The 2012 Corolla not only looks, but feels, like a car that people choose to drive out of necessity and practicality.
In general, the Corolla is softly sprung and lacking a handling and ride sophistication that many rivals now have. The electric power steering is dull and overly light, and that combined with the suspension makes the Corolla feel out of sorts on a curvy road.
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, even if its 132-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine looks up to snuff on spec sheets. Part of the problem is the four-speed automatic, which has gears that feel too widely spaced; the five-speed manual is pleasant to use, though, and if moving quickly isn't all that important, the automatic transmission is smooth-shifting.