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2013 Toyota Corolla

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The 2013 Toyota Corolla is the grandfather of the Toyota line; first coming out in 1966, it is in its eleventh generation of production. In 1997, it became the best-selling vehicle in the world, surpassing the Volkswagen Beetle. To date, more than 39 million Corollas have been sold worldwide and the 2013 Toyota Corolla is carrying on that tradition with pride.

The redesigned Corolla is perfect for first-time drivers and drivers who need a tight turning radius. The smaller exterior dimensions and electronic steering make it more maneuverable than previous models. Sales have dropped steadily from 2006 to 2011, but that could lend more weight to the world economy than to the quality of the 2013 Toyota Corolla. On the other hand, as they say in the sales profession - numbers don't lie.

Expert Reviews

Despite being the best-selling automobile of all time, the Corolla doesn't go a long way toward impressing the experts. "The Corolla's reputation is built on legendary longevity, low fuel consumption and high resale value. But has Toyota become complacent with it? Despite a major refresh in 2011 and new grille trim for 2013, placed next to a Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra or Chevy Cruze, the Toyota Corolla looks frumpy and plain." (Kelley Blue Book)

"The Corolla is a good small sedan, although it is rather bland. The 1.8-liter engine is relatively quiet and responsive. By the standards of the small-car class the Corolla has a comfortable ride. Handling is sound and secure. The interior is put together well, although hard plastic panels and trim are abundant. We got a very impressive 32 mpg overall in our test of the 1.8-liter equipped with both automatic and manual transmissions, one of the most frugal among non-hybrids or non-diesel sedans." (Consumer Reports)

Across the board it seems like the Corolla has fallen from favor in expert testing. "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." (Edmunds) Although it does have its detractors, the comfortable ride, simple controls, and quiet cabin should still draw interest from economy shoppers looking for reliability.

Owner Reviews

As for the owners of the 2013 Toyota Corolla, the reviews are somewhat mixed. "This one has great improvements. Love the rear design. Front also got a great face-lift compared to the last design, in my opinion. I am disappointed in the interior design, or better said the lack of it. I expected a better interior for type S. But hey, this isn't a luxury car, a great daily driver!" (Owner review taken from Kelley Blue Book)

Not all the reviews are full of so much praise. "There is very little power and the steering makes it completely dull to drive. I have to say, for the price I am very disappointed in this car. This will be my last Corolla purchase unless some major changes are made." (Owner review from Kevin Martin, Tampa Bay, FL) Those changes, according to owner reviews, need to come in the braking power, engine power, and fuel economy.

"The handling of the car is foamy at best. The steering wheel feels disconnected. I believe in comfort but when it comes at the expense of not having confidence that the car will make the turn at highway speed, it is not pretty." (Owner review taken from Kelley Blue Book) Those sentiments seem to be echoed throughout. Among the main negatives listed for the new Corolla are the brakes, the steering, and the poor materials quality. The positives are the comfort and spaciousness of the interior.


The 2013 Toyota Corolla comes in three separate trim levels - L, LE, and S. The base model is the L trim level, with standard features including full power accessories, air conditioning, keyless entry, height-adjustable driver's seat, a 60/40-split rear folding seat, and a four-speaker sound system with CD player and auxiliary jack.

The LE adds some extra flavor to the mix with heated outside mirrors, cruise control, Bluetooth, steering wheel audio controls, intermittent wipers, and a six-speaker sound system with six-inch touchscreen display. The top-end S trim level includes all of the above and adds foglights, upgraded upholstery, a rear spoiler, and sport body kit.

The LE and S trims also offer a Premium package that offers upgraded wheels and the sunroof. The interior portion of the package includes automatic headlights, climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, eight-way adjustable power driver's seat, and a touchscreen navigation control with voice control, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and Toyota's Entune system with smartphone app integration.


The interior of the Corolla follows in much the same path as its exterior looks, bland and uninspiring. The dashboard is riveted with hard plastics and dull colors. It features a double-eye display with the speedometer on the right and the rpm gauge on the left. Smaller fuel and temp gauges reside just to the outside of the larger gauges. Temperature control knobs are large and easily accessible. The radio is well placed but the buttons are a bit on the small side. Owners would be better suited to go for the steering wheel radio controls.

The seats are soft and plush but lack the support necessary to be comfortable on longer road trips. Material quality is less than spectacular throughout the cabin. The front seats offer an ample amount of room, which is a new perk for the compact sedan segment, and it extends to the back seats which also offer a roomy setting for passengers.

Trunk space is average at 12.3 cubic feet, but the wide opening will appeal to many owners who like to haul wider objects like golf bags, sports equipment, and other hefty cargo. There are two cup holders situated directly behind the gear shifter. Although they are not adjustable, they are deep enough to not have the worry about your drink flying out of the holder on a sharp turn.


If you're looking for an economical daily commuter, then the Corolla may be right up your alley. If you're looking for something fun to drive, on the other hand, you're probably going to want to look elsewhere. It carries a 1.8L four-cylinder engine that pushes 132 horses and 128 ft.-lbs. of torque. It may sound like a lot for a small car but those horses are very old and tired. The Corolla will hit 60 mph from a dead stop in just over 10 seconds. This is not a good time, even for the compact segment.

The EPA estimates fuel economy to be 26/34 mpg, which are numbers that are backed up by current owners. The Corolla comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission but that can be upgraded to a four-speed automatic. Neither one helps the performance as it seems like it's straining under passing or climbing conditions. Steering feels numb and make sure you give yourself plenty of space for stopping as braking power is not the best.

Body motion is relatively well controlled, even on hard corners, but don't take those corners too fast as the tire grip isn't the greatest. Wind noise is kept to a minimum and while the engine does lack power, it remains smooth and quiet. Really, performance is not where the Corolla finds its strength. Suspension, powertrain, and steering are all lacking, even if your expectations are low.

Safety & Reliability

If there is a bright spot for the 2013 Toyota Corolla it is in the area of safety. Though its braking performance is subpar, it received the highest score of Good in all Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it an overall rating of four out of five stars, but it did receive a perfect score of five stars in side crash tests.

There are currently no recalls and reliability is the brightest spot of all for the 2013 Corolla. J.D. Power and Associates rates it at 4.5 out of 5 in safety and reliability testing. The standard warranty is only for the regular 3-years/36,000 miles, but the powertrain is warranted for 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Trim Engine Drive Train MSRP
L 4dr Sedan 5M 4 Cylinder FWD 16230
L 4dr Sedan 4A 4 Cylinder FWD 17060
LE 4dr Sedan 4A 4 Cylinder FWD 18180
S 4dr Sedan 5M 4 Cylinder FWD 18230
S 4dr Sedan 4A 4 Cylinder FWD 19060
LE Special Edition 4dr Sedan 4 Cylinder FWD 20550
S Special Edition 4dr Sedan 4 Cylinder FWD 20550

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