Toyota‘s venerable Corolla gets a mild refresh for 2011, and the updated compact will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Toyota claims it enlisted the help of stylists in Turin, Italy, and the result is still somehow Toyota-like in the front, with the back end looking pretty good for a Corolla.
Engine choices remain the same, but new features like stability control and traction control are standard. Toyota is also sticking with a Pleistocene-era 4-speed automatic, but a 5-speed manual will still be available.
Gallery: 2011 Toyota Corolla
Hit the jump for the official press release
2011 Toyota Corolla Debuts at LA Auto Show
Upholds 40+ Year Tradition for Value with New Styling Changes, Features
• Exterior Front, Rear Freshened • Standard Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control • Standard Star Safety System and Smart Stop Technology • Toyota Care Complimentary Maintenance Plan
TORRANCE, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2010) – Making its debut at the Los Angeles Auto show tomorrow, the 2011 Toyota Corolla – the best selling subcompact in America – will feature new front and rear exterior styling, new interior design changes, Toyota Care complimentary maintenance plan, standard Smart Stop Technology, and two new colors. With a compelling combination of responsive, fun-to-drive performance, proven value and significant safety credentials, more than 30 million Corollas have been sold worldwide since 1966. The 2011 Corolla will go in sale in December.
The 2011 Corolla continues to offer Toyota’s Star Safety System™ standard, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. It also features the standard Smart Stop Technology brake-override system.
Performance and Efficiency The 2011 Corolla is available in three grades: the base-model Corolla, LE, and S. All models are equipped with the 1.8-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine, which produces 132 hp at 6,000 rpm and 128 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) controls valve timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts to help optimize performance and fuel economy. Internal components are optimized to reduce friction.
The 1.8-liter engine is paired with a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission (ECT) on the base Corolla, while the LE model features the four-speed automatic standard. The four-speed automatic uses a torque converter with flex lockup for increased fuel efficiency, as well as uphill/downhill shift control. For a more engaging driving experience, the driver can shift the four-speed automatic manually by moving the shift lever to the left from its “D” position into the “S” position, then pushing forward for upshifts and back for downshifts. An indicator inside the combination gauge shows the gear selected. The 1.8-liter engine on the Corolla S transmits power through the five-speed manual transmission or the four-speed automatic.
The 1.8-liter engine has earned an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 28 mpg city and 35 mpg highway with the five-speed manual transmission, and 26 mpg city and 34 mpg highway with the four-speed automatic transmission.
Handling and Ride The smooth-riding Corolla is built around a stiff body structure that relies on high tensile-strength steel, gussets and cross members for its strength, rigidity and lightweight construction. Front suspension is composed of a compact, rigid L-arm-type MacPherson strut with a stabilizer bar. The Corolla’s torsion beam rear suspension employs a coil-over-shock arrangement that allows efficient packaging along with solid handling and excellent ride comfort.
Brakes consist of 10.7-inch vented discs up front for all models and nine-inch drums in the rear. An electric power-assist steering system uses a compact motor, speed reducer and torque sensor built into the steering column. The system varies the amount of assistance according to engine RPM and vehicle speed. The result is appropriate weight and responsiveness at higher speeds, and light effort at low speeds. Electric power steering reduces parasitic losses to the engine, thereby aiding fuel economy. It is also environmentally efficient, because it does not require hydraulic oil.
Safety The Corolla is engineered to absorb and disperse impact energy throughout the entire body structure, including front and rear crumple zones. Strengthened door beltline reinforcements help share the impact load, which in side impacts is also directed to the underbody. A direct tire pressure monitor system comes standard on every Corolla.
As part of the Toyota Star Safety System, Vehicle Stability Control automatically adjusts engine output and the vehicle’s braking force at individual wheels to help control any discrepancy between where the driver is steering and where the vehicle is heading.
All Corolla models are equipped with six standard airbags, including advanced front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, and front-and-rear side-curtain airbags. Seatbelt pretensioners retract the seat belt at the time of a frontal collision, and the dual-stage force limiter helps limit the seat belt force applied to the passenger’s chest. Front seats integrate active headrests. If the vehicle is struck from the rear with sufficient force, a cable-actuated mechanism in the active front headrest moves the headrest upward and forward to help limit the movement of the occupant’s head. The Corolla also features an energy-absorbing steering column.
Comfort and Convenience The 2011 Corolla upholds a 40-plus year heritage for providing outstanding value in standard equipment. All models feature a standard all-weather package. The Corolla grade features new 15-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers; P195/65 R15 tires; a color-keyed front grille and exterior door handles; a heavy-duty rear window defogger with timer; AM/FM/CD audio with four speakers with MP3/WMA playback capability, auxiliary audio jack, and auto sound leveling; air conditioning with pollen filter; intermittent windshield wipers; daytime running lights; black folding power mirrors that are larger for improved rear visibility; tilt and telescopic steering wheel; multi-information display with outside temperature, instant fuel economy, average fuel economy, average speed and travel distance; fabric-trimmed six-way adjustable drivers seat; four-way adjustable front passenger seat; 60/40 split folding rear seats and a 12-volt auxiliary power outlet.
