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2009 Toyota Corolla

Overview
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2009 Toyota Corolla Review

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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.
Favorite Features

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)

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2009 Toyota Corolla Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 450 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

great

By on Monday, April 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "reliable..nice looking"

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

"this is a used car..i take care of my cars with regular maintenance.. and wash, detail.. in fact my maintannence mechanic wants to buy it!!"

Love my sleek and sporty Corolla S!

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Style, reliability, near silent interior, & mpg"

Cons: "Clock is in odd area, no backseat arm rest"

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

The baby when she's all clean!

"This car is truly the best car you can purchase in this segment for its style, comfort, reliabilty, and MPG hands down. I purchased my Corolla S with 35k miles on it, mounted 4 new tires, and the car simply rides like a dream. The cabin is put together very nicely and road/wind noise are kept to a minimum, even at highway speeds. It is very comfortable riding as well; except on some bumpier roads, where the imperfections of the road are easily transmitted through the cabin, but never harsh. You just know they are there. For the best riding car, I recommend the LE. The exterior looks very sporty with the mesh grille, fog lights, chrome exhaust, spoiler, ground effects, and 16 inch alloy wheels. Step on inside the cabin and you are welcomed with black cloth seats (which are a very nice and durable fabric), leather steering wheel w/ audio controls, adequate stereo, sunroof, heated mirrors, and loads of storage and space for people or simply just stuff. The optitron gauges with their sweeping needles light up like a Christmas tree and add an elegant touch. The automatic headlights are also very much appreciated. Back seat space is quite decent as well. (I am 6 foot and fit behind my driving position quite nicely.) And like I mentioned earlier, it is very quiet inside. The trunk is also very large for this size of vehicle and the easy fold rear seats add extra space if needed. The engine is peppy enough for everyday driving, but never feels fast- just adequate. Highway passing at high speeds may take a moment w/ the 4 speed auto. Although, the engine is quite smooth and refined. The sportier suspension makes going around curves a breeze. Feels fun to drive actually! MPG is paying off too with around 32mpg daily. (Mixed driving). The Corolla also performs nicely in the snow as I just recently took it out in three inches of snow on the road with little to no slipping or sliding. Traction/stability control is a welcomed touch. I'm sure this car will treat me well as long as I do the same. My family has always owned Toyotas and they have all been wonderful cars with the miles just continuing to rack up on them. They are truly reliable and safe vehicles. I plan to have this car for a very very long time with little to no issue. I recommend this car for anyone searching for a first vehicle or to anyone who needs a smaller, reliable, sporty, and economical compact sedan. It has truly been an honor owning and driving this vehicle. I cannot say enough good things about it. PS- the A/C is ice cold, the car heats up quick, and the heated outside mirrors are a great touch!!"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

The baby when she's all clean!

Corolla has never failed me!

By on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, comfortable and affordable"

Cons: "Noisy when driving on highway"

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

"This is my third Corolla. My first two lasted over 200,000 miles. I'm expecting this one to last as long. Looks great, runs great. Only thing I would change is it's a little noisy when driving on the highway."

Corolla has never failed me!

By on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, comfortable and affordable"

Cons: "Noisy when driving on highway"

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

"This is my third Corolla. My first two lasted over 200,000 miles. I'm expecting this one to last as long. Looks great, runs great. Only thing I would change is it's a little noisy when driving on the highway."

Great driving conditiion

By on Friday, March 28, 2014

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

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great mileage and easy to drive"

Cons: "cup holders in drivers side and rear passenger"

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

"Body has hail damage and a few scratches but drives great. Great for gas mileage and have kept up with Dealer oil changes and any updates car needs. Does have car security added."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

I'm a big fan of my car, it has never let me down.

By on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "It's got bluetooth. Cup holders, front. AC & heat."

Cons: "It's blue, some weirdos might not like that."

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

"I'm moving to the city and can't afford to keep both this car and my apartment. Otherwise I would never sell this beauty. Never had an accident, only really drive it on the weekends, does great with gas. I really have nothing to complain about."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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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

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