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Toyota Corolla gains minor styling, massive tech, for 2017

For the 2017 model year, Toyota gives the Corolla sedan standard safety tech, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.

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Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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The Corolla claims a 50-year heritage, with the name plate first showing up at Toyota in 1966. Unfortunately, this 50-year anniversary comes in the middle of the Corolla's current product cycle.

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For 2017, the Corolla retains its economical 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, mated to either a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission, making 132 horsepower.

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Instead of coming up with a whole new car for the Corolla's 50th anniversary, Toyota gives the current model significant improvements, such as standard LED headlights and advanced safety technology, including collision prevention, also standard.

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With its interior space, seating five, the Corolla counts as a midsize sedan under government definitions.

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With its torsion bar rear suspension, the Corolla's ride quality is decent, but it doesn't feel very engaged with the road.

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Toyota offers the Corolla in six different trims: L, LE, LE Eco, SE, XLE and XSE. Base prices range from $18,500 to $22,680.

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This SE model shows off a little spoiler on the trunk lid. LED taillights are also standard.

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For a midrange trim, the Corolla SE's seat coverings and interior look and feel good.

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The rear bench offers a good amount of seating room.

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Toyota redesigned the Corolla's dashboard for the 2017 model year, fitting in a new head unit and making controls more ergonomic.

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The instrument cluster includes a small display between tachometer and speedometer, here showing information in a graphic format about the advanced driver assist systems.

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This six-speed manual lets you take better advantage of the engine's power, but it comes at a fuel economy cost compared with the more efficient continuously variable transmission.

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This head unit lacks onboard navigation, but supports integration with a smartphone running Scout GPS Link, a free navigation app.

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The Corolla supports typical audio sources, from USB to Bluetooth streaming to radio, but only offers one USB port.

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