The Toyota Corolla for 2009 will be available with two different engines: a 132Hp, 1.8L four-cylinder and a 158Hp, 2.4L four-cylinder. There is a standard five-speed manual gearbox in both these engines, however, the optional automatic transmission is four speeds with the 1.8L and five speeds with the 2.4L.
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The Corolla is available in five different grades that include a base model, the sporty S, the mid-range LE, the well-equipped XLE and the high performance XRS. There is a 2.4L engine in XRS, while the others models have the 1.8L.
To improve response and fuel economy, both engines have VVT-i variable valve timing. The Corolla takes projected EPA fuel economy ratings of 27 city, 35 highway with its 1.8L engine and a five-speed manual transmission (only the base model comes with this combination).
For better responsiveness at high speed and lighter effort at low speeds, all these Corollas have electric power steering that is also quite handy to enhance fuel economy. The new Corolla has noise reduction measures (including a five-layer acoustic-glass windshield and partially shielded wiper blades) that are not frequently found in small cars.
There are also many improvements inside to maximize comfort and convenience. For, example, the seats are reapportioned to better fit taller drivers and steering columns tilts now. All models have a bench seat in back that provides enough space for three adults. A newly flat load floor connects through the trunk and back seats fold forward now. Some other offers are front-door pockets, center console side pockets, a rear-seat center armrest, an extra storage space above glovebox and an overhead console.
A multi-information gauge has been included in XRS and XLE models. This multi-information gauge provides readings for fuel consumption, average speed, driving range and elapsed time. There are also bright white-lit Optitron gauges with red needles in these models. In all these Corollas, seat-mounted side air bags and side curtain bags are standard now, while anti-lock brakes have been included to the standard safety features list.
Air conditioning, a rear defogger, intermittent wipers, a 60/40-split folding back seat and a four-speaker CD sound system have been included in the base model. While color keyed mirrors, power windows and locks have been added in the LE grade. While in the XLE, there are 16-inch wheels, a center console with armrests, keyless entry, woodgrain trim and a six speaker seatback pockets have been added.
The S model has front sport seats, fog lamps, a chromed exhaust tip, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. The XRS model includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a scuff plate, a leather trimmed shift lever and shift knob, a strut brace to improve handling and a cruise control.
S, LE and XLE top of the model range include options like heated mirrors, 16-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, a navigation system, a moonroof ,and an eight speaker JBL sound system with six-disc changer and Bluetooth hands-free phone compatibility.
If compared with the previous version, the new Toyota Corolla is almost 2.5 inches wider and one inch shorter, however, it has been entirely redesigned for 2009 and gets some nice styling cues from the new Camry sedan with several luxury and convenience features. Magnetic Gray, Barcelona Red, Capri Sea, Blue Streak and Classic Sliver are five exterior (all metallic) colors that are new to the lineup.
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The Toyota Corolla is quite well-known as one of the most affordable small sedans and has a longstanding reputation for reliability, low operating costs and high fuel efficiency. The redesigned 2009 model is an emblem of interior comfort with added optional features like navigation system that is not usual in this class.