2009 Toyota Corolla Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Toyota Corolla Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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Toyota Corolla Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 132 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 26/35 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Toyota Corolla

  • The redesigned 2009 Toyota Corolla will satisfy those seeking a refined and fuel-efficient small sedan backed by an impressive reliability record. Younger buyers, however, might be put off by the tepid driving experience.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Smooth and controlled ride, excellent fuel economy with base 1.8-liter engine, attractive and ergonomic interior design, lengthy features list.

  • Cons

    Oddly weighted electric-assist steering, so-so gas mileage with 2.4-liter engine.

  • What's New for 2009

    Completely redesigned, the 2009 Toyota Corolla looks much the same as last year's model but is a bit larger inside and out. Highlights on the new car include an available 2.4-liter engine and a navigation system.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 26
  • cty
/
  • 35
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Satisfied customer

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Corolla 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

I use this car for back and forth to work and get 34-36 mpg year round and 40 on the highway. It is roomy for its size and with the backseat down I can carry all sorts of things.




Too bad with the recalls

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Corolla 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

Car is very easy to drive. Love the Gas mileage I'm getting. Comfortable even for a tall person (I am 6'4"). Feels very solid. Not too worried about the recall, as with the Manual transmission a sticking accelerator would be less of a safety problem. Dealership has been great even replaced the radio after I had a small problem with it.




One awesome & economical car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Corolla 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

I loved my Corolla, I consistently averaged 35-40 mpg combined city / hwy miles. I recently was in an accident - car was totaled and I must say the safety features kept everyone safe and alive! I am going to be getting another one, hope I get the same mileage with my new one!!




Purchased slightly used but i

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Corolla 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

I bought my '09 Corolla in November 2009. It was a programmed car so it had some miles on it and a few problems that the dealer corrected. The biggest being the heater blower switch had to be replaced. This was my first new-to- me car and it's been so much fun to drive! Compared to my truck I was driving I can't believe how much I am saving on gas! It's sleek and stylish on the outside plus very comfortable. So far for me no out of pocket maintenance issues and it handled the first snow fall here in the midwest very well. I am happy with my choice.




First and last toyota

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Corolla 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

This is the worst car I've ever driven. Whatever small gains you get from the electric steering assist are nullified by any small gust of wind. You can't relax in a car when you're blowing all over the highway in the slightest wind. Furthermore, the seats are doughy and unsupportive. If you've ever had lower back problems in any car, this one will bring them right back. My Volkswagen had firm, supportive seats and I forgot what it was like to have a sore back after a trip - until now. Cheap backseats too - pull on a corner when they're "locked" and it will have enough give for you (or a criminal) to reach into the trunk. Awful creamsicle backlighting treatment on the dash too.




Love it!!!!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Corolla 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

My first Toyota and I am delighted by the way it drives (hwy or city). Very economical and a joy driving a manual once more. Toyota makes it easy for young or old (me) it is a fun vehicle that can kick when you need it to. It has all the small details anyone needs from clock, MPG, outside temp. gas mileage from trip to trip and many others. You name it, it has it, and the one I bought was the simple package with no options what so ever. On the freeway it is comfortable and a delight to the wallet (37.9 MPG) in the city 29.8 mpg. It has 2,100 plus mile on it now and I doubt I will buy another car. If I do, it'll be one like this one!



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Full 2009 Toyota Corolla Review

What's New for 2009

Completely redesigned, the 2009 Toyota Corolla looks much the same as last year's model but is a bit larger inside and out. Highlights on the new car include an available 2.4-liter engine and a navigation system.

Introduction

About 400,000 people will buy a Toyota Corolla sometime during the 2008 calendar year. One-quarter of these likely buyers are in their 60s. Almost as many are in their 20s. Despite the huge age gap between these groups, their primary motivation for buying is the same: reliability. With such a steady and diverse following for its compact sedan, Toyota usually undertakes major redesigns with a light hand: Although changes underneath the surface may be significant, each new Corolla invariably retains its predecessor's basic styling cues and overall driving demeanor. And so it is with the redesigned 2009 Toyota Corolla.

That's not to say you won't appreciate the differences on the new Corolla. For instance, although it's not any longer or taller than last year's car, it rides on a wider track, and this opens up noticeably more hip- and shoulder room in the cabin. The addition of a telescoping steering wheel improves upon the Corolla's historically awkward driving position, while new features like an auxiliary audio input, keyless startup and a navigation system with real-time traffic updates bring Toyota's compact sedan into the 21st century in terms of feature content.

Since fuel economy is another big reason people buy Toyota Corollas, most versions of this sedan continue to use an efficient 1.8-liter four-cylinder. This engine is heavily revised for 2009 and now features variable timing for both its intake and exhaust valves. Power increases are modest on paper, but the results are apparent on the road: In spite of a 200-pound weight gain, the 2009 Toyota Corolla is a touch quicker than the '08 model and capable of returning comparable gas mileage.

