email@example.com (Crumb72) wrote in message
Hmm, how sorry???
BTW, my Focus got the crap beat out of it (literally) by a 4500 lb SUV
so my insurance company said go rent a car while we evaluate yours for
replacement. I think the Focus is totalled considing the entire front
end was mashed in. A really great thing about the car was that it
soaked up the impact completely - I was left totally uninjured!!!!
(But hey, that's another story!)
Turns out the rental agency offered me a Corolla S (only 12km on
odometer - I'm it's first driver!) While it originally looked
appealling with it's sporty aerodynamic package, the gloss faded
pretty quick. To read the spec's - it seems to match up to the Focus
fairly well. In reality - Nope!
I had some initial difficulty getting the seats to fit - the controls
were placed a little different than other cars. The seat level/angle
lever was in front of the tilt lever (it was set fully erect which is
impossible to drive in). I had to set it back about 4 notches to feel
comfortable. The head rest projects forward a little giving the
driver better head support in case of an accident (that's good). The
electric mirrors adjust in a similar fashion to the Focus (that's
good). The steering wheel only adjusts up/down (that's bad). It's an
automatic - that's always BAD! :-) Even after adjusting the seats for
the best position, it feels like the seat fabric is loose and I'm
sliding back and forth on it (very bad). The seat sits a bit lower
than how I adjust my Focus which means the visibility out the windows
is less. In fact just looking out the rear quarter feels like I'm
driving blind compared to the much better view the Focus has. The
front pillars seem to be in the wrong position too, leading to a
narrow view of the road -- but hey, it's whatever a person gets used
to, a person can mentally compensate after getting to know their
vehicle. The driver footrest is only good for people with a really
short "left" leg, it really should be at least an 1"-1 1/2" forward of
where it is.
For an automatic transmission, it has a tachometer which is a little
unusual. During acceleration it shifted lazily. It would shift from
2nd to 3rd around 90kph and from 3rd to 4th at around 115kph
(5000-->3000rpm?) What the f? Meanwhile you are left with a very
buzzy engine with absolutely no growl to it. MAYBE, just maybe it was
because the car hadn't loosed up yet. Acceleration was deemed to be
similar to an 2.0 SPI automatic Focus. The numbers for fuel
efficiency seem to imply that it is more economical but then again
it's only 1.8 litres vs the 2.0 litres of the Ztec.
The display is informative and attractive, the current outside temp.
is displayed in the lower portion (thanks) but next to the trip
odometer reset button is a small pointing arrow with the words "Fuel
Door". Huh? do I press the trip button here to open the fuel
door???? No - look down beside the left side of the seat while the
door is open - you will find the fuel door switch along with the trunk
release. The point is - the display seems to leed a person to think
that the trip reset button is the Fuel Door -- really bad visual
information. The console has a strange part to it -- it seems to
imply that the passenger side air bag can be turned off? I dunno, I
didn't get a car manual with it.
Off to the road and to try a few salom wiggles and hard turns. Fooey
- for a sport suspension, it sure felt like a soft family sedan to me.
It soaked up the bumps like a bigger domestic sedan on sponges, ie.
no feedback except for body roll. The cornering left me wondering
where the support was - suspension was reluctant to resist any roll.
I took the car out for a stroll on the local highways during a light
rain. How skittish - these tires DO NOT inspire confidence, this was
especially surprising since it is marketed as a small family sedan. I
felt like I was floating and bouncing, in reality I was hydroplanning
whenever the wind blew crossways. This car DEMANDS much better rubber
than was spec'd for it. (195/65-15). ABS is apparently optional for
this car - and the lack of it shows. The brake feel is soft and the
pedal feels like it has a long travel with little feedback. Unless
you really jamb the foot down the car takes forever to stop. This car
is NOT setup for threshold braking which is what I do for non ABS
brakes. With no feedback, I have no idea how much grabbing force I'm
The interior was simple/plain black. Not sporty black, not sexy black
- just plain black. The good side was that the console had plenty of
storage compartments and 2 power points. The key insertion point was
on the steering stalk/dash intersection - I could actually see where I
was putting the key in unlike the Focus. The radio was really basic
with far too much emphasis on the rear speakers. To provide decent
fade balance I had to dial in the forward speakers which then left the
sound without reasonable base, too tinny and not enough spatial
separation (from 6 speakers no less). The volume control itself had
to be turned significantly to have a reasonalbe volume. A great
feature that the Focus has is the (AVC) automatic volume adjustment
which is really noticible/appreciated when you come across a vehicle
without it. Manually adjusting the Corolla's radio volume several
times while driving is more than an annoyance - a potential safety
Rear trunk volume is comendable - perhaps larger than a Focus sedan
(tough for me to judge as I had a ZX5). The wing at the rear blocks
my rear ward vision somewhat -- I really like the Focus hatchback with
its lower rear ward visibility. I also prefer to have wipers on the
rear window - for a hatch or a sedan, the Corolla has neither.
Overall, I thought the car should be similar to the Focus but because
the car was set up for the average North American family taste, I
found it very disappointing. This is not a drivers car, even with the
"sport" suspension. It does have an excellent safety rating for the
driver/passengers. If all a person wants is family sedan for distance
travelling on bumpy roads then fine choose a Corolla but if actually
want to have fun driving -- walk away -- quickly.
Considering that the particular car I drove was priced almost
identically to a Canadian ZX5, you have to know that there are much
better values out there. The Focus for the same money gives you ABS,
traction control, heated seats, power windows, theft deterrent, better
handling/steering/braking, more undercarriage clearance and more back
seat room. Heck - the other small but pricier vehicle that Toyota
offers - the Matrix - is a much better vehicle overall. If this car
was $5,000 less it might be considered a bargain -- but then again
it's competition is really a Chevy Cavalier - a POS in any language.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Roarmeister) wrote in message
Follow-up post. The tires are Goodyear Integritys with dual rain
channels, so in theory it should have handled better than it did in
the rain. It must be all bad in the suspension. This is most
definitely NOT a driver's car - it is designed for mundane small
family soccer-mom commutes. The Focus is heads above the Corolla in
handling, it can do both the everyday communtes and be fun at the same
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