The dependability factor goes a long way in the success of most anything, but it doesn’t hurt to jazz things up here and there with a few surprises. And that’s what the designers did with the 2016 Toyota Corolla Special Edition.
Let’s start with the colors. This compact sedan, with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, is exclusively offered in absolutely red, black sand pearl and super white. When you contrast these with the 17-inch alloy wheels with gloss black finish and P215/45 R17 tires, the impact is at first subtle. Simple shades, right? But then your realize the simplicity of it is huge.
The designers of this five-seater infused just the right amount of patience and creativity into this fuel efficient, sporty ride that has come to be recognized as the dependable choice for millions across the globe. Too much change and you lose your loyalists. Too little, and they want to know what’s new. The designers and engineers walked a tight rope and pulled it off by providing drivers what they needed, and then some.
The black interior with red contrast extends to the leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic three-spoke steering wheel, featuring mounted paddle shifters. Other standard features include a front chrome grille surround with piano black inserts, color-keyed heated power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators as well as a 60-40 split fold-down rear seat that extends trunk space. The 8,000 units being sold feature special edition floor mats and badging. Top it off with a chrome-tipped exhaust, and you’re ready to ride anywhere and everywhere in style.
I’m accustomed to driving compact sedans and felt comfortable in the body hugging driver’s seat, zipping through tight spots in the city neighborhoods and coasting on the highways. The 132 horsepower was not an extreme force. Neither was it a disappointment.
I’ve come to expect solid performances out of the Corolla based on my 2014 and 2015 review of the Corolla S Premium where I noted the nameplate’s popularity and accolades. When I think of the Corolla and its ability to hold its place in automobile history and mine, I can’t help but to think of the old saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
On that note, I’m looking forward to reviewing the 2017 models celebrating the Corolla’s 50th anniversary.
I have grown accustomed to the subtle surprises.
The 2016 Toyota Corolla Special Edition: MSRP is $20,635; Combined city/highway is 32 MPG.