NEW FOR 2016:

– Optional air conditioning discontinued on CE with manual transmission, now an option on CE with CVT
– S Technology Package now only available with CVT
– LE Eco Technology Package discontinued

A perennial favourite the world over, the Toyota Corolla carries over into 2016 with a few tweaks to available feature content.

On the base CE trim, air conditioning has been dropped as an option when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission, and is now an option with the CVT. Formerly it was included at no additional charge. Toyota has also discontinued the LE ECO trim’s Technology Package, and the availability of the Technology Package with the S when paired with the manual transmission.

A redesign two years ago continues to have Canadians flocking to Toyota dealerships to experience what is the best Corolla to date – or at least one that’s the most stylish, comfortable, economical, and technologically laden one to date.

While the Corolla certainly looks more interesting with its standard LED headlamps and chiseled bodywork, it continues to focus on its virtues: reliability, and pain-free ownership. A longer wheelbase than the previous generation model serves up a smoother ride, and there’s noticeably more rear-seat space. The S model adds a good dose of visual flare, and slightly tidier handling but it still trails the likes of the Mazda3 and the new Honda Civic for driver fun.

Otherwise, the Corolla is offered in four trim levels: CE, LE, S, and LE ECO.

On CE, LE, and S trim levels, the Corolla features a 1.8-litre four-cylinder that develops 132 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque. However, the LE ECO gets Valvematic continuously variable valvelift technology to make it the most fuel-efficient variant of the Corolla by quite a large margin. The upshot is it’s also the most powerful Corolla presently on sale with 140 hp, though torque drops slightly to 126 lb-ft.

Transmissions are varied. CE models get a choice of either a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic; all LE models feature Toyota’s new CVT with intelligent shift; S models can be had with either a six-speed manual or CVT transmission with paddles for manual shifting. The LE ECO comes paired exclusively to the CVT.

In CE trim, features include 15-inch steel wheels, power heated mirrors, four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio with USB and auxiliary input, tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, power locks and windows with driver’s auto down, outside temperature gauge, 60/40 split-fold rear seats, fabric seating, dual vanity mirrors, map lights, remote trunk release, floor mats, LED headlights, body-colour door handles, Bluetooth. Air conditioning is an option, but comes standard if paired to the optional four-speed automatic.

LE trim adds CVT transmission, 16-inch steel wheels, variable intermittent wipers, automatic headlights, heated front seats, premium seat fabric, fabric door trim, chrome inner door handles, air conditioning, six-speaker audio with 6.1-inch display and voice recognition, ECO indicator, rear-seat armrest, cruise control, keyless entry with trunk release, and a reverse camera.

The LE Upgrade package adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 16-inch alloy wheels, climate control, moonroof, and fog lamps.

S trim replaces CVT transmission with six-speed manual and has CVTi-S with paddle shifters as an option; adds integrated mirror turn signals, sport front and rear fascias, rear spoiler, chrome exhaust tip, fog lights, sport fabric seats with leatherette trim, simulated leather door trim, piano black instrument panel trim accent, leather wrapped steering wheel, 3.5-inch TFT multi information display, and unique instrument cluster; removes ECO indicator.

The S Upgrade Package adds 17-inch alloy wheels, rear disc brakes, climate control, and a moonroof.

Technology Package builds on the Upgrade Package with satellite radio, navigation, eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, leatherette upholstery, proximity key with pushbutton start, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with integrated compass. It is only available with the CVT transmission.

LE ECO trim builds on the LE with the Valvematic motor, low-rolling resistance tires, automatic climate control, and a rear lip spoiler.

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