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A small sedan with a big feature list.

2021 Toyota Corolla Review: Hero | CarMax

The 2021 Toyota Corolla is a compact sedan that's tailor-made for those seeking a comfortable, practical runabout. Part of the 12th generation introduced in 2019, the 2021 Corolla offers a lengthy feature list and plenty of tech to make driving as effortless as possible. If you're looking for a car to tackle everyday driving duties — from the school run and office commute to grocery shopping and other errands — the 2021 Toyota Corolla is an ideal choice.

While we currently do not have many 2021 Toyota Corollas on our lots, we look forward to selling more in the future. If you love the 2021 model, you should also consider prior model years of the Toyota Corolla with similar features.

Here's what you'll learn in this 2021 Toyota Corolla review:

Key Specs & Features

MPG:

  • The 2021 Toyota Corolla with the 1.8L four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, and either the 10-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission gets an EPA-estimated 33 mpg combined.1
  • The 2021 Toyota Corolla with the 2.0L four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission gets an EPA-estimated 32 mpg combined.1 (SE trim and higher)
  • The 2021 Toyota Corolla with the 2.0L four-cylinder engine and 10-speed automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 34 mpg combined.1 (SE trim and higher)

Cargo Space:

2021 Toyota Corolla Review: Trunk | CarMax
  • The 2021 Toyota Corolla sedan has 13.1 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seats.
  • The 2021 Toyota Corolla hatchback has 17.8 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seats.
  • On hatchback models without a spare tire — replaced with a tire-repair kit — the 2021 Toyota Corolla offers up to 23.0 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seats.

Seating Capacity:

2021 Toyota Corolla Review: Front seats | CarMax
  • The 2021 Toyota Corolla seats up to five passengers.
  • The 2021 Toyota Corolla sedan has 88.6 cubic feet of passenger volume.
  • The 2021 Toyota Corolla hatchback has 84.6 cubic feet of passenger volume.
2021 Toyota Corolla Review: Backseats | CarMax

Engine Options:

  • The 2021 Toyota Corolla has a standard 1.8L four-cylinder engine, producing 139 hp and 126 lb.-ft. of torque.
  • The 2021 Toyota Corolla has an available 2.0L four-cylinder engine, producing 169 hp and 151 lb.-ft. of torque. (SE trim and higher)

Tech Features:

2021 Toyota Corolla Review: Cell | CarMax
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane departure warning
  • Seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto integration
  • Automatic climate control (LE trim and higher)

Rankings

The Toyota Corolla has a strong sales history at CarMax. It has been featured in these ranking lists:

5 Reasons to Buy

1. Driver Convenience Features

2021 Toyota Corolla Review: Dashboard | CarMax

For peace of mind and ease of use, the 2021 Toyota Corolla has you covered. Standard driver convenience features include forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and LED headlights designed for excellent visibility in all conditions. The XLE trim adds blind-spot monitoring as standard, and adaptive headlights that swivel as you turn the steering wheel are available on XLE and XSE trims, designed to improve visibility around corners. These features make the 2021 Corolla a great choice for stress-free convenience in your daily driving.

2. Efficient Engine Options

2021 Toyota Corolla Review: Engine | CarMax

The 2021 Toyota Corolla offers a choice of two engines, both of which can help you minimize trips to the pump. The standard engine is a 1.8L four-cylinder, which gets an EPA-estimated 33 mpg combined (automatic and manual transmissions).1 Choose a model with automatic transmission for an EPA-estimated 30 mpg in the city, or the six-speed manual for an EPA-estimated 39 mpg on the highway.1 On the SE trim and higher, you can shop for a model with the 2.0L four-cylinder engine, which gets an EPA-estimated 34 mpg combined (automatic transmission).1

3. Lots of Trims and Features

The 2021 Toyota Corolla offers a great variety of trims, as well as a packed feature list across the entire lineup. Starting with the base L model, you'll get standard features like LED headlights and a seven-inch touchscreen interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. On the LE trim, you'll get automatic climate control, an enhanced eight-inch touchscreen, and a rear-seat USB port. The XLE features blind spot monitoring and heated seats with simulated leather upholstery. With so many options to choose from, it's easy to find a 2021 Toyota Corolla that's tailored to your needs.

4. Sharp Styling

2021 Toyota Corolla Review: Exterior | CarMax

The 2021 Toyota Corolla is a practical vehicle, but it doesn't skimp on style. Sharp lines and curves around the front create an aggressive and eye-catching look, especially when paired with the sporty exterior trim options. The Corolla boasts a selection of eight available colors, ranging from sleek and subtle silvers and whites to more bold and striking tones. All of this makes the 2021 Toyota Corolla a stylish and sophisticated sedan that looks great in any setting.

5. Plenty of Space for Passengers and Cargo

The 2021 Toyota Corolla can seat five passengers comfortably, with room to spare. A total passenger volume of 88.6 cubic feet (84.6 cubic feet on hatchback models) is matched with 42.0 inches of legroom for the front seats and 34.8 inches for the rear seats (29.9 inches on hatchback models). Not only that, but sedan models also offer 13.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, and hatchback models offer 17.8 cubic feet of cargo space. With the 2021 Corolla, you'll have plenty of space for your crew, your groceries, and your day-to-day cargo.


