Surprising CVT Feels Good, Sounds Terrible
CVTs are criticized for their flimsy feeling engagement and the grating sound they make. Could Toyota have been thinking about those traits, when it came to giving the Corolla a CVT? While most CVTs are content to hang around at the red-line when you floor the gas pedal, the Corolla will rev up to the peak-point of the tach and then drop, giving it a pseudo shift before revving up again. You can sense the gear ratio changing to offer more speed and it’s just enough to make you feel comfortable with the idea of a CVT.
But whether it’s the lack of sound deadening or the CVT, the car isn’t quiet and the noise was easily noticeable during phone calls in the car.
When it comes to fuel economy, this new-generation CVT isn’t a step behind and after a full week of testing through various driving conditions, the Corolla saw 33 MPG, which is a notch above the EPA estimates. The 33 mpg number is about average when it comes to the Corolla’s competition. However, if you wanted a fuel conscious Corolla, you could have opted for a LE Eco model, which gets 35 mpg combined including 42 mpg on the highway.