2019 Toyota Corolla LE

It should come with a “I used to be cool” bumper sticker.

By Whitney Ellis

When people used to ask me about what car to get, I used to tell them if they wanted just an A to B car to get either a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry. Both were cars that weren’t exciting but got good gas mileage and were known for their reliability.

Nowadays, everyone wants to get into the sporty sedan market – and the Accord and Camry aren’t any different. Accord Sport models are still available with a six-speed manual and produce more than 250 horsepower out of its turbocharged four cylinder. The Camry is available with more than 300 horsepower and supposedly gets to 60 miles per hour from a dead stop in less than six seconds.

Not only are they more powerful, but they’re bigger than previous mid-sized sedans with in-car entertainment features on par with some luxury cars. And therein lies the problem – they’re not boring A to B cars anymore.

What is? Enter the 2019 Toyota Corolla.

The Corolla LE (MSRP: $21,500) is equipped well enough at the base-plus model with 140 horsepower, with all the comforts and features you’d see in most other compact cars at its price.

While people may complain about the 140 horsepower not being enough, my gripe goes further back in the car – the transmission. It seems a lot of the “value sedans” have continuously variable transmissions nowadays, and this isn’t any different. I think I understand the reasons why these economy cars have CVTs (it’s all about efficiency, baby), but I’d much rather either a manual or a traditional transmission in something like this.

The gas mileage is OK (28 city/36 highway) and the in-car entertainment is just enough for cars at this price point – everything is just OK. It’s an OK car that gets you places without a fuss. However, I do have one gripe.

Remember when Corolla’s used to be cool? It wasn’t that long ago where these were rear-wheel-drive coupes with bulletproof engines that can take abuse. Now, like former punk rock band members, it seems like the Corolla has grown up and has become the church going father of two giving the youth insights on how to navigate their teenage years.

Now when people ask me about an A to B car, I’ll tell them to get a Corolla. But, as always, they’ll end up getting some type of Volkswagen model because it looked “cool” and it was on sale.

And they’ll be looking for another car three years later.