Toyota Corolla Review

Toyota CorollaThe Toyota Corolla is the best selling car in the world, selling over 35 million since its 1966 debut. The Corolla was considered a subcompact until 1993, when it had grown enough in size to be considered a compact car. A sedan was offered in the standard, DX, and LE trims, while a wagon was offered only as a DX. The wagon was dropped entirely when the next generation debuted in 1998. The standard, or VE trim, only offered a 3-speed automatic, while the other trims had four. The current Corolla debuted in 1993, adding a sporty-looking S trim, and dropping the DX.

The BuyingAdvice Team Says:

The Toyota Corolla is certainly one of the most reliable cars on the road, offers a smooth ride and gets excellent gas mileage. But the base model lacks the array of standard safety features found in rivals like the Honda Civic and Nissan Versa. Once you add options, the Corolla can easily become more expensive than the competition. We suggest that if reliability and/or fuel economy is your top priority, you should certainly check out the Corolla. However, if creature comforts and safety equipment play a big part in your decision, check the competition.

What’s New For 2024:

Very little has changed for the 2024 Corolla, except that the XRS trim has been dropped and leather is no longer an option on the LE trim. Three trims are available: CE, S, and LE. The basic CE features air conditioning, CD player, power mirrors, external thermometer, adjustable driver seat, and a folding rear seat. The S trim is a bit sportier, featuring a lowered suspension, rear spoiler, and fog lights. The LE adds pseudo-wooden trim, power windows and lock, and keyless entry.

Request a free, no-obligation Toyota Corolla price quote or choose any other model you’re interested in and receive the Buying Advice Team’s Insider Report for New Car Buyers.

What is the Predicted Reliability:

Simply put, the Corolla is one of the most reliable vehicles on the market. J.D. Power and Associates gives it four and a half out of five stars for initial reliability, and awarded it “Best Compact Car in North America” for initial reliability from 1999-2002, and once again in 2004. The current Corolla earned five out of five stars in reliability from Automotive Information Systems. The Corolla has not been recalled since 2002, and it was a minor problem, improperly tightened lug nuts. Recorded problems for this generation of Corollas have all been minor, and most don’t extend past the 2003 model year, including dying batteries, malfunctioning check engine lights, and suspension noise. The 1998-99 Corollas had issues with rough idling, water leaks, malfunctioning dome lights, and cruise control not shifting into overdrive. The basic warranty covers the Corolla for three years or 36,000 miles.

Analysis Of Safety Ratings And Features:

The Corolla scored five out of five stars for frontal impacts, and four stars for side impacts in government crash tests performed by the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Corolla its highest “Good” rating for frontal impacts, a decent “Acceptable” rating for side impacts when equipped with optional side airbags (but only a “Poor” rating without), and its worst “Poor” rating for rear impacts. Unfortunately, the Corolla comes with only the bare essentials when it comes to safety features; if you want more, you’ll be paying for them. Side airbags and anti-lock brakes are optional. Stability and traction control, as well as brake assist, are optional on the S and LE trims.

Pros and Cons:

+ Excellent reliability
+ Good fuel economy
+ Smooth ride

– Awkward driver position
– Dated design
– Lacking in standard safety features

Head-To-Head Competition:

The Corolla has great gas mileage and incredible reliability, but lacks many of the features and options of others in its class. The Nissan Versa costs only about $400 more than the Corolla, but comes with a standard CD changer, side airbags, and power locks and windows. The Corolla, however, gets about seven more miles to the gallon on the highway than the Versa. The Kia Rio costs about $600 less than the Corolla and features side airbags, though once again, the Corolla gets about six more miles to the gallon on the highway. But it’s the Honda Fit that blows the Corolla completely away. For about $300 less, it not only has anti-lock brakes, side airbags, and power windows and locks, but it also has about seven more cubic feet of cargo room.

What Others Are Saying:

“Toyota’s compact sedan is short on excitement but long on consumer appeal, mainly because of the Corolla’s reputation for reliability. It is also nicely made and has slick powertrains. It finished third in a 10-car comparison test, but most competitors have been overhauled since.”

“Toyota Corollas are world renowned for their reliability and this new model shows every indication of continuing that reputation. In this highly competitive small car market, Corolla’s competitors have tried to counter that reputation for reliability with extended warranties that go as high as 10 years, but people that I have talked to who buy Corollas tell me that they would rather have a car that doesn’t break rather than a car that will get fixed for free.”The Family Car

“Still, despite its conservative duds, the current Corolla is surprisingly up-to-date: Roomy, powerful, economical, and agile, all things that we demand from the latest-and-greatest in compact sedans.”

Read more about the 2024 Toyota Corolla at the Toyota manufacturer web site.


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