"So how lame am I when I recently got a brand new Toyota Corolla, but his one was HOT, the S version with…wait for it…paddle shifters."
So I pushed the Sport+ button (not really sure what it did, but I felt better pushing it), slapped the gear lever into Sport mode accessing the paddle shifters and threaded my way into LA’s worst afternoon traffic. Redlining it in first gear, then second, I hit a max speed of 35mph on The 405 heading north to Hollywood. Man I was really moving and the engine sounded….well it sounded really tinny, like a souped up sewing machine. I got tired in about fifteen seconds of rev’ing the crap out of this little motor in LA’s notorious stop and go traffic, so I put the gear selector back in Drive and left it there. For the rest of the rental.
Over the next three days, I put about 300 miles on the car and I must say, it really is a pretty decent little vehicle. And when I filled it up on the way to the airport, I only had to put about 5 gallons in. Not bad for an entry level, bottom feeder car. It’s nice to see that at least Toyota has sharpened the tip of their value based range. I just hope that every other manufacturer is watching. They set the bar pretty high.
And on that exhaust note, see you all next time.
Robert Turner is the author of The Driver, a series of six novels your editor in chief finds intoxicatingly engaging and superbly written; Book I— Decision and Book II— Training are currently available here. He also has a blog entitled My Life with Porsches. Robert can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.