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#4476116 - 07/31/17 11:17 PM 2017 Toyota Corolla SE rental experience
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2967
Loc: USA
I have seen others post their reviews here after renting a vehicle, so I would like to contribute one of my own.

I spent some time in Las Vegas last week and lucked out when Alamo let me have a almost brand new 2017 Toyota Corolla SE for the week.

The SE trim is a sporty version, so it has the fancy wheels, paddle shifters, and some light tech package upgrades. Backup camera is standard along with many safety features that I wasn't expecting to find in a rental car.

Physically, it's a Corolla. Not much has changed since these became appliance cars back in the 90s, but I think that's the entire point of this car. It's simple, straight forward, and adequate in every aspect.

The powertrain is an inline-4, FWD, paired with a CVT.

Pros:
  • HVAC controls (for fan speed, zone selection) are up/down toggle type switches. While not as intuitive as rotary dials, it's easy to use this type and it looks a lot cleaner while saving space.
  • Ride quality is quite good for such a small and light car. I suspect that models with less-sporty wheels will ride even better due to more sidewall area.
  • The dashboard, while plastic, is molded in a very stylish way that I wouldn't expect in an economy car. The faux stitching is a nice touch, even though it's just molded into the plastic.
  • The AC in this car will freeze you if you aren't careful. I wasn't expecting such strong cooling in an economy car, but it seems that Toyota finally figured out how to compete with the domestic makers on HVAC capability.
  • The seats are surprisingly supportive with pronounced side bolsters. The combo of pleather and cloth with accent piping looks quite nice.
  • I didn't do anything under the hood, but the engine bay looks simple and easy to work in.


Cons:
  • Some interior dash/trim pieces are glossy piano black. Even the most careful owner will be unable to avoid making scratches, and smudges are easily visible.
  • Entune system buttons are capacitive touch. Big no no to me because you have to look away from the road to press the button properly. I even had an odd occurrence where my radar detector power cord was able to 'touch' the buttons.
  • CVT programming is odd at times. Under seemingly random circumstances, the engine will seem to want to rev very high and hold the revs there.
  • I could only find a single 12V power port.
  • The infotainment LCD display is almost too 'vertical', resulting in an odd viewing angle of the backup camera video (washed out effect that is common on any LCD).


My mixed city/interstate driving resulted in just shy of 30mpg, which is exactly on par with mfr estimates. I suspect that MPG will improve slightly once the engine has been fully broken in, as seems common with Toyotas.

Seating seemed ample enough for 4 adults, but I think the weight would put a lot of strain on the engine/trans.

Pictures:











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#4476133 - 07/31/17 11:58 PM Re: 2017 Toyota Corolla SE rental experience [Re: Reddy45]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 10097
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Looks like a nice little car. If I weren't tall I'd have considered one.
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#4476144 - 08/01/17 12:53 AM Re: 2017 Toyota Corolla SE rental experience [Re: Reddy45]
FermeLaPorte Offline


Registered: 07/25/17
Posts: 469
Loc: Texas (south)
Should have gotten to try the manual one
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#4476153 - 08/01/17 02:13 AM Re: 2017 Toyota Corolla SE rental experience [Re: Reddy45]
bubbatime Offline


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5622
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
Backup camera is standard along with many safety features that I wasn't expecting to find in a rental car.


I think I read that backup cameras are standard on all 2017 and newer cars now. Mandated by the govt for safety reasons.
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#4476168 - 08/01/17 04:29 AM Re: 2017 Toyota Corolla SE rental experience [Re: bubbatime]
NHGUY Offline


Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 5043
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: bubbatime
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
Backup camera is standard along with many safety features that I wasn't expecting to find in a rental car.


I think I read that backup cameras are standard on all 2017 and newer cars now. Mandated by the govt for safety reasons.
Yes,another knee jerk response from the Feds after they read the news reports of kids getting run down by parents backing up their mile high SUVs with zero rear vision,or even mild caution.

