2012 Toyota Corolla Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2012 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 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 132 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 26/34 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2012 Toyota Corolla

  • Among newer (and better) rivals, the 2012 Toyota Corolla is no longer a class leader. In the absence of any significant improvements, we suggest checking out the competition first.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Comfortable ride; simple controls; quiet cabin.

  • Cons

    Unimpressive cabin quality; mediocre acceleration and fuel economy; some increasingly common luxury features are unavailable; disconnected driving experience.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Toyota Corolla receives minor feature revisions, including standard power accessories for the base model and a new sound system for the higher trim levels.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

6500 mile 7 month old

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Vehicle: 2012 Toyota Corolla L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I can't believe this. I have been royal toyota customer, I always trusted toyota's reliability until now. I have 1999 toyota sienna and I had 94 corolla and those cars have been wonderful even though they are old and high mileage on them. So I purchased another corolla. Yesterday, I went to another city (about 80 miles away from my home town) and this 7 month old 6500 miles corolla just quit on the express way. Check engine and trac off light on and no response from gas pedal. I was almost killed by other car. I had to tow 80 miles. And this morning toyota care towing car came and made big mess on my interior with lots of dirty oil mark all over the door. Big disappointment!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2012 corolla best deal around!

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Vehicle: 2012 Toyota Corolla L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

Bought this corolla for 0 percent financing for 5 yrs! Plus edmunds.com gave me a $750 check for buying this on top of any and all deals!!! out the door for @$14k with auto and air/ pw/locks/cd,ect...Now I got 7000 miles on it and get 33.4 mpg ave. I drive 80 miles a day up a mountain road and this car flys. I put aftermarket wheels and tires on it and that really improved the handling. Go up to 225/16/65 size and it really makes difference. Engine is smooth, car is a delight, nice and quiet, but will scoot is you rev up to 4 grand.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Corolla 2012

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Vehicle: 2012 Toyota Corolla L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

My car is a good car. It's my first car so I'm very happy with my purchase. All it's great on gas!

20 of 29 people found this review helpful

Beauty and durability...

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Vehicle: 2012 Toyota Corolla L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

We have been a Toyota family for over 20 years and recently purchased our 7th Toyota. We were pleasantly surprised when we test drove the 2012 Toyota Corolla "L" base model and found that it had power windows and doors. The price is affordable and with current incentives and low interest financing, it makes it good buy even better. Beauty and durability, that's what Toyota offers...

13 of 39 people found this review helpful

Toyota carolla

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Vehicle: 2012 Toyota Corolla L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

This is our 4th Carolla and 6th toyota product. The new Carolla is missing some options previously (automatic lights, cruze control) standard. Our new Toyota does not seem to be as zippy as our 2006 carolla. The fit and finish seems to be better & the ride is less noisy and smoother. We have always had great luck with reliability (none of our toyotas required repairs, just oil changes) & I am sure this new purchase will be the same. While I am sure the Impreza, Mazda 3, Ford focus & Chevy Cruze may be zippier and offer more options it is hard for me to give up the feeling that I have a reliable vehicle that will last for years to come. Gave our last toyota to a 17 year old family member.

Gas Mileage


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

Full 2012 Toyota Corolla Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Toyota Corolla receives minor feature revisions, including standard power accessories for the base model and a new sound system for the higher trim levels.


The Toyota Corolla is synonymous with affordability and dependability. Produced for more than four decades and with 33 million sold, it ranks as the best-selling car of all time. But is this enough to get you to buy a 2012 Toyota Corolla? With ever-increasing pressure from newer rivals, the current Corolla might have been caught resting on its laurels.

In the three years since the current-generation Corolla debuted, other automakers such as Chevrolet, Ford and Hyundai have dramatically stepped up their game. As a result, the 2012 Corolla feels comparably outdated and outclassed. From the outside, the Toyota lacks personality and excitement, while inside the hard plastics and dull design give it a definite economy car vibe.

Even in the areas where the Corolla once ruled supreme -- affordability and dependability -- it has been surpassed. While many of its newer rivals are boasting 40 mpg highway fuel economy estimates, the Corolla rates 34 mpg. In terms of dependability, the Toyota is still rock-solid reliable, but other cars have improved to challenge it while also offering longer warranties to reinforce that point.

At the end of the day, we think you can do a lot better than the 2012 Toyota Corolla, and suggest that potential buyers check out the front-running competition first. We rank the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra highly for their sharp designs, welcoming cabins and high fuel economy. Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic and Mazda 3 are also excellent choices that surpass the Corolla in just about every regard.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Toyota Corolla is a five-passenger compact sedan available in L, LE and S trim levels.

Standard features on the base L model includes 15-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, trip computer and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

The LE adds 16-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, cruise control, Bluetooth, steering-wheel audio controls and a six-speaker stereo with iPod connectivity (optional on the L). The S adds foglights, a sport-look body kit, a rear spoiler, upgraded cloth upholstery and metallic interior trim.

Optional on the LE and S is a sunroof that includes an overhead console with map lamps and a sunglasses holder. Also available is a touchscreen navigation system with voice control, satellite radio and Bluetooth streaming audio.

Powertrains and Performance

All 2012 Toyota Corollas are 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, which is a second slower than the class average. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined with the automatic and 27/34/30 with the manual. These numbers are respectable but pale in comparison to newer competitors that are capable of attaining 40 mpg highway.


Standard safety features on all 2012 Toyota Corolla models include stability and traction control, antilock brakes (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, which is a bit longer than average.

In government crash tests, the Corolla received an overall score of four stars (out of a possible five), with four stars for overall frontal-impact safety and five stars for overall side-impact safety. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, the Corolla earned a top "Good" rating in the frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2012 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.

As with 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 2012 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 lackluster performance.

Talk About The 2012 Corolla

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