2009 Toyota Corolla Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Toyota Corolla Sedan

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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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (276 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Highly dissapointed- will never buy

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

2 months after warranty was over (oh yeah!), check engine light went on (P2727) with less than 50k miles. Ended up changing both the torque converter and solenoids as well as the sensor to get rid of the light... 10 miles later, the light went off again... They're telling me now that the computer has issues which has to be changed. I don't know whom to trust and what to do next. Will trade in my car for another car which won't be a Toyota for sure.... Yep, Toyota's legendary reliability is only good until you're covered under warranty... My advice to you if you decide buy a Toyota, add an extended warranty...



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

I hate what you do

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

Sort and sweet. 3 recalls unsure if my car was ever safe to drive. An interior that constantly squeaks. Finally the last straw at 68k I'm told I need a new transmission because I'm getting a clicking noise whenever I take my foot of the gas they say its a broken tooth on the pinion drive gear..... There's your legendary reliability. I wonder how much pro reviewers get paid to praise these cars.




2009 toyota corolla s

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

This is my second toyota corolla and i have alway loved toyota and could not see myself buying anything else. Well this car has changed that opinion and my next car will not be a toyota. This 2009 has had the whole A/C replaces, cam shaft gear, starter and the car still has problems starting. My corolla only had 56,000 miles. Total cost of repairs under warranty is over $9,000…. beware of the 2009 year.




My 2nd 2009 corolla

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Corolla S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

This is my second 2009 Corolla - first was an LE which was totaled in an accident. When I replaced it I bought another 2009, but this time in the S trim. I love it! It gets excellent gas milage, about 38 highway and is a sporty drive while small enough to easily maneuver the parking ramp at work. Plenty of creature comforts including aux jack, keyless entry, CD changer. It rides smooth and has a moderate amount of road noise.




My 2nd corolla

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Corolla XLE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I still own my very first Toyota which is a 2002 Corolla LE which has 180,000 as of writing this review. Knowing it's getting old and burning oil, I figured it was time to buy a back up. I came across a used XLE with only 28,000 miles on it. Since it has the 16" wheels, the highway ride is comparable to that of a Camry. You'd quickly be reminded you are not in a Camry once you need to pass another vehicle and that's when reality sets in. I would love to know how ANY of you get 35MPG or more as my car never got better than 32.5 and it is driven mostly highway. Toyota alleges 35, but I say no way as the average highway speed is 75MPH.




A proven workhorse - love

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

Travel average 2 weeks per month Purchased used in 2010 with 14,000 miles - still gets 38 miles to the gallon highway. Removed head rests back seat folds down provides ample room for cargo. Regular maintenance except decided to have transmission flushed at 60,000 miles. Now at 68,000 the car has proven to be reliable and easy to maintain. Would buy again in a heartbeat. Oh Previously drove a Honda Civic (1983) which has 180,000 miles and still gets 34 mpg hwy. When purchasing a car expect it to last until newer models have significantly better gass mileage AND comfort.



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.

Talk About The 2009 Corolla

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 26
  • cty
/
  • 35
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs