Toyota Corolla, the Anti-Clunker

Is the number one recipient of cash from clunkers so great after all?

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The Toyota Corolla may be the top-selling car in the much-debated Cash for Clunkers program, but how does it take an S-curve? Not so great! Appraisals from top car reviews, and one stunt driver, give the Corolla less than favorable marks.

On the Decline. praised the Corolla as "small, inexpensive, fuel-efficient and reliable" that "mostly aims to please the average consumer." But that's changing. "We've been disappointed with the current Toyota Corolla," the review read. "The competition has caught up to the Corolla or even passed it." Edmunds worried that the car "lost some of the luster that made it history's best-selling nameplate."

Snore! Car and Driver concedes that "the Corolla still chases the mainstream and succeeds." But the auto magazine steers buyers elsewhere. "More fun can be found in Honda or Mazda dealers, however," the official review states.

Over Rated. David Thomas of called the engine "anemic" and concluded that "nothing impressed." Thomas said the cars "look and feel cheap," that the interior is "bland, somewhat roughshod," and that back seat is "tight." He lamented the car's popularity despite its quality. "None of this seems to have deterred car buyers, though," he wrote. "The Corolla remains the most popular compact car in the country and is consistently one of the best-selling vehicles of any type." He had no idea how right he was.

Wee! One Japanese stunt driver took the Corolla out for a spin, video of which is below. I don't have a clue what he's saying, but he sounds awfully excited. Let's consider that an endorsement.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.