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MSRP: $18,700 - 24,090

Rankings & Research

The 2019 Toyota Corolla ranked #20 in Compact Cars. Currently the Toyota Corolla has a score of 7.9 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 50 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 6.9
Interior: 7.6
Safety: 9.3
Reliability: TBD

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2019 Toyota Corolla Review

For 2019, the sedan version of the Toyota Corolla carries over unchanged. It's a solid car that's packed with lots of goodies, but the Corolla’s relatively dull performance pushes it toward the bottom of the competitive compact car class. An all-new hatchback edition livens things up with a stronger engine and impressive tech features.

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of passenger space in sedan models
  • Remarkable suite of standard safety features
  • Superb fuel economy
  • Undersized cargo areas
  • Lots of hard plastics in sedan's cabin
  • Timid to accelerate

New for 2019

  • Corolla hatchback returns
  • Toyota's all-new advanced safety system standard on hatchback
  • Apple CarPlay standard on hatchback

Is the Toyota Corolla a Good Car?

The 2019 Corolla sedan is a decent car, but it's not very exciting. If a good value, a solid history of predicted reliability, and a remarkable amount of standard safety features are more your focus, you won't be disappointed here. Those who prioritize performance should skip the Corolla sedan.

The 2019 Corolla hatchback is even better. As the newest model in the Toyota lineup, it debuts some of the brand's latest technologies. These include an expanded suite of advanced safety features and the introduction of Apple CarPlay, both of which are standard on every hatchback model.

Should I Buy the Toyota Corolla?

You should buy the Corolla if you are in search of a well-built compact car that's loaded with lots of safety and technology features. However, these are essentially two different cars – the sedan carries over from 2014, and the hatchback is new for 2019. Because the sedan and hatchback are so very different, you should evaluate these two separately. For example, the Corolla hatchback comes with Apple CarPlay (not available in the sedan), a more advanced set of standard safety features, and more engine power. Even with the peppier engine, however, most spirited drivers won't find the Corolla very satisfying. For a faster throttle response and livelier handling, test drive the Mazda3, Honda Civic, or Volkswagen Golf.  

Compare the Corolla, Mazda3, and Civic »

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota Corolla?

For the sedan version, we recommend buying a used model instead of a new Corolla, as the 2019 model year comes with no notable improvements. Note that there are a few differences between previous older models. The current generation was launched in 2014, but we only recommend 2017-and-later Corollas. As part of the 2017 refresh, Toyota updated the styling and added an impressive list of standard safety features that were previously unavailable, even on uplevel editions.

Hatchback enthusiasts don't have the option to buy used, as this is the first year of the Corolla hatchback. That said, you might also want to consider is the 2018 and 2017 Corolla iM, as well as the 2016 Scion iM. Though these models don’t come with the same appealing set of features or the same level of handling ability, you could save quite a bit by purchasing one of these models instead of a new Corolla hatchback.

Shoppers that are torn between the more spacious cabin of the Corolla sedan and the updated features of the Corolla hatchback may want to hold off a little longer. A redesigned Corolla sedan is expected for the 2020 model year.

We Did the Research for You: 50 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the Toyota Corolla in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with more than 50 professional Toyota Corolla reviews.

Why You Can Trust Us

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep favoritism out of the picture, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.

How Much Does the Toyota Corolla Cost?

The 2019 Corolla's mid-$18,000 starting price is typical for a small, gas-only car. The MSRP for the sedan body style starts at $18,700 for the Corolla L, and it reaches as high as $22,880 for the Corolla XSE.

Corolla Hatchback models are slightly more expensive, with MSRPs ranging from $19,990 for the Corolla Hatchback SE to $24,090 for the Corolla Hatchback XSE with a CVT. We share complete details on pricing and trim levels below in the Which Toyota Corolla Model Is Right for Me? section.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

Toyota Corolla Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic?

