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2011 Toyota Corolla

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2011 Toyota Corolla Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.0

The Toyota Corolla is one of the best known and best loved cars in America. It's not a stellar beauty, nor is it lightening fast; it doesn't even have a third-row seat or all-wheel drive. What the Corolla does have collectively is millions of trouble-free miles, millions more loyal fans and a resale record that has the competition green with envy. Not wanting to mess with success, the 2011 Corolla arrives with some minor cosmetic changes and more standard equipment. Still, the small-car market has heated up dramatically since the Corolla first appeared, and it – along with long-time rival the Honda Civic – must now do battle with newer, sleeker and better-equipped cars such as the new Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze and Kia Forte. Along with its new styling, the Corolla will rely on its time-tested strengths, a formula that combines great fuel economy, a pleasant ownership experience and a no-nonsense design.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a car that is as modest in appearance and performance as it is affordable, the 2011 Toyota Corolla will probably fit nicely into your life (and your garage).

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you don't think a small price tag should mean a small road presence, you'll find alternatives, such as the new Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra, that offer much more modern designs both inside and out as well as cutting edge audio, suspension and drivetrain technology.

What's New for 2011

For 2011, the Corolla receives new front and rear fascias, an upgraded interior, standard Smart Stop technology (a brake-override system) and the Toyota Care Complimentary Maintenance Program as standard. The XLE and XRS trims have been dropped.

Driving the Corolla

Driving Impressions Of the three trims, we found driving the S model to be the most enjoyable. With its larger tire and wheel package and available manual transmission, the S just feels...

more fun. We found that all the Corolla models feature a good ride and competent handling, with brakes that are strong and fade resistant, although we would prefer more feel than is transmitted through the electric power steering and more horsepower under the hood. The bottom line is this: The Corolla is a good, solid commuter car geared toward those whose automotive choices are made with a more pragmatic viewpoint. Those who demand more from their ride than just solid transportation, however, will likely find more to like from the Hyundai Elantra, Honda Civic Si or VW Golf.

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

USB iPod Input
Optional on the LE and S, this feature allows for control of your iPod via the car's steering-wheel controls.

2011 Toyota Corolla Details
Interior

The 2011 Toyota Corolla features a spacious and comfortable cabin that belies its compact car status. Though the rear seat is still a bit tight for the long legged, hip and shoulder room is impressive. The lowered roof line, however, somewhat cuts into head room, especially for those sitting in the rear seat. Attention to interior details includes new gauges with easier-to-read fonts, more color-contrasting materials on the doors and seats and a sporty new steering wheel on S trims. The instrument panel offers speedometer, tachometer, fuel and coolant-temperature gauges and an optional multi-information display that includes a clock, outside temperature, fuel economy, range, average speed and elapsed time. Storage bins and cup holders abound, and the glove box features a split upper and lower bin design. Cargo volume in the trunk is a generous 12.3 cubic feet, but can be expanded thanks to the 60/40-split folding rear seat.

Exterior

For a Corolla, the new exterior is really quite edgy. Looking somewhat like a miniature Camry with Scion-inspired front and rear styling, the four-door 2011 Corolla is sporty and sleek, but still a bit stale when viewed from the side. 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 bumper to the front fender flares, while a low front-air intake adds visual width below the Toyota signature grille. The entire package is designed not only to look good, but reduce exterior drag, thus helping to quiet the interior and improve fuel economy. Those seeking the most extreme Corolla will likely be drawn to the S model, which features front and rear spoilers and rocker moldings.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base 2011 Toyota 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, traction and stability controls and driver and passenger front, seat-mounted side and side-curtain airbags. The LE adds an automatic transmission, MP3-compatible CD player, power windows and locks, cruise control, remote keyless entry and color-keyed heated side mirrors. The S has fog lamps, front and rear spoilers, sport seats and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.

Optional Equipment

The base Corolla offers no options this year, so if you want power windows and cruise control, you'll just have to move up to the LE trim. Individual options for the S are limited to a power glass moonroof and an audio package that adds a USB port with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and music streaming. The LE can be equipped with the Premium Package, which combines the power moonroof and upgraded audio option with 16-inch five-spoke wheels and fog lamps.

