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2009 Toyota Corolla

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Comments

  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    At times Toyota moves glacially and it does things in baby steps...unless like the Prius or the Camry hybrid or the 5.7L Tundra it sees an opportunity to leap into another segment in order to make additional sales.

    Issues seem to get addressed incrementally in order of importance. Regarding the Corolla the issues were implementing the new 1ZR 1.8L engine, addressing the seating / steeringwheel issue, making a quieter environment, adding new safety equipment, increasing interior room, all while maintaining fuel economy at the top of the class and keeping prices low enough to appeal to the targetted buying segment.......and to make a profit doing so.

    The 4 speed AT is a non-issue with the targetted demographic.

    But the direction is clearly toward 5 AT's in the near future along with a Valvematic enhancement which already being used in the JDM versions of the Corolla. New features begin there and migrate to the other markets ( iron out the bugs too ). My personal guess is that at the 3 yr refresh in MY 2012 we might see the 5 AT + Valvematic. At the latest I'd guess 2014 in the 'all new' Corolla.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    Since the Corolla's EPS can be tuned, as you stated, why not at least tune it for more of a sporty feel on the Corolla XRS? That is a relatively pricey car for an economy compact, the top of the Corolla line, and surely Toyota could find some way to build the engineering cost (which is minimal, since we're talking about what is essentially a software or firmware change) into that high-end Corolla model and still make a solid profit on the car.

    As a case in point, I know of at least one other compact econocar with EPS on which the steering feel is tuned differently for different markets, e.g. a softer feel for the U.S., and a firmer feel for the European market and at least some AP markets including Australia. It was a pretty easy change to make, e.g. a couple of engineers went down to Australia when there were published road tests that trashed the steering feel of the car, and the engineers made an in-the-field update to the EPS that improved the steering feel greatly.

    So it IS possible, and pretty easily/cheaply. That leads me to believe that you are correct in saying the disconnected steering feel on the Corolla is intentional, that is, that Toyota thinks Americans LIKE our small cars to feel that way. But I suggest that the Corolla's strong sales are not BECAUSE of its steering feel, but IN SPITE OF its steering feel, i.e. there are enough people who either don't mind the way the steering feels or overlook it because they like other things about the Corolla.

    Anyway, since it appears the steering feel is intentional, that is where posts like those from thegraduate and others who don't care for the Corolla's steering feel are useful and should be encouraged rather than shoved aside by Toyota fans. If no one complains about the steering feel, Toyota has no reason to make a change. And I suspect Toyota and other manufacturers do monitor these forums. At least we know for sure that many Toyota employees monitor these forums, and they are in a position to send the feedback to the company.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I don't disagree.

    I think that Toyota has made a production decision based on marketing input for the targetted demographic. It's intentional. For that demographic the EPS is a non-issue as is the 5 AT. Other features need addressing first.

    No one is shoving anyone's opinion aside. As noted previously everyone's view is correct. That's why there are so many choices in the market. But the view that the EPS is somehow 'wrong' or 'bad' is only a personal view of certain people that want something else. The current design is 'correct' and 'good' for the drivers for whom the vehicle's intended. The volume of sales validates those production/marketing decisions.

    As I said in the beginning everybody's view is correct. It only depends on one's personal preferences. I'm certain that all these discussion are monitored on a regular basis by all the vehicle makers. These are the new 'focus groups' if you will. But in the case of enthusiast sites such as herein the population is not indicative of the general population so that bias has to be taken into account.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    Wow, I thought we put this baby to rest?

    Okay here I go again!

