2016 Toyota Corolla Review
2016 Toyota Corolla Review
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Used Corolla for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- For its size, the Corolla has a lot of rear legroom
- the LE Eco model's high fuel economy
- the infotainment interface has user-friendly controls
- you get a lot of standard equipment for your money
- pleasant ride quality on the highway and in the city.
- Acceleration is slower than its main rivals
- many of the latest accident avoidance features aren't available
- fails to inspire much driving excitement
- L trim comes with an outdated four-speed automatic transmission.
Largely unchanged, the 2016 Toyota Corolla gets updated Entune audio systems and an S Special Edition variant with a number of minor cosmetic upgrades.
If you're looking for a small sedan that competently covers all the basics, the 2016 Toyota Corolla may be just right for you. We've found it doesn't inspire much excitement, but its sensible blend of fuel economy and value are definitely appealing. Take a closer look at the newest Toyota Corolla.
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Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2016 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.35 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Avg. Midsize Car
The Toyota Corolla gets little respect from most car reviewers. It's a soulless appliance, they'll tell you; where's the excitement and flair? But the Corolla is now in its 11th generation. It's been on the market nonstop for almost half a century and ranks as the world's best-selling small sedan. Toyota seems to know more than it gets credit for about its customers and their taste in cars, and the 2016 Corolla is bound to be yet another crowd-pleasing choice.
The 2016 Corolla is the latest in a line of top-selling small Toyota sedans first introduced in the U.S. in 1968.
Many of the current Corolla's strengths can be found inside. The overall design is fresh and brings, dare we say it, a stylish edge to the traditionally staid small sedan class. The interface for the infotainment system is easy to use thanks to clear displays and well-placed controls. We also like the Corolla's rear seat that provides more legroom than many midsize sedans. Add the Corolla's laudable crash-test scores, high fuel economy and exceptionally high resale value and you have all the ingredients for a car that pleases more than it dismays.
Just keep in mind that if you value driver engagement, those reviewers are right -- the Corolla is hardly inspiring from behind the wheel. More dynamic alternatives include the sophisticated and similarly fuel-efficient Mazda 3 and the frugal yet fun-to-drive Ford Focus. Although the Hyundai Elantra isn't that sporty, it offers ample style at an attractive price, and the always-popular Honda Civic and Volkswagen Jetta have been remade into strong all-around contenders. But the Toyota still earns a solid Edmunds "B" rating. Other small cars may steal the headlines, but don't let that distract you from the 2016 Corolla's fundamental competence.
Performance & mpg
The 2016 Toyota Corolla is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that comes in two versions. On every trim level except the LE Eco, it produces 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. The LE Eco's engine is a more efficient version with Toyota's Valvematic variable value timing and also makes a little more power, checking in at 140 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque.
The base Corolla L comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, offering a four-speed automatic as an option. The other trims feature a continuously variable transmission (CVT), although the S Plus can also be ordered with the six-speed manual.
In Edmunds performance testing, a Corolla LE Eco sauntered to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds, comparable to a CVT-equipped Honda Civic but nearly a full second behind the Mazda 3.
EPA-estimated fuel economy varies depending on which Corolla you choose. It checks in at 31 mpg combined (27 city/36 highway) with the four-speed automatic and also 31 mpg combined (28/37) with the six-speed manual. The CVT returns 32 mpg combined (29/38) in the LE and a comparable 32 mpg combined (29/37) in the S. The LE Eco leads the way at 35 mpg combined (30/42) in standard form and 34 mpg combined (30/40) in Plus or Premium trim.
All 2016 Toyota Corollas come standard with stability and traction control and antilock brakes with brake assist. Also standard are front side airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag and a passenger seat cushion airbag. A rearview camera is standard on all trims except the L. Missing, however, are some of the latest accident avoidance features that are increasingly common for small sedans, such as blind-spot monitoring.
Note that most 2016 Corollas get rear drum brakes, with only the S Plus, S Special Edition and S Premium trims upgrading to rear discs. In Edmunds brake testing, a Corolla LE Eco with the rear drums stopped from 60 mph in 130 feet, a longer-than-average result.
In government crash testing, the Corolla earned the top overall rating of five stars, including five stars for frontal impacts and five stars for side impacts. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Corolla its top rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. In the small-overlap frontal-offset test, though, the Corolla received the Institute's second-lowest rating of "Marginal." It also received a "Marginal" rating for ease-of-use of the child seat anchor system. Its seat and head restraint design was rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
The 2016 Toyota Corolla delivers much the same driving experience as its predecessor. Partly, that's down to Toyota's tried-and-true but generally underwhelming 1.8-liter engine. Acceleration is adequate but nothing more. The LE Eco's version gets some tweaks that add a few horsepower, but not enough to make a real difference. We do like the CVT, which has computer-simulated "shifts" to mitigate the typical CVT's constant-rpm drone during acceleration. Skip the archaic four-speed automatic in the base L unless the price is simply too good to pass up.
While it's no road rocket, the 2016 Corolla is a top choice of drivers seeking cars that guarantee comfortable commuting.
The Corolla's handling, too, is familiar. Sporty S-trim touches notwithstanding, there's no playfulness to be found here; instead, attempts at enthusiastic driving in the twisties is met with lifeless steering and pronounced body roll. On the plus side, this is a car that's all about no-hassle commuting comfort, with a quiet, compliant ride. If that describes your daily driving needs, the 2016 Corolla can make the daily grind seem less onerous.
The Corolla's cabin is easily the most interesting one to date. It's clear that designers were given freer rein this time, and the result is a reasonably stylish dashboard, accented by un-Corolla-like flourishes such as a sportily contoured steering wheel and an eye-catching asymmetrical shifter surround. The top priority remains ease of use, so the various audio interfaces employ tried-and-true knobs for volume and tuning, while the LE-and-up automatic climate control system (a welcome luxury in this price bracket) provides a large knob and a few foolproof buttons.
The 2016 Corolla's interior is the most stylish yet, with controls that are both easy to use and easy to access.
Another pleasant surprise is the standard 6.1-inch touchscreen interface, which provides large virtual buttons and simple, clear graphics. The screen responds quickly to inputs, and its feature set is generous for an economy car offering. The available Entune App Suite integrates smartphone-connected services from Bing, Facebook, Yelp and Pandora, among others, as well as real-time traffic data and sports and stock information. Note that getting started with Entune App Suite requires you to install an app on your phone and register for an account.
The Corolla's front seats provide generally adequate comfort, particularly the S trims' better-bolstered chairs, though some may wish for more lumbar support. Also, longer-legged drivers could use more range from the telescoping steering wheel. Thanks in part to a 3.9-inch-longer wheelbase than the previous-generation Corolla, the current car offers considerably more rear legroom than most small sedans, if not a commensurate amount of headroom. The middle rear position is made more hospitable by the nearly flat floor, which lacks the traditional center "hump." Trunk capacity is average at 13 cubic feet, but the wide trunk opening facilitates loading and unloading.
2016 Toyota Corolla models
The 2016 Toyota Corolla is a five-passenger compact sedan available in four main trim levels: L, LE, LE Eco and S. All but the L are further offered in Plus and Premium sub-trims. There's also a limited-production S Special Edition that slots in between the S Plus and Premium models.
Standard features on the base L model include 15-inch steel wheels, LED low-beam headlights with halogen high beams, LED running lights, powered accessories, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with auxiliary controls, a six-way adjustable driver seat and four-way front passenger seat, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth connectivity and an Entune audio system with 6.1-inch touchscreen, voice controls, six speakers, a CD player, a USB port, an auxiliary audio jack and, for iPhone users, the Siri Eyes Free voice control system.
The LE adds 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, keyless entry, metallic cabin accents, cruise control, automatic climate control and a rearview camera. It is eligible for the Entune Plus audio system option, which adds satellite and HD radio and the Scout GPS Link app that displays smartphone navigation on the Corolla's central touchscreen.
The LE Plus adds 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights and eligibility for both an optional sunroof and the Driver Convenience package, which includes the sunroof and adds keyless entry and ignition, a roof-mounted antenna (versus the standard in-glass antenna) and the Entune Premium audio system with an integrated navigation system and Entune App Suite mobile-app integration.
Going with the LE Premium gets you the LE Plus model's standard and optional features plus an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats and Toyota's SofTex premium vinyl upholstery.
The LE Eco starts with the LE's features and adds efficiency-maximizing engine and transmission tuning, 15-inch steel wheels with low-rolling-resistance tires, a rear spoiler and enhanced aerodynamics. The LE Eco Plus gets the LE Plus features and adds special 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome window trim, an Eco driving mode and the same options as the LE Plus. The LE Eco Premium shares the LE Premium's upgrades.
The sport-themed S trim gets you the LE's features plus unique wheel covers, a chrome grille frame, color-keyed mirrors with signal repeaters, a rear spoiler, a chrome exhaust tip, sport front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, a Sport driving mode for the CVT, sport instrumentation and a trip computer.
The S Plus upgrade provides 17-inch alloy wheels, firmer suspension tuning, rear disc brakes (versus the standard drums) and eligibility for the sunroof and Driver Convenience package. There's also a six-speed manual transmission version of the S Plus that loses the paddle shifters (duh) but gets the Driver Convenience package as standard. The S Premium starts with the S Plus equipment and shares the upgrades of the other Premium models.
A limited-production S Special Edition, marking the Corolla's 50th anniversary, starts with the standard equipment of the S Plus with the CVT and adds 17-inch alloys with a special gloss black finish, Special Edition badging, keyless entry and ignition and an all-black interior with red contrast stitching and red accents on the instrument panel. Despite its sporty theme, it won't be available with a manual transmission. The sunroof and Entune Premium audio are stand-alone options on the S Special Edition.
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M)
Bought this car for Ubering. Lots of rear seat leg room and comfy attractive interior is popular with passengers. Ride quality is good. Acceleration is adequate to the task. Not quick, but doesn't feel dangerously slow. Will get out of its own way so to speak. A little thrashy accelerating from a stop, but smooths out and nicely quiet once cruising speed is achieved, though rough road … surface noise is transmitted to the cabin. The radio is great. The touch screen is easy to use and the sound quality is quite good for a car in this price range. It can deal with all 7500 songs on my iPod easily and allows intuitive control from the touch screen. (My Ford Sync radio in my F150 runs out of memory limiting features). Back up camera is nice to have. USB port is nice, allows my iPod to be controlled from the touch screen, but charge rate could not keep up with my Android LG V10 phone running Uber Partner, Sherpa Share and Google Maps. Luckily the 12v socket with a 2.0 charger can, but there is only one. I like the LED headlights, but the high beams are halogen. Fuel economy is as good as advertised, maybe better. Easy to drive, tight turning radius. Being in it for a full day is comfortable too. Overall a great inexpensive competent commuter car with values and features above its pay grade. I am happy with my purchase. Sept. 2017 UPDATE: 39,000 miles later. Replaced the tires. Probably would have gotten 41,000 but the labor day sales were too good to pass up, and the rains are coming. The Corolla continues to soldier on, trouble free. It is an easy car to live with, an easy car to like. I would buy this car again. March 2018 UPDATE, at 47,000 miles. The USB port cannot reliably index 7500 songs on my iPOD. It kept erroring out so I am using an add on Sirius radio instead. I Uber and Lyft less than I was, but the car continues to hold up well. I've had over 2000 passengers and the Corolla soldiers on. I continue to have it serviced it when the service light comes on. Literally nothing has gone wrong on this car. I wish it had more than 1- 12 volt power plug. Telescoping visors would be nice too but I found an aftermarket solution. Average fuel economy has stabilized around 32-34 mpg. Not as good as a hybrid, but you can still buy a lot of gas for the price difference. The newer models have some safety enhancements that would be nice but I still find this car easy to drive, and easy to like. September 2018 54,000 miles The Corolla feels like it will live forever. I've retired from Uber and Lyft so the car is not being driven as much. Fuel economy still averages 33.5 which is better than many cars out there. I will say after 2500 passengers the interior is showing a bit of wear, but considering, it's still looks good. I'm getting antsy for a car with some performance handling and accelleration, but is the expense really worth it when the traffic is generally so bad? So for now I'll keep driving my Corolla. It is still easy to live with, inexpensive to buy, and cheap to own. March 2019 56,000 miles. My last update, I traded it in yesterday. I still say of you are looking for a reasonable reliable and economical to own car that is pretty well made, the Corolla is a good choice. This is my last update.
4 out of 5 stars
Great car! Great value!
LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)
First I want to say thank you to everyone who writes reviews. As a person who doesn't know too much about cars I really relied on the honesty of the consumers to help to choose my new vehicle and here we are :) So I wanted to make sure that I pay it forward and write a review in hopes of helping someone in their car buying decision. Pros: Trusted name, cost/value, mpg, tech features, … safety and handling Cons: Shape of the headlights, on low beams it does limit how far they illuminate ahead especially on hills (but I have gotten used to it after a month) high beams are fine And the middle console is a little smaller than I'm used too (which is really no big deal I just need to stop storing so much junk in my car lol) Overall love this car feels great knowing I didn't have to compromise quality for value and this is an upgrad from my 2002 honda accord.
5 out of 5 stars
Still a Great car for the price!
S Plus 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)
I'm very impressed with the latest generation of Toyota Corollas. The interior styling and quality has vastly improved over previous generations. The handling is very good for an economy 4Dr Sedan and the back seat legroom is fantastic. I'm 6'1" tall and I can sit comfortably in the back seats without my knees hitting the front seats. Head room is not an issue. Visibility is great, the … blind spots are very minor in this car. The S Plus package I purchased comes standard with Bluetooth, voice controls, USB, Back Up camera, paddle shifters, stiffer struts, allow wheels, front fog lights, electronic mirrors + defrost, and a 50/50 cloth/vinyl interior. For the price I think you get an excellent vehicle. This Corolla is about the same size as the Camry, it's not even close to the traditional Corollas of the past. Ride comfort is superb, the seats are very comfortable for long trips. Road noise is fairly low and acceptable, but it's not of course as good as a Lexus or Cadillac. The touch screen radio is intuitive and easy to use/navigate. The climate controls are also basic and easy to use, this is a plus in my opinion. Sure you don't get lots of the latest bells and whistles with this car, such as active parking assist or lane change notifications, but that's not something I care about or want. For the price of this vehicle I'm very impressed, it's a great value. What you get with this car, in my opinion, are the essentials. You get your hands free, you get your keyless entry, you get your HD radio, you get excellent headlights (night visibility), fuel economy, safety, handling, cargo space (big trunk for a small car), and passenger space. On top of it all, you get Toyota Reliability. Parts/maintenance are very low/affordable. Choosing this vehicle was a simple choice for me. The only other vehicle I would consider at this price point is the Mazda 3. They are very close to each other in terms of price and options. But I felt that overall the Toyota offered a better value both in the short and long term. Update: 6/22/2020 The Corolla is still running like a champ. One common issue has arisen, there's an annoying front suspension creak that has developed. It appears to be linked to either the front sway bar end links or lower A-arm bushings. Also, if you own one of these, make sure to service the fluid in the CVT. Toyota claims lifetime fluid (never needs to be changed), but that's bull. My preferred auto-shop recommends 15k fluid service intervals, if you're doing mostly highway/freeway, then 30k should be ok. Another issue I noticed is poor paint adhesion around the front fenders at the hood body line. The Blue Crush Metallic paint is literally flaking off the primer layer. I'm not sure if this is common or not among Corollas with this color, but without a doubt a paint defect. I'm really surprised that Toyota's QA didn't catch this. I would remove half a star if I could because of this.
5 out of 5 stars
Outstanding value for low cost!
LE Eco 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)
This is my first new car in ten years and compared to what was available in it's class back then this car represents an outstanding value for under $20k. All of my Toyotas outlast any other make of car I've had, which has brought me back to Toyota for the Corolla. My preference leans toward great mileage and a taught suspension and the Corolla Eco does not disappoint. I don't need … power since most folks just mosey along in heavy traffic here. What I'm particularly impressed with is the tight and predictable handling of this little car. I've driven a lot of recent model cars, such as the Mazda 3 and 5, Honda Accord, etc and I think the Corolla Eco is the best deal out there. My one complaint is I'm a tall guy and the seat travel isn't quite enough for me. Just 1 inch more would be a huge plus for me. But for short trips I'm not fussing. This car is a pleasure to own and drive. I keep my cars for 10-15 yrs so I'm a very picky buyer. 1yr update: Still very impressed. Good car.
Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 28 City / 37 Hwy / 31 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 13.2 gal. capacity
- 5 seats
- Type: front wheel drive
- Transmission: 6-speed manual
- Inline 4 cylinder
- Horsepower: 132 hp @ 6000 rpm
- Torque: 128 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 3 yr./ 36000 mi.
- Length: 182.6 in. / Height: 57.3 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 69.9 in.
- Curb Weight: 2800 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 13.0 cu.ft.
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover11.8%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More about the 2016 Toyota Corolla
Used 2016 Toyota Corolla Overview
The Used 2016 Toyota Corolla is offered in the following submodels: Corolla Sedan. Available styles include LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), S Plus 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A), LE Plus 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), Special Edition 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), S Premium 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), S Plus 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M), LE Eco Premium 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M), LE Eco 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), LE Eco Plus 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), and LE Premium 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT). 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 2016 Toyota Corolla comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic, 4-speed automatic. The Used 2016 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 2016 Toyota Corolla?
Price comparisons for Used 2016 Toyota Corolla trim styles:
- The Used 2016 Toyota Corolla LE is priced between $11,000 and$22,998 with odometer readings between 6733 and158716 miles.
- The Used 2016 Toyota Corolla S Plus is priced between $14,973 and$21,998 with odometer readings between 29663 and126520 miles.
- The Used 2016 Toyota Corolla L is priced between $13,985 and$21,998 with odometer readings between 18322 and127545 miles.
- The Used 2016 Toyota Corolla LE Plus is priced between $14,498 and$21,998 with odometer readings between 30646 and123590 miles.
- The Used 2016 Toyota Corolla S is priced between $15,590 and$19,999 with odometer readings between 43655 and119518 miles.
- The Used 2016 Toyota Corolla S Premium is priced between $14,998 and$22,998 with odometer readings between 31694 and133683 miles.
- The Used 2016 Toyota Corolla Special Edition is priced between $16,950 and$23,998 with odometer readings between 17697 and116183 miles.
- The Used 2016 Toyota Corolla LE Eco is priced between $13,925 and$22,998 with odometer readings between 19218 and128526 miles.
- The Used 2016 Toyota Corolla LE Premium is priced between $18,998 and$20,998 with odometer readings between 51188 and91907 miles.
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Which used 2016 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) 2016 Toyota Corolla for sale near. There are currently 166 used and CPO 2016 Corollas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,000 and mileage as low as 6733 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 2016 Toyota Corolla.
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Should I lease or buy a 2016 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.