Just How Special Is the Toyota Corolla Special Edition?

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Let's be honest, nobody buys the Toyota Corolla because it's the most stylish option available. Its reliability, comfort, quality and price tend to sway legions of loyal buyers, but Toyota is hoping an injection of style couldn't hurt and has released a new Special Edition appearance package model at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show News

The changes are limited to trim, seats, special paint colors and wheels, but the overall effect looks especially good on the Corolla, despite the odd ride height that makes the compact car look like it's been fitted with a lift kit. We've applauded Toyota for using color in the Corolla's interior, and the black seats with red contrast stitching on the Special Edition looks equally sporty and fresh.

Check out what the Special Edition includes for the Corolla below.

By Aaron Bragman | February 13, 2015 | Comments (5)

Toyota Camry and Corolla Special Editions, 2016 Avalon to Debut at Chicago Auto Show

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Along with a refreshed Avalon (above), Toyota will trot out two special edition models at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show next week: the midsize Camry and compact Corolla sedans. The 2016 Toyota Camry Special Edition and 2016 Toyota Corolla Special Edition pair a unique feature package with aesthetic upgrades both inside and out; both models will have a limited production run.

Related: More Chicago Auto Show News

By Joe Bruzek | February 5, 2015 | Comments (7)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: October 2014

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A rash of airbag recalls in October hasn't deterred car shoppers. Sales from seven largest automakers gained 5.8 percent in October, leading to an annualized rate that should top 16 million cars for the eighth month in a row. Among the top 10 sellers, two new compacts enter the list — the Toyota Corolla and the Chevrolet Cruze. The Ford Fusion and Toyota RAV4, despite sales increases, are off.

Related: October's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

Mammoth gains from its Jeep and Ram divisions lifted Fiat Chrysler Automobiles up 21.7 percent to lead the Big Seven in sales gains. The Ram pickup gained 33.5 percent despite no sizeable change in incentives over the year-ago month, and that was versus a pretty good October 2013. It's possible the pickup snatched a number of truck shoppers who didn't want to buy the outgoing Ford F-150. September's strong housing starts, which typically feed pickup sales, provided a boost, too. F-Series sales slipped as truck shoppers await the redesigned 2015 F-150, which arrives later this year, but the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra combined to gain 10.8 percent.

 Here are the top 10 best-selling cars in October:

By Kelsey Mays | November 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2002-2005 Lexus, Toyota and Pontiac Cars, Pickup Trucks, SUVs

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Vehicles Affected: Nearly 250,000 model-year 2002-05 Lexus SC luxury coupes and Toyota Sequoia SUVs, and 2003-05 Tundra pickup trucks, Corolla sedans and Matrix hatchbacks, and Pontiac Vibe hatchbacks, all originally sold or currently registered in high-humidity areas of southern Florida, along the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa

The Problem: The front passenger airbag inflators are susceptible to rupture in a crash, necessitating the deployment of the front passenger airbag. The inflator could rupture, causing metal fragments to strike and seriously injure the passenger-seat occupant or others.

The Fix: Toyota will notify owners of Toyota and Lexus vehicles, and GM will notify owners of Pontiac vehicles. Dealers will replace the passenger-side airbag inflator for free. As an interim measure if a replacement is not available, the dealer will disable the front passenger airbag and advise owners not to use the front passenger seat until a replacement inflator is installed. Toyota will begin notifying owners around Oct. 25; GM has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners of Toyota and Lexus vehicles can call Toyota at 800-331-4331, and owners of Pontiac Vibes can call GM at 800-521-7300. Owners can also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or go to www.safercar.gov, for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | October 20, 2014 | Comments (2)

Thieves Still Favor the Honda Accord

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As is often the case in these "most-stolen" lists, the vehicles that are most popular with those who buy cars are commensurately popular with those who steal them. Of the top 10 popularly pilfered vehicles on the Des Plaines, Ill.,-based National Insurance Crime Bureau's annual "Hot Wheels" list, seven are also mainstays among the nation's top 10 best-selling cars each month.

Related: What's the Most Affordable Car for 2014

Topping the list is the consistently beloved Honda Accord, with nearly 54,000 thefts in the 2013 counting period, followed by the Honda Civic (45,000) and full-size Chevrolet pickup trucks (28,000). Moreover, while No. 8 combines the Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee into one listing, it should be noted that these are two entirely separate vehicles, one a crossover and the other a full-size SUV.

By Matt Schmitz | August 21, 2014 | Comments (1)

What's the Most Affordable Car in 2014?

