2019 Toyota Corolla Review
2019 Toyota Corolla Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Content Strategist and News EditorThroughout his career, Will Kaufman has been making sure shoppers get the best car for them by creating automotive content, product news, and robust content strategies for the site and social media.
- Comes with a long list of standard convenience and safety features
- Plenty of room inside, especially in the back
- Sport seats remain comfortable after hours of continuous driving
- Acceleration is slow, even for this class
- Most interior materials feel cheap
- Fuel economy isn't great
- rivals achieve the same with more power
- A snooze to drive
- Corolla sedan carries over unchanged from last year
- Part of the 11th Corolla generation introduced for 2014
Toyota has some excellent laurels on which to rest: a history of outstanding reliability and affordability are nothing to sneeze at, as are many of its past and current vehicles of high status. But that doesn't change the fact that it feels like Toyota is resting on its laurels with the 2019 Corolla. The Corolla does a few things well -- offering ample passenger space, comfortable seats, and a suite of standard accident avoidance tech -- but beyond that, the Corolla is a conveyance, and little more.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2019 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 $3.36 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Avg. Midsize Car
That's a problem when the rest of the compact car class has been making such strides in quality, drivability, and technology. Compared to its rivals, the Corolla is slow and dreary to drive, with fuel economy that lags behind class leaders. The interior feels a bit hollow and low buck, and it lacks the easy smartphone integration that's become available in most other compact cars. A smaller-than-average trunk is another issue. Overall, there's not much about the 2019 Toyota Corolla that impresses.
Edmunds' Expert Rating6.5 / 10
The 2019 Toyota Corolla is popular, but quantity does not necessarily equal the best quality available. Though packed with standard features, the Corolla is let down by an outdated powertrain and lackluster interior materials. This car is due for a genuine overhaul.
Trim Levels & Features Advice Module: Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Toyota Corolla (1.8-liter inline-4 | CVT | FWD).
|Overall||6.5 / 10|
Performance has never been a Corolla strong suit, and it still isn't, especially given the current crop of compact cars. The engine hasn't changed since 2009 and the CVT seems conflicted about its identity. If you value an engaging drive, there are better options, including the new Corolla Hatchback.
The aging four-cylinder engine delivers underwhelming acceleration and whines unpleasantly when asked to work. This characteristic is exacerbated by the CVT, which tries to simulate transmission gear changes without success. We needed 10.1 seconds to reach 60 mph, which is quite slow for the class.
Around town, the brakes have a good feel, are smooth and easy to modulate, and don't have the pedal squish that plagues some of the other Toyota models. In our emergency braking tests, the Corolla needed 125 feet to stop, which is slightly longer than average for this segment.
At slow speeds, the steering is light, but it's numb and disconnected. Things begin to improve in Sport mode at higher speeds where there's less assist, better on-center feel, and even some semblance of feedback rounding a corner. Most buyers in this segment will find this adequate.
Without any real sporting intentions, the Corolla exhibits surprisingly tidy handling. There isn't much grip supplied by the all-season tires, but we were surprised by how composed the Corolla remains at a mildly spirited pace, which is more than enough to make it feel lively around town.
The powertrain delivers decent throttle response despite its lack of power and unrefined character. The CVT is a little more fickle in how it adjusts ratios on the fly, but it also simulates gear shifts in certain instances. Putting aside all the aural idiosyncrasies, the Corolla is a decent driver.
The available sport seats on the SE trim provide great support, even if they seem a bit misplaced. There's nothing outstanding about the ride in the Corolla, but we did find the climate control to be more than sufficient in keeping cabin temps in check. The biggest sound ache is self-inflicted.
The SE trim includes sport seats with generous lateral support, and despite its sparse adjustments, the seats proved comfortable during a three-hour drive. Cloth seat center sections provide breathability, which prevented the seats from getting swampy over the longer drive stents.
Ride comfort is no better than average for a compact car. It isn't overly floppy and bouncy, but it transmits bumps like the small car it is. Higher-frequency vibrations are especially prominent, and it doesn't seem like much effort was put into making it ride like a larger car.
Noise & vibration6.5
There's an average amount of road noise, a little more than some and less than others in this class. There's also some wind noise around the mirrors, but not enough to be a nuisance. The biggest noise offender is the engine at full throttle, and not in a good way.
The climate controls are straightforward with a set of three rocker switches in the center for temperature, fan speed and vent control. The auto climate setting works effectively to maintain comfortable cabin temperature. The XSE and the XLE have heated seats.
Slipping in and out of the Corolla's cabin is easy, and once you're in there's ample room to stretch out. All cabin controls are straightforward and the touchscreen is responsive, if not a bit small and oversensitive. Unfortunately, some will find an issue with the lack of steering column extension.
