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 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.

We tested the mid range Corolla LE CVT priced at $20,490 with the upgrade package ($1500) that added a heated leather steering wheel, 18” inch alloy wheels and power moon roof.  As usual, the Corolla shines in the interior with a roomy cabin, durable, well-finished cabin. Front occupancy is fine, although   rear-seat headroom could be tight for tall passengers.  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, but don’t expect fast acceleration or a sporty driving experience as it is slower than most. However, the Corolla’s well tuned steering and nicely calibrated steering ensure a docile handling, and a comfortable ride. Fuel economy is impressive at:  City – 8.4 L/100 km and Hwy – 6.4 L/100 km. The 2017 Corolla is good, but still lacks the thrills, performance and sporty driving experience of it competitors. It is also lower on fancy entertainment technology options. Still, Corolla buyers consider its practical pricing appeal, reliability and resale as more 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 LE CVT.MRSP $23,708 including options, freight and PDI.