2021 Toyota Corolla

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2021 Toyota Corolla Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: November 6, 2020

Amratya Nigam's image
Amratya Nigam

Automotive Journalist


The "Corolla" is one of the oldest nameplates in the world, and Toyota has rightly nurtured it. After being into production for almost more than 5 decades and 12 generations, the Toyota Corolla is one of the best selling cars around the world, and also in the United States. Known for its utmost reliability, extremely functional character, and affordability, the 2021 Toyota Corolla is here to break the necks of its rivals, yet again.

2020 toyota corolla silver color
2020 Toyota corolla third quarter view

With the last redesign, Toyota tried to add some fun to the otherwise bland family sedan - highlighted most by the new and peppier 2.0L engine option. The current version of the Corolla was launched in 2020 as the 12th Generation revamp. For 2021, Toyota has no substantial changes to make, and still, the car remains one of the most dependable, affordable, and fuel-efficient vehicles in America. Let’s take a look at the all-new 2021 Toyota Corolla and find out if it still holds on to these values.

See detailed review »

Pros

Superior MPG figures

High resale value

Segment benchmark in terms of reliability

Good standard set of advanced driver assist and safety features

Cons

Rivals offer better driving dynamics

Infotainment system needs some getting used to

What's New?

New Limited-Run Apex Edition introduced (6000 units in total)

Android Auto is finally offered as standard!

Added more standard safety and technology features


See all new Toyota Corolla cars for sale »

new Toyota Corolla For Sale

See all used Toyota Corolla cars for sale »

used Toyota Corolla For Sale

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Features

vehicle bio

base price

$19825

bodystyle

Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

120 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

121

horsepower

169 hp @ 6600 rpm

torque

151 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm

transmission

CVT

chassis

suspension front

Strut

suspension rear

Multi-Link

dimensions

wheelbase

106.3 in.

length

182.5 in.

width

70.1 in.

height

56.5 in.

curb weight

3150 lbs.

ground clearance

5.1 in.

capacity

passenger volume

88.6 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8.2 sec.

standing ¼-mile

16.9 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

31/34/38 mpg

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./36000

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./60000


Pictures & Videos

Videos
2021 Toyota Corolla Detailed Review video
2021 Toyota Corolla Interior video
2021 Toyota Corolla Exterior video

Styles

2021 Toyota Corolla in Arctic White color 2021 Toyota Corolla in Polar White color 2021 Toyota Corolla in Gray Metallic color
Arctic White

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

5.8

Engine And Performance

5.5

Fuel Economy

6.0

Interior

7.6

Exterior

4.0

Safety

8.7

Competition

6.5

6.3

OVERALL RATING

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8.6/10
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Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Toyota Corolla L

L

power
139 hp @ 6100 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$19,825


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT) Starting at $19,825 MSRP (30/32/38) 139 hp @ 6100 rpm, 1.8 L, Inline 4, Regular unleaded
1-speed CVT front wheel drive 5

2021 Toyota Corolla LE

LE

power
139 hp @ 6100 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$20,275


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT) Starting at $20,275 MSRP (30/32/38) 139 hp @ 6100 rpm, 1.8 L, Inline 4, Regular unleaded
1-speed CVT front wheel drive 5

2021 Toyota Corolla SE

SE

power
169 hp @ 6600 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$22,275 - $22,975


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 10A) Starting at $22,275 MSRP (31/32/40) 169 hp @ 6600 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, Regular unleaded
1-speed CVT front wheel drive 5
SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M) Starting at $22,975 MSRP (29/32/37) 169 hp @ 6600 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, Regular unleaded
6-speed Manual front wheel drive 5

2021 Toyota Corolla Nightshade

Nightshade

power
169 hp @ 6600 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$22,975


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Nightshade 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) Starting at $22,975 MSRP (31/32/40) 169 hp @ 6600 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, Regular unleaded
10-speed Automatic front wheel drive 5

2021 Toyota Corolla XLE

XLE

power
139 hp @ 6100 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$24,225


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
XLE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT) Starting at $24,225 MSRP (29/32/37) 139 hp @ 6100 rpm, 1.8 L, Inline 4, Regular unleaded
1-speed CVT front wheel drive 5

2021 Toyota Corolla XSE

XSE

power
169 hp @ 6600 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
32 combined

$25,725


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
XSE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 10A) Starting at $25,725 MSRP (31/32/38) 169 hp @ 6600 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, Regular unleaded
1-speed CVT front wheel drive 5

Expert Review

6.3

Overall Rating


Continuing with the new and more youthful facia, this 2021 Corolla looks crisper than ever before. Coming off a successful launch just last year, the 2021 Toyota Corolla will arrive with a few feature updates only. Toyota is also pitching in a limited run Corolla Apex Edition with a custom body kit and more athletic driving dynamics. It already was a complete package crowing of benchmarks in almost all categories one could think of. Yes, the Corolla doesn't really ring the tune of a driver's car, however, it is surely one of the comfiest and plush options out there.