Part of the reason the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla are such close competitors is that they share a number of attributes. Starting prices and fuel economy estimates are similar, and both are offered as a sedan and hatchback. The Civic outranks the Corolla on our site, partly due to its nimbler and more energetic performance, but also because of its upscale interior. On the other hand, the Corolla is a better value, as it's outfitted with more standard features, and it typically earns higher predicted reliability ratings. In this comparison, we recommend picking the one that speaks most to your priorities.

Which Is Better: Toyota Corolla or Volkswagen Golf?

The Volkswagen Golf is a fun-to-drive hatchback. Current iterations include the energetic base model, the meaty Golf R, and the all-electric e-Golf. We review the similar Volkswagen GTI separately. For an MSRP slightly higher than the Toyota's, the Golf treats you to satisfying acceleration, nimble handling, and an upscale cabin. Its back seat is roomier than the Corolla hatchback’s, though it’s not quite as spacious as the Corolla sedan. All in all, the Golf is the better pick.

Which Is Better: Toyota Corolla or Toyota Prius?

If you need a fuel-sipping commuter car or want to reduce your carbon footprint, you may want to consider a Toyota Prius instead of a Corolla. While it's also categorized as a compact car, the Prius has a larger back seat and more cargo space than a Corolla. When comparing costs, you'll spend about $4,800 more to buy a Prius. With its exceptional gas mileage, the Prius will save you an average of $500 a year in fuel costs. If you're keeping track, that translates to almost nine years for these two expenses to equalize between the Prius and Corolla. Both Toyotas are a decent option, so roll with the one that better matches your lifestyle and budget.

Compare the Corolla, Civic, and Golf »

Corolla Interior

How Many People Does the Corolla Seat?

Both the Corolla’s sedan and hatchback body styles seat five people. The sedan is not only roomier than the hatchback, but its interior dimensions also stand out for a car this size. In fact, it has more front and rear legroom than a Toyota Camry.

Things are a bit more cramped inside the Corolla hatchback, however. While its front seat is reasonably spacious and comfortable, the back seat is quite small, even for a compact car.

Corolla and Car Seats

The Corolla has two sets of lower anchors – one for each outboard seat – and three tether anchors. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the sedan's LATCH hardware a second-place Acceptable rating. The tether anchors are easy to locate, but that the lower anchors are too deeply recessed in the seat cushions. No rating is available yet from the IIHS for the hatchback.

Corolla Interior Quality

For its debut year, the Corolla hatchback draws a lot of praise for its quality materials and clean layout, which convey an upscale tone. The sedan carries over unchanged into the new model year, and it doesn't feel quite as nice inside, partly because of some lower-grade materials.

Corolla Cargo Space

When it comes to interior space, the blessing of the Corolla hatchback is not its rear seat, but its cargo area. It has 17.8 cubic feet of space, which can expand to as much as 23.3 cubic feet when you fold the back seat down. Both numbers are quite a bit larger than the sedan's undersized 13-cubic-foot trunk. That said, you'll get more cargo space in some rivals with hatchback variants, including the Chevrolet Cruze.

Corolla Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The sedan and hatchback body styles come with different versions of Toyota's Entune infotainment interface, with the latter getting the most up-to-date version. The hatch's system is definitely better – it comes with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa – but both systems are complicated and can be slow to respond to inputs.

Read more about interior »

Corolla Performance

Corolla Engine: No Speed Demon

The Corolla is not known for its brisk takeoffs, but it does deliver enough oomph to be an acceptable daily driver. The sedan comes with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 132 horsepower in the base model, or 140 horsepower in LE Eco editions. You can match this with either a CVT (a type of automatic transmission) or a six-speed manual. For a little more gusto, go with the Corolla hatchback. With 168 horsepower, its 2.0-liter four-cylinder is peppier than the sedan's engine. The hatch's standard six-speed manual transmission is more satisfying than its available CVT, though the CVT's Sport mode and paddle shifters are a nice consolation prize.

Corolla Gas Mileage: Outstanding with the Hatchback

When outfitted with the available CVT, the Corolla hatchback gets 32 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway. That's one of the highest fuel economy ratings among gas-only compact cars. The EPA estimates that Corolla sedan models earn 28/36 mpg city/highway, which is also in the top tier. The Corolla LE Eco edition is even thriftier, at 30/40 mpg.