Ease of use7.0
The cabin layout is clear and familiar and doesn't try to be fancy so it's pretty easy to use and figure out. The touchscreen is responsive, but it's easy to inadvertently brush a finger against a control you weren't meaning to, which can be frustrating.
Getting in/getting out8.0
Getting in and out is easy thanks to a low step-over height and wide door openings. Even the rear doors have a good head clearance, which helps minimize the amount of ducking needed to slip into the back seats.
There are few seat adjustments beyond the basics. The steering wheel tilts and telescopes, but the puny amount it extends is laughable. Taller drivers will likely have to compromise legroom to accommodate their reach. The available leather-wrapped steering wheel has a nice ergonomic feel.
There's an abundance of room up front, though the sport seats may feel a little narrow for larger drivers. There's decent headroom in back and 41.4 inches of legroom, which is large for the compact segment, and matches space in many midsize cars. A nearly flat floorpan also aids foot space.
Large front windows and thin pillars in your line of sight make for good forward visibility. Rear visibility is also decent thanks to fairly sizable rear windows and headrests that aren't obstructive. A rearview camera is also standard.
The Corolla lacks in quality feel, especially when compared to Honda, Mazda and Subaru. Hard plastic abounds in most areas, which unfortunately cheapens an otherwise attractive interior design. The seats, infotainment, climate controls and steering wheel look of quality; everything else does not.
Compact sedans aren't sought after for their outstanding utility, but some do a better job of maximizing the space they have. The Corolla isn't one of those cars. While we like the wide trunk opening and split-fold seats, the level change from the trunk prevented us from loading some longer items.
Storage options for small items are average. There's a small tray ahead of the shifter and a relatively small dual-level armrest bin. The door pockets will hold a standard water bottle, but not much else. The glovebox is an average size, and there's no flip-down storage for sunglasses.
The trunk has a fairly wide opening and a broad floor ahead of the rear wheelwells, but at 13.0 cubic feet of volume it's on the lower side of average. The 60/40-split rear seats fold, but there's a pretty significant two-level step up from the trunk floor.
Child safety seat accommodation7.0
Two pairs of LATCH anchors are tucked away somewhat deeply into the rear seat cushions, which doesn't make for easy access. But the upper tethers are located under flip covers and are a little easier to access. The Corolla's generous rear legroom is advantageous when it comes to rear-facing seats.
The Corolla is just average across the board when it comes to technology. The driver aids are standard, but they don't function to the standard of other competitors. Toyota's smartphone integration, through its own proprietary app, is a poor substitute for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Audio & navigation6.5
The audio system’s sound quality begins to get a little fuzzy when you crank up the volume. Navigation comes courtesy of your smartphone after downloading Toyota's Entune app. The screen resolution is sharp, but the glassy piano black surfaces surrounding it are a magnet for fingerprints.
There's a USB connector, and Bluetooth pairs quickly and works well. Toyota provides smartphone integration through its own app called Entune, but unlike in most competitors, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available.
Lane departure/lane keeping assist doesn't operate below 32 mph, though it does a decent job when it is operational. The adaptive cruise control had some trouble maintaining uphill speed and, like Mazda's system, won't bring the car to a stop. Bummer. But this stuff is standard! That's rare.
The voice controls responded well to our commands, but if they don't there is an option to train the system to your voice. Functions are limited to audio and phone calls unless you use Toyota's Entune app. Siri voice will work with a paired iPhone if you hold the button longer.
Which Corolla does Edmunds recommend?
If you're just out for a bargain, the LE Eco trim is your best choice thank to its low cost of entry and improved fuel economy. However, we think the Corolla SE is the pick of the litter. It looks snazzier, has upgraded upholstery and your hands will be gripping a leather-wrapped wheel. Plus, you can get it with a manual transmission, which dodges the drony and annoying CVT, and brings with it some extra features like an upgraded infotainment system and a sunroof.
2019 Toyota Corolla models
The 2019 Toyota Corolla sedan is sold in six trim levels, and all are well equipped. The bargain-priced L comes with notable features that include LED headlights, automatic emergency braking and a touchscreen. The LE costs just a bit more and adds automatic climate control and keyless entry, while the LE Eco has a different engine and aero enhancements for improved fuel efficiency. The SE adds sporty touches, and can be ordered with a manual transmission, which also includes extra features. The XSE and XLE are luxury-themed versions of the SE and LE, respectively.
