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7.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.5
Performance: 7.1
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.2
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Toyota Corolla Review

The 2016 Toyota Corolla offers a spacious, upscale cabin and excellent fuel economy. Its focus on practicality and sensibility dings its performance score (pulling it toward the low end of our compact car rankings), but this likely won't bother shoppers in search of a steadfast, comfortable daily driver.

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious rear seats
  • Straightforward infotainment system
  • Dull handling
  • Competitors have more potent engines
  • Few optional driver assistance features

2016 Toyota Corolla Overview

Is the 2016 Toyota Corolla a Good Used Car?

A used Toyota Corolla is a good car for those who need a solid, fuel-efficient daily driver with a quality interior and enough room for adult passengers. This isn't a thrilling car to drive, though; it has uninspired handling and modest engine power. 

Why You Can Trust Us

Our Toyota Corolla review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from more than two dozen sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

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 Is the 2016 Toyota Corolla?

Expect to pay $14,100 on average for a used 2016 Corolla. That estimate is based on more than 4,100 listings for this small sedan on our used car site. Because 2016 Corollas come in a variety of trim levels, expect prices to range from $11,400 to $17,000. The vehicle's condition, mileage, and regional demand can also affect the sale price of a used car.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Toyota Corolla Cost to Own?

It costs approximately $4,350 a year to insure, fuel, maintain, and repair a 2016 Corolla (with a five-year total estimate of $21,700). That's less than you'll spend on a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze or 2016 Kia Forte but about $1,800 more than the five-year costs for a 2016 Honda Civic.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Corolla?

If safety is one of your top priorities, then the 2018 Corolla is a better car for you than the 2016 Corolla. While the older model has only an available rearview camera, the new Corolla comes standard with an impressive list of safety features. Every 2018 Corolla comes with advanced driver assistance features to help you stay in your lane, manage your high beams, and maintain a safe distance from the car ahead when you engage cruise control. Plus, with its standard pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, the 2018 Corolla offers a Superior level of front crash prevention (according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). The Corolla improved its crash test scores for 2018, earning a 2018 Top Safety Pick designation from the IIHS.

The catch is that a new Corolla will cost about $4,500 more than a 2016 model – that's the difference between the starting MSRP of a 2018 Corolla and the average list price of a 2016 Corolla. By tapping into a current Toyota car deal, there's a good chance you can reduce the purchase price of a 2018 Corolla.

Read about the new Toyota Corolla »

No new compact cars cost the same as an average used 2016 Corolla ($14,100). However, there are several good new subcompact cars worth considering. Of these, the 2018 Kia Rio is one of the best. It's available from $13,900 as a sedan and $14,200 as a hatchback. The Rio stands out as a sprightly small car, with nimble handling and a zippy engine. The 2018 Hyundai Accent is also available for less than $14,000. With comfy seats and a user-friendly infotainment system that includes a touch screen, the Accent is easy to live with on a daily basis.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Toyota Corolla?

With a score of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power, the 2016 Corolla is expected to be a little more reliable than the average used car.

Read more about Corolla reliability »

2016 Toyota Corolla Recalls

As of this writing, no recalls have been issued for the 2016 Toyota Corolla.

See more information on Toyota Corolla safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Toyota Corolla Is Best?

The 2016 Corolla is part of a generation that started with a full redesign for 2014 and includes the 2018 Corolla. 2014 through 2016 models have similar features and scores, and most are less expensive than newer models. If you can afford a slightly higher price, though, you should consider a 2017 Corolla instead, as these come with a notable amount of standard safety features.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Corolla »

Which Used Toyota Corolla Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Toyota Corolla has six trim levels: L, LE, LE Eco, S, Special Edition, and LE Premium. You'll want to skip the base Toyota Corolla L; it includes cool features like an infotainment system, but it lacks a rearview camera. Those looking for a sportier-looking ride should hunt for a Toyota Corolla S model. Otherwise, the Toyota Corolla LE Premium is your best bet. It's fully loaded with features like navigation, satellite radio, heated front seats, and leatherette upholstery.

See 2016 Toyota Corolla trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Toyota Corolla Warranty

You may also want to consider a certified pre-owned Corolla. Toyota has one of the best CPO programs among nonluxury carmakers – better than competitors like Nissan and Kia. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all 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. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

See the best CPO programs »

Read more about the Toyota certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the Corolla?

