Odometer at pick-up: 1,744 km
Odometer Current: 9,859 km (8,115 by Autos.ca)
Fuel Consumption: 7.3 L/100 km
Costs: $713.38 ($647.33 Fuel; 66.05 oil change)

Reliable. Trustworthy. Efficient. Practical. Affordable.
These are the qualities that have drawn owners to the Corolla for generations now. A simple car for basic needs. Few cars have been so bland for so long, so it is all the more shocking that I sound like a marketing brochure when I say they’ve brought the visceral excitement after many long years of cerebral appeal.

Now, the Corolla hasn’t turned into a Miata overnight, or even a GTI, but you can now add stylish, modern, high-tech, and engaging to its description.

It is most definitely a car. We love cars. We love the Corolla. Despite the many that will buy it purely for the pros outweighing any cons on the balance sheet, they will be experiencing a well-conceived, well-executed car that is competent in all aspects, rather than simply fulfilling the function of travelling from A to B.

Styling is, of course, subjective, but this generation has garnered far more compliments than derision, often with a note of awe considering its legacy. While the styling is far more adventurous, it has not come at the expense of roominess or visibility to any great degree.

Seating is spacious and comfortable, with wide door openings that making entry and exit and child seat installation easy, and the front sport seats of the upgrade Corolla S being truly excellent. Along with the 17-inch wheels and navigation, it offers reasonable value even at the top of the trim ladder at $26K before taxes.

Cargo space is impressive for a car in the compact class, proving its capability on our summer camping adventure, and the rubber trunk liner makes it easier to shake out any debris that accumulates on a road trip. I only wish it were as easy to clean my children.

While sound quality is acceptable for this class, it checks off all the basics with AM/FM radio, CD, Bluetooth and USB connection, and even offers satellite radio. More impressive was the touchscreen, which was quick to respond and never missed a beat; our only criticism that some of the onscreen ‘buttons’ were a bit small for my fat fingers, and that is even without gloves on. The customizable homescreen was a particular favourite that showed small windows of the map, audio info and phone shortcuts that often saved time flipping between screens.

Catch up with the Arrival, Part 1 and Part 2 of our Corolla Long-Term Test.

The powertrain doesn’t sound terribly sexy on paper or under acceleration, but it certainly gets the job done and maintains the reputation for efficiency that the Corolla has long promised. The 1.8L four-cylinder 132 hp and 128 lb-ft may not satisfy those who prefer some gusto in their ride, but the CVT works well to compensate for its shortcomings. Throttle is fairly quick, so you do get a bit of jump off the line (nothing like the hyper-aggressive Subaru Impreza though), and the CVT’s responsiveness means you are getting peak power very quickly when you give it gas for passing on the highway or low-speed acceleration. However, the initial burst tapers off fairly quickly, its horsepower running out before you might like.

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