#ToyotaTop10

When I think of Corolla, I think of dependability, reliability, steadfastness - a vehicle you could drive well over 200,000 miles and it still drive like a champ. See, I've owned a couple of Corollas in my day. My first car was a 1985 Corolla, handed down by my mother who bought it new. Growing up, my older brother owned a slammed 1979 Corolla with crushed-velvet interior. Hey, low riders were the thing in 1990! I remember feeling so cool carrying his pull-out stereo around after we parked it. Oh, the good ole' days! I also owned a 1996 Corolla with all the bells & whistles that I just adored. So as you can imagine the Corolla was already a household name. And when I was invited to take part in Southeast Toyota's #ToyotaTop10 Campaign, I thought I knew this car before they even delivered it. Boy, I was wrong.

 

 Top level of the Amalie Arena parking garage

Top level of the Amalie Arena parking garage

The Corolla has grown up over the years. See, this isn't my mom's cute little car from 1985, this is the 2017 Toyota Corolla; the 50th anniversary of the Toyota Corolla. That's right, this car has been a household name for 50 years and running.

 Up & close and personal with the 2017 Corolla / Murals by   Chad Mize

Up & close and personal with the 2017 Corolla / Murals by Chad Mize

My Black Sand Pearl Corolla XSE was delivered on a Friday afternoon - plenty of time to get familiar with it before the campaign officially kicked off. Southeast Toyota staff was awesome, I signed the necessary waivers and reminded me the car was mine for the next 10 days. Doing my first initial walk-around as it sat in my driveway, it was love at first sight. The aggressive styling would be perfectly suitable on a stealth fighter jet, especially with that redesigned edgy front fascia and fog lights. I just new this car was going to turn a lot of heads.

 Light painting / Mural by   Pantónio

Light painting / Mural by Pantónio

And turn heads it did. In fact, it turned my head on many occasions - "Look back at it" was a common theme every time after parking this thing. 

 Mural by   Arlin

Mural by Arlin

After admiring every minute detail on the exterior, and snapping a few pics of course, it was time to climb inside the cockpit and give this thing a test drive. Mine was delivered with 32 miles on it, and been hardly broken in. I gave the push button ignition a press and the car came to life. The 7-in. high-resolution touch-screen display provided a perfect view behind me as I backed out of my driveway; an option I am truly missing since transitioning back to my daily driver. The 1.8L 4-Cylinder 132hp engine was surprisingly capable, especially in the optional Sport Mode. This car was just plain fun inside and out.

 

 St. Pete alleyways

St. Pete alleyways

If I had one word to describe this car, it's "FUN"! And after driving it for a week, it was an easy reminder as to why the Corolla has the reputation it does. Toyota has been perfecting it for 50 years and it shows - this is one solid ride!

 Quick picture before dinner at the   Colombia Restaurant   - won 1sr place in the Chart Topper category and donated $1000 to the charity of my choice -   Pet Pal  !

Quick picture before dinner at the Colombia Restaurant - won 1sr place in the Chart Topper category and donated $1000 to the charity of my choice - Pet Pal!