I "assume" that the S model (latest generation Corolla) which has a lower body profile due to the front and side cladding would be superior to the regular model corolla. IS this an accurate statement, and have any owners driven both models in the wind?
Also, fishexpo101, what is the tire/wheel size that you went from and then went to that did not make a difference? I am surprised to read this since it is counter to others experience. ( I respect your experience with the corolla, ...just askin)
I've driven a 7th gen Corolla LE, 8th Gen Corolla S (still own), 9th gen Corolla CE, and 1st gen? Matrix XRS (own today) - the 9th gen Corolla/Matrix are more susceptible to wind than the other two. But had nothing to do with the body cladding. Like the99coutour mentioned - only visual addon, no aero benefit. So much for the touted "aero" addons built in the newer generation of Corolla/Matrix (under body shielding, trim around glass, etc.)
The Matrix I could see - with the minivan-like exterior - acts like a sail in the wind - but the 9th gen Corolla was a bit surprising at first, but completely understandable. Blown around a bit more - even though it is slightly heavier, a hair wider, and has a longer wheelbase than the model it replaced, there is also in increase in ground clearance (inch higher)and overall height (~ 3 inches) on the 9th gen body.
As for the Corolla - I ran OEM Goodyears in the 185/65R14 sized tires - did pretty well, just no traction to speak of. Ran 205/45R16 Kuhmo and Yokohama (PLUS +2) - cornering improved immensily - but tracking on the highway with wind didn't seem to improve, surprisingly. Went to a 195/60R14 with Yokohama tires (PLUS +0) - tracking was marginally worse that the 16" wheels. Tried them both with the TRD springs - tracking was markedly improved - but with the bigger tires, it added the complication of tramlining over rougher surfaces (tendancy to follow ruts and imperfections on the road surface).
I do recommend that one should replace the OEM tires with better tires, at the very least. My case with my 8th gen may not have been the ideal example - since the changes were done over a period of several 10s of thousands of miles - normal suspension wear could have accounted for my experience. Note that I also said "- though on my 8th gen Corolla - didn't notice much difference" - I mentioned not MUCH difference, didn't say NO difference at all. For me - the lowering aspect gave more stability in a cross wind than an increase in tire width. As they say - your mileage may vary.