The 2021 Toyota Corolla is offered in five trim levels, with several sub trims for various drivetrain configurations. The Base L and LE version of the Corolla comes standard with a 1.8L 4-cylinder engine making 139 horsepower, sending that power to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission, a first for the Corolla. The hybrid version is available on the next level up, the LE. The hybrid Corolla uses a gasoline engine in conjunction with an electric motor to produce very competitive fuel economy numbers. The SE and XSE get a brand new 2.0L engine that makes a robust 169 horsepower, for a more fun driving experience along with slightly better fuel economy than the base 1.8L engine. For those who want the most fun driving experience out of the Corolla, the SE is available with a 6-speed manual transmission.
Standard features on the Base Corolla L include LED headlights, taillights and daytime running lights, an integrated backup camera, Wi-Fi, Amazon Alexa Connectivity, Toyota's Lane Tracing Assist system, a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay compatibility and Toyota's Safety Sense 2.0 Suite of safety features. That means all versions of the Corolla come with a pre-collision system, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, Automatic high beams, road sign assistance and a blind spot monitor.
Stepping up to the LE adds 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, remote keyless entry, a bigger 8-inch touch screen and a premium fabric for the seats.
The SE comes with sporty looking 18-inch wheels, grey metallic side rocker panels, a rear spoiler, LED accent lighting for the greyed-out grille, a sport mode and of course the bigger, more efficient engine.
The XLE comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, SofTex trimmed front seats with a heating function, a premium sound system, a power tilt and sliding sunroof with a sunshade, a 7-inch multi-information display in the dashboard and Toyota's Connected Services with a three year subscription.
The top of the line XSE combines the sporty exterior appearance of the SE with the more luxurious interior from the XLE. Available option packages on the XSE includes a connectivity package with Sirius XM satellite radio, a premium stereo, more USB ports, voice recognition and a Siri Eyes Free mode among other things.
The SE nightshade edition package offers a sportier look with black wheels, black sport mesh grille, black bumper, black sport rear spoiler and side rocker panels, black exterior accents, and black emblems and badges.
Exciting New Styling
Available Hybrid Drivetrain
Standard Safety Features
Legendary Toyota Reliability
The Toyota Corolla was totally redesigned last year, meaning the world's bestselling automobile is new from the ground up. The most obvious difference is the styling. The Corolla is now one of the best-looking compact cars out there, looking longer and lower than it actually is, with a large, sporty grille and more aggressive headlights. Inside, the new car rides better and offers more usable room for drivers and passengers. Toyota has added a hybrid system to the Corolla, borrowing technology from the legendary Prius to offer some truly eye-opening fuel economy numbers. After the successful launch of the 12th generation Corolla last year, there will not be many changes expected for the 2021 model. Perhaps some cosmetic additions.
The 2021 Corolla continues to be the excellent value proposition that has made it a hit for more than five decades. With a low base price, the Corolla offers virtually everything a car owner realistically needs. The Corolla is far more than basic transportation these days, offering a big dose of entertainment along with a good amount of luxury should buyers want that. Despite this, even the most expensive trim level, the XSE, proves that value exists everywhere in the Corolla line, no matter what the details are. The 2021 Corolla is a worthy competitor to the Honda Civic, Kia Forte, and Mazda 3.