Across the lineup, there are three trim levels: base, LE, and S. The LE model is offered only with a four-speed automatic transmission, while base and S models can be had with either an automatic or a five-speed manual. All Corollas come with a 132-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. Compared to most other models in this class (like the Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, or Honda Civic), the Corolla feels slightly down on power—especially at highway speeds. The four-speed automatic isn't too bad, although its gears feel widely spaced, but the five-speed manual is pleasant to use.
Although our editors hadn't yet driven the 2011 Corolla at the time we published this update, we have found former—and virtually identical, mechanically—models to be too softly sprung and lacking a handling and ride sophistication that many rivals now have. The power steering—a newer electric system—is dull and overly light, and the Corolla resists quick changes in motions; it's not at all tuned for enthusiastic or responsive handling.