Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • 12 Best Family Cars of 2014
  • 10 Most Affordable Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000
Go

2009 Toyota Corolla

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2009 Toyota Corolla Review

By

The original Toyota Corolla, a small rear-drive subcompact, arrived in the United States in the late 1960s; by the 1970s the second-generation version was the best-selling import in the country and new Corollas have followed every four or five years since. This stylish tenth-generation Corolla arrives for 2009 as slightly longer, lower and wider and with significant engineering improvements. The Corolla has grown over time, both in size and in features, with each generation being better than the one that went before, and the 2009 model certainly maintains that standard. But it's in a market segment with some very tough, excellent competition, from Japan, Korea and the United States, and smart buyers have lots of choices for their automotive dollars. As with many Toyota products, expected strengths of the Corolla should be long-term reliability, great fuel economy, a pleasant ownership experience and excellent resale value.

You'll Like This Car If...

If your vehicular preference is for a modest but fuel-efficient and (presumably) reliable compact sedan from a trusted Japanese brand, this may be an excellent choice.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you want efficiency and practicality combined with a touch more style and driving excitement, you may prefer a somewhat livelier competitor such as Honda's Civic, Nissan's Sentra, Chevrolet's Cobalt or Ford's new Focus. There are also less expensive compacts available, especially from Korean makers Hyundai and Kia.

What's New for 2009

This new Corolla sedan, available in five "grades" from base to sporty and the more powerful XRS, is a better-looking car than the plain-Jane previous generation. It's also quieter and slightly roomier, achieves better fuel economy with its standard 1.8-liter engine and offers better performance and handling in 2.4-liter XRS trim.

Driving the Corolla

Driving Impressions We found the lesser Corolla models to be perfectly acceptable if not outstanding. Their performance is adequate with the five-speed manual, less so with the automatic. Their brakes are strong...

and fade-free, their ride is good and their handling better than previous Corollas but not up to some of the best of the competition. We would prefer more feel than is transmitted through the electric power steering, and a higher level of interior materials. The top-of-the-line XRS has much more in the way of sporty looks, handling dynamics and get-up-and-go performance. With larger tires and wheels, structural enhancements and more tightly-tuned steering, it gets around corners more smartly without much sacrifice in ride and will accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in just less than nine seconds. It's sprightly, but not as quick as some of the higher-performing small cars, such as the Honda Civic Si or Chevrolet Cobalt SS.

Tilt/Telescopic Steering Wheel
This much-appreciated standard feature, rare in this class, helps drivers of all sizes find a comfortable position.

XRS Model
This better-looking, better-performing handling-oriented sport model is the highest-priced and least fuel-efficient Corolla but provides a substantial boost in driving enjoyment over the other four, including the semi-sporty S.

2009 Toyota Corolla Details
2009 Toyota Corolla photo Interior

The inside objectives were perceived roominess and improved comfort. The added width provides more shoulder and hip room in front, and leg room is increased a half-inch in front and nearly an inch in back, though front head room is down a half-inch due to the lower roofline. Much emphasis was put on seat comfort for occupants of almost any height, and the steering column tilts and telescopes to optimize driver comfort. The instrument panel offers speedometer, tachometer, fuel and coolant-temperature gauges and an optional multi-information display that offers a clock, outside temperature, fuel economy, range, average speed and elapsed time.

Exterior

The Corolla exterior designers' objectives were a lower, wider, sportier look to compete with Honda's Civic and others in this increasingly popular class, plus increased interior room and improved aerodynamic smoothness for enhanced fuel efficiency and interior quietness. Those objectives were met with a lower roofline with sleeker windshield and rear glass and careful attention to detail, especially at the corners. A trio of character lines run along the door handles to the rear fenders, from the hood to the front pillars and from the front bumpers to the front fender flares, while a low front air intake adds visual width below the Toyota signature mesh grille.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base Corolla comes with 15-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, power steering, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, 60/40-split folding rear seat, power mirrors, AM/FM/CD (XM satellite-ready) radio, outside temperature gauge, a driver's-seat height adjuster and driver and passenger front, seat-mounted side and side-curtain airbags. The LE adds power windows, locks and color-keyed mirrors; the XLE 16-inch tires and wheels, variable intermittent wipers, a sliding center console with card holder, remote keyless entry and wood-grain trim; and the S has fog lamps, front and rear spoilers, sport seats and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. Only the XRS gets the 2.4-liter engine, rear disc brakes and standard cruise control.

Optional Equipment

The base Corolla's option list offers just cruise control, stability control, a six-disc CD changer and an All-Weather Guard Package (heavy-duty heater, rear heating duct and heated outside mirrors), while the LE adds available remote keyless entry (RKE) and larger tires on 16-inch alloy wheels. XLE buyers can specify JBL audio and navigation, and the S offers an available Power Package (power windows, locks and remote keyless entry) and leather-trimmed seats and shifter. The well-equipped XRS is available with the All-Weather and Power Packages, JBL audio, navigation and leather. All Corollas except the base model are available with the optional moonroof.

Under the Hood

Four of the five 2009 Corolla models offer only the base 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine; it's great for reliability and economy, but, as would be expected, only so-so for performance. Driving through a choice of either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, it delivers an excellent 27 city, 35 highway and 30 combined EPA-rated miles per gallon. The larger, more powerful 2.4-liter four, with either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic, is available in only the sportiest, top-of-the-line Corolla XRS.

1.8-liter in-line 4
132 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
128 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/35

2.4-liter four-cylinder
158 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
162 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/29 (manual), 22/30 (automatic)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2009 Toyota Corolla Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 486 Ratings for the 2009 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

I love my 2012 Corolla S

By on Friday, September 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Economic gas mileage, $35 fill up @ 3.80/gal :-)"

Cons: "Didn't get a manual, seatbelts could be more comfy"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have had my car for a year, it is black with a spoiler on the back and fog lights in front. I take at least 5 cross country trips a year, going to Florida, Ohio, West Virginia and Michigan. This car has a big car feel from the inside. Lots of head room, gigantic trunk for a small car, lots of leg room for all passengers. I have Bluetooth, so hands off talking on phone and texting with my Android. It even tells me how far I can go on a tank of gas so I never fear running too low. Everyone loves this car. My brother visited from Portland, OR and drove my car all week. He said he is going to look for one when he gets home. The only problem I have with my Corolla, is everyone wants to drive it!"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Gets from A to B

By on Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "convenient, meets basic tech. needs"

Cons: "cheap interior materials, dull driving experience"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I've had this car for almost two years. LE model. It gets the job done. Wireless connectivity with my iPhone is extremely convenient. Major step up from my Saturn Ion. Interior materials are kind of cheap, and the dashboard vibrates in the cold weather when everything starts to shrink. My biggest complaint is from under the hood-- acceleration is incredibly sluggish. All in all, good starter car, but I think for the same price I could've gotten something else with better materials and a better driving experience."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Nice looking car - comfortable and affordable.

By on Monday, September 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price"

Cons: "I really don't have anything bad to say"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car brand new in 2013. I am well satisfied with the cars looks, ride and how comfortable it is. This is my second time buying a Toyota. The last one was purchased new in 1998 and had 294,000 miles on it before I bought this one."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Strong and reliable. Love more than new 2014 model

By on Saturday, September 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "You get what you pay for. It's a strong car."

Cons: "No LED light or mirrors with with signal lamp."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Purchase the 2013 model to replace a 2003 Toyota Matrix but ended up keeping the Matrix also. Just could not let go of the XRS Matrix. This model S has great features and a super design. Engine is strong and with most hill driving I get great gas mileage (28.3 mpg). Gas mileage in part is due to low rolling resistance tires. This corolla has a manual trans that also sounds great. Newer cars are now using synthetic oil which has a higher cost for oil change, no metal filter to replace just need to change the element. I have just one complain; it has no led lights or mirrors with signal lamp (I can live without them). Other than that the car is great, comfortable, attractive, safe, lots of room and sound system is very nice. Interior is very nice with the black seats with blue stitch accent and very comfortable, easy to use control buttons, steering radio controls and you actually feel safe in the car. Fits 4 adults and one child with comfort or you can fit up to 5 adult but not to comfy. Trunk room is super, roomy for it's class. Acceleration is fast and breaking is great and safe. Give it a try..."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

I enjoy driving this car.

By on Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Reliable and efficient. Low gas consumption."

Cons: "None."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I bought my 2010 Corolla in 2009 and have had one problem with the car. I have a moon roof and it started to rust in 2013. The dealer said it was not covered under warranty but the area representative agreed to replace the moon roof door without charge. This is my third Corolla and I love it."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

2009 Corolla LE: A car to remember

By on Thursday, September 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Bought several months ago used from small local dealership that had it priced right! Mine is dark gray metallic and other than a few surfact scratches it looks great. It is very different car than my Chevy Cavalier in many ways. Restyled for '09 with nice profile from every angle. Ride is smooth, interior very quiet, good stereo system, quiet but cold A/C. Its in the same class as the Cavalier but much more room inside and the styling/finish is refined, crisp, clean lines. The nicest car I've ever had. Some complain about the electronic assisted steering, I find it better/easier than the Cavalier, brakes take getting used to, a tab bit softer than Cavaler's. It is peppy for a 1.8L and the MPG's city and highway are fantastic. I hope it has the great reliability I've read about for Toyotas. Don't knock it till you've driven one."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?