2021 toyota corolla rear side view

The Corolla, with its A-grade scorecard, has always dominated the segment, leaving no options for the rivals to catch up. Well, the Civic did come up, but couldn't really harm the Corolla as much as it hurt others. That said, with a modern style, crispy engine, and loaded with technology up to its brim, the Corolla has clearly stepped up the game against the likes of Honda Civic, Kia Forte, and Hyundai Elantra. That said, should the well-stacked Corolla be worried about the increasing resistance in the segment? Let's find out.


5.8/10
Features

5.5/10
Engine and Performance

6.0/10
Fuel Economy

7.6/10
Interior

4.0/10
Exterior

8.7/10
Safety

6.5/10
Competition


2021 Toyota Corolla Features

5.8/10

The 2021 Toyota Corolla will be offered in 6 different trim levels: L, LE, and the XLE variants with a 1.8-liter engine producing 139 hp while the SE, SE Nightshade, and the XSE variants will get a more powerful 2.0-liter engine. It is also one of the few remaining cars that are offered with a stick-shift in this age of Automatics.

2021 toyota corolla trim line-up

However, the CVT gearbox of the Corolla comes standard in all the variants and its only the SE that can be opted with a 6-Speed Manual. All the variants of the Corolla will have an FWD drivetrain and AWD is not an option. However, we might see a slight bump in the price of the 2021 model as compared to the 2020 model.

Trim

L

LE

SE

SE Nightshade

XLE

XSE

MSRP (CVT)

$19,825

$20,275

$22,275

$22,975

$24,225

$25,725

MSRP (6-speed Manual)

-

-

$22,975

-

-

-

Key Features

LED Headlamps with DRL

Adds/ Upgrades to L

Adds/ Upgrades to LE

Adds/ Upgrades to SE

Adds/ Upgraded to SE

Adds/ Upgraded to XLE

 

15" styled steel wheels

16" wide-vent steel wheels

18" machined alloy wheels

18" black-painted alloy wheels

18" machined alloy wheels

LED DRL accent lighting

 

6-way power-adjustable driver's seat

Variable intermittent windshield wipers

Dual chrome-tipped exhaust

Black exterior accents

Power tilt/slide moonroof

Dynamic-Shift CVT

 

Tilt/telescopic steering wheel

Automatic climate control

Premium sport seats

Black outside door handles

SofTex trimmed heated front sport seats

Ambient lighting

 

7" Touchscreen Infotainment

8" Touchscreen Infotainment

Sport driving mode

Sport mesh black front grille

Smart Key System

Apple Carplay

 

Toyota Safety Sense 2.0

Metallic interior accents

Leather-trimmed steering wheel

Black roof-mounted shark-fin antenna

Overhead console with map lights

Amazon Alexa Compatible

     

Star Safety System

Premium fabric seats

Front and Console USB 2.0 ports

Blacked-out Corolla badging

Even the base L trim flaunts some of the most value-adding features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa Connectivity with SiriusXM. It also gets a 7-inch touchscreen and black front grille with sports mesh insert. The “XSE” stands as the top of the line trim for the 2021 Toyota Corolla and comes loaded with a long list of standard features like heated front sports seats, adaptive front lighting system and many more. Apart from these standard features, Toyota also bundles a slew of optional packages catered to comfort, safety and entertainment.

2021 Toyota Corolla Maintenance, Reliability and Warranty

The brand Toyota was established in 1937 and has come a long way from where it started. Toyota is known for making cars which are affordable on one hand and reliable on the other hand and have maintained this balance very well. The reliability has never been a problem with the Toyota Corolla and the reliability scores from J.D.Power reports prove the point. 

2021 Toyota Corolla Reliability and Ownership Costs

The Toyota Corolla scored 85/100 as an overall score, for the 2019 model year. The 2021 and the 2020 versions have not been tested yet, mainly due to the pandemic, but as the generation remains the same, we can be sure that the reliability aspect of the 2021 Toyota Corolla will be unquestionable. This score is highest when the car is compared to its competition. The Toyota Corolla scored 91/100 in reliability it scored 90/100, in resale, scored 83/100 in-dealership experience, and took a dip in driving experience scoring 70/100.

2021 toyota corolla side view

So no major changes were made to the 2020 version and the 2021 version, the ratings should be near-identical to that of the 2019 model year. The average price for the 2021 Toyota Corolla across the U.S comes out to be about $21,303. Car prices vary from state to state all across the US. The actual price of a vehicle depends on various factors like sales tax, destination charges and individual dealership discounts. However, people from the states of Alaska, Oregon, Montana, Delaware and New Hampshire enjoy the best prices as the sales tax is exempted from these states. 

Year

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Total

Tax Credit

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

Insurance

$1,337

$1,384

$1,432

$1,482

$1,534

$7,169

Maintenance

$42

$451

$348

$887

$1,683

$3,411

Repairs

$0

$0

$99

$238

$346

$683

Taxes & Fees

$1,409

$100

$90

$81

$81

$1,761

Financing

$1,196

$963

$712

$445

$161

$3,477

Depreciation

$6,397

$1,350

$1,278

$1,499

$1,420

$11,944

Fuel

$1,065

$1,097

$1,130

$1,163

$1,198

$5,653

Real Cost to Own®

$11,446

$5,345

$5,089

$5,795

$6,423

$34,098

The true cost of ownership for the Toyota Corolla over a span of 5 years and 75,000 miles adds up to $34,098.Toyota has dealerships scattered all across the US and they provide excellent after-sales service. Also, it is worth noting that the brand offers 24x7 roadside assistance for two years.

There have been 2 recalls for the 2020 Toyota Corolla, the company notified the owners to get the car to the nearest dealership. All the cost of labor and parts is covered by the company.

  • Non-permanent load capacity label text- The load capacity text may become unreadable over time. As a result, the cars fail to comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 110.
  • Problem with the rear seat belt locking mechanism- Toyota equipped these cars with their new dual-mode locking mechanism however, the mechanism was not working as intended and may not operate properly.

Warranty

The Corolla comes with a competitive warranty plan that is highlighted by complimentary scheduled maintenance. The 2021 Toyota Corolla is offered with a Basic Warranty of 3 years or 36,000 miles and a powertrain warranty of 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Criteria

Period

Basic Coverage Warranty

3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Coverage Warranty

5 years or 60,000 miles

Rust-Through Coverage Warranty

5 years or 60,000 miles

Roadside Assistance

2 years or 25,000 miles

Complimentary Scheduled Maintenance

2 years or 25,000 miles

The complimentary service for 2 years or 25,000 miles also makes the ownership experience of the Toyota Corolla feel like a breeze. The competition of the Corolla like the Elantra and the Kia Forte offers much longer powertrain coverage

Miles Per Dollar

The miles per dollar for a vehicle is an estimated figure, that is derived as per the number of miles driven by a vehicle in a given span of time and the maintenance costs incurred during the same period. The average maintenance cost for the Toyota Corolla, over a span of 5 years and 75,000 miles comes out to be about $3,411. Therefore the miles per dollar estimate for the Toyota Corolla comes out to be around 21.98 miles per $1


Also Read:

2021 Toyota Corolla Buying Advice

When it comes to buying a car the Toyota Corolla has always stood up as compared to its rivals, however, the price of the car is a bit higher than that of the competition but Toyota is also a reputed brand for a very long time too.

2021 Toyota corolla top front quarter view

However, for the 2021 Toyota Corolla, we would recommend the SE trim level. It is decently priced and also offers you a choice between an automatic and a manual transmission, which is limited to only the SE trim. On the other hand, all the 6 trims of the Corolla offer a decent value for money and comes well equipped as standard. 

Is buying a used Toyota Corolla a good idea?

In case you want to buy a used Toyota Corolla then we would recommend them to buy the 2017 model as the car will be in better condition and will save a good sum of money on its maintenance as well.

Buying a used Toyota Corolla can prove to be quite a beneficial decision. The Corolla already has a reputation for being one of the most reliable vehicles on sale and also retains its resale value very strongly. You can also check out the Car Indigo Used-Cars inventory to find some of the best deals on Used Toyotas

2021 Toyota Corolla Engine and Performance

5.5/10

The 2021 Toyota Corolla Sedan can be had with the same trustworthy 1.8L Inline-4 motor that dishes out 139 HP of power and 126 lb-ft of torque. However, the new entrant in the Corolla lineup - a 2.0L Inline-4 engine has renewed life within the aging Corolla - rated at 169-hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. This motor, standard and specific to the top trims, can be had either with a CVT gearbox, or a 6-speed manual transmission as well. Oh, and if you're wondering, this engine was introduced back in 2018 and is also offered with the 2020 Corolla Hatchback as well.

2021 toyota corolla 2.0L engine

The rather aged but reliable 1.8L unit talks with the CVT only. No option there. The engine is typical Toyota-smooth and refined but the competition is livelier. You’ll notice the rubber band effect on the CVT but it doesn’t make much difference to the overall driving at all. As a purist, you would prefer to be with the 2.0L unit, however, the 1.8 unit is meant for people who prefer a subtle ride quality over downright acceleration.

Model

2021 Toyota Corolla

2020 Honda Civic

2020 Hyundai Elantra 

2020 Kia Forte

MSRP

$20,275

$25,000

$23,800

$22,490

Engine

2.0L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

1.5L Turbocharged Inline-4

1.6L Turbocharged Inline-4

1.6L Turbocharged Inline-4

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

CVT

CVT

7-Speed DCT

7-Speed Automatic

Power

169 hp @ 6,600 RPM

174 hp @ 6,000 RPM

210 hp @ 6,000 RPM

201 hp @ 6,000 RPM

Torque

151 lb-ft @ 4,400 RPM

162 lb-ft @ 1,700 RPM

195 lb-ft @ 1,500 RPM

195 lb-ft @ 1,500 RPM

The Hyundai Elantra is the most powerful car of the lot and makes 210 horses with its turbo 1.6-liter engine. It is followed by the Kia Forte and the Honda Civic that make 201 hp and 174 horses respectively with their turbo-4 engines.

How fast is the 2021 Toyota Corolla Sedan from 0-60 MPH?

With a 0-60 MPH time of 8.2 seconds, the 2021 Toyota Corolla’s standard 139-hp 1.8L engine offers decent acceleration but misses out on the excitement that Civic and Forte pack. But nonetheless, the new Corolla is a quick car and comes in handy to zip past across the traffic to make confident overtaking maneuvers. 

2021 Toyota Corolla 0-60 MPH wallpaper

If your Corolla's equipped with the more potent 2.0L motor, the 0-60 MPH sprint comes up in 7.8 seconds, which certainly makes things interesting. As a purist, the 6-speed manual will draw you like a mouse towards cheese, and it'll all be worth it. The 6-speed shifter is a hoot to drive and could even make you forget the sheer size of the sedan at times.

Models

2021 Toyota Corolla Sedan (Expected) 

2020 Honda Civic

2020 Hyundai Elantra Sedan 

2020 Kia Forte

0-60 MPH

8.2 secs

6.8 secs

6.9 secs

6.7 secs

Quarter-Mile

16.9 secs

15.3 secs

14.4 secs

15.2 secs

Top-Speed

120 MPH

137 MPH

116 MPH

129 MPH

The 2021 Corolla ends up being the slowest car of the lot while the Kia Forte is the quickest with 6.7 seconds 0-60 mph time. The Hyundai compact sedan on the other hand is the fastest on the drag strip and hit the quarter-mile mark in about 14.4 seconds.

How is the Ride and Handling of the 2021 Toyota Corolla?

The ride quality of the 2021 Corolla sedan has improved significantly after the 2020 update. Toyota has ditched the torsion beam suspension and replaced it with a brand new multi-link suspension set up at the rear. As a result, the sedan now feels more planted and stable on the ground. The amount of body roll too has gone down significantly and you get the right amount of confidence to throw it around sharp corners. 

2021 toyota corolla Front view 

The suspensions absorb all the bumps and potholes with ease and do the job of isolating the passenger from bad road surfaces well. Corolla’s steering now has more weight, unlike in the previous generation model. You get a good amount of feedback from the wheel in a quick time, making it a reliable handler.

How well do the 2021 Toyota Corolla's Brakes perform?

The refreshed Corolla gets 10.8-inch rotors up front while at the rear 10.2-inch rotors are standard. Under emergency braking, the new 2021 Corolla sedan should be able to stop from 60-0 mph in a decent 119-ft. There is a bit of nosedive at the front owing to the softer suspension setup, but it isn't going to make you uncomfortable even in panic braking situations.  The bite is a healthy one, instigating tremendous confidence around curves, ofcourse, by segment standards.

2021 Toyota Corolla Top view 

A strong set of brakes is very important from a safety perspective and helps avoid an unfortunate incident, which the Corolla ensures. However, the 2021 Toyota Corolla, just like the 2020 model, is expected to be studded with a plethora of safety systems that work in conjugation with the brakes in order to maximize the safety quotient for the occupants. Well, there's a reason why the Corolla is one of the most sold sedans in the world!

Models

2021 Toyota Corolla 

2020 Honda Civic

2020 Hyundai Elantra

2020 Kia Forte

Brake Rotors: Front (in.)

10.8

12.3

12

12

Brake Rotors: Rear (in.)

10.2

11.1

10.3

10.3

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3150

2906

3131

3012

60-0 (ft.)

119

106

122

118

The latest Honda Civic gets the largest set of brakes in the competition and hence has the best braking performance. The Honda stops at a distance of 106 feet from a speed of 60 mph - best in its class stopping power. The Kia Forte comes in next with confident sure-footedness under panic braking. The Elantra, treading on Hyundai's lines, feels like a boat on the road, owing to the soft suspension setup. While this may sound appealing to you as a family man, the Hyundai is, by far, the most uninspiring vehicle in this discussion here as far as performance is concerned.


Also Read:

2021 Toyota Corolla Fuel Economy

6.0/10

The new 2021 Toyota Corolla sedan, with a 2.0-liter engine and CVT, is expected to offer 31 MPG in the city, 40 MPG on the highway, and 34 MPG combined fuel economy. If you prefer the stick shifter, you're sure to lose out on some generosity from the engine, offering 29/36/32 MPG for city/highway/combined. Nevertheless, that’s still a strong statement from a powerful engine and certainly makes for a juicy deal.

2021 toyota corolla instrumental cluster

The less powerful 1.8-liter Corolla engine is rated at 33 MPG combined. That said, the 2021 Corolla doesn’t disappoint in this area as it churns the maximum number of miles on a gallon of fuel in the compact car segment. The 13.2-gallon fuel tank on the 2021 Corolla translates to a highway range of 502 miles, which is the best in the segment. There you have it, one of the many secrets behind Corolla's success - its unmatchable fuel economy.

Model

2021 Toyota Corolla 

2020 Honda Civic

2020 Hyundai Elantra 

2020 Kia Forte

MPG (City)

31

26

23

27

MPG (Highway)

38

36

33

35

MPG (Combined)

34

30

29

30

Fuel Capacity (gallons)

13.2

12.4

14

14

Range (City/ Highway/ Combined) (mi.)

409/ 502/ 448

322/ 446/ 372

364/ 462/ 406

378/ 490/ 420

Emissions (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15k mi/yr)

4.4

4.1

5.1

4.9

The Toyota Corolla offers the best fuel economy numbers in the competitions and beats all other cars fair and square. Rated at 13.2-gallons, Corolla features an above-average fuel capacity which combines with its great gas mileage to offer the highest range in the segment. The Civic and the Kia Forte line up head to head, blurring any differences between the two. However, the Forte's 14-gallon fuel tank requires lesser fuel breaks than the Honda in the discussion.

2021 Toyota Corolla Interior

7.6/10

The interior of the Toyota Corolla Sedan was re-designed in 2020 which, thus demands no update for the 2021 model year; in terms of styling, space, aesthetics, and quality of material used. Jump on the Corolla’s front seat, and you’ll find the cabin pretty spacious. The 2021 Corolla is equipped with similar premium quality seats with fabric inserts which does the job of holding you in place well. Toyota might retain its old habit of stuffing some cheap plastics here and there, but it won't really catch your eyes. Toyota, with the 2020 model, exhibited a fine job of keeping the people busy with the leatherette trims on the top portion of the dash. 

2021 toyota corolla dashboard

In the rear, 6-foot tall passengers might find their hair brushing up against the roof. The 2021 Corolla has carried over almost all of the existing features like a 6-way power-adjustable driver seat and 4-way power-adjustable passenger seat. Heated seats will still be part of the options list in the 2021 lineup. All in all, the Corolla has always ruled the comfort quotient with its top-notch balance between a supple ride quality along with comfortable and plush interior fitments. It's a win-win situation for the Corolla, always has been.

Model

2021 Toyota Corolla 

2020 Honda Civic

2020 Hyundai Elantra

2020 Kia Forte

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

First Row (Head/ Shoulder/ Leg) (in.)

38.0/ 54.0/ 42.0

37.5/ 56.9/ 42.3

38.8/ 56.2/ 42.2

38.8/ 56.1/ 42.2

Second Row (Head/ Shoulder/ Leg) (in.)

37.1/ 51.7/ 34.8

36.8/ 55.0/ 37.4

37.3/ 55.3/ 35.7

37.5/ 55.3/ 35.7

Trunk Capacity (cu. ft.)

13.1

14.7

14.4

15.3

Toyota Corolla gets a trunk of 13.1 cubic feet which is decent in absolute numbers but in comparison to its rivals falls short. The Kia Forte sedan offers the best cargo space of 15.3 cubic feet in the compact sedan segment. The Honda Civic emerges as the most conservative one here, offering very little room at the rear, and the sloping roofline further spoils the mood. That said, Civic is certainly not the car you'd want if rear space is a matter of concern for you.

What's the infotainment system in the 2021 Toyota Corolla?

The 2021 Toyota Corolla is sure to get an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display that sits in the center of the dash, just like the ongoing model. Toyota has never been very advanced with stuffing technology into their vehicles. However, this time the unit in the 2020 model surely had us hooked up on it. The interface is not the best in the segment in terms of user experience, and the infotainment could do wonders with better picture quality. 

2021 Toyota corolla 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display 

Earlier Android Auto was absent but Toyota has finally included Google’s mirroring tech in the 2021 Corolla sedan. You get a six-speaker audio system to keep you entertained inside. However, eight-speaker JBL audio systems and navigation is still an option. For the top trims, the same digital meter console will also make way to your Corolla that adds to the oomph factor of the cabin. All of the notable infotainment features in the 2021 Toyota Corolla are:

  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • SiriusXM Navigation with 3-Months Free Trial
  • Wireless device charging
  • Nine-speaker JBL premium stereo
  • 4G LTE Wi-fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth Music Streaming
  • USB port
  • AM/FM stereo
  • Rear-view Parking Camera

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2021 Toyota Corolla basic Sedan cockpit area
2021 Toyota Corolla basic Sedan steering wheel
2021 Toyota Corolla basic Sedan infotainment screen
2021 Toyota Corolla basic Sedan instrument cluster
2021 Toyota Corolla basic Sedan shift knob
2021 Toyota Corolla basic Sedan rear seats

2021 Toyota Corolla Exterior

4.0/10

The 2020 update gave us the most radical-looking Corolla, which is why the 2021 Toyota Corolla comes unchanged in this department. In the front, you have a large black grill on top of which the fishhook headlights sit along with the Toyota logo in the center. The overall shape of the car hasn’t changed a lot as compared to the previous-gen Corolla but it looks very sporty with a sleeker design and attractive details well distributed all around the car. The only noticeable change is seen on the limited-run Apex Edition which gets a more aggressive body kit along with blacked-out elements.

2021 toyota corolla third quarter view

Although the 2021 Corolla has seen some subtle improvements and tweaks on the outside, nothing much will tell it apart from the current model. That won't be much of a problem for Corolla lovers. The aging design of the 11th gen Corolla had overlived its tenure. And since the new-gen Corolla was just refreshed last year, the 2021 Toyota Corolla should still manage to turn heads owing to its unique style that should draw the attention of a few young buyers as well.

Model

2021 Toyota Corolla Sedan 

2020 Honda Civic

2020 Hyundai Elantra 

2020 Kia Forte

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3150

2906

3131

3012

Length (in.)

182.5

182.8

181.9

182.7

Width (in.)

70.1

70.8

70.9

70.9

Height (in.)

56.5

55.5

56.5

56.5

Ground Clearance (in.)

5.1

NA

5.5

5.3

Wheelbase (in.)

106.3

106.3

106.3

106.3

The Corolla's forte has always been its ludicrously spacious cabin that appealed to masses not only for the cabin volume but the wide and long stance of the vehicle as well. So, the Corolla is among the titans in this department. Nevertheless, all the competitors stack up against each other similarly with each one losing out on some factor or the other. Hyundai Elantra is the shortest in length which does add sportiness to the performance but takes away the luxurious factor that the 2021 Corolla is aiming for. That said, some of the exterior features which are sure to be carried forward to the 2021 Toyota Corolla lineup includes the following:

  • Chrome tipped dual exhaust
  • Fishhook all-LED headlights
  • Auto headlight on/off
  • Rear spoiler
  • 18” machined alloy wheels
  • LED Taillamps
  • Single-pane Sunroof
2021 Toyota Corolla basic Sedan three quarter view
2021 Toyota Corolla basic Sedan left side view
2021 Toyota Corolla basic Sedan top view
2021 Toyota Corolla basic Sedan left side view
2021 Toyota Corolla basic Sedan grille
2021 Toyota Corolla basic Sedan badge

2021 Toyota Corolla Safety

8.7/10

The new 12th generation 2020 Toyota Corolla earned the 2020 Top Safety Pick award from IIHS and the highest "5-star" ratings in almost all the crash tests conducted by the NHTSA. Since the 2021 Toyota Corolla is mostly unchanged, the safety quotient is something you needn't worry about. The 2021 Toyota Corolla is based on the same platform itself, which has proven its worth time and again. Build quality of the vehicle is one thing, but the Corolla further safeguards you with an exquisite suite of driver aids working calculations constantly to ensure safety at all times. The 2020 Corolla had a plethora of safety features as standard. With what we have heard so far, Toyota is planning to increase the standard feature list a bit more.

The 2021 Corolla is based on the previous year model that earned a full 5-star rating from NHTSA

Toyota has bundled most of the advanced driver assist systems with what they call - Toyota Safety Sense suite, which will be offered as standard with the 2021 model. This suite comprises- Pre-Collision System with Daytime/Low-Light Vehicle and Pedestrian Detection, plus Daytime Bicycle Detection, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (CVT only), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Road Edge Detection, Automatic High Beams, Lane Tracing Assist and Road Sign Assist. That said, some of the standout safety features in the 2021 Toyota Corolla are:

  • 10 standard airbags
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Anti-lock Braking System
  • Blind Spot Monitoring System
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • 3-pointer seat belts for all seating positions
  • Electronic Stability Control with Traction Control

2021 Toyota Corolla Competition

6.5/10

2021 Toyota Corolla vs Honda Civic

The 2021 Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic are two of the best-selling compact cars in the market. Though both these sedans are equally rated in most aspects like interiors, and comfort, the Civic takes the performance crown. At the same time, Toyota’s reliability, and exceptional gas-mileage make the Corolla an affordable customer.

2020 honda civic front and side view wallpaper for desktop

Pricing of Toyota Corolla also makes it a tempting choice for entry-level cars with the most value. But the Civic is more powerful, faster, has a better set of brakes, and also offers more space on the inside. If you can sacrifice fuel economy a bit and spend a few extra bucks, the Civic is the livelier choice to go for.

2021 Toyota Corolla vs Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra is powerful, faster, and spacious in all its forms. That said, the Toyota Corolla comes back into the game and makes a stronger statement with the best-in-class ride quality, miles better fuel economy, and the sheer space inside. Not to forget, its unmatched reliability and safety quotient.

2020 hyundai elantra sedan in white color wallpaper

This simply puts your needs into perspective. The 2021 Toyota Corolla, according to us, should make a better deal of the two considering the priorities of a family man. If you've just got yourself into a college, the Elantra should appeal to you more.

2021 Toyota Corolla vs Kia Forte

The Kia Forte is yet another compact car that beats the Corolla on all fronts except fuel economy and reliability. The Forte also looks better than the Corolla. If you don’t really crave the fuel economy numbers then we would suggest you opt for the Kia over the Toyota. Moreover, one place where the Toyota lacks - the tech part, is the USP of the Kia Forte.

2020 Kia Forte offers a sporty stance

That said, if you're looking for a sedan that can compel you to take the longer route, it's the Forte you need. And as far as Toyota is concerned, you shouldn't even need to convince yourself to buy one!

2021 Toyota Corolla Final Verdict

The Toyota Corolla is the jack of all and the master of none. It gets beaten by most of its rivals in terms of energetic driving performance and rear space yet it outsells all of them. Mostly, because it makes it to fleets who want frugal engines and reliable performance. Whether you should buy the Corolla or not?

2021 Toyota Corolla looks downright menacing at night

We would say it wouldn’t be a bad buy but given the fact that there are better cars in the market in terms of driving, you should consider them first before you go straight and buy the Corolla.

2021 toyota corolla apex edition exterior 1
2021 toyota corolla apex edition exterior 2
2021 toyota corolla apex edition exterior 3
2021 toyota corolla apex edition exterior 4
2021 toyota corolla apex edition exterior 5
2021 toyota corolla apex edition exterior 6

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2021 Toyota Corolla FAQs

Does Toyota offer the Corolla with an AWD drivetrain?

No. Toyota Corolla in all its forms is available with a standard FWD drivetrain configuration.

What type of gas does a 2020 Toyota Corolla take?

Regular Gasoline. Toyota Corolla gives great MPG figures of 32, 29, 36 combined, city and on the highway respectively, with the 6-speed manual transmission on the 2.0L naturally-aspirated inline-4 motor.

Is Toyota Corolla a reliable car?

The Toyota Corolla Reliability rating is the best in the compact class segment. The 2019 Corolla manages 85 out of 100 in the JD Power Predicted Reliability report - happens to the highest scoring car in the segment.

Which year Corolla is the best?

The 2016 Toyota Corolla is the best-rated model in terms of safety, and reliability. The highest 5-star safety rating from NHTSA and overall “good” safety score from IIHS makes it a perfect choice in the evaluation.

What is Toyota Corolla Apex Edition?

Toyota Corolla Apex Edition is a limited run model that will be limited to just 6000 units for the US. It gets a more aggressive body kit along with unique exterior shades. Toyota has also equipped the chassis and suspension setup to make it more aggressive around corners and is ready for the track.

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2021 Toyota Corolla Overall Reviews


MA

Mark C. Arnold

2020 Toyota Corolla

LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

8

User Overall Rating

Posted On: October 7, 2020

Nice car

Pros - Quick, roomy, cost

Cons - Vibrations, infotainment

Overall Review

8 /10 Overall Rating

Performance is above average and it is fairly quick to get going. Turning radius is small and it is easy to maneuver in congested areas. The one thing I don? like is the vibrations. Steering wheel starts to vibrate at 65 mph.

8/10
Features
8/10
Interior
8/10
Design
9/10
Safety
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Deal Value
8/10
Dealer Review

AC

Anderson J. Corbett

2020 Toyota Corolla

Nightshade 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

10

User Overall Rating

Posted On: October 7, 2020

A stylish Corolla

Pros - Mileage, looks/style, comfortable

Cons - Noisy, CVT

Overall Review

10 /10 Overall Rating

Having a CVT is both good and bad in its own ways. On one side it is great for gas mileage and on the other, it compromises the performance.

10/10
Features
9/10
Interior
10/10
Design
10/10
Safety
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Deal Value
10/10
Dealer Review

DL

Dominique P. Larsen

2020 Toyota Corolla

XSE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

9

User Overall Rating

Posted On: October 7, 2020

What matters the most?

Pros - Safety, reliability, handling

Cons - Cargo space, seats are uncomfortable, ground clearance

Overall Review

9 /10 Overall Rating

A good family hauler. It is fairly responsive and handles great. The ride is very comfortable, and CVT is far better than expected.

9/10
Features
9/10
Interior
7/10
Design
9/10
Safety
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Deal Value
10/10
Dealer Review

Read all Reviews

Used Toyota Corolla for Sale

Car Name Deals Starting Price Number of Listings
2021 Toyota Corolla 1 Great Deals Out of 1300 $18,976 1300 Listings
2020 Toyota Corolla 230 Great Deals Out of 1716 $12,441 1716 Listings
2019 Toyota Corolla 535 Great Deals Out of 2439 $9,844 2439 Listings
2018 Toyota Corolla 121 Great Deals Out of 1241 $8,500 1241 Listings
2017 Toyota Corolla 175 Great Deals Out of 1468 $8,390 1468 Listings
2016 Toyota Corolla 123 Great Deals Out of 996 $6,500 996 Listings
2015 Toyota Corolla 81 Great Deals Out of 682 $5,987 682 Listings

Top User Reviews

8

User Overall Rating

Nice car

Performance is above average and it is fairly quick to get going. Turning radius is small and it is easy to maneuver in congested areas. The one thing I don? like is the vibrations. Steering wheel starts to vibrate at 65 mph.

by Mark C. Arnold

10

User Overall Rating

A stylish Corolla

Having a CVT is both good and bad in its own ways. On one side it is great for gas mileage and on the other, it compromises the performance.

by Anderson J. Corbett

9

User Overall Rating

What matters the most?

A good family hauler. It is fairly responsive and handles great. The ride is very comfortable, and CVT is far better than expected.

by Dominique P. Larsen

8

User Overall Rating

with my Toyota Corolla steering wheel it's easy to control the features

Performance is decent that boost to provide enough kick on the road and handling of the car is also very easy

by Antonio S. Sheldon

9

User Overall Rating

Toyota Corolla is environment friendly vehicle

I’m really satisfied with my acceleration and mileage of the sedan. Engine also performing great and it not emitting any toxic to atmospheric.

by James M. Morton

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