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2013 Toyota Corolla

Overview
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2013 Toyota Corolla Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 5.7

The 2013 Toyota Corolla sedan is the current incarnation of the best-selling automobile ever. It continues to be one of the most familiar - if not exactly most popular - compact sedans in America. The Corolla's reputation is built on legendary longevity, low fuel consumption and high resale value. But has Toyota become complacent with it? Despite a major refresh in 2011 and new grille trim for 2013, placed next to a Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra or Chevy Cruze, the Toyota Corolla looks frumpy and plain. More features are available for comparable money, and the VW Jetta TDI and Mazda3 Skyactiv deliver more driving excitement plus 40-mpg fuel economy. The Corolla relies on the faithful shoppers who march into Toyota showrooms year after year.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you've been burned in the past by promises of "great reliability" and "excellent resale value," the 2013 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 features, the aging Corolla platform with its 132-horsepower engine and 4-speed automatic transmission probably won't excite you. A Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3 or Ford Focus is likely a better match.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 5.7
  • 5.1
  • 6.6
  • 4.6
  • 6.9
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#7

out of 15

Fuel Economy

#12

out of 15

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.5 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 Toyota Corolla Low/wide front photo What's New for 2013

The 2013 Toyota Corolla gets a mild restyle of the grille (thin chrome strips) and some shuffling of equipment packages. It is offered in the same three trim levels: Base L, mid-level LE and top-line S.

Driving the Corolla
2013 Toyota Corolla Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions While the S trim is the most enjoyable to drive, all of the 2013 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 corners, because the Corolla's 1.8-liter engine can't provide much. As basic transportation for those with pragmatic automotive tastes, the quiet, soft-riding Corolla does just fine. But the lazy responses make a Mazda3 or Honda Civic seem quite sporty. And the Corolla's fuel economy, though good, is hardly class-leading.
Favorite Features

TILT/TELESCOPIC STEERING WHEEL
This much-appreciated standard feature helps drivers of all sizes find a comfortable position.

USB iPOD INPUT
Standard with the audio head unit on the LE and S, and optional on the L, this feature allows for control of your iPod via buttons on the car's steering wheel.

2013 Toyota Corolla Details
2013 Toyota Corolla Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

While the 2013 Toyota Corolla sedan's interior is highly functional and very roomy, it falls far short of the styling and color offerings of some if its less-conservative competitors. Gray or beige plastics and dated-looking gauge faces don't inspire the same enthusiasm as the interior of 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. Cargo volume in the trunk is a useful 12.3 cubic feet and can be expanded thanks to the 60/40-split folding rear seats.

Exterior
2013 Toyota Corolla photo

The Toyota family resemblance runs strong in the Corolla, which may be good or bad. Swept-back headlights and a racy grille (with new chrome highlights for 2013) don't keep the side view from looking pretty pedestrian, but this car is not aimed at exhibitionists. The S trim level injects a little visual excitement, with 16-inch alloy wheels (17s optional), rear spoiler and lower-body add-ons.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Get ready for the lists: The 2013 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, traction and stability control, and driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side airbags and side-curtain airbags. The LE adds an MP3-compatible CD player, USB and auxiliary input jacks, Bluetooth, cruise control and heated side mirrors. The S has fog lights, front and rear spoilers, sport seats and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.

Optional Equipment

The 2013 Toyota Corolla 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 nav-screen audio system and Toyota's Entune multi-media system. Those two higher trim levels also offer Premium Packages that bundle such extras as the moonroof, bigger alloy wheels, fog lights, power-adjustable driver's seat, automatic climate control and halogen headlights.

Under the Hood
2013 Toyota Corolla Engine photo

The lone engine fitted to the 2013 Corolla is a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder good for 132 horsepower. Transmission choices are a 5-speed manual or old-tech 4-speed automatic. Performance is only average in terms of acceleration, but noise and vibration levels are good, as is expected reliability. This engine delivers EPA fuel-economy numbers that are respectable, if not exactly standard-setting for the class: 27 mpg city and 34 mpg highway for the manual gearbox, and 26/34 for the automatic.

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

Pricing Notes

The 2013 Toyota Corolla starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $17,000 for an L model, $19,000 for an S. The automatic transmission adds about $800. Our Fair Purchase Price, which represents what people in your area are actually paying, should hold very close to MSRP. At a starting price near $17,500, the Chevrolet Cruze is a little pricier; the Kia Forte is significantly less, at just under $16,000 to start. The Corolla should hold an above-average retained value after five years, similar to the Honda Civic and substantially better than the Chevrolet Cruze and Nissan Sentra.

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2013 Toyota Corolla Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 449 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

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!!"

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

Little excitement but rock solid reliability

By on Saturday, March 15, 2014

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

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
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Good gas mileage, reliable"

Cons: "Cramped interior if tall, plain interior"

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

"Car is a no nonsense commuter vehicle that is extremely reliable. I will admit that this car is not the most fun to drive, and the interior is about as dull and basic as they come. Also, if you are over 6 feet tall, consider this car a two seater. When the front seat is all the way back (which you will need if 6' tall), I can just barely squeeze my small kid in the back of this car. The legroom back there is non-existent unless you keep the front seats adjusted forward quite a ways. However, this car runs very well. If you are someone who does a lot of driving and need a reliable car that gets decent gas mileage, look no further than the Toyota Corolla."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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