2013 Toyota Corolla Review

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable ride
  • simple controls
  • quiet cabin.
  • Unimpressive cabin quality
  • slow acceleration
  • mediocre fuel economy
  • disconnected driving experience.
List Price Range
$5,993 - $14,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2013 Toyota Corolla models

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.

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2013 Highlights

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.

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2013 Toyota Corolla.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Great affordable, reliable, commuter car.
kt1204,06/30/2013
S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)
Bought the 2013 Corolla S. I'll admit, it's not a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. If you want that, pay the extra $$$. But, it doesn't claim to be a strong, powerful, luxury sedan. It's a reliable, affordable, sedan that will last for years and years. Perfect commuter for long drives, plenty of power for me.....unless you plan on driving 90 mph +, which I don't. Great gas mileage and this car will continue to pay for itself long after it's time due to how reliable it is. I was surprised that it even came with a "touch screen" sound system for a basic Toyota sedan. Enjoy the gas mileage and buy a luxury car if that's what you want.
So far so good!
jasonmontreal,05/31/2013
L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
I recently replaced a Nissan Versa with the Toyota Corolla. So far, it has been an excellent decision! As the badging of this car is a little different in Canada, the model I bought is the base CE with the available moonroof convenience package. I saw no reason to spend more for the S, as my car has all options I could ever want. It seems that most user reviews mention lack of styling and boring driving experience. I will admit that this is not a sporty car and it does not offer the driving feel of a Mazda 3. However, I don't think the Corolla has ever tried to do anything other than what it does best - being a reliable, safe, comfortable, fuel-efficient and practical way to get around.
Better then the Elantra
lysandra25,03/05/2013
S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)
If this helps in anyway, i had a new 2012 elantra which needless to say sucked. Yea all it has on this car is probably fuel economy and modern interior, but corolla hands down beats the elantra bc of the QUALITY. Toyotas are way more dependable and this car is sturdy and i love it. My old car for a brand new car actually had loose wire issues so i brought it to the dealer 4 times for numerous issues. ( getting stuck in park/ drive). Suspension sucks as well, car slips alot. Can barely go over 60 on the highway over few bumps with out noticing slips . So to me corolla s is AWESOME! No slips..great suspension, very comfortable to me and i dont have to worry which is the best peace of mind :)
Great buy
Kody,03/13/2016
L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
Great car overall great on gas and low maintenance car. Not top quality but overall a great gas car.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover12.1%
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 Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2013 Toyota Corolla

Used 2013 Toyota Corolla Overview

The Used 2013 Toyota Corolla is offered in the following submodels: Corolla Sedan. Available styles include LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A), S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A), L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A), LE Special Edition 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A), S Special Edition 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A), S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M), and L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M). Pre-owned Toyota Corolla models are available with a 1.8 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 132 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2013 Toyota Corolla comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2013 Toyota Corolla comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 2 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2013 Toyota Corolla?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 Toyota Corolla trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 Toyota Corolla LE is priced between $7,900 and$14,000 with odometer readings between 41089 and131552 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Toyota Corolla L is priced between $6,954 and$11,981 with odometer readings between 76077 and243404 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Toyota Corolla S is priced between $7,995 and$14,995 with odometer readings between 59971 and189562 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Toyota Corolla LE Special Edition is priced between $5,993 and$5,993 with odometer readings between 228267 and228267 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2013 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) 2013 Toyota Corolla for sale near. There are currently 22 used and CPO 2013 Corollas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $5,993 and mileage as low as 41089 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned 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 Used 2013 Toyota Corolla.

Can't find a used 2013 Toyota Corollas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota Corolla for sale - 3 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $25,659.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 12 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $11,150.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Corolla for sale - 3 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $19,664.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 2 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $19,781.

Should I lease or buy a 2013 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.

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