Most of the Corolla's rivals offer larger engine options, though, and for '09, Toyota is following suit. The high-line XRS trim level returns to the model line, and it's motivated by a 158-horsepower, 2.4-liter inline-4, which promises to shave a second off the car's 0-60-mph time. In keeping with its heightened performance focus, the Corolla XRS has quicker steering, bigger wheels and a front strut tower brace.

With two engines and five trim levels at their disposal, most 2009 Toyota Corolla buyers will have little difficulty equipping one to taste. Although competitors such as the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda 3, Mitsubishi Lancer and Nissan Sentra offer comparable interior room and amenities, Toyota's compact sedan remains a fine choice for a commuter car given its composed ride quality, above-average gas mileage and high overall level of refinement. However, we question whether the company has done enough to meet increased expectations for performance and handling in this class. Even in sporty XRS trim, the '09 Corolla does little to engage its driver. Shopped against genuinely entertaining alternatives like the Mazda 3, Civic and Lancer, Toyota's economy sedan remains a tough sell.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Toyota Corolla is a compact economy sedan. It's available in five trim levels -- base, LE, S, XLE and XRS. Base Corollas start you out with 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, an MP3/WMA-capable CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and power mirrors. The LE gains power windows and locks, along with body-color exterior mirrors. If you select the Corolla S, the LE's equipment upgrades move to the options list, but you gain 16-inch steel wheels, full underbody spoilers, foglights, sport seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an extra pair of stereo speakers.

Essentially a luxury version of the LE, the new Corolla XLE also gets the 16-inch wheels and upgraded stereo while adding amenities like a sliding center armrest, wood-grain interior trim, electroluminescent gauges, keyless entry and variable intermittent wipers. The top-of-the-line XRS, meanwhile, builds upon the S model's equipment list. Although it forgoes some of the XLE's standard conveniences, it adds a larger engine, 17-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension and steering, a front strut tower brace, a rear deck spoiler and chrome interior trim. Cruise control is also standard on the XRS; it's optional on other Corollas.

Heated mirrors and satellite radio are optional across the Toyota Corolla line, while the S, XLE and XRS are eligible for a sunroof, an upgraded JBL sound system and a navigation system (with real-time traffic). Leather upholstery is available on the S and XRS only.

Powertrains and Performance

With the exception of the XRS, all 2009 Toyota Corollas are motivated by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 132 hp and 128 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission driving the front wheels is standard, and a four-speed automatic is optional. You can look forward to 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway EPA ratings with either transmission.

Selecting the Corolla XRS entitles you to a 2.4-liter engine good for 158 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual is standard and a five-speed automatic is optional. Fuel economy drops significantly, with a 22/30 rating for both transmissions.

Safety

Every Toyota Corolla comes with antilock brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Stability control is standard on the XRS and optional on other Corollas. Only the XRS has four-wheel disc brakes; other Corollas have rear drums.

Interior Design and Special Features

Cabin design is a strong point for the 2009 Toyota Corolla. The driving position better accommodates drivers of different sizes than in past years, and the control layout is as ergonomic as they come. Storage is more than ample up front, particularly with the addition of a double glovebox, though the provisions are a bit stingy in back. Materials quality is high, and fit and finish is consistent with Toyota's historically high standards. In back, the Corolla offers plenty of space for children and just enough room for adults. The trunk measures 12.3 cubic feet (average for this class) and has a wide opening.

Driving Impressions

Most buyers will be content with the base 1.8-liter engine, which delivers respectable acceleration in normal traffic situations. We recorded a 9.1-second 0-60-mph time in a manual-shift Corolla with the 1.8-liter, and our test car returned an impressive 29.8 mpg in mixed driving. Although the five-speed's shifter feels firm and decisive moving through the gates, we suspect its abrupt, at-the-floor clutch engagement will push many buyers to the automatic. Upgrading to the 2.4-liter engine provides a gratifying increase in low-end torque, though it does come at the expense of fuel economy.

Regardless of which trim level you choose, the 2009 Toyota Corolla excels as a commuter car, as the suspension delivers a comfortable, controlled ride. Handling is uninspiring, however. Body roll is decently controlled, but the electric steering on non-XRS models provides so little feedback, you may find yourself making corrections simply to keep the car traveling in a straight line. Toyota retuned this setup for the XRS, and indeed its steering feels crisper and weightier. Driven on a back road, the Corolla XRS is undeniably a capable compact sedan, but compared to rivals like the Mazda 3, Civic and Lancer, it's not a very entertaining one.

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Talk About The 2009 Corolla

2009 Toyota Corolla Discussions See all Started By

azr4el
azr4el
05-06-2008
MPG versus the Civic or even its other form, the Corolla....


waltchan
waltchan
02-24-2008
Bought a new 2009 Toyota Corolla LE. Right after I drove it from the dealer lot, there are a lot of rattles at the front dashboard, even if there is a tiny bump on the road. It's really distracting. A...


frostbyte3964
frostbyte3964
03-24-2009
OK, I had a 2009 Corolla for a while and liked the improvements they changed from older models. I've had 2008, 1999, 1997, 1995 models so I'm a big fan of their economy, reliability, great gas mileage...



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