18 Best & Worst Toyota Corolla Years (With Facts & Stats)

The Toyota Corolla is an affordable and attractive compact car that hit the US in 1968.

It has a long history of dependabilty, however some model years are notably better than other.

In this article we’ll take a closer look at the Toyota Corolla’s best and worst years…

2020 Toyota Corolla

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Toyota Corolla Are:

The best Toyota Corolla model years are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2013, 2008, and 2002. The worst model years of the Corolla are 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2003. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Toyota Corolla?

Listed below are the Corolla years that deserve to be viewed as the best of the best.

2023 Toyota Corolla

It should come as no surprise that some of the latest models make the best list, they offer the latest tech and have been considerably refined since their humble beginnings.

For 2023 Toyota made a few stylistic tweaks and numerous trim-level and powertrain changes, giving more variety to both the gas and Hybrid models.

An 8-inch infotainment panel also became standard on all Corollas replacing the smaller displays.

  • Edmunds: NA
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2023 Toyota Corolla, Kelley Blue Book review:

“It’s a great car. It gets super gas mileage. A comfortable and smooth ride. I would recommend this car. I like the looks of the Corolla LE. it’s got a huge trunk, comfortable seating. Loads of leg room and highly adjustable to fit tall and small” 

2022 Toyota Corolla

The 2022 Corolla comes with lots of standard driver assists, attractive styling and a 5-star safety rating.

Minor revisions for this model year include an optional Premium interior package for the LE hybrid and two new paint colors: Ruby Flare and Windchill Pearl. 

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 81 / 100

2022 Toyota Corolla, Edmunds review:

“I upgraded from a 2009 Corolla to a 2022 Corolla I am in love with my new car!! Still getting used to it but she is comfortable and drives well!”

2021 Toyota Corolla

Staying true to form, the 2021 Corolla offers a comfortable ride and plenty of space in the back seats.

A total of 1,500 units of the Special Edition trim came with the rest of the 2021 Corolla family boasting Supersonic Red paint and an eye-catching body kit.

In other news, the hatchback version came with mounted side airbags for the rear seat passengers, increasing the total airbag count to 10. 

Another limited-edition trim, called the Apex Edition, was equipped with a specially tuned engine, summer tires, and a classic manual transmission system. 

  • Edmunds: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2021 Toyota Corolla, Edmunds review:

“Had my 2006 corolla LE for 15 years no issues. Finally it was time for an upgrade and I made the right decision the new corolla LE with premiun package looks like a lexus!!”

2020 Toyota Corolla

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan was completely redesigned, following the hatchbacks new looks in 2019.

The exterior and interior look more stylish and both body styles are now built on Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA), which is also now used for the Camry and RAV4. 

According to Toyota the new platform greatly enhances basic performance.

2020 also saw the introduction of a hybrid model offering world-class fuel economy.

  • Edmunds: 3.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 79 / 100

2020 Toyota Corolla, Edmunds review:

“For me this car is perfection. I am 70 and needed the included safety features. I was blown away with how much I enjoy driving the car. Responsive and always predictable, smooth shifts, good power, nice braking even when it gives its opinion on brake force…”

2019 Toyota Corolla

The 2019 Toyota Corolla is another safe, value-oriented option with strong consumer feedback scores and a negligible amount of reported problems.

This model year saw the introduction of a hatchback model which uses a separate platform.

  • Edmunds: 3.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2019 Toyota Corolla, Edmunds review:

“Previous car was a VW Jetta. I liked the German feel and the great seats. I was dismayed by the trade in value, however. The Corolla holds its value better. My wife was impressed with the safety technology. This car was easier for me to get in and out of than the Jetta. I think the interior on the LE looks great…”

2018 Toyota Corolla

2018 is the last of the more recent models on our best list, after 2018 the number of reported complaints gradually starts to creep up.

If you’re on a tight budget but still want something relatively recent, the 2018 Corolla is a safe choice.

  • Edmunds: 3.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 83 / 100

2018 Toyota Corolla, Edmunds review:

“I drive about 75 miles round trip for work daily and bought the Corolla to be my commuter car. So far so good. The seats are comfortable, the handling is good, radio works well and it simply drives as it should. I do not have any complaints. It is not the fastest car off the line but if you drive normal without a lead foot then you will be just fine. I am averaging 38mpg…”

2018 Toyota Corolla

2013 Toyota Corolla

The 2013 Corolla stood out for its reliability, quiet cabin and comfortable ride although the fuel economy is notably better on the newer models.

There were a few modest updates to this model year, including an upgraded audio system (touchscreen display) exclusively for the higher-end trims and a revised grille for all variants across the board. 