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What You Need to Know

Available Trims

  • L: Includes LED headlights, forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, seven-inch touchscreen, and more.
  • LE: Adds heated side mirrors, automatic climate control, rear-seat USB port, and an eight-inch touchscreen.
  • XLE: Adds blind-spot monitoring, a sunroof, heated front seats, power-adjustable driver seat, remote keyless entry with push-button start, and more.
  • SE: Includes all the LE features, and adds an optional 2.0L four-cylinder engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, and sporty front seats and exterior trim accents.
  • SE Nightshade: Includes all the SE features, plus blackout exterior trim and special 18-inch wheels.
  • XSE: Includes all the features of both the SE and XLE trims combined.
  • Apex Edition: Available on both SE and XSE trims, this edition includes upgraded suspension components, lower ride height, and black and bronze exterior trim elements.

Available Colors

  • Barcelona Red Metallic
  • Black Sand Pearl
  • Blizzard Pearl
  • Blue Crush Metallic
  • Blueprint
  • Celestite
  • Classic Silver Metallic
  • Super White

Interior

  • Seating for up to five people
  • 88.6 cubic feet of passenger volume (84.6 cubic feet on hatchback models)
  • 13.1 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seats (17.8 cubic feet on hatchback models)
  • Standard seven-inch touchscreen display
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration

Average CarMax Prices

The 2021 Toyota Corolla is a newer model year and we currently have a limited number in our inventory. See below for average CarMax prices for previous model years of the Toyota Corolla.2

  • 2012 - Average prices less than $11,0002
  • 2013 - Average prices less than $11,5002
  • 2014 - Average prices less than $13,0002
  • 2015 - Average prices less than $13,5002
  • 2016 - Average prices less than $14,5002
  • 2017 - Average prices less than $15,5002
  • 2018 - Average prices less than $16,0002
  • 2019 - Average prices less than $16,5002
  • 2020 - Average prices less than $18,5002

Similar Model Years

If you like the 2021 Toyota Corolla, check out some previous model years of this vehicle with similar features.

Safety

The 2021 Toyota Corolla received an overall 5/5 rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.

Similar Vehicles

If you're interested in the 2021 Toyota Corolla, you should also check out these similar vehicles from previous model years.

Honda Civic

If you're looking for a vehicle that can tackle daily driving in style, the Honda Civic is a great choice. Fresh from a redesign for the 10th generation in 2016, recent Civic models offer comfort and practicality, with sedan models featuring 15.1 cubic feet of cargo volume in the trunk coupled with 60/40 split-folding rear seats. The 2017-2019 Civic also boasts exciting performance engine options and a six-speed manual transmission. You'll love the Type R trim, packing a 2.0L turbocharged engine generating 306 hp, enhanced brakes and suspension, and a rear wing — all in a family-friendly hatchback.

Standard features across 2017-2019 Honda Civic models include:

  • Automatic climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Rear center armrest with cup holders (EX trim and higher)
  • Lane departure warning and lane keeping assist (standard on 2019 models only)
  • Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking (standard on 2019 models only)

Hyundai Elantra

With a new generation starting in 2017, the Hyundai Elantra is a comfortable, feature-rich sedan that can make your daily commute and city driving a breeze. The Elantra is sophisticated and sleek, with a variety of available engines. If you're looking to minimize trips to the pump, the 2017 Elantra Eco model features a 1.4L turbocharged engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that gets an EPA-estimated 35 mpg combined and 40 mpg on the highway.1 The 2019 Elantra features an exterior refresh and more technology and driver convenience features as standard.

Standard features on 2019 Hyundai Elantra SE and SEL models include:

  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning and lane keeping assist
  • Rearview camera

Kia Forte

The recently redesigned Kia Forte is a sleek, technology-forward sedan. Entering its third generation in 2019, the Forte boasts aggressive styling features and a roomy interior, with 96 cubic feet of passenger volume and 15 cubic feet of luggage volume. On base FE models equipped with the 2.0L four-cylinder engine and continuously variable automatic transmission, the 2019 Kia Forte gets an EPA-estimated 35 mpg combined and 41 mpg on the highway.1

The 2019 Kia Forte offers a packed feature list, culminating in the premium EX trim, which includes:

  • Keyless trunk opener
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control

The Bottom Line

If you're looking for a stylish daily driver that's also practical and convenient, the 2021 Toyota Corolla is a great choice. The Corolla is sleek on the outside and comfortable on the inside, with a wealth of features and tech to make your time behind the wheel as effortless and enjoyable as possible.

Looking to learn more? Check out these related articles:

1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov.
2Based on prices on carmax.com from May 1, 2020 through October 1, 2020. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features, and trim packages. Prices do not include tax, title, tags, and any applicable fees.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.