    With the exception of the sentence where you write that "it appears that the steering feel is intentional" I have to disagree with your posting. You insinuate that most Americans don't like our small cars to drive and steer easy and that Toyota is wrong in their thinking that we do. I couldn't disagree with you more. We are the age of "easy". If it drives easy, affords easy, repairs easy and STEERS easy, people will buy it and love it. Why is it so hard for some of you people to get it through your heads that most 2009 Corolla owners ACTUALLY LIKE this new EPS technology and like the feel of the car and will buy it because of this steering amongst other factors, and not IN SPITE of it as you write? Thank God the Toyota Engineers know what drivers want are willing to come up with new technology like EPS steering to bring us out of the dark ages where some of you feel secure in your thinking as well as your driving. Come on, where's your sense of adventure? Perhaps we should go all the way back to manual steering and rear wheel drive like I had in my 1979 Corolla. Loved that car, but what a truck to turn!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    You insinuate that most Americans don't like our small cars to drive and steer easy...

    No. I suggest that a large number of Americans, if not a majority, like to have a higher degree of steering feel than what the 2009 Corolla provides.

    Driving "easy" is different from driving "numb". I don't think we need to go back to manual steering to get a steering feel that is "easy" enough for folks like you and has enough precision and control for people who like that quality in a car. Other manufacturers have found combination to be possible. Toyota is fully capable of doing it too, if not on the entire Corolla lineup then maybe on just the sport-oriented XRS as I suggested.

    My sense of adventure doesn't include a car that wanders around the road and requires a great deal of attention to keep pointed straight on a straight road, as some have expressed here. That isn't "easy" driving for me. I guess your definition of "easy" and my definition are different.
  • lls57lls57 Posts: 57
    I have had my 09 Corolla since Feb 08, with over 15,000 miles on it, including a 2,000+ mile vacation. I never feel like it wanders around the road, and it doesn't require a great deal of attention to keep pointed straight. I am one of those people that just wants a car that gets me around town. Until I started reading posts here, I never knew that the steering was a "problem" for some people.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    "No. I suggest that a large number of Americans, if not a majority, like to have a higher degree of steering feel than what the 2009 Corolla provides".

    "My sense of adventure doesn't include a car that wanders around the road and requires a great deal of attention to keep pointed straight on a straight road, as some have expressed here".

    I'm going to assume that both of the above two statements were based on other peoples oppinions because a 2009 Corolla is not in your current inventory of cars, correct?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    They are based on comments posted here by people who own or have driven the 2009 Corolla (note my words, "...as some have expressed here"), as well as on my own experience driving the 2009 Corolla.

    Actually, when I drove the car I didn't notice anything I would call a "problem" with the steering. It wasn't precise like some other small cars, and I would prefer more steering feel, but it didn't wander all over the road either. But I don't want to summarily dismiss the opinions of those Corolla owners who think there's a problem with the steering. It could just be a reaction to how the car handles vs. what they are used to, or it could be a defect in some number of cars.

    I think the 2009 Corolla is a nice little car in many ways, but not a car I care to own. With a few tweaks, I'd consider it though.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Driving "easy" is different from driving "numb".

    VERY true. Nissan, for awhile, has always had steering that was too light for my personal tastes, but it is at least communicative. You can have overboosted steering that is communicative (like in the last older Nissan I drove) and you can have heavily weighted steering that offers little in the way of feel (Pontiac comes to mind here).

    By "easy" I assume we're all referring to the physical effort it takes to move the wheel? I am. Just making sure we're on the same page.
  • 87silver87silver Posts: 9
    Buy a Toyota. The USA has seen its days.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Don't feed the troll, guys. :)
  • mnfmnf Posts: 404
    Same here with 12,800 miles use one handed driving most of the time no issues with my corolla. This after coming off a 2006 Honda CRV, 2004 Subaru, 2000 Honda Accord, 1998 Honda Civic and when she will let me my wifes 2000 Lexus RX 300.

    MNF
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    Thanks for your post. It seems like those of us that actually own a 2009 Corolla like and accept the new EPS while a large percentage of the negativity is coming from non-owners.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    a large percentage of the negativity is coming from non-owners.

