Used 2013 Toyota Corolla Sedan Review & Ratings | Edmunds

Used 2013 Toyota Corolla Sedan Review

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Edmunds Expert Review of the 2013 Toyota Corolla Sedan

  • Among fresher rivals, the 2013 Toyota Corolla is no longer a class leader. Competitors offer advantages in key areas, and we suggest cross-shopping popular alternatives before making your decision.

  • Pros

    Comfortable ride; simple controls; quiet cabin.

  • Cons

    Unimpressive cabin quality; slow acceleration; mediocre fuel economy; disconnected driving experience.

  • What's New for 2013

    For 2013 the Toyota Corolla receives a few minor changes including a revised grille and an upgraded audio system (with a touchscreen display) for the upper trim levels. This year also brings Special Edition versions of the LE and S trims that boast unique color schemes and added luxury features.

Full 2013 Toyota Corolla Review

What's New for 2013

For 2013 the Toyota Corolla receives a few minor changes including a revised grille and an upgraded audio system (with a touchscreen display) for the upper trim levels. This year also brings Special Edition versions of the LE and S trims that boast unique color schemes and added luxury features.


The Toyota Corolla has long been a top choice for those seeking inexpensive, fuel-efficient and reliable transportation. With more than 33 million sold since the nameplate was introduced 40 years ago, this compact has earned plenty of adoring fans. That's all dandy, but it doesn't make the 2013 Toyota Corolla an automatic choice for today's buyer.

The Corolla's competition is tougher today than it was even just five years ago. Carmakers including Chevrolet, Ford and Hyundai have dramatically stepped up their game in that brief span, and the Corolla feels dated and outclassed compared to the fresher competition. The Corolla's exterior styling also lacks excitement, while the interior similarly disappoints with drab design and unimpressive materials.

The Corolla has even been surpassed in affordability, fuel economy and dependability. While many newer rivals boast 40 mpg highway fuel economy estimates, the Corolla rates 34 mpg. The Toyota's dependability is still rock solid, but some competitors have improved on that score and offer longer warranties to reinforce the point.

A 2013 Toyota Corolla will provide steadfast transportation and low running costs for years to come. But all things considered, we think there are better choices including the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Mazda 3. All offer some combination of more engaging driving dynamics, better overall cabin quality and higher fuel economy.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Toyota Corolla is a five-passenger compact sedan available in L, LE, LE Special Edition, S and S Special Edition trim levels. The Special Editions will be relatively limited in production.

Standard features on the base L model include 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 steel wheels, heated mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, cruise control, Bluetooth, steering wheel audio controls and a six-speaker sound system with a 6-inch touchscreen display, an auxiliary audio jack, iPod/USB connectivity and Bluetooth audio streaming. 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 Premium package that adds a sunroof and upgraded wheels. The Premium interior package for the Corolla LE adds automatic headlights, an eight-way power driver seat, automatic climate control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Also available is a touchscreen navigation system with voice control, satellite radio and smartphone app integration through Toyota's Entune system.

The LE Special Edition features a unique exterior paint color, 16-inch alloy wheels, a navigation system with Entune, a power driver seat, heated front seats and leather upholstery. The S Special Edition also comes with a unique exterior paint color, 17-inch alloy wheels and the navigation system.

Powertrains and Performance

Every 2013 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 transmission is standard and a four-speed automatic is optional.

In Edmunds performance testing, an automatic-equipped Corolla accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 10.1 seconds -- one of the slowest times in the small car class. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined with the automatic and 27/34/30 with the manual -- respectable numbers, but they pale next to newer competitors that achieve 40 mpg on the highway.


Standard safety features 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 2013 Corolla's cabin is a bit dull and the materials quality is uninspiring at best. By comparison, the cabins of the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra feel as if they belong to a more sophisticated market segment. 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 to mind words like "plush" and "La-Z-Boy." The seats lack support, however, so some may find long-distance comfort troublesome. The front seats offer decent 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 wide opening is particularly useful.

Driving Impressions

The 2013 Toyota Corolla's softly sprung ride is perfect for commuting, and wind and road noise are nicely quelled even at highway speeds. Handling is unimpressive, though. Even if you don't profess to be a driving enthusiast, a back-to-back drive between a Corolla and its competitors reveals that the Toyota feels less responsive to driver input and makes you feel less involved with the driving experience.

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

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 33 reviews) Write a Review

2013 s special edition

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Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Corolla S Special Edition 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I bought my car brand new in December 2013 for 21000. Never had any problem with this car before this I had a 328 xi which gave me a lot of problems. The car is small the back seats are not very comfortable but I love the driver seat. It is very comfortable. Navigation is excellent. MPG is excellent. For its class I will give it an A.

My lease is ending & i am thankful it is.

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

To get going on the freeway on-ramp, I literally have to floor it to get my 2013 Corolla LE up to speed of traffic. The shifting of gears jolts my car forward when trying to accelerate and I hate it. If I am going through a yellow light, I am afraid my car won't make it sometimes because of how bad the acceleration is. I also had to get the radio and "sun roof open button" replaced because the white writing was coming off. I only had the car for 1 year when the writing started coming off and they told me not to use hand sanitizer and touch the writing...a bit upsetting. Taking this car on trips is also upsetting because of the space inside. The car is very compact, especially in the front seat (Great trunk space though.) This car is great for a first car, maybe for a new driver, but it was not for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Weak horsepower

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Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this car for my daughter's 16th birthday so that she could take it to college when she is 18 and it is perfect for her. No problems at all. With that being said, my 2005 Sienna was in the shop recently and I had to put my family of 5 in it to go around town in. That put approximately 700 lbs of weight in the car. This car was very sluggish with this much weight in it. It had absolutely no get up and go to it. It is not a family car. My husband who is 5'10" had a really hard time fitting in the car and was very uncomfortable in it. This car is only good for one or two people and that is it.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

Car making noise

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Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I bought my 2013 toyota corolla LE last July. I've had two big problems so far. 1) screeching noise when cold start ( it has been going on for the whole winter) 2) starts from last month ( my car has 3500 miles so far), there has been whistling noise come from the front of my car when I speed up ( with the window open, I can hear very clearly. When the window is closed, I can barely hear it). The noise is really makes me so worried...I'm so scared by car problems.... The reason I bought a new car is because I don't want to have car problem any more...but look at this........... Does anyone has the same car problems as I do?

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

Corolla le plus power windows don't work in cold weather

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Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I have had the 2014 Corolla LE plus for less than two weeks. During that time, anytime the temperature drops below 20 degrees F, the front windows won't come down (open) I took it in for service, but everyone in the dealership I spoke with swore up and down that the same happens in cold weather to their front windows, too. I lodged a complaint with Toyota corporate, but they say they can't do anything about it now.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Great car, great gas mileage...

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Vehicle: 2013 Toyota Corolla S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I've been driving a GMC Sierra as of late, and getting 13-15 mpg, so I really needed something for my drive. I bought the 2013 Corolla S to commute across Phoenix. It drives really nicely. Tight, responsive steering, excellent braking, good acceleration (especially considering it's a 1.8!) and a good looking car. I'm 6'2" and the interior is a little tight for me, but it's not too bad. I just drove to Idaho and back for a funeral, and I averaged 34 mpg. Long hours in the car aren't super comfortable, but overall, for the money, it's a great, zippy little car that gets excellent gas mileage and is pretty fun to drive. AND it's a Toyota, so it's gonna last! I would highly recommend one!

Talk About The 2013 Corolla

Gas Mileage


  • 26
  • cty
  • 34
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Toyota Corolla Sedan in VA is:

$71.50 per month*

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