2021 Toyota Corolla Sedan

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2021 Toyota Corolla Sedan Review: Advancing What's Tried-And-True

Since its debut all the way back in 1966, over 40 million units of the Toyota Corolla have been sold worldwide, making it the best-selling car of all time. As of June, over 150,000 units of the 2021 Toyota Corolla have already been sold in the US - a good indication of the 4-door compact sedan's enduring appeal. The Corolla has certainly evolved a lot over the years and the stylish, contemporary, and featureful vehicle it is today is a world away from what it used to be. It does, however, still carry the proven dependability, advantageous practicality, and high-value appeal that made it so popular in the first place. Powering the front-wheel drivetrain of the five trim lineup is either a 139-horsepower 1.8-liter inline-4 engine or a 169-hp 2.0-liter inline-4 unit. The Corolla is a special car but it holds its standing as the best-selling car of all time primarily because of how long it's been around. So, with that in mind, don't disregard its competitors: the Mazda 3, Honda Civic, and Volkswagen Jetta - three, also very appealing cruisers.

Read in this review:

8.5
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2021 Toyota Corolla Sedan Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan?

Changes to the 2021 Corolla sedan are few since the 2020 twelfth-generation was a completely new offering in the US, redesigned from the ground up. Nevertheless, Android Auto is now included on all Corollas, along with an additional pair of rear-seat side-mounted airbags that brings the count to ten. The LE trim now has access to a Smart Key, blind-spot monitoring, and 16-inch alloy wheels. In addition, a limited Apex Edition is also on offer for SE and XSE trims with sporty styling and a track-tuned suspension. Only 6,000 units will be produced, of which 120 will be manual variants based on the SE. Finally, a new Nightshade model is available, which adds various accents to the SE trim.

Pros and Cons

  • Sporty, eye-catching design
  • Smooth and refined ride quality
  • Thrifty fuel economy returns
  • Consummate safety and reliability
  • Plenty of value for the money
  • Both Corolla engines are slightly underpowered
  • Only one trim is offered with the manual gearbox
  • Rear cabin headroom is a little confined

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2021 Toyota Corolla Sedan Trims and Prices

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
L
1.8L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$20,025
LE
1.8L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$20,475
SE
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$22,475
SE Nightshade Edition
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$23,075
XLE
1.8L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$24,425

Corolla Sedan Exterior

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Dimensions

  • Length 182.3 in
  • Wheelbase 106.3 in
  • Height 56.5 in
  • Max Width 70.1 in
  • Front Width 60.3 in
  • Rear Width 61.0 in
  • Curb Weight 2,910.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Super White
  • Celestite
  • Black Sand Pearl
  • Classic Silver Metallic
  • Barcelona Red Metallic
  • Blueprint
  • Blizzard Pearl
  • Blue Crush Metallic
  • Blizzard Pearl w/Black Sand Pearl Roof
  • Classic Silver Metallic w/Black Sand Pearl Roof
  • Super White w/Black Sand Pearl Roof
  • Blue Crush Metallic w/Black Sand Pearl Roof
  • Celistite w/Black Sand Pearl Roof
  • Blueprint w/Black Sand Pearl Roof
  • Barcelona Red Metallic w/Black Sand Pearl Roof

Corolla Sedan Performance

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Engine and Transmission

The Corolla Sedan is presented with two naturally aspirated 4-cylinder gas engines. The entry-level unit is a 1.8-liter tuned to deliver 139 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque that is standard in L, LE, and XLE models. The performance unit, a 2.0-liter dialed to deliver 169 hp and 151 lb-ft, is designated to the S, SE, and XSE models. The 1.8-liter is mated with a continuously variable automatic transmission and the 2.0-liter with a Dynamic-Shift CVT. The SE trim, however, is offered with an optional 6-speed manual gearbox. The 2.0-liter and manual gearbox combo is the favored one for the much-needed extra power, polished responses, and added engagement. Regardless of engine and transmission, front-wheel drive is the only option.

  • Engines
    1.8L Inline-4 Gas, 2.0L Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Manual, Automatic, Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Corolla Sedan Gas Mileage

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    13.2 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 30/38 mpg
* 2021 Toyota Corolla Sedan L CVT

Corolla Sedan Interior

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Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.0 in
  • Front Head Room 38.3 in
  • Rear Leg Room 34.8 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.1 in

Corolla Sedan Trunk and Cargo Space

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  • Trunk Volume
    13.1 ft³

Corolla Sedan Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    2 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    2 Years \ 25,000 Miles

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2021 Toyota Corolla Sedan a good car?

The 2021 Toyota Corolla's engines are a little underpowered and it may not be the most exciting compact sedan around, but it's a car that doesn't pretend to be anything more than what it is - a dependable, livable, and affordable family runabout. It's FWD setup does provide it with some nimble handling characteristics, but it's only to a degree that's appreciable when driving in urban settings. It's also surprisingly comfortable on the road and reasonably fuel efficient, too, regardless of which engine or transmission is in play. The 2.0-liter motor and the manual gearbox are preferred, however, even though only 120 units with this configuration were produced. Nevertheless, every trim comes comprehensively outfitted with creature comforts, conveniences, and driver-aids and safety features. Plus, this year, the Corolla gets Android Auto smartphone connectivity to accompany the already inclusive Apply CarPlay. These qualities, along with the sedan's A-grade safety rating, make it an ideal daily runabout. If you're looking for something a little more enjoyable to drive, however, then you should review the Honda Accord.

🚗What Toyota Corolla Sedan Model Should I Buy?

The entry-spec 2021 Toyota Corolla Sedan L's price of $20,025 makes it an attractive offer, but with just how much the 2.0-liter motor in the higher-tier trims improves overall performance, we'd say spending the extra cash on either of the SE trims would be worthwhile. Those trims also come outfitted with upgraded LED lighting, a sportier aesthetic, and with some cabin improvements including a leather steering wheel. With a quick review of the 2021 Toyota Corolla's optional packages, you'll see that the Premium package, with its Smart Key and push-button start, color-coded heated wing mirrors, power moonroof, and most importantly, blind-spot monitoring system, is a worthwhile addition.

Toyota Corolla Sedan Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2021 Toyota Corolla Sedan:

2021 Toyota Corolla Sedan Video Reviews

Check out some informative Toyota Corolla Sedan video reviews below.

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