With over 40 million models sold since its inception back in 1966, the Toyota Corolla is one of the best-selling cars in the world. It’s easy to understand the reasons behind this model’s enduring appeal. It offers the reliability that the Toyota brand is known for, along with pleasant handling and a comfortable interior.
Since the car has been on the market for more than 50 years, you have lots of choices to consider if you’re looking for a used Corolla. With so many options, the process may seem overwhelming, but deciding which traits you value most in a Corolla can help you find the one that’s right for you.
Consider these things when deciding which used Toyota Corolla to purchase.
1. Take a Look at Fuel Economy
Fuel economy is a big deal for some shoppers who purchase compact cars like the Toyota Corolla. Small cars are known for offering great mileage. Still, not all models in this segment deliver the same results when it comes to fuel efficiency.
With used Toyota Corollas, fuel economy can vary by a notable margin depending on which generation you choose. The Corolla’s ninth generation ran from 2003 to 2008. Fuel economy for a 2008 model from this generation tops out at 28/37 mpg city/highway. The car’s 10th generation spanned 2009 to 2013. Gas mileage for the 10th-generation 2013 Corolla peaks at 27/33 mpg.
The car’s fuel economy took a step up with the introduction of the 11th generation, which was launched in the 2014 model year. The 2014 Corolla achieves gas mileage of up to 30/40 mpg.
The 11th-generation car offers the best gas mileage. But if you want to save money on an older model, you’ll enjoy comparable fuel economy with a ninth-generation Corolla like the car pictured above.
2. Consider Styling
For many years, the Corolla was known for sheet metal that was decidedly inoffensive. Some described the car’s exterior as bland, but the styling choice made sense. The Corolla’s appearance didn’t ruffle feathers, and this helped make it an acceptable choice for a wide swath of car shoppers.
That changed in a big way with the car’s 2014 redesign. This makeover gave the Corolla an edgier, more aggressive look. The front fascia has a Darth Vader-like sternness, with narrow headlights and a sullen lower grille. Previous versions of the car (such as the 2006 model pictured above) look a lot more cheerful.
Many car shoppers prioritize styling when picking a vehicle. With the Corolla, the sheet metal of the current generation can be polarizing. If it rubs you the wrong way, you may be happier with a model built prior to 2014.
3. Decide How Much You Can Afford
All used cars represent great value. But if your budget is tight and you want to purchase a model with the lowest price, it makes sense to look at older cars. A used car that’s 10 years old, for example, will be a lot more affordable than a 2017 or 2016 model.
There are some drawbacks that come with purchasing an older used car, of course. The one that looms largest is reliability. Older cars are likely to have more miles on the odometer, and this increases the likelihood of expensive repair bills. Another drawback is that older cars have tech features that are less up-to-date than those offered in more recent models.
An older Corolla like the 2007 model pictured above won’t be a good choice if you want the most modern technology, but these cars have an excellent reputation for reliability. This makes them great picks if you’re looking for an older model that provides dependable transportation.
4. Consider Rear-Seat Legroom
Not all people who purchase compact cars like the Corolla expect to regularly have second-row passengers. But if you expect to seat people in the rear seats on a fairly consistent basis, it’s a good idea to give some thought to how much room is available for those perched in the back.
An 11th-generation Corolla is the best choice for those seeking maximum rear-seat legroom. This model is longer and wider than the previous generation, and the size upgrade boosts rear-seat legroom by almost five inches. That gives backseat passengers more room to stretch their legs and provides you with more space to work with when installing a child’s car seat.
5. Make a Decision Regarding Driver-Assistive Technology
Driver-assistive technology is relatively new, but it’s changed the game for drivers. These features include things like blind-spot warning systems, forward collision mitigation and adaptive cruise control. When needed, they provide support for drivers and they can help prevent accidents. They can also make driving a lot less stressful.
The Corolla was pretty late to the party when it comes to offering driver-assistive features. Most of these amenities weren’t added until the 2017 model year (the car pictured above is a 2017 sedan). That year saw the Corolla adding adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, automatic high beams and lane-departure alert with steering assist as standard equipment. If these features are important to you, you’ll need to rule out used Corollas that were made prior to 2017.
A Reliable Solution
Toyota’s Corolla has become a top seller by giving car buyers exactly what they want: comfortable, reliable, affordable transportation.
If you consider the points discussed above, you’ll be able to narrow your search for a used Corolla and find the right car for you.