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Eric's Autos: 2021 Toyota Corolla

Eric Peters on

They don't make the great cars anymore.

Cars like the original (rear-engined/air-cooled) VW Beetle, for instance, which many consider to be the greatest car ever made, if the standard for greatness is a car almost anyone could afford to buy -- and for that reason put almost everyone on the road who wanted to be on the road.

Hence, the name "people's car."

The Ford Model T was another, earlier example of the same kind of greatness differently expressed.

These cars weren't fast or sexy, but they were easy to get and cheap to keep. They didn't ask for much beyond fuel, oil, brakes and tires once in a while, and they ran and ran and ran -- and then ran some more. It was common to see them on the road as daily drivers 20 or 30 years after they were made.

Of course, you can't get a new old Beetle or a Model T anymore.

 

But you can get what is arguably a car greater than either of them -- combined.

What It Is

The Corolla is the world's best-selling car -- large, small, whatever. Ever. More than 45 million of them have been stamped out since 1966, its first year on the market. That's more of them than all the Model T's and old Beetles produced combined.

The base trim Corolla L with a 1.8-liter engine and CVT automatic stickers for $20,025. An SE trim with a more powerful 2.0-liter engine and six-speed manual transmission stickers for $23,175.

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