The Corolla is the second oldest model that is still in production by Toyota. This compact sedan was first offered in the United States in 1968 and has been a staple offering from Toyota since. The Corolla is only offered in one body style and that is the sedan. There have been other offshoots from the main style like the Matrix, but the Corolla has always offered a standard sedan form and nothing else. This vehicle offers a very safe vehicle that has made it a big hit for parents looking for a first car for their children.

The standard 1.8 liter engine offers 132 horsepower and there is an optional upgrade to a larger 2.4 liter engine that gives 158 horsepower. The transmission options for the Corolla are either a 5 speed automatic or a 5 speed manual. The Corolla is a basic entry level sedan that offers a lot of value and high safety standard. It starts off at only $15,450. The Corolla is fairly fuel efficient as well, offering 35 MPG on the highway.

Body styles: Sedan
Engines: 1.8L I-4, 2.4L I-4
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic, 5-speed manual, 5-speed automatic
Models: Base, S, LE, XLE, XRS

The Corolla just underwent a major upgrade for the 2009 model year, so there isn’t much new for the 2010 Corolla, save for the addition of standard traction control across the range.

The Toyota Corolla last received a restyle for the 2009 model year, which didn’t look like a significant difference over the previous generation. This is not the type of car that is going to make you stand out from the crowd. The XRS model adds a body kit, sport-tuned suspension, and 17-inch wheels.

The Corolla’s standard options are fairly competitive within the compact segment, with a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, four-speaker audio system, two 12-volt power ports, and two cupholders. The back seat is roomy; so is the trunk, which is cavernous for the segment. Cruise control is standard on the XRS, but optional for the rest of the lineup.

The XRS’s 2.4-liter pulls the Corolla to 60 mph in a decent 7.8 seconds, and it’s also relatively efficient with a 30 mpg highway number. The downside though with the XRS is its sport-tuned suspension creates a rougher ride than the rest of the lineup. There is also more than a fair amount of body roll, and stability/traction controls are intrusive.

Dual front airbags, driver and front passenger side airbags, and side curtain airbags are standard. So are stability control, traction control, and ABS with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.

Base, S, LE, XLE: 26 mpg city/34-35 mpg highway
XRS: 22 mpg city/30 mpg highway

  • Roomy interior
  • Excellent value
  • Huge trunk
  • Rough ride in XRS
  • Slow steering
  • Bland style

Reliable, affordable, comfortable


  • Honda Civic
  • Ford Focus
  • Mazda3
  • Nissan Sentra

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