Why I bought a 2020 Corolla SE at 24 years old
The world's most sold car of all time might just hold that title for a reason...
I've always loved things of quality. Growing up, almost all of our furniture was antique, passed down through both sides of my family for hundreds of years. My bureau could have been on the Mayflower for all I know- it was that old. This appreciation for quality and things that stand the test of time has flourished in me the older I have gotten, and this is why I decided to buy a 2020 Corolla SE.
I'll begin by stating the obvious: no matter my opinions, a Corolla is a Corolla. Nothing more, nothing less. But it does this fantastically. When I set about replacing my Jeep Grand Cherokee (story on that in a past article), I had a few boxes which needed to be checked. 1) sub $20,000 2) preferably naturally aspirated engine 3) has to hold up over time. These three desires GREATLY limit the possible contenders. My wife has had her 2015 Camry for 80,000 miles now and it has been great. Literally nothing has gone wrong except replacing brakes and I expect this trend will continue for many more years. This led me to think that by completing the Toyota family, maybe a Corolla would be right for me... It has a long history of reliability, they're not too expensive, and it has that naturally aspirated engine which for me was a must as I plan to keep this car a very, very long time.
In July of this year, I was at the dealership getting our Camry an oil change and decided to drive a 2020 Corolla. The 2021's had just come out and with all of my available discounts for my personal situation, I would save over $4,000 off msrp. Hard to argue with that. I instantly was impressed with how far the interior had come, even since 2015. The soft touch materials were far superior, the interior looked better, and the infotainment flowed instead of stuttered. This is before even saying anything about the exterior looks. In my DriveTribe garage, I explain my Corolla to no longer be "just your grandmother's Corolla". This remains true. They now look incredible, they drive really quite wonderfully thanks to a physical first gear instead of all cvt, and projected reliability remains as it has with the Corolla for, well, forever. As long as you get over the noise of the lawnmower engine, this car truly is wonderful.
To many, a Corolla is still a boring car. It's a daily commuter, a mile cruncher, and a grandma mobile. But this isn't a bad thing to me. Do I still want an Aston Martin Vanquish one day? Of course, and by driving this Corolla for many, many, many years, I'll get there one day. While buying a car new is not always a good idea, this car checked the sub $20,000 box for me, allowed me to get all three points on my wishlist for what my next daily should have, and with a jaw dropping 46.9 mpg on Interstate 95 (I'm still in awe), I have no doubts that I made the right decision. Plus, a lifetime, unlimited mile drivetrain warranty never hurts. Although I doubt I will ever have to use it.