Toyota Corolla Adds New Optional Premium Package for 2022

by Tom Crosby

One of the best-selling vehicles world-wide, the Toyota Corolla compact sedan continues to improve in 2022 after a major upgrade in 2021 by adding a $1,715 premium option that includes an 8-inch configurable touchscreen, navigation, JBL premium audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2021 sales exceeded 2020 and the availability of these new premium features is predicted to help increase global sales for the 2022., The Corolla has been around since 1966, selling more than 50 million units over 12 consecutive automotive generations.

The car has acquired a reputation for reliability, resale value, decent mileage and a profile that has been tweaked often but still with recognizable DNA on streets world-wide. Toyota claims it is the most popular nameplate in the world.

We tested the XSE, just below sportier top trim XSE Apex Edition and above six other gas-only front wheel drive sedan trims with our 2.0-liter engine using a continuous variable transmission (there is a 1.8-liter engine in lower trims). There is also a 2022 Corolla hybrid plus three hatchbacks.Carpet mats ($249) and the premium package were our only options.

We tested the XSE, just below sportier top trim XSE Apex Edition and above six other gas-only front wheel drive sedan trims with our 2.0-liter engine using a continuous variable transmission (there is a 1.8-liter engine in lower trims). There is also a 2022 Corolla hybrid plus three hatchbacks.Carpet mats ($249) and the premium package were our only options.

The exterior remains unchanged with a gaping grille, steady beltline, extended hood, a low 5.1-inch ground clearance and 18-inch machined alloy dark gray wheels wearing low profile tires.

While not burning any rubber from a start, our test Corolla added pep with steering wheel paddle shifters using sport mode, which included a gauge display trimmed in red; normal mode shows a blue tint. The reduced engine muscle yields excellent mileage and an estimated range of 449 miles.

Handling was steady in curves with minimal lean and the ride comfortable using a front strut and rear multi-link sport suspension, courtesy of Toyota’s New Generation Architecture platform.

Crash safety ratings are top tier and Toyota’s vaunted 2.0 Safety Sense is standard with top advanced driver safety aids, including adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition/display and adaptive headlights.

The cabin feels airy for a compact sedan and is ergonomically well-designed with comfortable sports style front seats, although tighter in the rear for taller adults.The dashboard screen includes knobs and buttons, although climate control icons are illegible with sunglasses on. There are ample cabin storage cubbies and a wireless phone charger under the dashboard. 

The cabin’s fit and finish felt flawless.

Response to information/features was slow with some minor navigation miscues concerning traffic congestion. 

Cargo space is adequate, expandable with rear seats folded 60/40 split. Warranty includes free complimentary scheduled maintenance for two year/25,000 miles.

At a Glance

LIKES: Mileage, handling, price, value, cabin design, ride, safety
DISLIKES: Low power, minor technology glitches
BOTTOM LINE: Gas stingy and affordable with performance, reliability, value

Fact File: Toyota Corolla XSE

Base price w/destination fee
Curb weight
Wheelbase
Length
Width
Engine
Horsepower
Torque
Transmission
EPA Rating
Range
Performance
$26,970 ($28,934 as tested)
3,150 lbs.
106.3 inches
182.5 inches
70.1 inches
2.0 liter, 4-cyclinder VVT
169-hp at 6,600 rpm
151 ft.-lbs. at 4,400 rpm
Continuously variable
31 mpg city/38 mpg hwy
13.2-gallon tank, regular
0 to 60 in approximately 8 seconds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tom Crosby has written more than 1,000 automotive reviews and is a retired Vice President of Communications for AAA Carolinas. He has seen dramatic changes in the automotive industry over the past 25 years and ponders the advent of self-driving vehicles, electric-only vehicles, sophisticated in-car telematics, and the financial challenges facing automotive manufacturers in an increasingly congested worldwide market.

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