Auto123 UpdatesCheck out the 2022 Toyota Corolla Apex.
The Toyota Corolla Apex, it must be said, is a tantalizing preview of things to come for the Corolla in compact sedan and hatchback versions, two models that are still selling well on the market. The variant gets a lot of visual upgrades and a few minor performance tweaks that we’ll talk about in a bit, but know that later this year Toyota will release a GR version of the Corolla with several high-end tweaks, including the addition of an all-wheel drive. total, which will make it a true high-performance compact.
So what about the Apex you see here?
Well, it’s based on a $22,750 Corolla SE, to which Toyota adds special wheels, a front spoiler, a second on the trunk and side panels. Modifications to the chassis include the addition of stabilizer bars and suspension tuning. It’s lower and firmer than other Corollas, and that explains the extent of the performance changes, as the powertrain remains largely unchanged. The cost of all this? $4,310.
Beyond the suspension, the Apex is more of a sleeker version.
The current Corolla already looks great, which is surprising when you consider the model’s history, but the blacked-out mirror covers and trim you get here, along with the very cool black badging and cement gray color, take it to a Upper level. Add to that the smaller, more aggressive lower spoiler with striking copper accents, and you have a sporty compact with a convincing appearance. A little creepy too, when you look at it from the front and you can really appreciate those squinted headlights and the big openings in the grille and bumper.
Inside, the Apex Package adds a power sunroof, an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, wireless charging, and a six-speaker audio system.
Beneath this dress, though, it’s still a Corolla. You receive an interior near the top of the segment in terms of space, large trunk and comfortable ergonomics for which the model is known.
Unfortunately, it also has Toyota’s signature infotainment system, and it’s not the new system seen on models like the new Tundra or some Lexus products. In the Corolla we have the old system with nondescript graphics, a touch screen that takes a while to respond and a navigation system that makes you happy with Apple CarPlay compatibility, frankly superior to the manufacturer.
Also included is Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0 suite of safety technologies. It offers pedestrian and bicycle detection, dynamic cruise control, lane departure warning with steering assistance, lane keeping assistance (easy to deactivate, thankfully, by pressing and holding a steering wheel-mounted button), and auto-dimming high beams.
Of course, the big draw for the kind of people who might be looking for one of these vehicles is that wonderful gear stick sticking out of the transmission tunnel. It’s your connection to a 6-speed manual gearbox – you can have it in an automatic version, but in fact a car like this commands respect for a manual gearbox (especially as the automatic gearbox is a slightly less CVT funny), and Toyota was happy. obligate.
It’s a quick-shifting unit (although it could be a bit shorter) with short ratios that allow for snappy acceleration. Sure, with 169 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque, it won’t rip your face off, but the transmission is designed so you can have fun going from 1 to 3. Below, but if you’re on a narrow trail with a generous selection of corners in 2nd and 3rd gear and it’s using the rev-dependent downshift feature (alternate fans aren’t too keen on this tech but I don’t mind and it can be disabled) there’s some fun to this train motor. The manual transmission also offers a hill-start assist feature, making it a good vehicle for teaching young drivers in the family how to use a shifter.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say it looks like a touring car, but it does sound with an exhaust note that does its styling justice.
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