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2011 Toyota Corolla

Overview
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2011 Toyota Corolla Review

By

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 511 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

Solid, practical & economical car

By on Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Traded for newer version

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
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Cheap to own & operate. Practical, & reliable"

Cons: "Possible finish issues, stereo glitches"

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

"I did nothing but change the oil and rotate the tires in the 60K miles I owned this car. It delivered good gas mileage (hand calculated)even if the computer was a little optimistic. Mid 30's were normal on road trips with the car dipping down to 30 or so in town. I once got 41mpg on a 200 mile run on the Natchez Trace Parkway between Tupelo & Nashville. (no stopping, steady 50mph, no wind, no air conditioning) The car did have two little problems. When the car was brand new I could see rust forming behind the chrome plastic trim on the trunk. I assume one of the clips that hold the trim had not been properly coated. After two salty Ohio winters this caused rust to form UNDER the paint in the area. any rust in two years is unacceptable. The stereo started acting wonky. the funny thing is it seems like the simplest part. From time to time I would hear a loud buzzing while listening to FM. Sometimes the radio would cut off after the buzzing and would not recover until I turned off the car. The car did get lots of paint chips in 60K, but I am sure it is mostly due to the water based paint. The car had great resale value (perfectly in line with KBB) and I was not upside down even with 60K miles. I did not put down a down payment because I qualified for 0% I would have kept this car, but the incentives for the newer version were just to great to pass up & I am sure I was getting close to needing wear items like brakes & tires (yes, even the OE tires went for 60K)"

After three hondas, I hope to go back to a honda

By on Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 103,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"This car has been reliable for the most part. I hated the very tight steering. Having it aligned helped however. Ok now. Complaints--Cruse button had to be replaced. Water pump went out at about 65000. Later learned that this model had a recall for water pump. Overall--a very good reliable. It does not match up to a honda civic in my estimation after owning three of them and switching to the corola."

Nice vehicle for single person, not for a family.

By on Monday, February 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, good gas mileage."

Cons: "Size inside, not many bells and whistles."

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

"I like the Corolla. I am a single senior citizen and have never liked small vehicles. I consider this vehicle one of the best small sedans. It is built to be a safe car and I love the gas mileage. I do not have it serviced at a toyota dealership any longer, I use a ford dealership. Toyota is too expensive for regular maintenance."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

great commuter and travel car

By on Sunday, February 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000

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
9/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"35-40 mpg, handles great in traffic but a little noisy at highway speeds, only preventive maintenance required, over all an excellent value"

would never buy another one

By on Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,650

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
4/10

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

"not comfortable to drive or maneuver. clunky feeling/handling. looking to trade in after 2 years. no get up and go if you need to get out of somebody's way or merge onto freeway. no mechanical issues in 2 years."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

love it

By on Monday, February 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "very fuel efficient"

Cons: "tight space"

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

"had this car for 4 years not a single problem. very fuel efficient but the rear cabin is quite tight. overall, its a very nice car."

7 people out of 8 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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