TOYOTA COROLLA’S SORDID LIFE
By Casey Williams
Brother Boy’s flashing eyelashes and Dr. Eve’s store-bought titties bring excitement to a couple of middle-aged characters on Logo’s Sordid Lives. Without Leslie Jordan’s portrayal of a drag queen obsessed with Tammy Wynette and Dr. Eve’s plan to de-homosexualize him, they would be a couple of old skin sacks heading towards retirement. Boring, in whole. Kinda reminds me of the old Toyota Corolla.
I don’t think anybody ever confused the Corolla with stimulating. It’s as stable and conservative as your grandmother’s banker and as affordable as a White Castle hamburger. That’s been enough to make the Corolla the best-selling nameplate of all time, but that’s not enough. To slay Honda Civics, Saturn Astras, and Nissan Sentras, Toyota had to go in for a makeover. When Toyota designers saw the sexy sleek Civic a couple of years ago, they nearly hurled their last supper. They should be feeling better by now.
Much of the Corolla’s tall, three-box design will cause no trauma among the faithful, but a snarly aero face, steeply raked windshield, smooth bodysides, and squinted taillamps are a bit like gluing falsies on a 53-year old man – they look fabulous, but glitz up a simple soul. Large alloy wheels and ground affects up the amps in the sporty column while body color door handles, and crisp creases dress for a night out. Toyota claims the car’s styling was in collaboration with its studios in Turin, Italy.
Corolla’s base 132-horsepower 16-valve 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine, connected to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, sings like Olivia Newton’s umpteenth comeback attempt on the stage at Bubba’s bar in the show. For more stage presence, step up to the available 2.4-litre four-cylinder that summons 158-horsepower to bark rubber. I’ll tell you right here and now that I’m not a fan of the twitchy electric power steering, but it contributes to excellent fuel economy ratings of 22/30-MPG city/hwy.
No big surprise, most Corolla drivers are practical people. They’ll wet themselves over an extra storage bin above the glove box, door storage that can hold 20 oz. Bottles, and large center console. They can even store their glasses in a compartment over the rearview mirror. Whether driving cross-country or just to Fresh Market for sushi and Morbier, four passengers ride high and comfy under the sedan’s tall roof, enjoying XM Satellite Radio, protected by side curtain airbags, and getting a commanding view of the road and sidewalk hotties.
Don’t worry if nobody respects your version of excitement; you can make fun of their gas-popping luxury barges all the way to the club and back. Toyota took a boring, but infinitely practical compact sedan, gave it a facelift, added athleticism, and delivered a car as reliable as the laughs on Sordid Lives.
It’s never too late to have some fun – just ask Rue McClanahan about her character, Peggy Ingram. From a proper Baptist grandma to bar hussy and adulteress, she blazes a marvelous trail for the staid and boring. Just like the all-new 2009 Toyota Corolla.
Get more detailed information on the 2009 Toyota Corolla in our New Car Section
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