2013’s The Bad 8 – Toyota Corolla CE

TOYOTA COROLLA CE

Like any good Mac user, I perpetually believe that every Windows user is in a constant state of frustration with a computer that’s in a constant state of disrepair.

Likewise, Toyota Corolla drivers like to believe that drivers of every other car – especially those vile Hyundais, Kias, Chevrolets, and Fords – are forever visiting their dealer with never-ending warranty claims.

2013's The Bad 8 logo

Drivers of the basic Corolla don’t seem to understand that reliability can be found in other more stylish, more powerful, more fuel efficient, more refined, better equipped, and less expensive cars.

The Corolla CE, as it’s called in Canada, is a $15,450 CDN car lacking air-con, power door locks, and keyless entry. The door handles are that nasty black, rather than body colour. You’ll need to upgrade through two packages to get power windows and cruise control. If you select the automatic transmission option, it’s a 4-speed. Because the Corolla CE wants you to believe it’s 2003. You might as well put Hey Ya! on repeat.

In my jurisdiction, a typical 5-year finance arrangement on a Corolla CE that includes power locks and windows plus an automatic transmission results in a taxes-in monthly payment of $395. Hyundai’s more powerful and efficient Elantra – which uses a 6-speed automatic, generates more power and superior fuel economy while also looking a lot better inside and out – costs a few dollars less each month. Mazda’s 3 is cheaper, too. Honda’s best-selling Civic costs only a bit more than the Corolla but is an infinitely better car in every meaningful way. 

No wonder the Civic, Elantra, and 3 all sell more often than the Corolla in Canada. They shake it like it’s a Polaroid picture.

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Alternatives: The aforementioned Civic, Elantra, or 3. Kia’s 5-door Rio hatchback is an impressive vehicle for the price. It must be said, the Toyota Prius C is interesting, too.
Base USD/CAD Price: $16,230 (Corolla L) / $15,450
It Sucks, But… It’s a Corolla. So you can drive it to the moon and back and it will still be your baby. A baby you respect, but not a baby you can love.
Sales Stats: The Corolla has been and will continue to be one of the three or four best-selling compact cars in North America and around the world. A new version will bow soon, and hopefully it will be a little more exciting.