Only 2 Toyota Corolla Models Aren’t Recommended by Consumer Reports

The Toyota Corolla is one of the best-selling cars of all time. The Japanese auto giant introduced the Corolla in 1966, and it remains a popular option for consumers looking for a reliable compact sedan. The latest models come equipped with a long list of standard features, including:

  • LED headlights with LED accent lights
  • A black grille with a sport mesh insert
  • An audio system with a 7.0-inch touchscreen display
  • Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0)
  • 10 airbags
  • An integrated backup camera

Now, let’s look at a couple of Toyota Corolla model years that Consumer Reports does not recommend. Then we’ll dive into which model years you should consider instead. 

The 2009 Toyota Corolla didn’t earn a Consumer Reports recommendation

2009 Toyota Corolla Consumer Reports
2009 Toyota Corolla | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Consumer Reports doesn’t favor the 2009 Toyota Corolla

Testers said of the car’s performance: “The Corolla handles soundly but is not engaging to drive. Steering is somewhat light in feel and vague on-center, but turn-in response is prompt and appropriate. While body roll is not excessive, the car doesn’t feel particularly agile, though its tight turning circle is appreciated.” 

It also has some steering problems.

Under the hood of the 2009 Corolla is a 132-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers mediocre performance. But this model stands for its good fuel economy

Regarding comfort, taller drivers wanted more thigh and lumbar support, so the seats weren’t the coziest during long commutes. In addition, the pump lever for the seat height adjustment was a little stiff to adjust.

Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend the 2021 Toyota Corolla either

You’d probably think a newer model like the 2021 Toyota Corolla would be a fan favorite, but unfortunately, Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend this model year.

For starters, the 2021 Corolla is one of the slowest in its segment. It takes about 10.3 seconds to reach 60 mph. And if you’re expecting better performance ratings for the hybrid version, don’t. The 2021 Corolla Hybrid is just as slow. 

Plus, there’s too much engine noise when the gas pedal is applied, so the ride quality isn’t the greatest, Consumer Reports testers note. However, you’ll get 33 mpg overall, making the 2021 model one of the more fuel-efficient sedans you can find. 

In addition, the cabin isn’t the most comfortable, especially for backseat riders. The interior design is best described as “basic,” and cheap-looking materials and hard plastics abound.  

So, which model years should you consider?

Don’t worry — there are still plenty of Toyota Corolla models with Consumer Reports’ stamp of approval. The 2022 and 2020 models are excellent choices that earned CR’s coveted “Recommended” checkmark. 

If you’re in the market for an older model, check out the 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011 Corolla. They’ll be easier on your wallet but will hold their value for years. 

And parents of teen drivers should consider the 2010 Toyota Corolla. It’s a reliable, affordable ride that can get them from school to practice and back home.

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