2020 Toyota Corolla vs. 2021 Corolla: What’s the Difference?

With each new model year comes the excitement of new features in your favorite cars. The 2021 Toyota Corolla is here, and it’s bringing some fresh additions. But can the latest model outdo the excellent 2020 Corolla? We compare both to see which one is the better buy.

The major differences between the 2020 and 2021 Toyota Corolla

A gray 2021 Toyota Corolla Apex Edition compact car traveling on a bridge alongside a ship port
2021 Toyota Corolla Apex Edition | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Comparing the 2020 and 2021 Toyota Corolla reveals much of the same, U.S. News reports. But the inclusion of a few key features might be enough to push you into choosing the newest model, which might be the best one yet. Here’s a comparison of the 2020 and 2021 Corolla models.

How do they differ in appearance?

If you’re looking for a brand-new look in the 2021 Corolla, you’ll be a little disappointed to find that it looks almost identical to the previous model. 2020 was a redesign year for the Corolla, so it’s no surprise to see that the 2021 model’s exterior is the same, even in the various models like the hatchback and hybrid.

As for the interior, you can again expect a similar experience in the 2021 model as you would in the 2020 Corolla. The interior dimensions measure the same, including headroom, legroom, cabin capacity, truck volume, etc.

The 2021 Corolla also has eight trim levels to help you add accessories and features.

Which model year has the better engine?

The 2020 and 2021 Corolla have almost the same base engine, Toyota‘s website shows. They also get similar gas mileage, with 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. The base engine in the 2021 model is again a 1.8-liter four-cylinder producing about 139 hp. The performance and mileage increase as you upgrade to higher trims levels and hybrid models.

New features in the 2021 Toyota Corolla

While many of the features between the two model years are the same, one of the biggest new features in the 2021 Toyota Corolla — Android Auto — will make many smartphone users happy. This feature lets Android users easily navigate music, phone calls, texting, navigation, and more. The 2020 and 2021 Corolla also includes Apple CarPlay for iPhone users.

Price difference between the 2020 and 2021 Corolla

As far as pricing goes, the 2021 Toyota Corolla is slightly more expensive, with price differences rising or falling among the various models. Typically, the 2021 model’s MSRP is generally $200 to $1,500 higher than the 2020 model, but that number is slightly smaller based on the average price paid.

What about safety features?

One of the main reasons the Corolla is the best-selling car of all time is its spectacular safety record. And Toyota has taken that a step further with the 2021 model, which is arguably the safest one yet, thanks to the addition of even more safety features, Torque News reports.

The first difference is the number of airbags, which has increased from eight to 10 due to two new rear seat-mounted side airbags. They join airbags for the driver, front passenger, driver knees, front passenger seat cushion, driver and front passenger seat-mounted sides, and outboard rear passengers.

Additionally, the 2021 Corolla now includes blind-spot monitoring. This goes hand in hand with the standard rear-view camera, making it easier to monitor the road without having to take your eyes off of it.

So, which Toyota Corolla model year is the better buy?

Though the two models are exceedingly similar, the 2021 Toyota Corolla is the superior model due to the increased safety features, even with the small price increase. The 2021 model does everything the 2020 model can do but ups the ante in safety features, and the addition of Android Auto is a game-changer for many consumers.

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