Wife bought 2020 corolla my first impressions

Messages
684
Location
Arkansas
So my Wife go into an accident (November 1st) the day after we got married (October 31st) and had to make an emergency purchase on a vehicle. She ended up getting a 2020 Corolla LE. I got to drive it around for about an hour and just wanted to give my first impressions as someone who has not really driven a toyota made past 2005 and generally enjoys cars that are intended to be more sporty. Things I like: The car looks quite nice from the outside Some of the safety equipment such as lane keep assist, lane departure warnings, and radar guided cruise control are cool. Good steering input. Fuel economy should be great! The stereo software and options for info on the driver display seem to be relatively nice and easy to work. The LED headlights are horrible. I can't see a thing hardly past about 100 feet. There is a harsh cut off in brightness at this point that makes it look as if the headlights just completely stop working. The worst part is when she is following me in the 3, ever little bump puts her headlights right into my mirrors. Maybe these things could be fixed with having the lights adjusted or aimed professionally. Things I didn't enjoy: The CVT transmission leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to engagement and making the car feel like a car. It just likes to hang in the same spot when accelerating and gives no real drive fun or engagement. When try to get a little pep out of it, it climbs to 5k RPM and just sits there until you let off the gas. The doors feel cheap. There are small plastic ridges and gaps where it doesn't feel like plastics on the back side of the handle line up correctly. When I open the door, instead of a soft spring at the end, it has a hard feeling that makes me think I am whacking something with the door. For the price, the interior is made of cheap plastics and does not feel inviting in any way. I am not sure I can possibly understand how this is the best selling car in the world. I am going to compare this to my 2018 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5 and my younger brother's 2016 Mazda 3 base model. The Mazda 3 I purchased ended up being almost the exact same price and ended up having what feels like a higher build quality all the way around. The interior feels better, the quality of workmanship on the 3 is just stunning compared to the corolla. Even the base model 2016 3 my brother bought new for about 80% of the price of what we could get this corolla at feels better. The cloth seats are more comfortable and the parts the driver touches just have a better feel to them. They don't feel and look like cheap plastics. The ride feels a little stiffer in the Mazda's during normal driving, however, when it comes to bumps in the road, I cannot tell much difference. I had expected the softer suspension of the Corolla to absorb more bumps and road imperfections, but this is not the case compared to the 2016 Mazda with 16" wheels. (corolla has 16" wheels) The 18" wheels on the 2018 3 create a slightly rougher ride when it comes to speed bumps and harsh pot holes, but I personally would trade those things in a heartbeat for what makes me feel more planted on the road. Freeway merging with the 2.0 mazda 3 is not an exciting job to perform, but the 155 hp Skyactiv motor makes it happen and makes you feel confident you will be up to speed. On the corolla, the 1.8 with the CVT, does not inspire the same level of confidence. It sounds like this motor is putting in a lot of effort to go from 40mph on the access road to 70 on the freeway at a similar pace. Final conclusion on the Corolla: It's a car. It goes from point a to point b and will probably do so for a long time. I personally did not experience any thrill that would have sold me on this car and made me want to drive it, but I also would venture to guess 90% of people don't care about driving thrills and just buy a car because they expect it to be a tool. Hopefully I will be able to give a more positive review after having the car for a couple more months.
 
Messages
10,685
Location
Phoenix
Originally Posted by mazdamonky
Final conclusion on the Corolla: It's a car.
Sounds like the most positive thing that can be said about a Toyota.
 
Messages
599
Location
Ontario, Canada
I absolutely despise cvt transmissions, it is one more thing that has been getting phased in as standard that is taking away that feel of driving, being in tune with the car. My mother's honda has one, and it annoys me to no end driving it around. And they are literally shoving them down our throats, every chance they get. Between this, losing manuals, all this self drive technology the feel and enjoyment factor is being taken away.
 
Messages
12,887
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Originally Posted by dishdude
Originally Posted by mazdamonky
Final conclusion on the Corolla: It's a car.
Sounds like the most positive thing that can be said about a Toyota.
That's a Corolla all right! This has been the mission of the Corolla since the beginning. It's a car! And it'll run a long time. Toyota seems to make the Corolla feel really cheap and hides the best parts about the car that you can't see or feel in normal daily driving such as its long term reliability. They've never been anything special to drive. Not only have I owned them, I've had tons of them as rental cars.
 
Messages
10,330
Location
Colorado Springs
Originally Posted by Char Baby
Originally Posted by dishdude
Originally Posted by mazdamonky
Final conclusion on the Corolla: It's a car.
Sounds like the most positive thing that can be said about a Toyota.
That's a Corolla all right! This has been the mission of the Corolla since the beginning. It's a car! And it'll run a long time. Toyota seems to make the Corolla feel really cheap and hides the best parts about the car that you can't see or feel in normal daily driving such as its long term reliability. They've never been anything special to drive. Not only have I owned them, I've had tons of them as rental cars.
I can understand why someone would buy it. It is cheap, reliable, outdated proven technology. But if they feel really cheap, why would you rent it?
 
