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The 2025 Toyota Corolla Misses Its Mark By Not Offering This Feature

The 2025 Corolla remains a solid pick with a nippy, but efficient engine, but Toyota may have missed the mark a bit.

Toyota Corolla's twelfth generation has been around since 2018 and is due for a total refresh. This will happen in 2026, alongside the next-generation Toyota RAV4, following the 2025 Toyota Camry refresh. Since its inception in 1966, the Toyota Corolla has become one of the most popular Japanese cars in the world. Recently, the Toyota Corolla marked a significant milestone, passing 50 million produced units.  

2025 is the last year of this twelfth-generation Toyota Corolla and you would think Toyota has made some exciting changes to its so the outgoing model could look more exciting before the next generation arrives in 2026. However, that's not exactly the case and while the Corolla remains a solid pick, Toyota could have brought back a key feature for those seeking more driver involvement. 

The Corolla's 2.0-liter engine could have had a better match 

It is a well-known fact that Toyota is phasing out the manual transmission from most of its models that aren't performance-oriented. While the internet managed to convince Toyota to give the GR Supra a manual, it doesn't seem like its track-focused variant, the Supra GRMN will follow suit.  

For 2025, Toyota had the chance to fix what I think was a mistake – to leave the CVT as the only transmission option for the Corolla. Although Toyota makes some of the better CVT units in the industry and it gives you the option of manual shifting, it's not a manual. 

In 2022, Toyota decided to remove the manual transmission option from the Corolla spec sheet, leaving us with drearier driving experience. The 2018 to 2022 Toyota Corolla, particularly in the SE Apex trim, was available with a six-speed manual, which was a joy to drive, and turned the humble Japanese grocery getter into one of the most underrated, Japanese cars you could get with a manual transmission.  

We know why Toyota did it. Low demand for manual transmissions in non-performance vehicles has resulted in most manufacturers not bothering to offer them. This involves additional expenses for development and since companies aim to maximize profit, Toyota did the logical thing. 

At the same time, those looking for a Corolla, but looking for a manual car had to upgrade to the much-more expensive Toyota GR Corolla. 

But there is still much to like about the 2025 Toyota Corolla 

The 2025 Toyota Corolla is a worthy send-off before the next generation of the Japanese bestseller

The 2.0-liter Dynamic Force inline-four is what does it for me. Sure, its 169 horsepower and 151 pound-feet are not impressive by any performance car standards, but it still allows for a 7.9-second 0 to 60 mph time. With the discontinued manual transmission, the same car managed 7.3 seconds for the discipline. 

The engine itself, although normally aspirated, is a distant relative to the GR Supra base, 2.0-liter turbo engine. It features both, direct and port injection, ultra-low internal friction, and various enhancements to the structural rigidity and lubrication system. Fuel economy is also impressive, with a combined EPA rating of up to 35 MPG – 32 city, 41 highway.  

In terms of safety features and equipment, the 2025 Toyota Corolla remains the same.  

The 2025 Corolla comes with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, which includes the following:  

1. Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection 

2. Lane-departure alert with steering assist 

3. Dynamic radar cruise control 

4. Lane tracing assist 

5. Automatic high beams 

6. Road sign assist 

7. Proactive driving assist 

Like previous model years, the 2025 Toyota Corolla features an Advanced Airbag System with 10 airbags.  

All Corolla trims come with an 8.0-inch, infotainment touchscreen with Bluetooth and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Over-the-air updates are also available. Optionally you can upgrade the Corolla's six-speaker audio system to an eight-speaker JBL premium one.  

What are your thoughts on the 2025 Toyota Corolla? Should Toyota bring back the stick for the next-generation Corolla or should it remain exclusive to the GR Corolla? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

About the author

Dimitar Angelov's automotive interests made him an expert in a wide variety of vehicles. Japanese brands like Toyota are closest to his heart, although performance cars in general are his favorite segment, which is why he is constantly on the lookout for the best deals on the market. Dimitar Angelov's car passion and knack for the written word led him to complete a Master of Arts in Media and Communications, and classic car restoration. Dim is happy to get behind the wheel of any car and share his impressions. You can follow Dimitar on XLinked-inInstagram, and Facebook.

Image source: 2025 Toyota Corolla