2000 Corolla New Car Test Drive
It may not attract much attention, but the Toyota Corolla is an excellent choice if you want reliable, durable, comfortable transportation. Toyota builds all of its cars to high standards of quality, even the lowly Corolla compact.
So there's nothing second-rate about this little chariot. The Toyota Corolla is the second biggest-selling car in history. Since its 1968 introduction, Toyota has sold roughly 17 million Corollas. (Volkswagen takes top honors for selling roughly 21 million Beetles.).
Three models are available: VE ($12,418); CE ($13,108); LE ($15,068). All Corollas are four-door sedans powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. All come standard with a five-speed manual gearbox. A three-speed automatic is a $500 option for the VE; a four-speed automatic is an $800 option for CE and LE. Antilock brakes and side-impact airbags are options for all three versions.
Most people opt for the mid-range CE or the well-equipped LE. VE is a low-price car with all but the most basic amenities optional. None are exactly luxurious unless extras are ordered, but they fulfill transportation needs well.
Even a digital clock is extra on a VE, which gets the plainest interior fabrics. It's hard to imagine anyone but fleet customers will go for a VE without air conditioning and a radio. Add much equipment to one and its price begins to climb to that of the CE. By ordering options, a CE can be equipped to be a virtual twin to the LE, except for the LE's optional sunroof and alloy wheels. LE comes standard with air conditioning, power windows, mirrors and door locks, and a four-speaker sound system.
Start ordering options and you may suffer sticker shock. The VE's base price appears to put the Corolla squarely in the bargain category, right down there in rock-bottom land with many competitors. But by the time you've driven away in a fully equipped LE the tab has climbed toward midsize territory.