2021 Toyota Corolla

What’s new

  • New Apex Edition with sport suspension and available summer tires
  • Android Auto compatibility is standard
  • New rear-seat side airbags for Corolla sedan
  • Automatic engine stop-start feature
  • Part of the 12th Corolla generation introduced for 2019

Pros & Cons

  • Long list of standard advanced safety features
  • Easy-to-use controls
  • Comfortable ride quality
  • High fuel economy
  • Slow acceleration
  • Too much road noise on the highway
  • Less rear headroom than most rivals
MSRP Starting at
$19,825

Save as much as $3,010
Incentive offers available
Select your model:

2021 Toyota Corolla Review

Toyota redesigned the Corolla last year, giving this typically competent but dull small sedan a much-needed upgrade. The new Corolla gained a considerable amount of style without losing the high levels of comfort and efficiency it's known for.

Changes are few for the 2021 Toyota Corolla. The biggest one is the new Apex Edition. This trim level's upgraded suspension, as well as optional sticky summer performance tires, should liven up the Corolla's handling. Overall, the Corolla is worth considering alongside other top-rated rivals such as the Honda Civic, Kia Forte and Mazda 3.

Edmunds’ Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team

Our verdict

7.4 / 10
The Toyota Corolla is a smart pick in the small sedan class. We give it high marks for its smooth ride comfort, high-quality interior, and comprehensive list of advanced safety features. Holding it back is a smaller-than-average trunk and slow acceleration.

How does it drive?

7.0
Acceleration is a bit underwhelming for the class (0-60 mph took 8.8 seconds in our testing), which means you'll likely be flooring the pedal when getting onto highways. Passing slower traffic requires a little extra planning and a heavy foot. Emergency braking performance is adequate, however, and braking force is easy to control for smooth stops.

We tested the Corolla XSE, which is supposed to be the sporty trim level. Alas, we quickly discovered that it's not that sporty. It leans a lot when you go around turns, and its tires don't offer much grip. But as a routine daily driver, the Corolla does just fine. It's easy to maneuver around town, and the operation of its continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is generally unobtrusive.

How comfortable is it?

7.0
The Corolla's ride quality is smooth over a variety of road surfaces, and the front seats are comfortable.  Whether you're tall or small, there are enough adjustments and sufficient range within those adjustments to find your preferred position. We do prefer the cloth seats since they breathe better than the available simulated leather on hot days.

Road noise is ever present. It gets so loud on the highway that you'll have to crank the stereo to overcome it. The engine sounds labored under hard acceleration, but the continuously variable transmission's simulated gear changes help reduce the droning sound that is otherwise typical for a CVT.

How’s the interior?

8.0
The Corolla's interior benefits from a simple, easy-to-use layout. The controls are right where you want them and are logically grouped. The number of buttons is sensible, with just enough to be useful but not so many that it looks cluttered.

It's also easy to get in and out of the car. Front passengers have plenty of room, and the driver has clear sight lines to both the front and rear. Seating for rear passengers is tighter, especially with regard to headroom. Adult occupants' heads might be close to the roof. The Honda Civic is better in this respect.

How’s the tech?

7.5
Toyota's recent infotainment systems have never managed to win us over, but this latest version is a marked improvement. That said, it's still not as intuitive or visually appealing as rival systems. Thankfully, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now both standard.

Many advanced safety features are included as part of the standard Toyota Safety Sense suite, and almost all are well tuned to be as unobtrusive as possible. The lane departure warning system is the outlier, and it can be oversensitive and annoying with its frequent beeping. The adaptive cruise control is praiseworthy for its smooth braking and acceleration.

How’s the storage?

7.5
The Corolla has a slightly smaller trunk (13 cubic feet) than its primary competition. And it should still be enough for typical use. Unfortunately, the rear seatbacks don't fold flat with the trunk floor, which could complicate loading longer and bulkier cargo.

Storage for personal items is also on the small side. There are just enough places for your phone and the like, but many competitors give you more. On the plus side, there seems to be ample space for infant and child safety seats. The clearly marked car seat anchors should help with installation.

How economical is it?

8.5
The EPA rating for the Corolla XSE with the 2.0-liter engine and CVT automatic (the car we tested) is 34 mpg in combined driving (31 city/38 highway). That's a strong showing from what is the most powerful engine in the Corolla lineup. On our 115-mile evaluation route, the Corolla easily exceeded that estimate, returning an impressive 40.2 mpg.

The less powerful 1.8-liter engine is rated at 33 mpg combined. For the ultimate in mileage, check out the Corolla Hybrid.

Is it a good value?