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Shoppers may face legitimate sticker shock when they're shopping for a new car. TV and radio advertisements may lead them to believe that new cars all get at least 35 mpg for less than $15,000, but the price of entry for even a modestly equipped new car is well above that.

Related: What's the Most Affordable Compact SUV for 2014?

That's why we've taken the cars with the lowest sticker prices and added a dose of reality. A vast majority of buyers never consider buying a car with a manual transmission (often the standard equipment on inexpensive new cars), so right out of the gate the car they're shopping for costs significantly more than they thought it would. Opting for an automatic transmission can cost $1,000 or more.

By David Thomas | July 21, 2014 | Comments (8)

Toyota and Ford Disagree (Again) Over Global Best-Seller Title

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The Toyota Corolla ended 2013 in ninth place on the U.S. sales ladder, eclipsed by a cadre of full-size Detroit pickup trucks and three popular family sedans — including Toyota's own Camry. But car shoppers across the world, where the streets aren't so Texas-sized, preferred the Corolla to every other car model in 2013.

$20,000 Compact Sedan Challenge

This is according to Toyota, citing registration data from analytics firm Polk. The automaker says the data, which captures 96 percent of new-car sales worldwide, indicated 1,098,524 Corolla registrations in 2013. That beat an April 9 proclamation by Ford that the Focus was 2013's global best-seller with 1,097,618 registrations. Ford, like Toyota, cited Polk data.
 
It would seem that Toyota won by a hair. But, as a certain former president might say, it depends how you define the terms.

By Kelsey Mays | April 23, 2014 | Comments (8)

Recall Alert: 2009-2010 Toyota Corolla, Matrix, Tacoma, 2008-2010 Toyota Highlander, 2006-2008 Toyota RAV4, 2006-2010 Toyota Yaris

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 1.3 million Toyota vehicles including model-year 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2009-2010 Tacoma, 2008-2010 Highlander, 2006-2008 RAV4 and 2006-2010 Yaris

The Problem: Electrical connections to a spiral cable assembly can be damaged when the steering wheel is turned. This could lead to the driver's airbag being deactivated, failing to deploy in a crash. If this damage occurs, an airbag warning light will illuminate in the instrument cluster.

The Fix: Dealers will replace the spiral cable assembly with an upgraded version.

What Owners Should Do: Toyota will notify owners by mail, but no date has been given for when the notices will be sent. Concerned owners can contact Toyota at 800-331-4331 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov for more info.

More Recalls

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By David Thomas | April 9, 2014 | Comments (8)

Toyota Recalls 1.8 Million Vehicles in U.S.

Update: Links to both U.S.-related recalls are listed below.

Original Post: Toyota is recalling 1.8 million cars, trucks and SUVs in the U.S. and 6.39 million globally over two separate issues.

The larger recall includes popular models like the Toyota Corolla, Highlander and RAV4 over a cable assembly that connects to the driver's airbag. If it fails the airbag might not deploy. This recall also involves the Pontiac Vibe, built alongside the Toyota Matrix, but is unrelated to GM's recent ignition switch recall.

A separate recall involves the Toyota Yaris and Scion xD and could lead to a driver's seat not staying in place during an accident.

You can read more about the recalls at USA Today and get full details on the U.S. models recalled at the links below.

Recall Alert: 2009-2010 Toyota Corolla, Matrix, Tacoma, 2008-2010 Toyota Highlander, 2006-2008 Toyota RAV4, 2006-2010 Toyota Yaris

Recall Alert: 2006-2010 Toyota Yaris, 2008-2010 Scion xD

By David Thomas | April 9, 2014 | Comments (0)

2013 Honda Civic Versus its Competitors

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Before Cars.com's $20,000 Compact Sedan Challenge in November 2013, we took a detailed look at how our long-term 2013 Honda Civic stacked up individually against the 2013 Nissan Sentra, 2013 Toyota Corolla (before the 2014 redesign) and 2014 Kia Forte.

Follow Our Long-Term Fleet

For 2013, the Civic gained notable improvements after a half-hearted 2012 redesign. Our yearlong goal with the Civic was to assess those changes against other compact sedans that entered our rotating fleet of manufacturer-provided test cars. Below, see how well the updated Civic performed head-to-head against three of those competitors in the following categories: cabin quality, noise, handling, acceleration, braking, ride, gas mileage, seats and roominess, and multimedia usability.

By Joe Bruzek | March 4, 2014 | Comments (8)

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