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Nuts & Bolts: 2013 Toyota Corolla

Bottom line: It’s a Point A-to-Point B car — reliable, safe and reasonably fuel-efficient, listed at 26 miles per gallon in the city and 34 on the highway.

Prognosis: The Corolla, which has been around for 40 years, will only get better as competition for small-car sales increases. In the near future, look for it to add a bit of cosmetic pizazz to complement its blue-jeans reliability.

Ride, acceleration and handling: The Corolla gets decent marks in all three.

Head-turning quotient: Blah.

Body style/layout: The Toyota Corolla is a compact, front-engine, front-wheel-drive economy sedan available in the United States in three trim levels — the base L, popularly equipped LE and more upscale S.

Engine/transmission: The Corolla comes with a standard 1.8-liter, 16-valve in-line four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing (132 horsepower, 128 foot-pounds of torque). It is linked to a standard four-speed automatic transmission that also can be shifted manually.

Capacities: There are seats for five people. Cargo space is sufficient to carry one week’s worth of groceries for a family of five. Fuel capacity is 13.2 gallons (regular grade is recommended).

Mileage: In highway runs at home in Virginia, I averaged 32 miles per gallon — okay, but in no way impressive for a small car.

Safety: Standard equipment includes ventilated front disc and rear drum brakes; emergency braking assistance; electronic brake-force distribution; four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; electronic stability and traction control; and head air bags.

Price: Prices for 2013 Toyota Corolla models range from $16,230 for the base L to $18,230 for top-of-the-line S. Still a good deal.


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