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2012 Toyota Corolla

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2012 Toyota Corolla Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 5.8

The 2012 Toyota Corolla sedan continues to be one of the best known, best selling compact sedans in America. The 2012 Toyota Corolla's reputation for longevity is legendary, as is its high resale value and fuel economy figures. Yet over the years, Toyota has become complacent with the Corolla, allowing the front-wheel-drive sedan's design to stagnate, its features to become antiquated, and its core audience to grow much older. A major refresh in 2011 brought a more aggressive face and better wheels, but placed next to a 2012 Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra or Chevy Cruze, the 2012 Toyota Corolla still looks a bit frumpy. With cars like Elantra and Forte offering more features for the same or less money, and new performance models such as the VW Jetta TDI and Mazda3 Skyactiv delivering both excitement and 40-mpg fuel economy, the 2012 Toyota Corolla sedan will have to rely heavily on its merits, as well as the faithful legion who return to Toyota showrooms time and time again.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you've been burned in the past by promises of "great reliability" and "bullet-proof resale value," the 2012 Toyota Corolla should help rebuild your faith that some promises do come true.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for cutting-edge style or the latest engineering features, the aging Corolla platform with its 132-horsepower engine and 4-speed automatic transmission probably won't impress you. A Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3 or Ford Focus is likely a better match.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Toyota Corolla L gains color-keyed power side mirrors, power windows with driver's auto-down feature, power door locks, and keyless entry. The LE trim gains steering wheel audio controls and 16-inch alloy wheels. The LE and S trims also get a new audio unit with MP3/WMA CD playback capability, a USB iPod interface, and Bluetooth connectivity for cell phone and music streaming.

Driving the Corolla

Driving Impressions While the S trim is the most enjoyable to drive, all of the 2012 Toyota Corolla sedans deliver a solid, comfortable ride and no rude surprises. The S trim's larger...

wheel-and-tire package and available manual transmission allow it to at least attempt some fun on twisting back roads, but don't look for a lot of zip coming out of the turns, because the Corolla's 1.8-liter engine can't provide it. Again, as a standard mode of transportation, the Corolla does just fine, but any attempt to run with likes of a Mazda3 or even the new Honda Civic fall short. The bottom line is that the Corolla is a good, solid, front-wheel-drive 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 Corolla's many rivals.

Tilt/telescopic steering wheel
This much-appreciated standard feature helps drivers of all sizes find a comfortable position.

USB iPod input
Standard with the new audio head unit on LE and S, this feature allows for control of your iPod via the car's steering-wheel controls.

2012 Toyota Corolla Details
Interior

While the 2012 Toyota Corolla sedan's interior is highly functional and very roomy, it falls far short of the styling and color offerings of its competitors. Dull gray or beige plastics, and gauge faces with fonts that look two decades old don't inspire much enthusiasm. Again, if you want to see a great looking interior at a sub-$20K price, look inside a Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus or Mazda3. The Corolla's rear seat offers good hip and shoulder room, but the all-important headroom and legroom figures come up a bit short. We do like the S and LE trim's 3-spoke steering wheel with touch controls, and the new audio unit is a definite step in the right direction. Standard gauges include a tachometer, fuel and coolant temperature, as well as a multi-information display that offers a clock, outside temperature, fuel economy, range, average speed and elapsed time. The 2012 Toyota Corolla sedan includes multiple storage bins, a split upper/lower 2-compartment glove box and four cup holders (two in front and two at the rear). Cargo volume in the trunk is a generous 12.3 cubic feet, but can be expanded thanks to the 60/40 split folding rear seats.

Exterior

It's not hard to see where Toyota went for inspiration when restyling the Corolla. The 2012 Toyota Corolla sedan bears an uncanny resemblance to its big brother, the Camry. Beyond its racy front grille and swept back headlights, the 2012 Toyota Corolla sedan is still rather pedestrian when viewed from the side, although less so in S trim guise. Features such as color keyed power side mirrors that appear on the base L trim are a nice touch. But, unlike its competitors, upper level Corolla trims don't afford owners such high-tech options as high-intensity-discharge (HID) adaptive headlamps, 17- or 18-inch wheels, or rain-sensing wipers. While the base and LE cars might not do much to raise your pulse, the S trim offers enough visual pizzazz to at least get your attention.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Get ready for the lists: The 2012 Toyota Corolla L sedan comes with standard air conditioning a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, 60/40-split folding rear seat, color-keyed power mirrors, AM/FM/CD (SiriusXM satellite-ready) radio, outside temperature gauge, power windows, power locks, remote keyless entry, a driver's-seat height adjuster, and driver and passenger front, seat-mounted side airbags, traction and stability control and side-curtain airbags. The LE adds an MP3-compatible CD player, USB and auxiliary input jacks, Bluetooth, cruise control, and color-keyed heated side mirrors. The S has fog lights, front and rear spoilers, sport seats and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.