Corolla Ride and Handling: Good-natured

Although the Corolla isn't exuberant, it is enjoyable to drive. A nicely tuned suspension system keeps the ride smooth and comfortable, while still allowing for some playful moves. Adding to the Corolla's composed handling is a responsive steering system and solid brakes.

Corolla Dimensions and Weight

The Corolla sedan is 15.3 feet long, with a curb weight that ranges between 2,840 and 2,885 pounds, depending on the trim. The Corolla hatch is about a foot shorter, extending 14.2 feet. It has a 3,060-pound curb weight. 

Read more about performance »

Corolla Reliability

Is the Toyota Corolla Reliable?

The 2019 Corolla does not yet have a predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power. The Corolla sedan has a long history of top-notch reliability.

Toyota Corolla Warranty

The 2019 Corolla comes with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Corolla Safety

Corolla Crash Test Results

The 2019 Corolla sedan has a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In individual categories, it has a four-star frontal crash score, a five-star side crash score, and a four-star rollover score.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2018 Corolla sedan a Top Safety Pick designation. That's the organization's second-highest safety label, and it is given when a vehicle earns first-place scores in five crash tests, has the ability to provide a certain level of front crash prevention, and has headlights that meet specific requirements.

Neither NHTSA nor IIHS have released evaluations of the 2019 hatchback model as of this review’s date.

Corolla Safety Features

Every 2019 Corolla comes with a rearview camera. Other safety features depend on the car's body style. Sedan models come standard with Toyota Safety Sense P, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.

The Corolla Hatchback debuts Toyota's latest suite of standard safety features, dubbed Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. Its pre-collision system has low-light pedestrian and vehicle detection as well as daytime bicycle detection. In addition to steering assistance, the lane departure warning system has the ability to detect the edge of the road. Road sign assist can read and report on up to three traffic signs at the same time, and lane tracing assist tracks lane markings to keep the car centered in its lane. Full-speed adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams are also included. Blind spot monitoring is available in the hatchback only.

Read more about safety »

Which Toyota Corolla Model Is Right for Me?

For 2019, the Corolla is available in both sedan and hatchback body styles. More than just exterior styling separates these, however. The sedan is a carryover model and comes in five main trim levels: L, LE, SE, XLE, and XSE. A 132-horsepower engine and a CVT powers almost every trim level. The hatchback model is new for 2019. It features a fresher design and newer technology, and it comes in two trim levels, SE and XSE. Performance also gets a boost in the Corolla Hatchback; this edition comes with a 168-horsepower engine under the hood and the choice of a CVT or a six-speed manual transmission.

You can’t go wrong with any Corolla model, as even the base trim level comes with an attractive list of features. If you're looking for the best value, we recommend the Corolla Hatchback SE. It comes with Toyota's latest suite of advanced safety features, along with the most up-to-date infotainment interface. Notably, this is the one of the first Toyota models to include Apple CarPlay. That's a remarkable list of upgrades for a price that's only $1,300 higher than that of the base sedan.

Toyota Corolla L

The entry-level sedan trim level is the Corolla L. With a starting price of $18,700, this edition comes with the Entune Audio system, which consists of a 6.1-inch touch screen, six speakers, Bluetooth, a USB port, voice recognition, and Siri Eyes Free. It also features a rearview camera and Toyota Safety Sense P, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.

Toyota Corolla LE

Automatic climate control is among the few interior enhancements added to the Corolla LE. This trim comes with the standard sedan engine for $19,135. The LE Eco has a slightly more powerful and more fuel-efficient version of this same engine, and costs an additional $400.

Toyota Corolla SE

The SE is the Corolla's sport-oriented trim. Edgier exterior styling, an added Sport driving mode, leatherette upholstery, a proximity key, and push-button start are among its upgrades. Pricing starts at $20,645. This is the only sedan model that has an available six-speed manual transmission. This $1,220 upgrade also adds a moonroof and the Entune Audio Plus interface, which features a 7-inch touch screen, satellite radio, HD Radio, and navigation.