7.5
The Corolla is competitive against the top entrants in the small sedan class. The cabin is upscale and is solidly put-together. Toyota's reputation for reliability figures into most shoppers' decisions, but there are other aspects to consider. You also get two years of free scheduled maintenance, which is unusual in this class.

Wildcard

7.5
The latest Corolla brings a fresh and modern style without unnecessary trinkets and vents. It's also more enjoyable to drive than before, but other sedans in the class are noticeably more entertaining. The overarching themes are capability and competence.

The sleek and modern styling of this current generation makes the previous Corolla seem generic by comparison. The more aggressive body treatments for the XSE trim make it even more attractive.

Which Corolla does Edmunds recommend?

The Corolla is a model of affordability and efficiency. But for a small price increase over the base L or LE trim level, we'd take the SE trim. We like the more powerful engine and its longer list of standard features. It also gives you more flexibility for adding options.

Toyota Corolla models

The 2021 Corolla is offered in five main trim levels: the L, LE, XLE, SE and XSE. In addition, there's also the SE Nightshade and the new-for-2021 Apex Edition. All Corollas are front-wheel-drive.

Some options, such as an upgraded audio system, keyless entry and rear cross-traffic alert, are bundled in packages for several trim levels. Toyota's Safety Sense 2.0 suite of driver aids, which includes lane departure warning and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, is standard. Feature highlights include:

L
Starts you off with:

  • 139-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT)
  • LED headlights
  • 15-inch wheels
  • Power door locks
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility

All Corollas also come with:

  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
  • Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the Corolla and the car in front)

LE
Adds a few more features, with:

  • Heated side mirrors
  • Automatic climate control
  • USB port for rear passengers
  • 8-inch touchscreen

XLE
Adds a few premium features:

  • Upgraded LED headlights
  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Remote keyless entry with push-button start
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Sunroof
  • Upgraded driver information display
  • Heated front seats
  • Power-adjustable driver's seat
  • Simulated leather upholstery

SE
Has the LE's features but with:

  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (169 hp, 151 lb-ft)
  • Available six-speed manual transmission
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Sportier exterior trim accents
  • Sport front seats

SE Nightshade
Offers unique styling with:

  • Blackout exterior trim
  • Unique 18-inch wheels

XSE
Combines the SE and XLE's feature upgrades

Apex Edition
Adds sporty performance to SE and XSE trims with:

  • Upgraded suspension components
  • Lower ride height
  • Optional summer performance tires
  • Black and bronze exterior trim

Some of the features that come standard on the higher trims can be ordered as options on the lower trims. A premium JBL sound system is optional on the XLE, SE and XSE trims, and adaptive headlights (swivel as you turn the steering wheel for better illumination in curves) are optional on the XLE and the XSE.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Toyota Corolla.

5 star reviews: 86%
4 star reviews: 14%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%
Average user rating: 4.9 stars based on 7 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

  • appearance
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • fuel efficiency
  • value
  • spaciousness
  • safety
  • seats
  • interior
  • comfort

Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars, New 2021 Corolla
Ken Franck,
LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

A very beautiful sporty car. Have owned Corollas for the past 35 years. They are the most cost efficient reliable car on the road. Now finally very sporty also.

5 out of 5 stars, 7 times a winner
NancyD,
LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

It has class and style and I feel safe in it. It is roomy and comfortable

5 out of 5 stars, Rolling Rolla
Satisfied Key,
LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

Great running car, good on gas have alot of nice features.

5 out of 5 stars, Best car of the year
Luis,
LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

This is the best car I ever have. I will love this car until the rest of my life.

Write a review

See all 7 reviews



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Features & Specs

LE 4dr Sedan features & specs
LE 4dr Sedan
1.8L 4cyl CVT
MSRP$20,275
MPG 30 city / 38 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Horsepower139 hp @ 6100 rpm
See all for sale
SE 4dr Sedan features & specs
SE 4dr Sedan
2.0L 4cyl CVT
MSRP$22,275
MPG 31 city / 40 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Horsepower169 hp @ 6600 rpm
See all for sale
XSE 4dr Sedan features & specs
XSE 4dr Sedan
2.0L 4cyl CVT
MSRP$25,725
MPG 31 city / 38 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Horsepower169 hp @ 6600 rpm
See all for sale
L 4dr Sedan features & specs
L 4dr Sedan
1.8L 4cyl CVT
MSRP$19,825
MPG 30 city / 38 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Horsepower139 hp @ 6100 rpm
See all for sale
See all 2021 Toyota Corolla features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite Corolla safety features:

Pre-Collision System
Warns if a front collision is imminent and applies the brakes if you don't respond in time.
Lane Departure Alert w/Steering Assist
Warns if you are drifting out of your lane and corrects the steering if you don't respond in time.
Automatic High Beams
Activates high beams automatically on dark roads and deactivates them when the system detects an oncoming vehicle.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Side Barrier RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
DriverNot Rated
PassengerNot Rated
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front SeatNot Rated
Back SeatNot Rated
RolloverRating
Rollover4 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover10.5%

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact Test
Good
Roof Strength Test
Good
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
Good
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test
Good

Toyota Corolla vs. the competition

Toyota Corolla vs. Honda Civic

Just like the Corolla, the Civic has a roomy interior, many standard driver safety features, and a comfortable ride. The main advantage to picking the Civic is its stronger turbocharged engine. Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Honda Civic.

