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2012’s The Bad 8 – Toyota Corolla


2011 Toyota Corolla CE

We’re not lambasting the whole Corolla range, here, though it would be hard to recommend Toyota’s historically dominant compact car based purely on its ability to provoke boredom. No, a Bad 8 position has been reserved exclusively for the bottom-of-the-range Corolla, the CE as it’s known in Canada.

GoodCarBadCar the bad 8 2012

There are other sparsely-equipped cars on the market, and they’re not making an appearance in this insult-riddled place. The Corolla CE is different. For Canadians Corolla customers, power locks, air conditioning, keyless entry, and Bluetooth are part of a $1495 package. Another $1000 is required in order to gain power windows, heated seats, and cruise control. Even at that $17,945 price point the Corolla CE is still rocking wheel covers. The $1000 ($800 in the U.S.) automatic transmission still shifts through four speeds like it did a quarter century ago. And it’s still a car that won’t do better than 34 miles per gallon on the highway, this in an era when 40 mpg compacts are commonplace. 

So the Corolla looks like a terrible value, and we haven’t even compared it with a crop of modern, roomy, stylish subcompacts. The Corolla’s disadvantages extend beyond its poverty-spec interior. This is a boring car, not some decontended high-end sports car with “added lightness.” This Corolla is a poorly-equipped boring car, one with wooden dynamics, no ability to communicate, and no hope for joy on the journey. Only a basic Toyota Corolla can be so dull that it provokes a passionate response in opposition to its dullness. Your only instructions are to hate this car.


Alternatives: Growing old with your cats. Painting your bedroom walls an exciting new beige tone. Telling your friends that a free ticket to the Super Bowl sounds fun, but… Antiques Roadshow is on that night so you’d better stay home. Choosing stylish lines and proper levels of equipment (Kia Rio 5-Door) over blaa (Corolla CE). 

Base USD/CAD Price: $15,900 / $15,450

It Sucks, But… in a decade it will most likely look and feel like it did on day one.

Sales Stats: Total Corolla/Matrix sales fell 10% in the first eleven months of 2011 in America. Last year,  the Corolla and its hatchback sibling ended the year down 10%. 2009 sales were down 15%. 2008 was down 5.5% from 2007 levels. A year before that sales slid 4%. Canadian Corolla sales slid in 2009, plunged in 2010, and are down 7% this year. Monthly and yearly sales figures for the whole Toyota Corolla range can be viewed here.