Toyota announced the 2017 Toyota Corolla lineup, bringing refreshed styling and some model changes to the brand’s venerable nameplate.
The big news, as expected, is the addition of the car that was formerly known as the Scion iM to the lineup. Now called the Corolla iM, it gets a slight bump in MSRP, but adds Toyota’s TSS C (Toyota Safety Sense C) package that includes lane departure alerts, automatic high beams and a pre-collision system.
Under the skin, the iM is the same as last year, with a more sophisticated independent rear suspension than what is found in regular Corollas and a few more ponies under the hood, with 137 horsepower from the 1.8-liter four cylinder engine. A six- speed manual or CVT is available. MSRP is $18,750 for the manual and $19,490 for the CVT.
For the regular Corolla, the model designations have been changed to more closely match its big brother, the Camry. The stripped-down base L model remains, as does the LE, but the sporty S is now SE and the S Plus is now the XSE. An XLE model essentially replaces the former LE premium.
All Corollas get updated styling. The front end has been updated with a larger grille, which may or may not be a good thing. The new grille is more prominent than the current model’s and doesn’t blend as well with the rest of the car.
Inside, the interior is largely the same except for an updated center stack. The screen has been updated to seven inches and looks like it was pulled right from the new Prius. Regular buttons along the sides of the screen have been replaced with touch buttons. Also, the HVAC controls have been redesigned.
Unfortunately, there have been no updates done under the hood, which is what the Corolla really needs. For 2017, it soldiers on with the same 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 132 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque (LE Eco models get 140 horsepower and 126 lb-ft of torque).
The base L-model loses the manual transmission option, but fortunately gains the continuously variable transmission. While that’s not usually good news, in this case it means the antiquated four-speed automatic has been finally put to rest. The CVT is standard on all trims, with only the SE available with a six-speed manual.
All Corollas get Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) P, which includes everything in the iM’s TSS C package but adds dynamic radar-guided cruise control.
For 2017, the SE gets a special 50th Anniversary package that adds a trim-only color (Black Cherry Pearl) and some updated interior trim and options.
Prices for 2017 start at $18,500 for the base L trim up to $22,680 for the XSE. The one enthusiasts would care most about, the SE with a manual, will cost $21,665.
Check out this related TFLcar video of the car that would become the Corolla iM, the 2016 Scion iM: