The 2021 Toyota Corolla continues to impress as an affordable, safe and well-equipped compact car. Whether you choose the four-door hatchback or sedan, this small yet mighty vehicle offers different personality options for everyone. Both body styles are powered by a pair of efficient four-cylinder engines plus a highly economical hybrid powertrain!
Get ready to experience the thrill of driving with the Corolla's manual transmission and sport-tuned suspension! While it may not be as engaging as its competitors, like the Honda Civic or Mazda 3, you'll still enjoy desirable features and a sleek cabin design. Plus, since there is a tiny back seat in this hatchback model - all without sacrificing efficiency or style - you won't regret selecting the 2021 Corolla for your next small car.
The standard Corolla sedan is equipped with a 139-hp 1.8L four-cylinder engine and CVT transmission, while the higher performing SE & XSE models feature an improved 169-hp 2.0L four cylinder engine that can be paired either to a CVT or six speed manual. All hatchbacks use the larger more powerful version of this engine, but only sedans offer hybrid powertrain options for those looking to save on fuel costs without sacrificing performance.
We tested the 2019 Corolla SE hatchback and 2020 Corolla XSE sedan to find that, while both cars had sound performance around town and on the highway with prudent acceleration, hard driving made for a coarse engine noise. On top of this, however, we found that their rides were pleasant enough that all but large bumps were isolated from view - giving them an agile quality far surpassing previous iterations.
The Corolla SE and XSE are further enhanced with a performance-oriented suspension system as well as larger 18-inch wheels (while the other models feature 15 or 16 inch rims). However, it still falls behind sporty competitors like the Mazda 3 and Volkswagen Golf in terms of steering. In our 70 mph to zero braking test, neither body style had great results; both needed between 174-183 feet to stop. Nevertheless, their brake pedals were reliable and easy to use.
The 2021 Corolla sedan gives you the choice of two fuel-efficient four-cylinders, or an incredibly economical hybrid model. According to EPA estimations, the hybrid promises 53 mpg in city driving and a whopping 52 mpg on highways! Additionally, the nonhybrid 2.0L engine delivers up to 40 mpg highway while its 1.8L counterpart produces 38mpg - both remarkable figures! Here's more good news: our road test drove this amazing car from 0-200 miles at 75mph and it returned 56mpg - beating even their estimates by 3 whole miles per gallon!
We tested the Corolla XSE sedan, which yielded an impressive 41 mpg. Meanwhile, the 2019 Corolla hatchback obtains up to 32/42 mpg (city/highway) with its automatic transmission and 28/37 with a manual one. To delve further into these estimates, we drove this hatch over 200 miles on our highway fuel-economy route; the auto averaged 40 mpg while the manual earned 36!
While the 2021 Corolla hatchback and sedan have yet to be fully crash-tested by NHTSA or IIHS, their 2020 versions earned a five-star rating from both agencies. Additionally, they were each honored with an IIHS Top Safety Pick award. To top it off, all Corollas now come equipped with standard driver-assistance technology – furthering Toyota's dedication to safety!
According to Repair Pal, the Toyota Corolla stacks up quite well against other vehicles in the same class. In fact, it ranked number one in terms of reliability when compared to 35 other compact cars. One of the most obvious indicators of the Corolla's reliability is its cheap repairs.
The best Toyota Corolla model years are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2013, 2008, and 2002. The worst model years of the Corolla are 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2003. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.
The new 2022 Honda Civic offers more passenger room and cargo space than the Toyota Corolla. The Honda Civic also has a bigger engine than the Toyota Corolla and produces more horsepower. The bigger, more powerful engine in the Honda Civic also gets better EPA-estimated fuel economy than the Toyota Corolla.