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 86 / 100

2013 Toyota Corolla, Edmunds review:

“2013 Corolla LE w/ complete package. Cute, stylish & economical car. Was averaging around 30-34 mpg in town. Full tank gets you 400 miles + . Had steering wheel issue but the problem was fixed by dealership under warranty. Touch screen display not as responsive & had to push it a couple times. Entunes could use some improvement. The sound system is nice…”

2008 Toyota Corolla

the 2008 Corolla scored impressive consumer scores and boasts an illustrious reliability record.

This model year had no significant changes compared to its direct predecessors, but what made this model year earn a spot on this list is the fact that there was a sharp decline in the number of complaints and problems according to NHTSA data.

  • Edmunds: 4.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

2008 Toyota Corolla, Edmunds review:

“I bought my 08 in November of 2007 brand new. Since then I have put 215000 miles on it. I have had it serviced at the dealership and kept up with all of the prescribed maintenance. Other than brakes, which are obviously a system designed to wear out, I have only had to replace one wheel bearing at 190000 miles. Other than that its just gas and oil. This car has been fantastic to me…”

2002 Toyota Corolla

We wouldn’t advise going for a car as old as an ’02 but it wouldn’t be right to leave this model off our best list simply because it was statistically one of the least problematic Corolla’s ever made.

If you’re on a super tight budget then a well-kept 2002 Corolla could make a good purchase, just make sure the owner can provide documented proof of its maintenance history.

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2002 Toyota Corolla, Edmunds review:

“We bought a Corolla with 120,000 miles on it and now have it up to 136,000. So far, we have only done routine maintenance, although I recommend watching the brakes closely. It burns a little oil but nothing major. Combined gas mileage is around 28 in the winter and 35 in the summer. The car’s size is its best feature for living in the city: it drives well for such a tiny car…”

Consumer Scores For Best Toyota Corolla Years

Below is a table that presents all the consumer ratings of the best Toyota Corolla model years from reputable vehicle websites:

Model YearEdmunds’ 
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book’s
Consumer Rating
JD Power’s
Consumer Rating
2023 Toyota CorollaNA4.2 / 5.0NA
2022 Toyota Corolla4.3 / 5.04.2 / 5.081 / 100
2021 Toyota Corolla4.0 / 5.04.2 / 5.0NA
2020 Toyota Corolla3.5 / 5.04.2 / 5.079 / 100
2019 Toyota Corolla3.7 / 5.04.4 / 5.084 / 100
2018 Toyota Corolla3.5 / 5.04.4 / 5.083 / 100
2013 Toyota Corolla4.4 / 5.04.4 / 5.086 / 100
2008 Toyota Corolla4.6 / 5.04.7 / 5.082 / 100
2002 Toyota Corolla4.3 / 5.04.4 / 5.0NA

Related: 7 Most Common Toyota Corolla Problems (Solved & Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The Toyota Corolla?

Despite being well known for its reliability, the Toyota Corolla has also been on the receiving end of several complaints over the years.

Be cautious of the model years listed below.

2014 Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla had a severe safety defect as reports have come in stating that airbags did not deploy during accidents or collisions.

There were also a number of complaints of electrical problems usually due to the navigation and infotainment not working.

The 2014 Corolla had a total of 106 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 324 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Air conditioning not working properly
  • Infotainment stopped working
  • Airbags did not deploy
  • Rattles coming from dashboard
2014 Toyota Corolla

2012 Toyota Corolla

Much like the 2014 Corolla, the 2012 Toyota Corolla also had a significant amount of airbag-related issues.

An owner stated that he was in an accident wherein his car flipped over and rolled multiple times and despite the multiple points of impact, the airbags did not deploy at all. 

There were also a number of complaints from owners who experienced sudden unintended acceleration.

The 2012 Corolla had a total of 32 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 478 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Brakes squeaking
  • Unintended acceleration
  • Airbags did not deploy
  • Air conditioning not working properly
  • Car veers at high speeds

2011 Toyota Corolla

While the 2011 Toyota Corolla also had airbag issues, many complaints were filed due to the slow approach Toyota took to remedy the problem.

Owners reported that the airbag status indicator repeatedly lit up.

The 2011 Corolla had a total of 36 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 663 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Clear coat and paint issues
  • Horn stopped working
  • Air conditioning not cooling properly
  • Engine surges

2010 Toyota Corolla

The 2010 Corolla is the second most problematic model year ever made and was plagued by airbag and steering problems.

There are hundreds of complaints from owners who experienced sudden steering failure whilst driving.

Regarding airbags, one owner’s report indicated that as he was exiting a highway ramp, all airbags were deployed simultaneously.

The 2010 Corolla had a total of 126 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 1,528 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Paint chipping
  • Airbag problems
  • Grinding sound from brakes
  • Steering failure

2009 Toyota Corolla

Beware of the clunker, says CarComplaints.com. This notorious award is only granted to model years that have shown a significant number of serious problems.

