The 2016 Toyota Corolla continues unchanged this year with four trim levels: L, LE, S, and the more fuel-efficient LE Eco model.
All Corollas including the base L model feature standard air conditioning, LED low-beam headlights with LED daytime running lights, in-glass AM/FM antenna, color-keyed outside door handles and mirrors, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, and power locks, doors, and mirrors. The base model forgoes automatic climate control, cruise control, and keyless entry. It's basic enough to have a 1960s-style metal ignition key, which is charming in its own way.
But the old-school base audio head unit (knobs!) is not only delightfully simple—skipping the touchscreen, apps, and so forth—but has remarkably good sound, along with a display that can show even longer song titles. Hands-free calling, Bluetooth pairing, an auxiliary audio jack, and USB/iPod connectivity (with charging and full USB 2.0 compatibility) are also included in all Corolla models—even the base L—but LE, S, and LE Eco models all include more steering-wheel controls as well as voice recognition.
With the LE you add larger 16-inch steel wheels, as well as automatic climate control, power locks, keyless entry, variable intermittent wipers, and a backup camera system.
Options on all LE, S, and LE Eco Premium models include the so-called Driver Convenience Package, with a moonroof, Smart Key entry, Navigation, Entune Premium Audio, and the App Suite. And Toyota now offers infotainment systems that aren't just competitive, but among the better features in this class of affordable car. That's based on their interfaces, ease of use, connectivity, and sound quality. Toyota's latest Entune system, featuring navigation and apps in some models, lift the automaker's inexpensive car cabins out of the dark ages. And they're widely available across the lineup.
The Corolla S and LE Eco trims are the two specialty models in the lineup. With the sporty S you get unique wheel covers, integrated fog lamps, a special blacked-out grille, a chrome-tipped exhaust, more aggressively bolstered sport seats, and a Multi-Information Display in the middle of the gauge cluster. Corolla S models with the CVT also get paddle shifters behind the leather-trimmed steering wheel, and a separate Sport drive mode that firms up the steering and quickens throttle response.
Finally, Toyota has added a Corolla Special Edition, based on the sporty Corolla S with CVT, that bundles gloss-black 17-inch alloy wheels, a black interior with red contrast stitching and red dash and door accents, keyless ignition, special floor mats and badges, and a choice of three colors used only on this model. The only options are the power moonroof and the Entune Premium Audio system with navigation and the app suite.