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View Full Version : '09 Corrola First Drive Impressions.



Amaymi
02-08-2008, 01:00 AM
The Toyota dealership that I currently work at just recently received a new body style 2009 Corrola to put in the showroom. Another tech and I were assigned to PDI it and refill the tires with nitrogen (keeps the shop from getting flooded with customers complaining that their tire lights were on in the morning on cold days), so I had the honor of being the first one in our region to drive one. The Corolla we received was in XLE trim which upgraded it to have 16 in. Enkei rims, wood accented interior, and a little trunk lid lip spoiler.

My very first impression when I saw it was that it looked like a mini Camry, not exactly a bad thing. However after taking a little longer to look at it from all angles the first impression passed. Don't get me wrong, from the side it definitely reminded me very strongly of a Camry, the fenders and waist line are very similar. The front fascia in my opinion, and those of most of the shop, looked like a good blend of the Camry, Yaris, and tC. After looking at the front of it for a while it also strongly, strangely enough, resembled a Mazda 3. The rear end looked a lot like the Corrolla that it was replacing only sportier. All in all I think it is an upgrade from the previous Corolla.

I also was pleased with the interior. The instrument cluster is a bit different but nothing radical. The seats were comfortable, at least for the 5 miles we drove it for the PDI. The center console looked a lot like the Yaris console but with out the extreme cheap feeling. I was a little disappointed with the stereo that came in the car. Recently Toyota has been doing a pretty good job of putting good stereos in their cars, going as far as putting an optional subwoofer in the FJ's, but this car's stereo left a lot to be desired. Other than that no major complaints about the new Corrola's interior and again a good improvement over the old one.

Lastly the drive train and suspension. This Corrola is still came equiped with the 1zz-fe motor Dual VVTI and 4 speed auto (in our cars case). Not any slower or faster really, it does however have a better advertised gas mileage if I remember correctly of 27/37. I can't say very much about the suspension as we didn't drive the car for very long, but I'll give an update once I get a chance to drive an '08 and '09 back to back.

All together I'm pleased with the new Corrola. Sure it could have been better, but it also could have been much worse. At least they took a step forward in my opinion. The sticker price for our Corrola was set at about $20,230.
Now my hands are itching to get on the new 2az-fe powered AWD Matrix. Ofcourse I will write a similar review once I get a hold of one.

Colossus20v
02-08-2008, 05:43 AM
nice review. :)

T-spoon
02-08-2008, 08:19 PM
Ouch, 20k for a corolla though with the same "meh" motor.. I'm not feeling that..

Amaymi
02-08-2008, 10:33 PM
^ I agree. However the main intention for this car is to be a comfortable and economical entry level car. The motor has comparable power and gas milage to its competitors at the same price range.
They are also bringing back the XRs badge. The XRs Corrola and Matrix come with the torquey 2.4 litre, 158/162 hp/ft.lb 2az-fe. The same motor found in the tC.

MrWOT
02-09-2008, 04:00 AM
AWD Matrix = Autocraptic only :thumbsdow

wizzards581
02-11-2008, 07:01 AM
its a 1zzfe w/ dual vvti? i thot it was a different one...

hobbie2k
02-11-2008, 06:23 PM
How is the driving position? My biggest complaint with the '08 Corolla I drive for work is that it's difficult for me (5'10", long torso, short arms and legs) to reach the steering wheel, and I tend to get tired faster than I did in my Malibu Maxx and Jetta (both of which had a reach adjustment). My Cobalt suffers the same problem, just not as bad.

Amaymi
02-11-2008, 07:19 PM
its a 1zzfe w/ dual vvti? i thot it was a different one...

I apologize, you are correct. I'm used to seeing 1.8 and immediately thinking 1zz-fe. All models but the XRs come equiped with the 1.8 litre 2zr-fe also found in the Scion Xd. After spending more time in the drivers seat and driving it back to back with the previous generation, the motor seems a lot smoother. However power delivery is very similar.


How is the driving position? My biggest complaint with the '08 Corolla I drive for work is that it's difficult for me (5'10", long torso, short arms and legs) to reach the steering wheel, and I tend to get tired faster than I did in my Malibu Maxx and Jetta (both of which had a reach adjustment). My Cobalt suffers the same problem, just not as bad.

The driving position is very similar to the 08 Corolla, though I haven't spent enough time driving one (I've really just been PDI'ing them and therefore can not put more than 5-6 miles on them) to play around with all the seat controls. I'll keep this in mind next time I do drive one though.


