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The Toyota Corolla offers an affordable, reliable, and sensible option for car shoppers who want a dependable small sedan. Of course, savvy used car shoppers might want a preowned Corolla LE to save a little money compared to a newer XLE or XSE. So, is the 2021 Toyota Corolla LE worth it, or should you check out a different trim or small sedan option?  

Is a 2021 Corolla LE a good car to buy?

The 2021 Toyota Corolla LE is an excellent car to buy if you’re looking for a sensible sedan with seating for five. The Corolla LE is a lower trim offering with a smaller starting price tag than trims like the XLE and XSE. For instance, the 2021 Corolla LE started at $21,470, about $1,200 less than a new 2023 LE. The LE gets respectable fuel economy, around 30 mpg city and 38 mpg highway.  

A 2021 Toyota Corolla like the LE is a bargain for sedan shoppers.
2021 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

Better yet, the Toyota Corolla offered a Hybrid LE trim, which incorporates many of the lower-trim amenities of the LE, like an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. However, the Hybrid LE gets much better fuel efficiency figures than the LE; the Hybrid LE manages around 53 mpg combined. Moreover, a preowned 2021 model will likely still have some of Toyota’s 3-year, 36,000-mile factory warranty intact. 

Which is better, a Corolla SE or LE?

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the 2021 Toyota Corolla LE has a lower starting price than the higher trim SE. The SE’s starting point is around $23,500, or $2,000 more than the LE. However, the SE packs a higher horsepower and a more efficient 2.0L four-cylinder engine. Moreover, the SE gets sportier front seating with a leather-wrapped steering wheel. 

The Corolla is a versatile sedan.
2021 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

Still, the 2021 Toyota Corolla LE is TrueCar’s trim pick out of the lineup. The value of the LE is tough to top. Also, the Corolla Hybrid LE’s impressive fuel economy makes it an efficient option for economy car shoppers.  

How much should I pay for a 2021 Corolla LE?

The 2021 Toyota Corolla LE is a solid economy car prospect for car shoppers, but most versions will be preowned at this point. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) says a 2021 Corolla LE should have a fair purchase price of around $19,151 with average mileage. Furthermore, the LE has a 5-year cost to own of about $30,950, which KBB says is among the best of its class. 

The 2021 Toyota Corolla LE is a solid prospect for sedan shoppers.
2021 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

Should you consider the LE over the other trims?

The 2021 Toyota Corolla LE packs frugality and sensibility into a sedan with seating for five. Better yet, the LE matches the fuel economy of the entry-level 2021 Honda Civic LX with better styling and a cheaper starting price point. However, the hybrid Corolla LE trim returns excellent fuel economy figures. 

Moreover, a comparable Hyundai Elantra SE gets better fuel efficiency numbers than the Corolla LE and offers Hyundai’s excellent warranty, namely five years and 60,000 miles of factory coverage. Still, the LE is a great option for economy car hunters and definitely worth your consideration. 


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