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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.

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 515 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

Overall great car-reliable and great gas mileage

By on Thursday, March 19, 2015

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
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

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

"I've owned this car since 2008 when it was brand new. A friend and my niece were Corolla owners and they raved about theirs. This is the most reliable, trouble free car I've ever owned. I have the bright blue color and at the time of purchase, there weren't many of that color on the road. That sure has changed. The seats are comfortable and because of the fold down back seats cargo room is generous. The only complaint is that the shape of the back doors prohibit putting items in the back seats that would fit in there otherwise. I will always go for a Toyota. Hopefully a Camry next time."

Has been a very dependable vehicle

By on Monday, March 02, 2015

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "It has been fun as I enjoy driving a manual trans"

Cons: "The car is a little small for long trips."

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

"This Corolla has been very dependable. I have not had any problems with it at all. I went with a 5 speed as previously I had a 2002 Rav4 which had computer problems that affected the transmission. So with a manual, I believe this eliminates the computer and transmission problem. The miles per gallon has been really satisfying especially if you can drive 60 mph or less. I have traveled to Chicago, about 180 miles, drove 60-65 mph and the estimated mpg was 43. It has the Sport package with lower front and rear bumpers which make it look very nice. It has a blue tooth option for the phone which makes it legal to talk and drive. A few drawbacks are the ride is like a small car because it is but it is not really terrible. The clock is in the sequence with the mpg est, range for fuel, engine run time, o/s temp, so you have to scroll through all these to just get to the time and only the driver can see it. Over all it has been a great car. Gas tank is only 12 gals so it does not break the bank when you fill up and range is almost always close to 400 miles per tank unless you only drive around town in the winter. RPMs are at about 3000 at 70 mph. This might be a little higher than the automatic. I assume this is so the engine will have enough power if driving on interstates in the mountains. Going up the hills an automatic will shift down a gear if needed but a manual will need enough power to go up the hill without shifting if the driver does not downshift. But I have never experienced any problems with this car when driving in mountains. It seems to be geared very well for the 4 cylinder that comes in a Corolla."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

one owner one driver

By on Friday, February 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000

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
10/10

Pros: "great car"

Cons: "everything you'll ever need in a car"

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

"serviced for oil change tire rotation and check up twice a year from the dealer purchased from, Dealer installed remote start and undercoating."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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)"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

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."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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."

4 people out of 4 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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