2024 Toyota Corolla Review

2024 Toyota Corolla - Corolla hybrid economical, practical and somewhat sporty


Price: $27,140

Pros—Attractive. Fuel-stingy. Roomy. Decent acceleration. Supple ride. Nice handling. Rather sporty.
Cons--Just adequate trunk.

Bottom Line—A pleasant, practical compact hybrid sedan.

There was a time when  a Toyota Corolla was strictly a homely, economical but decently built economy car for running around town. That was about it.

Ancient history. The 2024 Toyota, is scarcely changed from the 2023 model, It’s one one of the better compact sedans, especially in all-wheel-drive form.

The styling doesn’t make the car stand out, but it is sleek enough to look upscale. Moreover, it looks larger than a car classified as a compact..

Four tall adults can sit comfortably. The trunk has a low, wide opening but could use more room when the rear seat backs aren’t flipped forward. I found a week’s groceries pretty well filled it up with the back seats in their normal position.
There’s no need to stop much at gas stations because the hybrid is a gasoline/electric model. No need either to look for roadside charging stations when your all-electric car’s driving range begins to look alarmingly low.
Estimated fuel economy of the new Corolla Hybrid SE AWD is 47 miles per gallon in the city and 41 on highways.  It has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors teamed with a smooth operating CVT automatic transmission. Only 87-octane gas is needed.

This is no fireball, as one might guess, but acceleration is adequate, even during 65-75 m.p.h. passing. Figure on a 0-60 m.p.h. time of about 9 seconds. Merging into fast freeway traffic should be no problem.

This 138-horsepower model has a standard on-demand all-wheel drive system. There are a few other Corolla models priced below and above it, but the SE has a good blend of economy and sportiness.

Why Sporty? Try sport seats and a sport suspension to start, then move to 18-inch graphite-colored alloy wheels, a ”sport” mesh black grille, sport rocker trim, color-keyed rear spoiler and a single exhaust with chromed tips. The thick leather-wrapped steering wheel is easy to grip and contains various controls.

A driver can easily select Eco, Normal and Sport settings. Eco is fine for moving in fairly heavy traffic, Normal mode is for all-around typical usage and Sport tightens things up a bit and gives the Corolla Hybrid SE AWD slightly faster acceleration and quicker reflexes for more driving fun.

The ride is supple, thanks partly to a multi-link rear suspension. Normal road bumps are felt, but not uncomfortably so.

The doors have easily gripped handles, and the quiet interior looks upscale, with nice stitching. There’s a normal and digital speedometer and the nicely sized 8-inch infotainment screen atop the center of the dash is easy to use.

The interior has a fair amount of storage areas, and I liked the fact that the automatic climate control has  two large knobs.
The sound system has 6 speakers and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android auto capability.

The many safety items include a pre-collision feature and a backup camera.

My test Corolla Hybrid SE AWD’s options included a blind-spot monitor on color-keyed heated power outside mirrors with  turn signal indicators and a cross-traffic alert . There also was a power tilt/slide moonroof with a sliding sunshade, wireless charger, mudguards, rear bumper protector and a carpet mat package.

With the options, the manufacturer suggested retail price was $29,388, making it still under $30,000. Add the $1,095 delivery charge and it came to $30,483.

The Corolla surely has come a long way from its humble beginnings, but still is a practical, economical car with a fair amount of flair.

Dan Jedlicka

Dan Jedlicka's Website

Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times--far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Autos Internet site from January, 1996, to June, 2008.

Jedlicka remained auto editor at the Sun-Times until October, 2008, and continued writing for the newspaper's AutoTimes section, which he started in 1992, until February, 2009. While continuing his auto writings at the Sun-Times, he served as assistant financial editor of that newspaper from 1970 to 1973, when he began his automotive column.

He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including NBC's "Today," ABC's "20/20" and "The CBS Evening News." He was a host, consultant and writer for Fox-TV Channel 32's 1991 New Car Preview show and that Chicago-based station's 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 Chicago Auto Show Previews.

Jedlicka's auto articles have been printed in national magazines, including Esquire and Harper's. His auto columns have been reprinted in U.S. government publications and economic textbooks and he is profiled in the "World's Greatest Auto Show" history book about the Chicago Auto Show. In late 1975, Jedlicka was host and technical advisor for three one-hour television specials, "Auto Test 76," which aired nationally on PBS and were the first nationally televised auto road test shows.

In 1995, Jedlicka was the recipient of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Inc.'s Consumer Education Award, given annually to a person who has gained distinction in the field of consumer education. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Media category and inducted into the Legends of Motorsports Guild at the Carquest World of wheels custom car show in Chicago in January, 2006.

Jedlicka was a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury, composed of a select number of auto journalists from throughout the country, from 1995 until 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of Consumer Digest magazine's auto experts panel that gave Best Buy new vehicle recommendations.

He is a 1987 graduate of the Bob Bondurant Race Drivers School and later of the BMW "M" and Skip Barber Advanced Driving schools. He was a member of the U.S. team that participated in the 1987 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race/rally in Italy and has been a race winner at the Chicago area's Santa Fe Speedway.

Jedlicka has owned 25 classic cars, including 1950s and 1960s Ferraris and 1950s and 1960s Porsches, a 1965 Corvette, a 1967 Maserati and a 1957 Studebaker supercharged Golden Hawk. Jedlicka resides with his wife, Suzanne, in the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district of Oak Park. They have two children, James and Michele.

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