The base L model has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine (132 horsepower, 128 pound-feet of torque) and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Standard equipment includes 15-inch steel wheels, LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth, a 6.1-inch touchscreen and a six-speaker audio system with a CD player and a USB port. Standard safety systems include a rearview camera, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist (to nudge you back into your lane) and automatic high beams.
The LE adds 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, keyless entry, metallic cabin accents, upgraded upholstery, a rear armrest and automatic climate control.
The LE Eco is the only Corolla with a different engine (140 hp, 126 lb-ft) that, together with aerodynamic enhancements, special 15-inch wheels and tires, and different suspension tuning, results in improved fuel efficiency.
The XLE builds upon the LE's set of features, adding 16-inch alloy wheels, upgraded headlights, LED taillights, bumper-mounted LED daytime running lights, a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, simulated leather upholstery (Toyota's SofTex), a power-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an upgraded driver information display, a 7-inch touchscreen, an app-based navigation system (Scout GPS Link), and satellite and HD radio.
The SE is the sporty Corolla, although we use that term loosely. It starts with the LE's features and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, unique front-end styling, a rear spoiler, steering-wheel paddle shifters (for CVT automatic models), sport front seats, SofTex upholstery with cloth inserts, and a sport-style gauge cluster. Also included are the XLE's upgraded headlights, bumper-mounted LED daytime running lights and leather-wrapped steering wheel. The SE is the only trim that can be had with a manual transmission, which brings with it a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, and the XLE’s upgraded infotainment system.
The XSE has the SE manual transmission's extra features and adds heated front seats, the power driver's seat, the paddle shifters and full SofTex upholstery.
A few options packages are also available. LE and LE Eco models can select the Premium package, which adds 16-inch alloy wheels, bumper-integrated LED running lights and the upgraded infotainment system. A sunroof can be added to this package for the LE. (It's included with the package for the LE Eco.)
The Premium package for SE CVT automatic models includes keyless entry and ignition, a sunroof and the upgraded infotainment system, while XLE and XSE models can opt for an integrated navigation system and smartphone integration via the Entune App Suite.
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
solid choice for compact sedan
2019 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)
Previous car was a VW Jetta. I liked the German feel and the great seats. I was dismayed by the trade in value, however. The Corolla holds its value better. My wife was impressed with the safety technology. This car was easier for me to get in and out of than the Jetta. I think the interior on the LE looks great. Nice two tone dash, and the seats also have contrasting fabrics. I … disagree with reviews that say the interior looks cheap. I am very happy with the way this car drives and handles. Honestly, I do not notice too much difference in driving feel among compact sedans in normal city driving. I don't plan to take this Corolla to the racetrack. Of course, the Corolla is going to be all new in 2020, so wait for that one. Update after 1 year, 9000 miles: My opinion remains favorable. Easy car to drive. Solid car. Update after 12,000 miles: I like driving this car. No complaints at all. Update 2022 after 24,000 miles. I continue to enjoy this car. Zero issues.
4 out of 5 stars
2019 Toyota Corolla XSE SDN
2019 Toyota Corolla XSE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)
Yes it is a fun car to drive, great on gas a tank of gas will last me 2 weeks. But I am very disappointed that there is no sway bar that comes standard on this car when it definitely needs one. Especially when driving on the highway on a windy day this car is all over the road and very sloppy. I complained to a Toyota Dealer and was given a lame excuse from a salesman stating this is … what they made speed limits for. Which I feel is total b S . Toyota does offer one for $300.00 plus a install fee. But my 2019 Corolla is the top of the line XSE model, i feel I shouldn't have to pay for it out of pocket.. They should look into this issue for me...
5 out of 5 stars
After 500mi of driving.
