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2013 Toyota Corolla Review

Good safety scores, an outstanding reliability rating, and stable ride quality place the 2013 Toyota Corolla in the top third of our rankings. However, its meager power and dated cabin keep it from moving higher. 

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable ride
  • Superb reliability rating
  • Drab, low-rent interior
  • Sluggish acceleration




Critics' Rating: 6.5
Performance: 6.6
Interior: 7.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Toyota Corolla Overview

Is the 2013 Toyota Corolla a Good Used Car?

In the highly competitive compact car class, the 2013 Toyota Corolla holds its own with easy-to-use interior controls, decent fuel economy estimates, and one of the best reliability ratings in its class. Still, there are plenty of rivals that are a lot more fun to drive or that have higher-quality materials.

Used 2013 Toyota Corolla Performance and Interior

The 2013 Corolla’s 132-horsepower four-cylinder engine struggles to provide enough muscle for passing cars on the highway and traveling up hills. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a four-speed automatic is available. Overall ride quality is comfortable and composed, but steering feels numb and unresponsive. This sedan is suitable enough for your everyday commute, but rivals like the Mazda3 provide a more engaging ride. The Corolla delivers 26-27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway – an average rating in the class.

Read more about Corolla performance »

The Corolla seats five in two rows of seats. Its cloth seats are soft and comfortable, but they don’t offer much support. Head- and legroom in the front seats is good. The rear seats have a decent amount of space, but taller occupants might feel snug. Visibility is good all around.  Cabin styling looks a bit conservative, but audio and climate controls are easy to identify and use. There are two sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the outboard rear seats and an upper tether anchor on the middle seat.

The Corolla is lacking when it comes to standard features. It comes with a four-speaker audio system and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. To get features like Bluetooth, a USB port, cruise control, and heated power mirrors, you’ll have to step up to the higher trim levels.

Read more about Corolla interior »

Used 2013 Toyota Corolla Prices

A used 2014 Toyota Corolla runs from about $9,200 to around $11,700. The price you pay is affected by the vehicle’s availability, condition, mileage, and location.

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We Did the Research for You: 58 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 58 reviews of the 2013 Toyota Corolla, as well as fuel economy estimates, reliability ratings, crash test results, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Toyota Corolla?

The 2013 Toyota Corolla gets the highest possible reliability rating of a five out of five from J.D. Power.

See Corolla reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Corolla?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2013 Corolla the highest rating of Good in four crash tests, as well as a 2013 Top Safety Pick designation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Corolla four out of five stars in frontal and rollover tests and five stars in the side crash test, resulting in a four-star overall rating. There are no active safety features.

See Corolla safety scores »

Is the 2013 Corolla the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Toyota Corolla marks the final model year of a generation that launched in 2009. There were no major changes between 2012 and 2013, so choosing a 2012 Corolla can save you some money but still get you a very similar car. This sedan underwent an exterior refresh in 2011, so models years prior to that will look different. If you’re looking for safety features, consider a used 2014 Corolla. It comes with a rearview camera, Bluetooth, and a USB port.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Corolla »

Which Used Toyota Corolla Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Toyota Corolla comes in three trims: L, LE, and S. The base L trim has few features, so you’re better off with one of the higher trims. The Toyota Corolla LE adds Bluetooth, a 6.1-inch touch screen, and a USB port. The Toyota Corolla S adds sporty enhancements, like a rear spoiler and sport seats. Some used 2013 Corollas may come equipped with the Premium Complete package, which includes an intuitive and straightforward navigation system with voice recognition.

The 2013 Toyota Corolla has one of the highest reliability ratings in the class, but for further peace of mind, you may want to consider a certified pre-owned model. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all of its certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »
Read more about the Toyota certified pre-owned program »

2013 Toyota Corolla and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Toyota Corolla or 2013 Toyota Camry?

If you’re looking for an alternative within the Toyota family, the 2013 Toyota Camry is worth a look. This midsize car offers more rear legroom and trunk space. It also comes with features that you can only get in higher trim levels of the Corolla, including a USB port, Bluetooth, and a 6.1-inch touch screen. In addition, the Camry’s stronger engines are better suited for highway driving. The Corolla gets higher safety scores, a superior reliability rating, and lower ownership costs, but the Camry is the better sedan overall.

Which Is Better: 2013 Toyota Corolla or 2013 Honda Civic?

The Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla are consistently two of the best-selling vehicles in the world. The Corolla is known for its reliability and low ownership costs, but the Civic is an all-around better vehicle. It has responsive steering and more passing power for merging on the highway, and its interior looks much nicer than the Corolla’s. The Civic also comes standard with a rearview camera – something you won’t find in any 2013 Corolla. 

Which Is Better: 2013 Toyota Corolla or 2013 Hyundai Elantra?

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra is a stylish, affordable compact car with one of the largest trunks in the class (14.8 cubic feet). Some models come with heated leather seats and a rearview camera (not found in the Corolla). However, the Corolla has more second-row legroom, better safety scores, lower ownership costs, and a much higher reliability rating. It’s the right choice overall.

Compare the Corolla, Camry, and Civic »

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