The popular Corolla LE grade adds variable intermittent windshield wipers with mist cycle; color-keyed power heated outside mirrors; AM/FM/CD audio with six speakers with MP3/WMA playback capability, auxiliary audio jack, and auto sound leveling; cruise control; multi-function in-key remote keyless entry system with lock, unlock, trunk release, panic and remote illuminated entry; power windows with driver side auto down; tilt/telescopic sport steering wheel with metallic accents and audio controls; and power door locks with shift-activated automatic locking feature.
The sporty Corolla S grade adds newly designed 16-inch alloy wheels and 205/55 R16 tires; multi-reflector halogen headlamps with black housing; color-keyed front and rear underbody spoilers, sport side rocker panels, unique S badge and rear mudguards; color-keyed rear spoiler, integrated fog lamps; front sport seats; chrome-tipped exhaust; an new tilt/telescopic sport steering wheel with audio controls; chrome exhaust tip; sport fabric-trimmed six-way adjustable drivers seat and four-way adjustable front passenger seat; metallic style interior trim and analog sport instrumentation.
Options The Corolla LE and S grades offer a power tilt/slide moonroof with sliding sunshade; and an AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, six speakers, XM® Radio (includes 90 day trial subscription), auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod connectivity, CD text display function, auto sound leveling, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology.
The Corolla LE offers a Premium Package that includes 16-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels with P205/55R16 tires; integrated fog lamps; power tilt/slide moonroof with sliding sunshade; AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, six speakers, XM® Radio (includes 90 day trial subscription), auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod connectivity, CD text display function, auto sound leveling, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology.
Exterior Design The Corolla’s design, created with input from styling studios in Turin, Italy, strikes a sporty profile. New 2011 exterior-design changes were made on the front bumper, radiator grille, front lower grille, headlamps, trunk lid, rear license garnish, rear combination lamp, rear bumper and reflex reflector. Built on a 102.4-inch wheelbase, the Corolla provides room for five, and its 12.3 cu. ft. trunk rivals midsize cars’ trunks in capacity. The sporty profile is the result of pulling the A-pillar forward and the C-pillar rearward, which also enhances aerodynamic performance for optimal fuel efficiency.
Character lines sweep from the hood toward the A-pillars and carry back from the top edge of the front bumper into the subtle yet muscular front-fender flares. Additional lines carry rearward at the level of the door handles, emphasizing the Corolla’s low profile, and sweep down from the C-pillar and along the top edges of the rear fenders.
Just above the dense mesh grille that helps form the now familiar Toyota T-face, an interlayer of anti-chipping coating is used to help minimize paint damage from stone chips. The side-view mirrors have increased in size for excellent visibility; heated side-view mirrors are available. The standard body kit on S the model adds a sporty look while also enhancing aerodynamics. The kit includes a front spoiler, rocker moldings, and upper and lower rear spoilers. Engine undercovers improve air management under the car on all models.
Toyota designers focused significant attention on reducing wind noise. The A-pillar is specially profiled for this purpose. The windshield is made from acoustic glass and the window-frame structure is designed to reduce vibration of side glass. The windshield molding, wiper blade covers and shape of the cowl air intake louvers are all designed to minimize noise. Windshield washer nozzles are partially shielded by the rear edge of the hood, instead of sitting atop the hood or cowling. Inside, the carpeting is designed to better absorb noise.
Interior Design The 2011 Corolla features a number of new interior design features that enhance its distinctive style. A new seat color and pattern enhances Corolla’s contemporary looks, while the combination meter design has been changed with the aim of enhancing clarity. The instrument panel upper and door trim upper color has been changed, revealing a sophisticated cabin appearance. A newly designed steering wheel on the Corolla S is provides a sporty image.
The Corolla’s driving position and front seats are tailored to a wider range of driver heights. A standard tilt and telescope steering wheel in all models makes it easy for taller drivers to find a comfortable position.
A multi-information display presents a variety of information, including outside temperature, instant fuel economy, average fuel economy, average speed and travel distance.
The Corolla’s rear bench seat offers space and comfort for three adults. Careful attention to exhaust system routing provides a nearly flat rear floor, enhancing comfort for the middle passenger. Three interior color schemes are available: Ash, Dark Charcoal and Bisque. The Bisque is paired with Ash Brown trim.
A variety of useable, easy-to-reach storage spaces provide convenience and usability inside the Corolla. These include center console side pockets; a storage box above the usual glove box; front and rear door pockets that can safely hold 20-ounce bottles; a console box with a large-capacity main tray and a smaller accessory tray; an overhead console useful for storage of sunglasses or garage-door openers; and a rear-seat center armrest with an integral drink holder.