AWD Matrix = Autocraptic only

I was pretty disappointed at this. It looks to be the same power train set up as the AWD Rav 4. I'm bummed.

I am pleased however to say that the XRs Matrix (only) will utilize a double wish bone rear suspension as apposed to the torsion beam in the lower models.

T-spoon
02-11-2008, 07:34 PM
^ I agree. However the main intention for this car is to be a comfortable and economical entry level car. The motor has comparable power and gas milage to its competitors at the same price range.
They are also bringing back the XRs badge. The XRs Corrola and Matrix come with the torquey 2.4 litre, 158/162 hp/ft.lb 2az-fe. The same motor found in the tC.


True, the thing is.. you can get a Yaris for less than 15K with some options. The hatch has WAY more cargo capacity than a sedan with seats folded down and has very good interior passenger room for the size of the car. It has a smaller engine than the 1.8 - but not by much. I'd bet that acceleration is similar between the two once you factor in weight difference vs power difference. It looks like the Corolla is just getting fatter and fatter and the Yaris is closer to filling the role that Corollas did through the 90's until recently while the Corolla price range crawls closer and closer to the mid-sized sedan bracket (Camry).

Heck, the new Scions cost more than Yaris, and their original hook was price. It makes the rumours of a sub 20k sporty Toyota seem extremely unlikely to me when their entry level cars are mostly pushing the high teens (or higher) now aside from Yaris.

VikingJZ
02-11-2008, 08:46 PM
I think the new Corolla still has that Toyota line look to it (obviously) but it carries the new front end look they are projecting with the line-up.

I'm anxious to see if they redesign the Avalon to resemble the line-up more so than it is now.

Amaymi
02-12-2008, 01:53 AM
I think the new Corolla still has that Toyota line look to it (obviously) but it carries the new front end look they are projecting with the line-up.

I'm anxious to see if they redesign the Avalon to resemble the line-up more so than it is now.

I would be surprised if they changed the Avalon to look like the Camry, Corolla, etc. They have always kept the Avalon looking different. I assume to make it stand out as a more "mature" luxury minded sedan. I would say that 90% of the newer Avalon owners are older, retired, men and women.


True, the thing is.. you can get a Yaris for less than 15K with some options. The hatch has WAY more cargo capacity than a sedan with seats folded down and has very good interior passenger room for the size of the car. It has a smaller engine than the 1.8 - but not by much. I'd bet that acceleration is similar between the two once you factor in weight difference vs power difference. It looks like the Corolla is just getting fatter and fatter and the Yaris is closer to filling the role that Corollas did through the 90's until recently while the Corolla price range crawls closer and closer to the mid-sized sedan bracket (Camry).

I agree that the Corolla's are getting bigger and the Yaris is taking its old place. But the same has also happened in Honda (Fit), Nissan (Versa), Chevy (Aveo). Yaris's are cheap, inside and out and they feel it. The seats, the plastics, the lack of cup holders lol j/k. The Corolla however gets comparable gas mileage and same to better performance while providing a more comfortable "upscale" ride and driving experience compared to the Yaris.

hobbie2k
02-12-2008, 07:23 PM
True, the thing is.. you can get a Yaris for less than 15K with some options. The hatch has WAY more cargo capacity than a sedan with seats folded down and has very good interior passenger room for the size of the car. It has a smaller engine than the 1.8 - but not by much. I'd bet that acceleration is similar between the two once you factor in weight difference vs power difference. It looks like the Corolla is just getting fatter and fatter and the Yaris is closer to filling the role that Corollas did through the 90's until recently while the Corolla price range crawls closer and closer to the mid-sized sedan bracket (Camry).

Heck, the new Scions cost more than Yaris, and their original hook was price. It makes the rumours of a sub 20k sporty Toyota seem extremely unlikely to me when their entry level cars are mostly pushing the high teens (or higher) now aside from Yaris.

That is exactly what is happening, but it is the natural trend in the automotive industry. With every new generation, a car becomes larger in order to out-space it's competitors, and with the addition of new technologies, features, and safety equipment, plus the requisite increase in rigidity, they also become heavier. Now, a Corolla is about the same size as a Camry was 15 years ago. Same thing for the Sentra/Altima, or Civic/Accord.

But as the cars grow larger, there is now a class opening below them. That is where the Yaris, Versa, and Fit come in. And in 20 years (barring some staggering event that forces a complete change in the way we drive), the Yaris will probably be the size of a Corolla today...