The 2016 Corolla's safety scores are slightly below average for its class. The car received five out of five stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with five-star ratings in the frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test. The Corolla earned the highest score of Good in four Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests. However, it received a Marginal rating in the small overlap front test, which simulates the front corner of the car striking an object like a tree or telephone pole.

A rearview camera is the only driver assistance feature available in the 2016 Corolla. It’s standard in every trim but the base model. You won't find any advanced safety technologies, like forward collision warning, automatic braking, lane departure warning, or lane keep assist.

See Corolla safety scores »

2016 Toyota Corolla Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Toyota Corolla or 2016 Toyota Camry?

The 2016 Toyota Camry is a midsize sedan, so it has more passenger and cargo space than the Corolla. Interior quality and features are comparable between the two Toyotas, but the Camry edges the Corolla in performance. The Camry stays composed around corners, and though its base engine is tame, you can find models with a strong V6 engine. If you can swing it, it's worth spending a little more money for the Camry. With the best combination of quality and value in its class, the Camry was our 2016 Best Midsize Car for the Money.

Which Is Better: 2016 Toyota Corolla or 2016 Honda Civic?

The 2016 Honda Civic outshines nearly all 2016 compact cars, including the Corolla. The Civic gets perfect safety scores and an above-average reliability rating. Its predicted cost of ownership is low compared to the rest of the class. Pair all that with an upscale interior, and it's easy to see why we named the Civic our 2016 Best Compact Car for the Money. The Civic handles athletically for this class, and its standard engine feels peppy. If you're looking for a more robust performance, consider the Civic's available turbocharged engine.

Which Is Better: 2016 Toyota Corolla or 2016 Nissan Sentra?

You will likely spend less money to buy a 2016 Nissan Sentra than a 2016 Corolla, and some of the Sentra's ongoing operating costs are slightly less expensive as well. The Sentra offers a lot of interior space for a car in this segment, which plays into its slightly higher ranking than the Toyota. Still, the Corolla is a better buy for most. Commuters will appreciate its supportive front seats, touch-screen infotainment display, and iPhone integration, all of which are lacking in the base Sentra. The Corolla also delivers better performance; the Sentra can lag when getting up to speed on the highway.

Compare the Corolla, Civic, and Sentra »

2016 Corolla Performance

How Does the 2016 Toyota Corolla Drive?

The Corolla's driving dynamics focus on a comfortable and composed ride. Performance is adequate as a daily driver, but you won't find any sportiness in this car. The standard engine is a 132-horsepower four-cylinder that's powerful enough for daily driving, but not much else. There's also an available 140-horsepower version of the same engine. It doesn't add much power, but it does improve mileage a bit.

Does the 2016 Toyota Corolla Get Good Gas Mileage?

Though power may be low, the Corolla's fuel economy estimates are high. Depending on the transmission, the 2016 Corolla earns 27-29 mpg in the city and 35-37 mpg on the highway. The available Corolla LE Eco model with the more powerful engine gets up to 30 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.

Read more about Corolla performance »

2016 Corolla Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Corolla Seat?

The Corolla has room for five people. Sit in one of its front seats and you'll be treated to plenty of comfort and support. Belying its compact car designation, the Corolla also offers excellent rear legroom. However, taller riders may itch for more headroom in the second row.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Toyota Corolla?

The Corolla has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in its back seat and a third tether anchor in the middle seat. For its ease of use, the Corolla's LATCH hardware received an Acceptable score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

2016 Toyota Corolla Features

Soft-touch surfaces and an upscale design permeate the Corolla's cabin. Unlike some rivals, the Corolla comes standard with a touch-screen infotainment system. The interface is easy to use, with quick response times, large buttons, and a straightforward menu structure. Available features include automatic climate control, satellite radio, HD Radio, and navigation. 

See 2016 Toyota Corolla specs »

Read more about Corolla interior

2016 Toyota Corolla Dimensions

Toyota Corolla Cargo Space

The Corolla's 13-cubic-foot trunk is a touch small for this class. If you carry more cargo on a regular basis than this Toyota can hold, you may want to consider a sedan with a larger trunk (such as the Honda Civic sedan) or a hatchback like the Kia Forte5.

Toyota Corolla Length and Weight

Curb weight for the Corolla varies from 2,800 to 2,865 pounds, depending on its configuration. Most trim levels are 15.2 feet long, with the Corolla S gaining an extra half inch.

Where Was the 2016 Toyota Corolla Built?

Toyota built the 2016 Corolla at factories in Mississippi and Ontario, Canada.

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