in Used Small Cars $12K to $15K

Avg. Price Paid: $11,830 - $13,890
Original MSRP: $16,130 - $18,820
MPG: 27 City / 34 Hwy
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Used Car: 2012 Toyota Corolla Review

Review Last Updated: 10/10/13

The 2012 Toyota Corolla has strong safety and reliability scores, but reviewers said a bland driving experience and dull interior design make it less desirable than many rivals.

Reviewers were less than impressed with the 2012 Corolla’s performance. The Corolla is equipped with a four-cylinder engine, which most reviewers agreed feels underpowered. Some mentioned that the Corolla struggles to maintain highway speeds and climb steep hills. Several mentioned that its available four-speed automatic transmission falls short of rivals that offer five- and six-speed transmissions. Some also noted that the transmission is slow to shift and doesn’t do anything to help fuel economy. At 27/34 mpg city/highway, the Corolla’s fuel economy is slightly less than some of its rivals’. Test drivers noted that the Corolla offers a comfortable ride, but some pointed out that cars like the Ford Focus and Mazda3 are more fun to drive.

One critic commented that the Corolla’s cabin is executed with high-quality materials. However, most focused on the aging dash design, which they said looks old compared with rivals that were more recently redesigned. Still, most commented that the seats are plenty spacious and there is decent outward visibility. Some critics liked the simplicity and ease of use of the climate and audio controls, while one commented that the climate control knobs are less smooth to use than those found in most rivals. The Corolla comes standard with a four-speaker stereo and an auxiliary input. Available features include an upgraded six-speaker stereo, a USB port, cruise control, navigation, a power sunroof and satellite radio. The Corolla’s trunk offers 12.3 cubic feet of space, which is adequate, but less than what is offered by rivals like the Chevrolet Cruze.

See the full 2012 Toyota Corolla specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2012 Ford Focus was well-liked by the majority of automotive journalists for its lively driving dynamics and high-quality interior. The Focus is available as either a hatchback or sedan, and like the Corolla, has strong safety and reliability scores.

The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze offers a larger trunk, and some trims offer better fuel economy than the Corolla. Reviewers praised the Cruze’s interior for its eye-catching design and spacious, comfortable seats.

Compare the Corolla, Focus and Cruze »

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