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#4476174 - 08/01/17 04:39 AM Re: 2017 Toyota Corolla SE rental experience [Re: Reddy45]
Lolvoguy Online   sleepy


Registered: 02/06/14
Posts: 2331
Loc: Canada
what exactly is sway warning/assist?

Never heard of such a thing on a Corolla
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#4476227 - 08/01/17 06:57 AM Re: 2017 Toyota Corolla SE rental experience [Re: Lolvoguy]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2967
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Lolvoguy
what exactly is sway warning/assist?

Never heard of such a thing on a Corolla


It monitors if you are dozing off at the wheel and overcorrecting in response. Pretty cool thing!

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#4476270 - 08/01/17 08:13 AM Re: 2017 Toyota Corolla SE rental experience [Re: Reddy45]
pandus13 Offline


Registered: 08/12/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Chicago,IL,USA
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
Originally Posted By: Lolvoguy
what exactly is sway warning/assist?

Never heard of such a thing on a Corolla


It monitors if you are dozing off at the wheel and overcorrecting in response. Pretty cool thing!

How it will react if the semi next lane starts to come into your lane and you just want to go around while keeping away from the oversize bolts?

Nice review.
Like you I don't like strange angle LCD
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#4476275 - 08/01/17 08:29 AM Re: 2017 Toyota Corolla SE rental experience [Re: Reddy45]
Stevie Online   content


Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 182
Loc: Port Aransas, TX
Thanks for the interesting report. It's amazing how good these economy cars have become. My wife's Elantra is another good example.

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#4476294 - 08/01/17 08:52 AM Re: 2017 Toyota Corolla SE rental experience [Re: Reddy45]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41773
Loc: New Jersey
They are ok to drive, especially for a rental. What I don't like is the poorly matched colors/fonts/types of screens/displays in the dash, and the odd vertical dash on the passenger side.

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#4476323 - 08/01/17 09:15 AM Re: 2017 Toyota Corolla SE rental experience [Re: Reddy45]
HondaRULZ Offline


Registered: 06/12/17
Posts: 81
Loc: Honda land
I don't go below Camry level so do not do CoROLLas.

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#4476385 - 08/01/17 10:26 AM Re: 2017 Toyota Corolla SE rental experience [Re: Reddy45]
deven Offline


Registered: 06/28/05
Posts: 3399
Loc: Massachusetts
Yay finally a car review with detailed pictures! Thanks a bunch!
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#4476387 - 08/01/17 10:29 AM Re: 2017 Toyota Corolla SE rental experience [Re: Reddy45]
Dorian Offline


Registered: 12/07/15
Posts: 300
Loc: Ohio
We recently test drove a Corolla just like this one and we were impressed. Especially considering how old this design is, we really liked it. The CVT and 2ZR is what drove us off. I don't like CVTs and the mileage wasn't spectacular for the lack of power. The lane keep assist worked quite well.
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#4476395 - 08/01/17 10:43 AM Re: 2017 Toyota Corolla SE rental experience [Re: Reddy45]
4WD Offline


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6366
Loc: Texas
Just rented one in Houston / did not like it for interior size and power - need to use upgrades for Camry or Malibu next time

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#4476430 - 08/01/17 11:31 AM Re: 2017 Toyota Corolla SE rental experience [Re: Reddy45]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 11964
Loc: N.H, U.S.A.
How were the driving dynamics? No hatch no deal for me. Limited versatility.

The 2012 Kia Forte Sedan was BY FAR the most refined, gripe free sub compact ive driven. I don't know if they've "ruined them" with the redesign.

Though likely a fall apart car, I really enjoyed a Fiesta rental I had with the maligned automated manual - it didn't sap power like a slushbox and shifts were quick - also - MUCH nicer and stable than a MAZDA 2.

BTW, I drive hard and fast - I don't just roll around like a dope.
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