    Sure is. Those that have driven it and don't like the way this particular EPS system and suspension tuning is set up, probably wouldn't spend close to 20 grand on it. :) Just because the negative opinions aren't from owners don't mean they aren't valid.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    Well whose oppinion would you trust more? Someone who did put out the 20K because they like the car as well as the steering and are very happy with their purchases or those who just sit back and critcize Toyota and it's steering and DON'T EVEN OWN ONE! Those of us with first hand experience are always so much more dependable rather than those that just took it out for a ten minute test drive, or pass on what they heard from some other disgruntleld owner because they can't adjust to new technology.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I'd listen to both. The owner will obviously be biased towards his car, while the non-owner has more limited experience. In this case, I trust my own opinion (as you should trust yours) the most. Makes sense, right? ;)
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    Well I certainly don't see this biased on this thread. Those drivers that can't adjust to the new EPS are surely letting us know how much they think the steering or their cars suck, right? And those of us that really like it are saying so also. So where's the supposed bias? You said the magic word, a non-owner has LIMITED driving experience with this car so how can you put your faith and money in their comments or driving experience? Besides we're not talking about what we think any longer we're talking about an outsider contemplating a 2009 Corolla purchase. I drive this car daily, you drove it ten minutes, the question is who do you trust to give you a better hands on experience and opinion? I would say obviously the person that drives it more. If you owned a business and were going to hire an employee, who would you hire? All other things being equal, the person that did that particular job for ten minutes or the person who has the experience of doing that job for a year and a half? Now remember if you choose the wrong employee you loose your business, just like the new Corolla owner will not be happy with their 20K purchase and will have to sell it.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I drive this car daily, you drove it ten minutes, the question is who do you trust to give you a better hands on experience and opinion?

    Again, I listen to both. I can tell if a car handles well on a 20 minute test drive. It doesn't take 20k miles to figure out "hey, this car has fantastic handling" or not, unless your car's handling has changed in that 20k miles. Has it?

    If you owned a business and were going to hire an employee, who would you hire? All other things being equal, the person that did that particular job for ten minutes or the person who has the experience of doing that job for a year and a half?

    Sorry, your analogy doesn't work for me, in this case. Handling doesn't change in 10 miles or 10k miles, unless you're really hard on the car! :shades: It's a known entity once you've been around the block (literally) a few times. Drive it at different speeds, on different surfaces for a little while. It doesn't take a year of ownership to know what the car is like, unless you're a little slow.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    Here's the opinion of a professional car-testing organization that has had more than "ten minutes" behind the wheel of the Corolla, and actually owned it (so remarks such as "you don't own one so your opinion doesn't count" are not applicable):

    Handling is sound, but not particularly agile. The steering is a bit light and rather vague on center. Body lean is not excessive, but the car isn't engaging to drive. The Corolla was secure at its handling limits thanks to its optional ESC, but it posted just a modest speed in our avoidance maneuver.

    Highs: Fuel economy, ride, quiet interior, turning circle, controls, available electronic stability control.
    Lows: Steering feel, fit and finish, no dedicated clock display.


    -- From CR, July 2008.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    I 'm going to end this debate with you as I don't wish to contnue wasting my time debating with someone who dosen't even own the freaking kind of car he's bashing.