Toyota Corolla XLE and XSE

The Corolla XLE and XSE build off the LE and SE trim levels, respectively, adding a handful of swanky enhancements. Standard amenities include leatherette upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, a moonroof, proximity key entry, push-button start, and the upgraded Entune Audio Plus system. Prices start at $22,135 for the Corolla XLE and $22,880 for the Corolla XSE.

Toyota Corolla Hatchback SE

Toyota outfits the base Corolla Hatchback SE with cloth seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic climate control, and a rearview camera. The standard infotainment system is Toyota's latest Entune 3.0, which boasts an 8-inch touch-screen display, six speakers, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, and Bluetooth. It also comes with the newest safety bundle, TSS 2.0. This contains six advanced safety technologies: a pre-collision system (with low-light pedestrian and vehicle detection, and daytime bicycle detection), full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with steering assist and road edge detection, automatic high beams, road sign assist that can note up to three signs, and lane tracing assist that keeps the car centered in the lane. Prices start at $19,990 with a six-speed manual transmission or $21,090 with a CVT.

Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE

Interior upgrades on the Corolla Hatchback XSE ($22,990) include leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and blind spot monitoring. The infotainment system gets an upgrade to the Entune 3.0 Audio Plus interface, with satellite radio among its enhancements. Just like with the base model, you can add a CVT to the Corolla Hatchback XSE for $1,100.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

See 2019 Toyota Corolla specs and trims »

The Final Call

In many ways, the 2019 Toyota Corolla is a smart buy. It offers an impressive amount of standard features for the price, has a history of healthy predicted reliability ratings, and is composed and comfortable. The newly added hatchback edition marks a step up for this small car. Hopefully, it hints at what we might expect from the upcoming redesigned Corolla sedan, which is expected to make its debut for the 2020 model year.

Unfortunately, there isn't much excitement in the Corolla, especially with regards to the sedan. It's easy to overlook this drawback if you prioritize practicality over thrills. Still, it's worth taking a look at some competitors that are both sensible and sensational.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "If you're not looking for a 'driver's car,' but rather a sensible car with a dash of style, the Corolla Hatchback is mighty appealing. I only ever used to recommend the Toyota Corolla to people who didn't care about cars … It's not that the car was bad by any measure, it just lacked excitement in literally every way. But I can't do that anymore. The 2019 Corolla Hatchback gives the Corolla lineup something it hasn't had in years: character." - CNET
  • "The Corolla does a few things well -- offering ample passenger space, comfortable seats, and a suite of standard accident avoidance tech -- but beyond that, the Corolla is a conveyance, and little more. That's a problem when the rest of the compact car class has been making such strides in quality, drivability, and technology. Compared to its rivals, the Corolla is slow and dreary to drive, with fuel economy that lags behind class leaders. The interior feels a bit hollow and low buck, and it lacks the easy smartphone integration that's become available in most other compact cars. A smaller-than-average trunk is another issue. Overall, there's not much about the 2019 Toyota Corolla that impresses." - Edmunds
  • "Like its many best-selling forebearers, the 2018 Toyota Corolla should continue to be an almost automatic choice for those seeking a budget-friendly, ultra-reliable small car. It's almost synonymous with the concept, and after key updates made a year ago, this truly is the best Corolla ever. It's more exciting to look at, there's a huge number of standard features (even the cheapest version gets advanced safety tech) and there's so much room inside that Uber and Lyft drivers should really take notice." - Autotrader (2018)


Expert Advice

Last Updated: December 20, 2018

High Demand: The practical and dependable Toyota Corolla is selling very well, behind only the dominant Honda Civic in the compact car segment. However, sales of cars have declined across the board as consumers gravitate toward SUVs and crossovers, and Corolla sales are down 10 percent this year compared the same span in 2017.

Research more buying advice »
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