Like the new Matrix, Toyota’s 2009 Corolla is all-new. The tenth generation of the Corolla features a balance between utility and performance in its five trim levels. It’s still a subcompact sedan, but the new design cues give it a sportier, more modern shape and feel. It’s cute, for sure, but it also seems a bit busy for such a small car.

The five trim levels include Standard, LE and XLE as the more utilitarian versions, while the S and XRS are the performance-focused models. The sport-focused models feature a standard body kit designed to improve aerodynamics and appearance, altough so much plastic on such a small car looks a bit out of place - how much performance-enhancing aerodynamic effect can really occur at speeds below 100mph? Regardless, the new Corolla features a front underbody spoiler, rocker moldings, upper and lower rear spoilers and engine bay undercovers to help airflow beneath the car.

The same engine options available in the Matrix are also in the Corolla, the 1.8L four-cylinder making 132hp and the 2.4L making 158hp, which is standard in the XRS. The smaller 1.8L manages a very impressive 27mpg city and 35mpg highway when combined with the five-speed manual, which is standard with the smaller engine.

The S trim package comes with 16-inch steel wheels and wheel covers standard, with color-keyed body kit and sport seats up front. The XRS expands on the S trim with a rear deck spoiler, alloy 17-inch rims, strut tower brace, traction control, cruise control and chrome accents on the interior.

Like the Matrix, the new Corolla will be available in February 2008.