2011 Toyota Corolla Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2011 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.
Toyota Corolla Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 132 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 26/34 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2011 Toyota Corolla

  • The 2011 Toyota Corolla compact sedan rides well and should be reliable, but is otherwise unremarkable in a segment full of more desirable choices.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Comfortable ride; simple controls; good fuel economy; quiet cabin.

  • Cons

    Disconnected driving experience; unimpressive cabin quality; common luxury features are unavailable.

  • What's New for 2011

    The Toyota Corolla gets a slight exterior freshening for 2011 along with a few interior tweaks as well. The number of trim levels has been reduced from five to three; most notably, the sport-tuned XRS trim, with its bigger 2.4-liter four-cylinder, has gotten the axe.

Full 2011 Toyota Corolla Review

What's New for 2011

The Toyota Corolla gets a slight exterior freshening for 2011 along with a few interior tweaks as well. The number of trim levels has been reduced from five to three; most notably, the sport-tuned XRS trim, with its bigger 2.4-liter four-cylinder, has gotten the axe.


The Toyota Corolla is the world's best-selling car of all time. More than 33 million have been sold in the last 35 years, which makes it mathematically assured that you know someone who either owns one or used to own one. This car owes much of its success to Toyota's reputation of dependability and it's hard to argue with such a buying rationale.

Yet once you look beyond that single attribute, you'll discover that the 2011 Toyota Corolla is no longer the class leader it once was. The Corolla's fuel economy used to be a benchmark, but now it gets thumped by the new Hyundai Elantra's EPA-rated 40 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined. Interior quality is another area in which the Corolla finds itself outclassed. And while the Corolla has never been described as being fun to drive, the current car feels so disconnected from the road that you may find yourself thinking you're playing a very dull video game.

The sport-tuned XRS trim, with its more powerful four-cylinder engine, used to be the model of choice for Corolla buyers seeking extra responsiveness, but Toyota has killed it for 2011. Also removed from the Corolla menu this year is the XLE, which was the most luxury-focused trim in the lineup. On the plus side, the Corolla gains revised styling for 2011, particularly with the sport-look S trim, which also gets the thick, flat-bottomed steering wheel found in the new Scion tC.

If you think we believe that you can do better than the 2011 Toyota Corolla, you're right. It's not just us, either. Two years ago we invited six regular Americans to drive the Corolla alongside the 2011 Honda Civic and previous-generation Mazda 3. None of our testers put the Corolla in 1st place and all but the most senior members of the bunch placed it dead last. They echoed our opinion that the Corolla feels disconnected to drive and expressed disappointment with the look and feel of its cabin.

Today the Corolla faces even stiffer competition. Of course, the Corolla is still known for its reliability, but then so is the Honda Civic, and Hyundai has improved dramatically in this regard. As such, we highly recommend shopping around before taking a 2011 Toyota Corolla home.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Toyota Corolla is a five-passenger compact sedan available in base, LE and S trim levels.

Standard equipment includes 15-inch steel wheels, power mirrors, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

The LE adds keyless entry, power locks, power windows (optional on base), variable intermittent wipers, cruise control and six speakers. The S adds 16-inch alloy wheels, a sport-look body kit, a rear spoiler, upgraded cloth upholstery, steering-wheel audio controls and an upgraded trip computer.

Optional on the LE and S is a sunroof that includes an overhead console with map lamps and a sunglasses holder. Also available is an upgraded six-speaker sound system with satellite radio, an iPod/USB audio interface and Bluetooth phone and audio player connectivity. The Premium package available on the LE includes 16-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, the sunroof and the upgraded audio system.

Powertrains and Performance

Every 2011 Toyota Corolla is powered by a 1.8-liter inline-4 that produces 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual is standard and a four-speed automatic is optional.

In Edmunds performance testing, an automatic-equipped Corolla went from zero to 60 mph in 10.1 seconds -- a slower time for this class. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined with the automatic and 28/35/31 with the manual. These numbers used to be quite impressive but pale in comparison to the new Hyundai Elantra's promise of 40 mpg highway.


Every Toyota Corolla comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock brakes with brake assist (front disc, rear drum), front side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the Corolla came to a stop from 60 mph in 127 feet -- an average distance for this type of car.

The Corolla has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011 tests) saw it earning four out of five stars for front passengers in a frontal crash, and the same for rear passengers in a side crash. It got five stars for the protection of front passengers in a side crash. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, the Corolla earned a perfect "Good" rating in the frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2011 Corolla's cabin is a bit dull to the eye and the materials used to construct it are mediocre at best. The cabins of the Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Focus feel like they belong to a more sophisticated market segment by comparison. On the upside, the Corolla's controls are quite simple to use, though opting for the upgraded stereo with iPod and Bluetooth controls makes things a bit more complicated.

Like most Toyotas, the Corolla's seats are soft and comfy, and will likely bring words like "recliner" and "La-Z-Boy" to mind. The seats lack support, however, so some may find long-distance comfort troublesome. The front seats offer a decent amount of space even for taller drivers (a revelation for a small Toyota), while the backseat also boasts decent room and a cushy bottom.

With 12.3 cubic feet of space, trunk space is average, but the trunk boasts a usefully wide opening.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Toyota Corolla's softly sprung ride is perfect for commuting, and wind and road noise are nicely quelled, even at highway speeds. However, handling is unimpressive -- even if you don't profess to be a driving enthusiast, a back-to-back drive between a Corolla and any number of its competitors will reveal that the Toyota feels less responsive to inputs and therefore makes you feel less involved with the driving experience.

The Corolla's lone engine choice delivers the sort of languid acceleration typical at this price point, but Toyota makes a smooth engine, so at least your ears won't be paying for it. However, given that the car's fuel economy isn't as impressive as it once was, you may be less willing to put up with such pokey performance.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Do not buy

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

Bought the car new and within months the radio wouldn't work w/ rear defroster on. They had to replace the radio and install new rear windshield. Two years later- same problem only not under warranty!!! $100 just to look at it when obviously the windshields are defective!!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Perfect for econ-minded

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this car used with 15,000mi. Since then, I have driven to about 45,000 in two years. In my time I have realized how great it is from an economical standpoint: I get about 30/31mpg city, 36-39mpg hwy, maintenance costs are low (so far only oil changes and one cabin air filter replacement), insurance prices are low, and driver comfort/peace-of-mind is high from great visibility, good safety scores, and ease to drive/manage infotainment. That said, the interior isn't quite as "fancy" (futuristic or sharp designs) as competitors, but is great for the price. I would definitely recommend to a budget-orientated driver.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Ok car, but wouldn't buy

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this car used with 18000 miles on it a little over a year ago. I drive 18 miles to work each day about 3/4 of them are interstate and highway with some decent sized hills. I average about 30 mpg. Which I've very happy with, actually the mpg is the only thing I really like about the car. I live where it snows and the headlights are always dirty making seeing hard. I have to clean them almost daily when the roads are wet. I've never had to do that with any other vehicle. The cabin is very noisy and it doesn't handle very well on snow and in slush (I'm very experience in driving in it too). There are two very small spots on the trunk that are rusting. I've never had this on a car befo

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

42,000 miles of smiles!!!!

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I can't imagine these horrid reviews other than to think that it's sour grapes Mazda and Honda owners trolling. I have over 40K miles of hard mileage calculations, and I have NEVER turned in less than 34 mpg. The lifetime average of my Corolla is a handsome 37.7 mpg (go to Fuelly.com where I post as The Rolla). Never have I had any serious issue with my Canadian-made Corolla. Gripes? OK, it gurgles softly sometimes once you just begin to move forward. The seat height adjuster sometimes gets pushed down getting into and out of the car. Maybe it's a little boring to drive, but at a paltry $17,146 out the door, yeah try to hang with that, overpriced, 20 mpg Mazda zoom-zoom gas hog.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Just bought.

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Corolla S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

If you look down this list you see my parents 2011 Corolla they bought new. They like it so much as do I. I just purchased my own 2011 Corolla with 20000 miles on it. A Corolla S 5 speed! They are the perfect little car! No complaints and they drive good! Don't believe the lies!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Should have gotten a camry!

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I've driven my 2011 Corolla for 18k/mi and wish I would have been less concerned about MPG than comfort. The car feels a bit underpowered. It also needed a front tire replacement almost immediately because it was defective (two dealer visits). MPG is good but I'm not sure that the gas savings are worth the back pain. I'm glad I didn't get rid of my 2004 Sienna because I absolutely cannot drive the Corolla all the time. Should have gotten a Camry instead which has more comfortable seats and fits a taller person better (I'm over 6').

Talk About The 2011 Corolla

2011 Toyota Corolla Discussions See all Started By

Has anyone found a way to improve the handling for the 2011 Corolla LE? I found great new tires for a luxury ride (Mich Premier A/S 195/65R 15) but I get bad drift in any little crosswind or draft. ...

Similar to the 2011 Corolla being produced much later than usual (Dec. 2010) it is expected that the 2012 Corolla will begin production in November 2011. I know it is quite early and the 2011s were r...

Planning to buy a Corolla. I didn't like the 2010 model. Any ideas when will 2011 would show up? I need a car fast, I wonder it would be worth to wait....

Read more about the 2011 Toyota Corolla

Gas Mileage


  • 26
  • cty
  • 34
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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