2019 Toyota Corolla SE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M)
So this is an early review after about 500mi driving a new 2019 SE 6MT. I hope to drive this car until the wheels fall off. I got the manual transmission for the reliability and the fact that I've had several Corolla rentals (I travel a lot for work) with the CVT transmission. While I'm sure the Aisin CVT is reliable, the ones I've driven never seem to decide what they want to do; … they rev high sometimes for no reason and it just felt like they weren't tuned properly, including a brand new one I test drove for the heck of it before I bought this one. The SE 6MT has a nice set of features; I wish they made the L or the LE with the manual, as I wound up having to pay for features like a push-button start, moonroof, etc that I wouldn't have paid for if I had the choice, just to get the transmission option I wanted. The car is loud on the highway, but reading reviews on the Firestone tires suggest that they may be to blame, not necessarily the car itself. I look forward to putting a better set of tires on after these wear out and seeing how that affects the noise. For the manual transmission, it took some getting used to (I'm now getting consistent with it). Admittedly, I haven't driven a manual car in about 5 years, but this one was more difficult to grasp than my last manual car. The throttle and clutch are both sort of vague; the throttle pedal has a lot of "slack", meaning you have to depress it a lot to get it to rev above idle, and when it does rev it shoots up quite quickly. Now that I'm getting used to it, it's a lot smoother, but there was a learning curve. If you've never driven a manual transmission before, this might not be the car to learn on. For the interior, I wish there was a USB port that was covered or otherwise shielded from view (e.g. in the center console, or if the area below the climate controls had a cover). Because of this, I can't leave my iPod plugged in like I could on my last car, for fear of break-ins. I also wish the radio volume and tune knobs had light rings around them; they're the only controls that aren't illuminated and they're difficult to find at night (and if you miss them, you'll likely hit a button on the touch screen); a minor annoyance. In all, I'm confident it will be a reliable vehicle and the 6sp manual offers a bit more fun and engagement than the CVT. A lot of reviews give the Corolla a bad rap based on the fact it is "basic" and isn't "fun", listing alternatives such as the Focus or Mazda3. I invite people to check out the rated reliability of both of those cars; we don't necessarily buy a Corolla because we want a fun sporty car; we buy it for the reliability and the practicality. It does both quite well. My driving is about 70/30 highway/city... I'm averaging ~36mpg according to the display. I do have a light foot, but it's still nice for a basic 1.8L engine w/o a turbocharger or direct injection.
5 out of 5 stars
Reliable and easy to drive!
2019 Toyota Corolla SE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)
90k miles and still going strong. The Corolla has a reputation for being very reliable. It’s easy and fun to drive. I test drove four competitors and still came back to this one. Then I drove three different trims of the Corolla just to be sure. The Sport trim is the one that always felt like “my” car, not an awkward loaner. It handles very well on the highway and zips around town … easily. The safety features are standard whereas they were (at the time, in 2019) additional options on similar cars from other brands. **Each trim is very different. ** Upholstery quality is a very noticeable step up with each trim level. Rear cupholders aren’t good unless you get a trim that includes a fold-down center rear seatback. No charging or USB ports for rear passengers. Only one of each in the front. For a commuter like me, these aren’t important issue on most days, but when I’m hauling passengers, it’s an inconvenience on long trips. I have 90k miles on it now and I’ve had it three and a half years. No problems at all. GREAT CAR. Oh... and Toyota includes maintenance for the first 40k miles... free!
Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 28 City / 36 Hwy / 32 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 13.2 gal. capacity
- 5 seats
- Type: front wheel drive
- Transmission: Continuously variable-speed automatic
- Inline 4 cylinder
- Horsepower: 132 hp @ 6000 rpm
- Torque: 128 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 3 yr./ 36000 mi.
- Length: 183.1 in. / Height: 57.3 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 69.9 in.
- Curb Weight: 2840 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 13.0 cu.ft.
Our experts like the Corolla models:
- Pre-Collision System
- Alerts the driver when the car approaches a stationary or slow-moving vehicle too quickly. Automatically applies the brakes if necessary.
- Lane Departure Alert w/ Steering Assist
- Notifies the driver as the Corolla wanders out of its lane and can make small steering adjustments if needed.
- Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Maintains a set distance between the Corolla and the car in front by automatically accelerating and slowing down.
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger4 / 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 2019 Toyota Corolla
Used 2019 Toyota Corolla Overview
The Used 2019 Toyota Corolla is offered in the following submodels: Corolla Sedan. Available styles include LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), SE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), XSE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), XLE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), SE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M), LE Eco 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), and LE Eco w/Premium Package 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 2019 Toyota Corolla comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic. The Used 2019 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 2019 Toyota Corolla?
Price comparisons for Used 2019 Toyota Corolla trim styles:
- The Used 2019 Toyota Corolla LE is priced between $15,998 and$24,998 with odometer readings between 1918 and108750 miles.
- The Used 2019 Toyota Corolla SE is priced between $15,000 and$24,998 with odometer readings between 3574 and114941 miles.
- The Used 2019 Toyota Corolla L is priced between $16,985 and$21,990 with odometer readings between 18849 and89406 miles.
- The Used 2019 Toyota Corolla XLE is priced between $17,998 and$23,998 with odometer readings between 5706 and112915 miles.
- The Used 2019 Toyota Corolla XSE is priced between $21,998 and$25,590 with odometer readings between 13119 and71540 miles.
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Which used 2019 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) 2019 Toyota Corolla for sale near. There are currently 217 used and CPO 2019 Corollas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $15,000 and mileage as low as 1918 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 2019 Toyota Corolla.
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Should I lease or buy a 2019 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.