Messages
1,330
Location
Washington for now
i had a 2019 with 30k miles for week as a rental car a couple of months ago. it was ok except for the trans which felt odd even for a cvt. the gas mileage though was not close to the advertise mpg. even though the screen was showing 38 mpg on the highway when i fill the tank it only calculated out to 30 mpg. the interior was ok for being the LE model with the colored stitching . interior was roomy for its size. would make a good daily driver .
 
Messages
6,748
Location
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Originally Posted by mazdamonky
When try to get a little pep out of it, it climbs to 5k RPM and just sits there until you let off the gas.
That's the exact same thing I found when I drove one. Any attempt at acceleration would send the engine into scream mode..... Where it would sit until you let off the gas. Personally, I can't see how this can go hand in hand with any type of long term, high mileage longevity.
 
Messages
12,887
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
[Quote:edyvw] I can understand why someone would buy it. It is cheap, reliable, outdated proven technology. But if they feel really cheap, why would you rent it?[quote] I have never requested a Corolla when renting/reserving a vehicle at the airport or on vacation. I have requested the particular size/segment of car and have gotten a Cruz, Corolla, Sentra, Forte etc. I am not specific as to brand when renting. I just want the size/cost etc that fits my needs at this time. I'm not testing vehicles during this time with family. It's just an appliance at this point.[/quote]
 
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Messages
4,910
Location
Southeast Texas
Originally Posted by domer10
I absolutely despise cvt transmissions, it is one more thing that has been getting phased in as standard that is taking away that feel of driving, being in tune with the car. My mother's honda has one, and it annoys me to no end driving it around. And they are literally shoving them down our throats, every chance they get. Between this, losing manuals, all this self drive technology the feel and enjoyment factor is being taken away.
I have to agree. I do not like the CVT's at all. I will take my Fiesta's DCT easily instead. (Before anyone protests, mine is a 2017, AFTER Ford fixed the DCT, thanks). Anyway, with a different type trans, I would like the Toyota better. Annoying, but the Toyota will run a really long time. BTW my 2017 Fiesta has 20K miles and has been flawless. I really like it.
 
Messages
34,679
Location
NY
Originally Posted by domer10
I absolutely despise cvt transmissions, it is one more thing that has been getting phased in as standard that is taking away that feel of driving, being in tune with the car. My mother's honda has one, and it annoys me to no end driving it around. And they are literally shoving them down our throats, every chance they get. Between this, losing manuals, all this self drive technology the feel and enjoyment factor is being taken away.
Add me to that list.
 
Messages
578
Location
Alberta
My daughter has a 2013 Corolla which could be described in the same way, a reliable appliance. I looked specifically for a Corolla for her because of their reliability, and because she lives three hours from home. Four years later and it's living up to Corolla's reputation for reliability, absolutely nothing to report. Great review BTW, I was wondering what the new ones were like.
 
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Messages
577
Location
MA
Originally Posted by carviewsonic
My daughter has a 2013 Corolla which could be described in the same way, a reliable appliance. I looked specifically for a Corolla for her because of their reliability, and because she lives three hours from home. Four years later and it's living up to Corolla's reputation for reliability, absolutely nothing to report. Great review BTW, I was wondering what the new ones were like.
My 2019 RX 350 can best be described as a comfortable, reliable, appliance. Just like zoom, zoom runs through Mazda's DNA, boring kitchen appliance runs through Toyota's DNA. They are what they are and there is little pressure to change since Toyota sells so many cars. Apparently, buyers like/tolerate the boring nature of Toyotas.
 
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Messages
14,449
Location
The Old North State
Reading the OP, it reads like your wife made the call if not entirely, close. That being the case, how's your wife feel about it? Happy wife, happy life? As for Mazda, I've been reading on Motor Trend online that they've done away with independent rear suspension on some models (3 series?) MT not enamored with the move. Seems they may be making some bean counter moves too.
 
Messages
1,191
Location
south dakota
I probably would have bought the Corolla used because they just about give them away. As far as comparing the car to a Mazda I don't know what people expect. They in-expensive cars new and you can't really expect too much other than reliability when you are taking off the bottom shelf. A Corolla will never be an Avalon or a Lexus and you can't expect that out of a lower priced car. I had a Corolla and it was trouble free but definitely a no frills car even in the LE package. Not to compare but the Honda Civic would have been my choice for a low-baller.
 
Messages
7,068
Location
The Midwest
Guys, the OP's wife bought the lame LE model. The sad thing is that the Corolla SE has a larger engine, more power and better fuel economy. The 2.0L Corollas also have a better CVT, a CVT with one actual gear to make it perform and feel better. The SE also has a sport tuned suspension which probably still rides decent. The Corolla LE with 132 HP and 128 LBS torque is rated 30 city, 38 highway. The SE model has 169 HP and 151 LBS of torque and is rated 31 city, 40 highway.
 

pbm

Messages
8,712
Location
New York
I have always been a fan of the Mazda3 and would have purchased it over a Corolla or Civic until this latest model. According to one of the recent car magazines (I can't remember if it was Car and Driver, Road and Track, Motor Trend or Automobile) the latest Mazda3 has made some suspension changes (for economic reasons) that diminish it's performance.....
 
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