By Autoreviewman

With more than 43 million sold in over 150 countries, no matter what your opinion, the humble Toyota Corolla is the best-selling car in the world.

For 2017, Toyota’s venerable compact sedan has a more dramatic aggressive exterior design and a host of improvements and changes to make   one of the most popular reliable, yet low-key cars around to be a bit sassier?   With a restyled front fascia, front and rear lights, new wheels, and a sharper edgier design, the Corolla now looks more interesting; especially on the higher spec models. There is also a redesign on the inside with a more attractive dashboard and improved plastics and upholstery. The Corolla range has six models with a 1.8 liter four cylinder engine developing 132 horsepower. (The fuel-efficient -Eco version develops 140-hp.) There are three transmission options: a six-speed manual, four-speed automatic, or a Continuously Variable Transmission Intelligent shift. (CVTi-S).

The base Corolla CE starts at $16230 with an impressive roster of equipment including the excellently packaged Toyota Safety Sense systems, LED headlights, and a 6.1’’ Touchscreen Display Audio with Bluetooth® Capability.  The top model SE CVT we tested offers such features as heated front seats, paddle shifters and a leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls for an amazing price of $21,490.  For this competitive price, the Barcelona Red metallic tester we drove was also equipped with the XSE Option package ($3,290) that added  17” inch aluminum wheels, rear disc brakes, SofTex leather  seating surfaces, push button, Smart key System, power moonroof, integrated Sirius XM radio, navigation , 7- inch display screen and 8-way adjustable power seats.  With options, fees, freight and PDI, our tester came out to total MRSP of $27,128  On the road, the 2017 Corolla 1.8-liter engine makes an adequate 132 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque and its more than enough to propel the Corolla.. Fuel economy is impressive with the CVTi-S transmission.  To sum up, would –be Corolla buyers will be pleased with the practicality, pricing appeal, reliability and resale as important values. The new redesign injects some much-needed hot sauce into the previously staid, plain vanilla Corolla; all it needs perhaps is more power.

2017 Corolla XSE CVT MRSP $27,128 including options, freight and PDI.