    For all of you drivers contemplating the purchase of a new 2009 or 2010 new Toyota Corolla "go for it". You will be pleasantly surprised how good this car actually is. There is no economy car on the road that can come close to it in shifting smoothness or sound control. The climate control is excellent and the safety is top notch. The stability control and traction control are very functional additions and will be standard in 2010. The steering ease in this vehicle is unmatched by any make out there. There is no that steers with the ease and comfort of the new Toyota Corolla. This car has just been rated in the top ten of all economy cars in the April issue of Consumer Reports for Best Cars Under $20,000 something the Honda Civic can't even brag about. The rear leg room is most accomodating and the flat floor in the back is unmatched by any economy car. Gas miliage is great. SO GO AHEAD, WHO DO YOU WANT TO BELIEVE? A NON-OWNER OR SOMEONE WHO NOW OWNS THIS NEW 2009 COROLLA FOR A YEAR AND HAS PUT IT THROUGH THE TEST.
  • denvecsrdenvecsr Posts: 40
    You want to try to end the debate, don't you terceltom. Working for Toyota you have alot to lose. Myself, I would tell anyone looking to purchase the new Corolla, to wait until Toyota irons out all the kinks. Until then, stay away! Too many problems from the steering to the automatic shifting. Try a long ride, say 600 miles straight you'll easily see that the steering is a constant problem. 2009 Corolla, 12,000 miles, Owner for 1 year. Very experienced driver for 37 years. Driven every kind of vehicle out there. From tractor-trailer to White Cloud. I know a problem when there is one.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    Guess that explains why your looking for a car that drives like a Mack truck !
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    Really bothers you who I work for aye? Way off topic here, but since you keep asking,

    Do you think I am :

    A Local Police Evidence Collector for the Emmaus Pa. Police Dept.

    or maybe

    A Veterinary Nurse for Peaceable Kingdom Cat Rescue of Whitehall Pa.

    or maybe even

    A Senior Econometrician with Toyota Financial Services Based in Los Angeles, CA

    Sorry, but I can't help but play'in with ya now!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I 'm going to end this debate with you as I don't wish to contnue wasting my time debating with someone who dosen't even own the freaking kind of car he's bashing.

    Ohhhh, i get it now. I post something you don't like, and it doesn't count because I don't own it, and is qualified as useless "bashing."

    the flat floor in the back is unmatched by any economy car.

    Like the flat floor the Civic has offered for nearly a decade?

    For all of you drivers contemplating the purchase of a new 2009 or 2010 new Toyota Corolla "go for it".

    How about "drive it and its competitors, and decide for yourself which best fits your needs/wants?

    And, why all the yelling at the end of your post? Guess we won't know why since you're through bashing me for disagreeing with ya over the handling merits of an economy car (or at least claim to be). You don't think its silly? I do, but I'm not leaving the forum just because you want me to do so. I'm not making it personal.
  • I have not driven may cars more expensive than a Corolla, but I have driven many less and my history of owning 5 different year Corollas should tell you my opinion. I love the way they drive. I like a comfortable car that just goes. I have not had the steering problem in amy of them. My 09 was the best yet. I could take my hands off the wheel and drive most of the time. I almost always drive one handed. I did test drive an 08 Civic and it wasn't anything special IMO. I didn't like the location of the E brake personally and it was my main reason for not getting that car. I plan on getting another Corolla when I get back in the States again.
  • carzzzcarzzz Posts: 282
    The steering is precise, yet it is extremely light and lack feedback! When i drove one off the parking lot, i smacked it so hard and then realized that i was driving a Toyota... rofl...
  • mnfmnf Posts: 404
    You forgot one thing when reporting the news to tell the whole story.

    1-Toyota Corolla was RECOMMENDED by Consumer Reports with a check

    2-The Corolla is one of the best riding small cars, and it soaks up bumps well. Its cabin is quiet, except for relatively mild road and wind noise, and a smooth engine hum. ( the previous sentence that you left out)
    BY CR 2009

    MNF
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,686
    You are correct, I did not repeat the entire CR review of the Corolla, since the thread we're on was about steering feel (plus I can't type that fast!). I agree the Corolla is one of the smoothest-riding and quiet small cars. But again, the thread we were on was steering, so that is what I focused on with my excerpt from the CR review.

    I did say I thought the Corolla has many good points. It's just that I don't think steering feel is one of them.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I'm with you, backy. My ex-gf had a 2004 Corolla LE. Very nice little car for $18k, and rode quite nicely. A mini-Camry. Just because I don't like the steering system in the '09, doesn't mean I'm trashing the car.
  • Wow two of the biggest Corolla bashers on the thread agreeing with each other. Go figure.
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