The 2011 Toyota Corolla has been introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and while the vehicle has not been completely redesigned it does offer several feature changes as well as a fresh look compared to the outgoing 2010 model.
Immediately noticeable to current Corolla owners is the revised styling that gilds the four-door compact sedan's platform. The Corolla loses much of the anonymity that had defined its look throughout 2010, instead adopting a sleeker, more aerodynamic front fascia as well as a rounded rear end set off by horizontal tail lights featuring a downward diagonal cut that matches that of the vehicle's license plate surround. The swept look of the 2011 Toyota Corolla has a practical purpose as well, with Toyota claiming that the vehicle's A-pillar profile, windshield wiper covers and hood cowl have all been designed to reduce wind noise and vibration at speed.
That the 2011 Toyota Corolla looks much sportier than the model it replaces is somewhat ironic given the disappearance of 2010's XRS trim level. The Corolla XRS had offered a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that generated 158 horsepower, matched with a five-speed automatic transmission. Both of those items are now completely absent from the list of available Corolla models, leaving the vehicle's 1.8-liter, 132 horsepower four-cylinder engine as its only available engine. Transmission choices are restricted to either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic, with the latter putting the Corolla behind competitors like the Honda Civic and the Nissan Sentra in terms of self-shifting options. The absence of the XRS' larger engine improves the average fuel economy of the Corolla, which is now listed at 28 miles per gallon in city driving and 35 miles per gallon on the highway when equipped with a manual transmission.
Also missing in action is 2010's Corolla XLE trim, a model which previously slotted between the S and the XRS and which offered features such as wood grain trim and keyless entry. Some of the XLE's features have migrated to the volume-selling Corolla SE, which is still available. The Corolla S trim also remains, but while it grafts an aggressive body kit to the exterior of the sedan, it makes no changes to the vehicle's drivetrain and it lacks the tuned sport suspension found under the departed XRS. The S does gain redesigned 16-inch wheels, along with new headlights.
Standard equipment on all 2011 Toyota Corolla models includes the brand's new Smart Stop Technology feature, which is a brake override system designed to help drivers avoid any instances of unintended acceleration by cutting engine power automatically should the brake and the accelerator be depressed at the same time. The vehicle also comes with Toyota Care maintenance, which is valid for the first two years or 25,000 miles of ownership and which includes oil and filter changes, tire rotation, chassis lubrication and a 19-point vehicle inspection.