high minimum wage that really just makes people unemployable rather than actually making anyone’s life better. The regulatory burden of keeping track of all sorts of things the government demands and the required insurances and so forth and so on. Your government has made it very expensive to do business here before paying employees a dime.

                  Furthermore your little adventure completely ignores relative productivity, errors, warranty, scrap rates, loss of customers from quality problems, and so on.

            • “Does our standard of living fall because each of us has fewer dollars or does the dollar increase in value”
              I doubt you will understand this, Clover, but for the benefit of others reading I will respond.
              Prior to 1913 when the Federal Reserve was established, the dollar had a constant ‘value,’ 1/20th of an ounce of gold. Since productivity was increasing this meant that, in general, prices were decreasing. You could call this an increase in the value of the dollar, but it really wasn’t. It was a decrease of the value of goods relative to the dollar. There were a few short periods of time, e.g., during major gold rushes, when the ‘supply of money’ was increasing, and, as a consequence, prices were increasing. This also includes the ‘greenback era’ of the 2nd War of Secession.
              BTW, is Paul Krugman related to you?

        • Clover, you ignoramus, the federal reserve note is the world reserve currency at present. This means foreigners want strong dollars to hold purchasing power. There also must be a US trade deficit to provide them with dollars. This requires a strong dollar. Domestic companies want a weak dollar to be able to export more stuff. Look at the trade deficit and you can see it is the ‘strong’ dollar crowd’s needs that are being served most often.

          Libertarians want a monetary unit that holds its value over time that doesn’t become a method by which insiders rake off wealth and use it to manipulate the economy in their favor and provide them with free money for speculation and carry trades.

          It is like you don’t understand the basics of anything.

          • Prior to 1971, when Nixon abandoned the Bretton Woods Agreement, there was no such thing as a trade deficit or surplus. Any imbalance of import or export of goods was balanced by transfer of gold bullion. Now the Fed just manipulates digits in a computer to ‘create’ money, and most foreigners lap it up like honey, because their own ‘currencies’ are even weaker than the US$. Never mind that the National Debt will never, cannot ever be paid. It’s just as much a Ponzi scheme as Socialist Insecurity, look for a bigger fool to pass them off to before the music stops.

            • Under Brenton Woods other governments could but were not supposed to redeem for gold. And they didn’t until well after LBJ started spending madly on the welfare-warfare state. When they were doing this too much Nixon closed the gold window.

  4. Eric: re your comment “Crossovers ride higher.” I just took a trip in a smallish rental car and I was at the level of the Big Rigs tire bolts! Unnerving. Plus the 3 passengers in the back almost suffocated (chassis way too narrow)! So, might you have any roomier Crossover recommendations (used mkt)? I don’t want any wierd turbos/transmissions, as you’ve discussed. I also want pretty good gas mileage and relatively modest “cost to own”. THANKS, YOU GUYS.

    • Hi Natalie,

      Good safe bets in a medium-small crossover include the Honda CR-V, the Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester (which I just recently reviewed). They are all pretty straightforward/good reputation vehicles.

      You may be able to get a good deal on a used MKT due to the status of Lincoln (they’re, uh, rebuilding).

      But this is a full-size bus, keep in mind.

      If you’re looking for something like that, you might be interested in the Buick Enclave (I’m writing the review right now) and its sisters, the Chevy Traverse and GMC Acadia. This is the last year of the current generation and so probably, you could get a really sweet deal on one.

      • eric, it won’t come as any surprise but Texas is replete with Endeavors, Traverse’s and Acadia’s. Don’t think anyone has been able to give me a definite fuel mileage but they say they’re fine at the pump, however you figure it and I figure most people don’t. It seems they are good on the pavement and good dirt roaders too. When I first started seeing them, I had one pass me in the Cutlass as I looked way up to it and it passed right by a 1/2 ton Chevy on the shoulder, fairly much the same height and width. What most people said they liked was lots of power. Evidently that 6 is pretty strong. I commonly see people pulling small trailers with them……

        One sedan I see a lot of is the Camry, weird, ugly things they are but good according to the owners. Camry started out as something for what appeared to be a younger market. Due to their size and reliability though, they became, many years ago, the new oldsters car in your way. Of course now everybody of every age drives them but for a while I thought they were going to replace the Caddy that wouldn’t get out of the way. You still see plenty of Caddy’s in these parts that won’t get out of your way with 350 Hp but they’re speed limited from within.

  5. Was going to rent a car in this class when I was out of town (probably would have been the Elantra). One of my friends has a 2015 Corolla and likes it. Your review gives me good ideas why he chose it.

    But the rental place upgraded me to a Rav4. I ended up really liking it (your review of the 2014 rav4 is spot on by the way!). Its comfy, I like riding high and is roomy, rides really nice and isn’t too horrid with gas (unlike my minivan). Even had a sunroof!

  6. Those drum brakes can be expensive to repair. The springs on them require quite a lot of effort to remove. Once I had a nail break in 2. Ended up having to replace everything except the drums, because I found the cause quickly. So all the force applied to and used by the brakes goes through those skinny nails holding the shoes to the backing plate.

    The wheel cylinders are the equivalent of a caliper. They can seize up also. I’ve had that happen too. Calipers last forever. I change my seals every 12 years on the cals and the cals will last the life of the car and then some.

    As for caliper pads, I’ve gotten over 50K kilometers out of every set I’ve had on my GM cars. The Toyota pads on my Camry on both axles lasted nearly 180K kilos. I also have the original rotors all around with 193K kilos on the car. Only the fronts have been trimmed.

  7. Great looking cars. If I were in the market for a sedan I would rather have the Camry over the Lexus. It’s hard to justify buying the same car for more, especially when the Camry looks just as nice.


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