2012 Toyota Corolla Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2012 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 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 132 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 27/34 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • 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.

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.

Introduction

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 As a result, the 2012 Corolla feels comparably outdated and outclassed.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.

Safety

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.

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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Great little car

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

I just purchased a certified pre-owned 2012 Toyota Corolla S with 30k miles on it. The exterior is very sporty and sexy and the seating is extremely comfy even for myself who has a bad back. The lumbar support is awesome. The ride is smooth and the electric steering needs a little getting used to but it turns well and has a tight turn radius. The transmission shifts smoothly and quietly. It only has 132 HP but it suits us fine for just driving around town and back and forth to work and I average 33.6 MPG with the 4 speed automatic transmission.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

I love my corolla!

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Toyota Corolla S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

For someone on a budget that wanted a "new" car, the Corolla fit the bill perfectly. The cost of ownership is extremely low. Almost zero maintenance required throughout its life. The interior is relatively spacious for such a small car. I don't find anything to feel "cheap" though almost everything is plastic. My interior is black so maybe that helps make it look more classy. The ride quality is superb. The cabin is QUIET and the car soaks up most large bumps. Mine is a 5-speed so maybe that helps with the fun factor. I also have the S model (black exterior) which really improves the car's appearance. I'm VERY happy with my purchase! Don't let these bad reviews put you off!!



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Good on gas, horrible build

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

I bought this car to get out of my gas guzzler of an SUV in a highlander. I was happy when I bought it but my tires and rims were stolen 3 days later and that just ruined my whole experience with this car. It's great on gas, $30 bucks gets you a full tank and over 350 miles in range. This is an point A to point B car, no more. This car gets no turning heads, jealous looks, except maybe from gas guzzling truck and SUV owners, but that's it. This start to fall apart with the cheap plastics and I had to snap them back into place every single time I got into this car, horrible build quality. Seats were really comfortable for cloth seats.




Average

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

The car replaced my 25 year old car that was starting to have some expensive issues. I got a really good deal on a lease for this car, but I have found myself wishing for my older car back. the quality of this car is inferior to my older car. It's appearance is average. There is velcro visible on either side of the dashboard. The doors are block with styrofoam painted black. You can not only hear the road as clear as day, but you can feel every bump. I am also very disappointed in the gas mileage. It is not a great improvement over my older car. The check up was a quick thing and they didn't replace the dollar store windshield wipers that came with the car. Can't really recommend it.




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!



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

20 k in 8 mos

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Toyota Corolla L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

Test drove the Elantra, Mazda 3, Sonata, Fusion, and the Mazda 6 before going Corolla again. Eight months old and just hit 20K on the odometer for my '12 base model. The car has zero issues, and is a great commuter with occasional long trips. My other Corolla is a '03. As it should be the '12 is noticeably quieter, comes with ESC and ABS not on the '03. Its basically same engine, but '12 seems tuned for more power -- as the '03 would have noticeable power drop when using AC. Even with more power, regularly getting 33 to 35 average MPG on each tank full on the 2012.



Talk About The 2012 Corolla

Read more about the 2012 Toyota Corolla

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 27
  • cty
/
  • 34
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Reliability

Identifix Reliability Ratings

Rating unavailable for this vehicle

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