Compare Toyota Corolla & Honda Civic features

Toyota Corolla vs. Mazda 3

The Mazda 3 has the style and premium feel you'll find in sedans costing twice as much. Sporty handling is another high point for the Mazda. Compared to the Corolla, however, it lacks rear legroom and has lower fuel economy.

Compare Toyota Corolla & Mazda 3 features

Toyota Corolla vs. Hyundai Elantra

Value has always been a strength of the Hyundai Elantra, and the current model is packed with features. You also get a longer warranty than you do with the Corolla. But in general the Elantra isn't as smooth and easy to drive.

Compare Toyota Corolla & Hyundai Elantra features

Related Corolla Articles

FAQ

Is the Toyota Corolla a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Corolla both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.4 out of 10. You probably care about Toyota Corolla fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Corolla gets an EPA-estimated 32 mpg to 34 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Corolla has 13.1 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Toyota Corolla. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 Toyota Corolla?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Toyota Corolla:

  • New Apex Edition with sport suspension and available summer tires
  • Android Auto compatibility is standard
  • New rear-seat side airbags for Corolla sedan
  • Automatic engine stop-start feature
  • Part of the 12th Corolla generation introduced for 2019
Learn more

Is the Toyota Corolla reliable?

To determine whether the Toyota Corolla is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Corolla. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Corolla's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 Toyota Corolla a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Toyota Corolla is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 Corolla and gave it a 7.4 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Corolla is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 Toyota Corolla?

The least-expensive 2021 Toyota Corolla is the 2021 Toyota Corolla L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $19,825.

Other versions include:

  • LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $20,275
  • SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $22,275
  • XSE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $25,725
  • L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $19,825
  • XLE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $24,225
  • SE Nightshade 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $22,975
  • SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M) which starts at $22,975
Learn more

What are the different models of Toyota Corolla?

If you're interested in the Toyota Corolla, the next question is, which Corolla model is right for you? Corolla variants include LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT), XSE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT), and L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT). For a full list of Corolla models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Toyota Corolla

2021 Toyota Corolla Overview

The 2021 Toyota Corolla is offered in the following submodels: Corolla Sedan. Available styles include LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT), XSE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT), L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), XLE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), SE Nightshade 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT), and SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M).

What do people think of the 2021 Toyota Corolla?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Toyota Corolla and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Corolla 4.9 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Corolla.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Toyota Corolla and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Corolla featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Toyota Corolla?

2021 Toyota Corolla SE Nightshade 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

The 2021 Toyota Corolla SE Nightshade 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $23,970. The average price paid for a new 2021 Toyota Corolla SE Nightshade 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is trending $2,880 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $2,880 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $21,090.

The average savings for the 2021 Toyota Corolla SE Nightshade 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is 12% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 7 2021 Toyota Corolla SE Nightshade 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2021 Toyota Corolla SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

The 2021 Toyota Corolla SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $23,270. The average price paid for a new 2021 Toyota Corolla SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is trending $2,800 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $2,800 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $20,470.

The average savings for the 2021 Toyota Corolla SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is 12% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 74 2021 Toyota Corolla SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2021 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

The 2021 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $21,270. The average price paid for a new 2021 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT) is trending $2,634 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $2,634 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $18,636.

The average savings for the 2021 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT) is 12.4% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 282 2021 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2021 Toyota Corolla SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

The 2021 Toyota Corolla SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $24,219. The average price paid for a new 2021 Toyota Corolla SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M) is trending $3,010 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $3,010 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $21,210.

The average savings for the 2021 Toyota Corolla SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M) is 12.4% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 4 2021 Toyota Corolla SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

Which 2021 Toyota Corollas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Toyota Corolla for sale near. There are currently 988 new 2021 Corollas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $21,230 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Toyota Corolla. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $3,618 on a used or CPO 2021 Corolla available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2021 Toyota Corollas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Toyota Corolla for sale - 10 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $13,216.

Find a new Toyota for sale - 8 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $23,563.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Toyota Corolla?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Toyota lease specials