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2013 Toyota Corolla

Overview
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2013 Toyota Corolla Review

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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.

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

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.

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
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

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

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)

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2013 Toyota Corolla Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 533 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

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."

8 people out of 10 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 10 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."

13 people out of 21 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 8 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."

13 people out of 15 found this review helpful

love my little car

By on Tuesday, June 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 127,000

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
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fun to drive..easy"

Cons: "passenger seat could be more comfortable,backseat"

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

"This has been the best car I have ever owned...I do a lot of traveling back and forth to north Carolina and I usually get 38 miles to the gallon...I change my oil every 5000 miles..rotate my tires...finally had to change my battery..only real problem I have ever had...only complaint is passengers could use more room..but driver is comfy"

5 people out of 14 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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