Under the Hood

With the loss the XRS trim, there is only one engine offered on the 2011 Corolla: A 1.8-liter four-cylinder good for 132 horsepower. This engine is great for reliability and fuel economy but, as would be expected, is only so-so for performance. Driving through a choice of either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission, it delivers an excellent 26 city, 34 highway and 30 combined EPA-rated miles per gallon (automatic model).

1.8-liter in-line 4
132 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
128 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/35 (manual), 26/34 (automatic)

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2011 Toyota Corolla Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 534 Ratings for the 2009 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Small but very reliable.

By on Sunday, August 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Very fuel efficient and reliable."

Cons: "Too small.Needs to be a bit bigger."

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

"A very reliable and gas efficient vehicle. I drive 300 miles a week to work and spend only $30 on gas.That is filling up once a week. Sometimes,less than that. Very pleased,overall.Just needs to be a bit bigger."

disappointed in the 4 speed, too slow

By on Friday, July 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,600

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
4/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"its just an average car, wish I had taken more time to search for a car, but its good on gas and reliable. Stereo system is fair. I went from a car with lots of great features to this with not so many."

11 people out of 15 found this review helpful

reliable but light

By on Wednesday, July 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "reliable, comfortable, good mileage"

Cons: "does not handle snow and ice well"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I've owned the car for about 6 years, from about 30,000 - 80,000 miles. With regular maintenance, it has not given me any mechanical problems. It starts in cold winter weather even when parked outdoors overnight, and it runs reliably for long trips and everyday driving. The heat and air conditioning don't take long to get to a desirable temperature, and there is a great temperature range for very hot and very cold days and everything in between. The only thing I don't like about it is that it is feather-light on snow and ice, and consequently slides and gets stuck easily."

5 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Very economic but too narrow for tall people

By on Friday, June 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Overall, it's a good car that's worth the money but I don't recommend it to people who like wide legroom."

16 people out of 24 found this review helpful

I wanted to love this car! BUT too many re calls,

By on Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "cute, fun to drive"

Cons: "too many recalls, bad alternator, terrible service"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I wanted to love my car, but at 3 years and 55k miles alternator went on a road trip to Delaware. Almost exactly another 3 years and at 83K miles alternator went again.. I purchased the extended 6 year 75K mile warranty and while I was on my road trip the service department at the purchasing dealership said that they had no record of my extended warranty, I was forced to buy parts at Pep Boys.. Toyota did reimburse me for that bill, HOWEVER they will not take any responsibility or even consider that the car may have a defect causing this problem again...And have refused to help me, only quoted me a non negotiable price of $1076.00 to install new alternator and battery."

1 person out of 9 found this review helpful

10/10- if you know what you're getting

By on Friday, June 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,000

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
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Economy, low maintenance costs, comfort"

Cons: "None, if you know what you're getting"

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

"I love my Toyota Corolla. It has been perfect for our needs; it has excellent fuel economy, low maintenance costs, and low initial investment costs. In the four years and 70,000 miles that we have owned the car, we have had zero mechanical issues- the only trips to the mechanic have been for scheduled, routine maintenance. This is a great car, if you know what you're buying. If you want low cost of ownership, this car is amazing. As mentioned before, we have had minimal maintenance expenses, and we are currently averaging 38 miles per gallon. If you want comfort, this car is great, too. For being a compact sedan, it has a deceptively spacious interior. As a 230 lb adult male, I've been completely comfortable sitting in the driver's seat, passenger seat, or in the back passenger seats. The real comfort comes from the driving. The car has comfortably loose suspension and steering and gradual acceleration. It drives in such a way that you're not concerned with waking a sleeping child or spilling a crock pot full of chili while you're driving. Some might view these points as cons, but, again, know what you're buying. If you want a sporty looking or driving car, this is not your car. As I mentioned before, I love it's driveability because I appreciate its gradual acceleration and braking, and its gentle, smooth handling. If you want tight handling, fast acceleration, and highly responsive driving, don't buy a Toyota Corolla. You will not be pleased. In conclusion, before buying a Toyota Corolla, evaluate your needs and preferences. If you're looking for reliability, low ownership costs, high quality to cost ratio, and comfort, this is the car for you."

21 people out of 23 found this review helpful

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