Optional Equipment

The 2012 Toyota Corolla sedan offers only a few options. A power moonroof can be added to the S trim, while both the LE and S versions can be equipped with a navigation radio and Toyota's Entune multi-media system. The LE can be equipped with the Premium Package, which simply combines the power moonroof with 16-inch, 5-spoke wheels, and fog lights.

Under the Hood

With the loss the XRS trim last year, there is only one engine offered on the 2012 Corolla: a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder good for 132 horsepower. This engine is great for reliability and economy, but, as would be expected, only so-so for performance. Driving through a choice of either a 5-speed manual or old-fashioned 4-speed automatic transmission, it delivers a respectable 26 city and 34 highway EPA-rated miles per gallon (automatic model).

1.8-liter in-line 4
132 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
128 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/34 (manual), 26/34 (automatic)

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2012 Toyota Corolla Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 540 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
    8.5/10

Best value that you will find in a car!

By on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000

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
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great gas mileage, very little maintenance issues"

Cons: "basic design on interior of car"

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

"This is my first Toyota that I have ever owned and I don't plan on ever going with any other brand. The Corolla has been the absolute best car I have ever owned and gets excellent gas mileage. The car drives great in any weather condition as well. The design on the inside of the car isn't fancy but that's not a huge importance to me. My biggest thing I want is reliability in a vehicle and one that requires very low maintenance. This vehicle does just that!"

Disappointed as this is a Toyota

By on Friday, December 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good gas mileage . Rides well"

Cons: "Transmission constantly shifting , lacks options"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Not what I expected from a Toyota . Dash has rattles,some other plastic interior parts make noise when driving. Vehicle does not run steady on a flat road learches back and forth most all the time . And it has a lack of interior options, the vehicle should have from the factory."

13 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Good Quality Ride

By on Sunday, November 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Great Quality"

Cons: "S-Model. Seats too firm. Sound system not great."

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

Diggin' My Ride EH!!!!!

"I love driving this car. It was a big change for me after having larger vehicles for the last 25 years. After getting used to the smaller ride, I had the not so great sound system changed to an awesome one. The gas mileage is great, as I drive 500km or 300 miles each week to work. I purchased the S-Model, which has very firm seats, which come up higher on the sides. The CE-Model My Wife has, the seats are softer & don't rise too high on the sides. I am thinking about having them redone with softer foam. this may be expensive with all the sensors in the seats, they need to work properly for seatbelt warnings & air bag operations. Still the car is a great value for the price. I am vey pleased I purchased this car. I did a lot of research before deciding on this model. Toyota had the highest reliability than any other car in Consumer Reports magazine."

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Diggin' My Ride EH!!!!!

Good gas mileage

By on Sunday, November 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 97,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Gas mileage"

Cons: "wheel spin on wet pavement, reliability, lacks pwr"

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

"Over the past 7 years this has been a good car with me only having to replace one battery and have a few recalls done with no major repairs under warranty. After warranty I had the alternator and starter replaced. Mileage was 32-33 combined and up to 40 mpg at a steady 55 mph. Average highway mileage was around 37. Handling is acceptable, but acceleration is lacking with a tendency for wheel slip at minimum throttle acceleration from a dead stop on wet pavement (only one wheel has power), braking is excellent. I purchased the warranty that took it to 100,000 miles and did not use it. At 95,000 miles and one month after the warranty went out, the alternator gave out, followed shortly by the starter. I was surprised by this and it lowered my view of Toyota. But overall, it's been a good car for basic transportation. I used to believe it was a great car until I almost got stuck when the alternator died. Cheers!"

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Best handling Corolla ever

By on Saturday, October 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,572

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great to drive people want to buy it"

Cons: "Should have variable intermittent wipers"

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

"Car is comfortable handles like a sport car no leaning going around turns sure footed steering is right on no play in it gets up to 60 miles an hour in a flash"

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

I still like the corolla!

By on Saturday, September 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "cost, fuel efficiency, reliabilty still good"

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

"Toyota corollas are highly rated and deservedly so. I've noticed a few subtle differences between my 2010 corolla and the 2004 corolla I had before. The 'o4 I would rate a 10, but not the '10 corolla because of sound system, handling, and braking, which is a lttle rough even with new brake pads."

8 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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