Kamuela, Hawaii Like every maker with each new model, Toyota is chasing younger buyers with its all-new Corolla. We say, leave that role to the new, Corolla-based Matrix, which is much better suited to battle the Ford Focus and the Honda Civic for the attention of sport-compact-car enthusiasts. Instead, Toyota should revel in the Corolla's position as the world's highest-quality small car.
The seventh-generation, '93-model Corolla, along with its twin, the Geo Prizm, established itself as a miniature Camry, both in the way it drove and in the sensory perceptions it created. The decontented eighth-generation car fell off course and is now finishing its lackluster tenure as a brief 2002 model. (The Prizm is just plain finished.) The longer, wider, and taller 2003 Corolla rides on an all-new platform and marks a return to the Corolla's former glory.
That's not to say that the Corolla is the best small car to drive, because the Focus still wears that mantle. The Corolla's 130-hp, 1.8-liter engine carries over, and the supposedly sporty S model sports only side rocker panels and other body addenda of questionable taste.... Read full article