Statistically, the 2009 model is the most problematic model to date and was plagued by steering issues, airbag problems and unintended acceleration.

Here are some owner’s accounts:

“While driving the electric power steering causes the car to drift and locks up on the highway.”

“The steering does drift at times which is scary!”

The 2009 Corolla had a total of 253 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 1,744 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Steering drifts
  • Water pump failure
  • Loud noise from engine

2007 Toyota Corolla

The 2007 Toyota Corolla had the same issues the 2012 and 2014 model years had.

Multiple reports indicated that during collisions, airbags failed to deploy. This was very unfortunate as it has led to aggravated injuries that would have otherwise been prevented by a functioning safety system. 

The 2007 Corolla had a total of 56 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 959 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Paint peeling off
  • Airbag did not deploy
  • Only goes into reverse
  • Excessive rust

2006 Toyota Corolla

The 2006 Toyota Corolla had airbag issues which meant they did not always deploy in the event of an accident.

The 2006 Corolla had a total of 81 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 959 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Engine surges while stopped
  • Airbags did not deploy
  • Paint chipping
  • Cuts off while driving or upon stopping
2006 Toyota Corolla

2005 Toyota Corolla

The 2005 Toyota Corolla was also plagued by airbag problems, which meant they did not always deploy when they should.

The 2005 Corolla had a total of 83 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 943 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Paint is peeling
  • Airbags did not deploy
  • Engine light on
  • Will not start 

2003 Toyota Corolla

Avoid this clunker of a model year, according to CarComplaints.com.

The biggest and most frequent issues of the 2003 Toyota Corolla revolved around a faulty transmission and problems with the circulation of fluids and lubricants. 

The 2003 Corolla had a total of 109 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 844 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Transmission failure
  • Airbag light ON
  • Transmission and differential issues
  • Oil sludge buildup, engine problems 

Related: 6 Most Common Toyota Corolla Hybrid Problems (Explained)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

There are several Toyota Corolla model years, both old and new, that have received numerous complaints through the years. 

Take a look at the complaints and problems for each model year of the Corolla below

Model YearComplaints (CarComplaints.com)Problems (CarProblemZoo.com)
2022 Toyota Corolla229
2021 Toyota Corolla254
2020 Toyota Corolla18114
2019 Toyota Corolla5147
2018 Toyota Corolla6150
2017 Toyota Corolla31227
2016 Toyota Corolla38261
2015 Toyota Corolla70258
2014 Toyota Corolla106324
2013 Toyota Corolla38245
2012 Toyota Corolla32478
2011 Toyota Corolla36663
2010 Toyota Corolla1261,528
2009 Toyota Corolla2531,744
2008 Toyota Corolla36366
2007 Toyota Corolla56959
2006 Toyota Corolla81959
2005 Toyota Corolla83943
2004 Toyota Corolla48553
2003 Toyota Corolla109844
2002 Toyota Corolla98141
2001 Toyota Corolla66162
2000 Toyota Corolla66172
1999 Toyota Corolla26185
1998 Toyota Corolla22273
1997 Toyota Corolla5148
1996 Toyota Corolla7150

What Problems Do Toyota Corollas Have?

  • Engine uses excessive oil
  • Airbag did not deploy
  • Unintended acceleration
  • Transmission failure
  • Water pump failure

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Toyota Corolla?

The Toyota Corolla is considered one of the best compact cars in the market.

The Corolla secured the 3rd spot (tied with the Hyundai Elantra and Kia Forte), with a great score of 8.0 out of 10. 

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Honda Civic8.6$22,550 – $30,050City: 26 – 33 /Highway: 36 – 42
Mazda38.6$21,150 – $34,750City: 23 – 28 /Highway: 31 – 36
Hyundai Elantra8.0$20,500 – $27,050City: 28 – 33 /Highway: 36 – 42
Kia Forte8.0$19,490 – $24,890City: 22 – 28 /Highway: 31 – 39
Toyota Corolla8.0$20,425 – $28,710City: 28 – 32 /Highway: 36 – 41
Subaru Impreza7.8$18,795 – $26,395City: 22 – 28 /Highway: 30 – 36
Volkswagen Jetta7.8$20,365 – $32,095City: 26 – 31 /Highway: 36 – 43
Nissan Sentra7.5$19,610 – $22,200City: 28 – 29 /Highway: 37 – 39
Hyundai Veloster NNA$32,500 – $34,000 City: 20 – 22 /Highway: 27 – 28
Subaru WRXNA$29,105 – $41,895City: NA /Highway: NA
Volkswagen GTINA$29,880 – $39,130City: NA /Highway: NA

Source: cars.usnews.com

Related: Toyota Corolla: 12 Common Problems (Solution Guide)










  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...