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STYLING | 7 out of 10
One of the handsomest pieces of sheetmetal in Toyota's U.S. lineup
Attractive and ergonomic interior design
A lower, wider, sportier look to compete with Honda's Civic
Kelley Blue Book
The Toyota Corolla has always been arguably the most conservatively styled vehicle from a brand known for, among other things, its conservative styling. For 2009, however, the designers in Japan have breathed a little life into the Corolla Toyota.
Exterior styling varies somewhat across the lineup on the 2009 Toyota Corolla. ConsumerGuide notes that the "Corolla offers five trim levels for 2008 vs. three for 2008," and visual appeal ranges from virtually non-existent up to surprisingly sporty on the Corolla Toyota. Of the five trim levels on the 2009 Toyota Corolla, which Edmunds lists as "base, LE, S, XLE and XRS," the XRS is by far the most noticeable on the road. Autoblog calls the 2009 Corolla XRS "one of the handsomest pieces of sheetmetal in Toyota's U.S. lineup," featuring "speedy-looking bodywork." All versions of the 2009 Toyota Corolla include what Kelley Blue Book calls "a trio of character lines" running from front to back, as well as a "low front air intake" that helps add "visual width below the Toyota signature mesh grill." Motor Trend finds that the new Toyota Corolla is "a longer, lower, wider" car than the outgoing model, which helps improve the car's appearance.
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com found the interior of the 2009 Toyota Corolla to be designed for functionality and ease of use above all else. Cars.com writes that the "cabin seems affably tidy," and finds most everything about the interior of the Toyota Corolla "tailored for straightforward usability." However, this usability detracts from overall styling, which ConsumerGuide feels is "a noticeable step backwards from the previous-generation Corolla." Overall, Autoblog appreciates the "intuitive ergonomics" of the interior, but notes that "everyone, even domestics, have stepped up their interiors lately," which causes the Corolla to pale somewhat when compared to competitors.
The 2009 Toyota Corolla certainly isn't the most stylish vehicle in the world, but the XRS looks sporty enough, and the interior is uncluttered, if unremarkable.