After driving around town I do have to amend some of my comments from Day 1. Most of all, the suspension really does show improvements on tight turns and considerably cuts body roll in the XRS. Basically I got to test out some of my favorite roads and found both the handling and acceleration pretty enjoyable considering this was still a Corolla underneath all the body panels.

But most of all I?m impressed with the Corolla attributes like the easy to use environmental controls, nice interior materials and even the spacious trunk has come in handy. The XRS touches, like the leather wrapped shifter and sport bucket seats just make the economy car a bit sportier.

Finally I found a good seating position for my left foot on the clutch but it?s still not the most comfortable and I still prefer the Mazda3 s seats. Actually if you compare the Mazda3 s to the  XRS it?s a fair comparison since both feature a stiffer body, more powerful engine and even two tone cloth seats. The price is also similar.

Our vehicle started at $17,455 and here?s a breakdown of some standard features and add ons:

Starting Price: $17.455
Standard Equipment: 4-Wheel ABS, Sport Strut Tower Brace, 16 inch Alloy Wheels, Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel, Power Windows and Door Locks
Optional Equipment: All Weather Guard Package $70, AM/FM/6-disc In-Dash CD w/6 Speakers $200, Power Moonroof $750, Power Windows and Door Locks (again?) $605, Carpet Floor Mats $87, Security System $319.

Total: $20,001

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