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#8

in 2009 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $9,241 - $11,684
Original MSRP: $15,350 - $20,050
MPG: 26 City / 35 Hwy
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2009 Toyota Corolla Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

To reviewers, the 2009 Toyota Corolla still excels at no-frills quality in its cabin design, and most say the five seater offers adequate comfort in both front and rear rows.

  • "It's a roomy compact, with adequate adult rear-seat head- and legroom, comfortable, nondescript seats, and simple, logically placed controls." -- Motor Trend
  • "Inside, the Corolla boasts a simple, functional layout and high-quality materials." -- About.com
  • "Sit down and, if you have ever driven before, you will recognize all of the controls. It was easy for us to get comfortable with the tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and the seats that not only go back and forth but up and down." -- Marketwatch

Front Seats

Generally, reviewers describe the 2009 Corolla as providing sufficient comfort in the front seats, and several cite the Corolla's new telescoping steering wheel as an improvement to the driver's comfort.

  • "The addition of a telescoping steering wheel improves upon the Corolla's historically awkward driving position." -- Edmunds
  • "Behind the wheel, the new Corolla feels far more upscale than previous models. The driving position and outward visibility are immediately noticeable, although the standard seats are a bit flat. The sport seats in the XRS should be standard issue in all Corollas." -- MSN
  • "The front seats were fairly comfortable, though I could have done with a bit more thigh support. I'm 5'6", so I imagine that while those shorter than me will find the seat just fine, taller folks might find it a bit too small. But the seat's height adjuster is a boon for all." -- About.com

Rear Seats

Sitting in the Toyota Corolla's rear seat is tight, but on par with the rest of the class. Experts say two adults can fit comfortably.

  • "To be sure, three adults sit closely in the Corolla's back seat, but shoulder room is improved for both front- and back-seat riders, and back-seat headroom is only 0.6 inch less than it is in the back seat of a Camry." -- The Associated Press
  • "The back seat is fairly accomodating -- the Corolla's not the subcompact it once was -- and a flat floor across the rear enhances the spacious vibe." -- Autoblog

Interior Features

Auto experts are impressed with the quality and simplicity of the 2009 Corolla's cabin design and features.

  • "The Corolla has created quite a following -- last year it was still among the top-five bestselling vehicles, even though it hadn't been updated since 2003 -- for simply being straightforward, uncomplicated transportation, so there was no need for Toyota to try to make it something it's not with the major overhaul for '09. For example, you won't find any color-changing backlighting or a multitude of buttons that would scare away anyone not from the cell-phone generation." -- Car and Driver
  • "New features like an auxiliary audio input, keyless startup and a navigation system with real-time traffic updates bring Toyota's compact sedan into the 21st century in terms of feature content." -- Edmunds
  • "The instruments and controls are logically arranged and easy to use. There's plenty of hard plastic on the dash and doors, but it has attractive textures that keep it from looking cheap." -- Dallas Morning News
  • "The S-grade gauges have class-appropriate pseudo-sportiness, although their red and white motif turns to Siamese baseballs by night. … But wait, there's less! Rotary knobs and switches are clumsy and clunky, and the chrome trimmed-shifter looks out of place in the cabin's sea of flat black. More importantly, at every touch point, the Corolla is cursed with Toyota's latest form of competitive advantage: borderline beancounting. The plastics are harder than cubic zirconium, and the engineering shows a lack of attention to detail." -- The Truth About Cars

Stereo and Entertainment

Toyota Corolla's standard audio has four speakers and comes with MP3/WMA playback and satellite radio capability, but some reviewers suggest upgrading to the JBL system with a six-disc in-dash CD changer, eight speakers, Bluetooth connectivity and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.

  • "Unless you only listen to AM talk radio, we highly recommended the optional JBL audio system." -- MSN
  • "And the base stereo hits the requisite highs and lows with moderate enthusiasm." -- The Truth About Cars

Navigation

Very few reviewers spend time assessing the new Corolla's optional navigation system. Most just give kudos that the option is available given the car's price bracket.

  • "A navigation system is a first-time Corolla feature, and it's optional on all but Standard and LE models. … The navigation system has fewer features than systems in some other Toyotas -- no voice recognition for example -- but programming is intuitive, and the device is relatively easy to use." -- Consumer Guide
  • "This DVD-based system uses maps with good resolution and we have no trouble figuring out our way around the interface, as we had just seen a similar layout in the Lexus GS 460." -- CNET

Cargo

The 2009 Corolla's 12.3 cubic feet of trunk space is considered average for the class by some auto writers, but too small for others. However, almost all reviewers agree the Corolla provides numerous stowage possibilities inside the cabin.

  • "The trunk is spacious enough to hold luggage for four." -- Dallas Morning News
  • "The trunk is just OK at 12.3 cubic feet. The back seat splits and folds -- as it should be in a compact sedan -- but the seat doesn't fold flat and the center seatbelt can't be detached, so it's always in the way." -- About.com
  • "Storage spaces are well thought-out, even to details like a cord slot so your personal electronics connection doesn't get pinched." -- New Car Test Drive

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