Eric's Autos: 2021 Toyota Corolla
The CVT-equipped models come standard with automated stop/start, a feature many people dislike -- for good reason.
Under the Hood
All Corollas except the SE come standard with a 1.8-liter, 139-horsepower, four-cylinder engine without a turbocharger. Which means you'll never have to worry about replacing a failed turbocharger.
It's the same deal with the Corolla's optional 2.0-liter engine, which is the one to get if you prefer to shift for yourself.
The Corolla's engines are not as powerful as some of the engines available in cars in this class, but they have an established track record for being extremely low-maintenance and extremely long-lived.
Plus, you can shift for yourself, if you like. Almost every other engine in every other car in this class is paired only with an automatic transmission.
On the Road
The Corolla has buttons and knobs to turn the volume up and down, tune stations and change the air conditioning and heat. Which means you don't have to take your eyes off the road while you're driving to adjust these things like you do in almost every other new car, since many have smartphone-emulating touchscreen interfaces. You can't feel an icon .
There is an LCD display inside the Corolla, but it is unlike the others in that it is meant to be a display rather than an interface. There are even tactile buttons on the sides to get you to the correct menu without having to "scroll" or "swipe" or "tap" a screen with no feel that forces you to look .
This in itself makes the Corolla a great car.