KBB Logo Expert Review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.

You'll Like The 2010 Toyota Corolla If...

If your vehicular preference is for a modest but fuel-efficient and (presumably) reliable compact sedan from a trusted Japanese brand, this may be an excellent choice.

You May Not Like The 2010 Toyota Corolla If...

If you want efficiency and practicality combined with a touch more style and driving excitement, you may prefer a somewhat livelier competitor such as Honda's Civic, Nissan's Sentra, Chevrolet's Cobalt or Ford's new Focus. There are also less expensive compacts available, especially from Korean makers Hyundai and Kia.

What's New

For 2010, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRAC) are now standard on all trims.

Interior Features

For a compact sedan, the 2010 Toyota Corolla is equipped with a roomy and comfortable passenger cabin. The car's added width provides good shoulder and hip room in front, though rear seat leg room is still a bit snug for the long legged. Compared to the last generation Corolla, front seat head room is down a half-inch due to the lower roofline. Much emphasis is placed on seat comfort for occupants of almost any height, and the steering column tilts and telescopes to optimize driver comfort. The instrument panel offers speedometer, tachometer, fuel and coolant-temperature gauges and an optional multi-information display that offers a clock, outside temperature, fuel economy, range, average speed and elapsed time.

Exterior Features

The newest Corolla's design goals are met with a lower, wider, sportier look to compete with Honda's Civic and others in this increasingly popular class, plus increased interior room and improved aerodynamic smoothness for enhanced fuel efficiency and interior quietness. Compared to previous Corolla's, the tenth generation car features a lower roofline with sleeker windshield and rear glass and careful attention to detail, especially at the corners. A trio of character lines run along the door handles to the rear fenders, from the hood to the front pillars and from the front bumpers to the front fender flares, while a low front air intake adds visual width below the Toyota signature mesh grille.

Driving Impressions

We found the lesser Corolla models to be perfectly acceptable if not outstanding. Their performance is adequate with the five-speed manual, less so with the automatic. Their brakes are strong and fade-free, their ride is good and their handling better than previous Corollas but not up to some of the best of the competition. We would prefer more feel than is transmitted through the electric power steering, and a higher level of interior materials. The top-of-the-line XRS has much more in the way of sporty looks, handling dynamics and get-up-and-go performance. With larger tires and wheels, structural enhancements and more tightly-tuned steering, it gets around corners more smartly without much sacrifice in ride and will accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in just less than nine seconds. It's sprightly, but not as quick as some of the higher-performing small cars, such as the Honda Civic Si or Chevrolet Cobalt SS.

Pricing Notes

The 2010 Toyota Corolla starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just over $16,000, and Fair Purchase Prices, which represent what people in your area are paying for their Corolla, should hold very close to MSRPs. That compares to about $15,500 for the base Chevrolet Cobalt FXE Sedan, nearly $16,000 for the Honda Civic DX Sedan and $16,000 for the Nissan Sentra. Automatic transmission models start $800 higher. Equipped with the automatic transmission, the LE model starts at about $17,000 MSRP, the XLE at slightly under $18,500, the S at about $18,000 and the XRS at under $21,000. On the resale side, the Corolla should hold an above-average value after five years, similar to the Honda Civic but substantially better than the Chevrolet Cobalt and Nissan Sentra.

Notable Equipment

The base 2010 Toyota Corolla comes with 15-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, power steering, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, 60/40-split folding rear seat, power mirrors, AM/FM/CD (XM Satellite-ready) radio, outside temperature gauge, a driver's-seat height adjuster and driver and passenger front, seat-mounted side, traction and stability control and side-curtain airbags. The LE adds power windows, locks and color-keyed mirrors; the XLE 16-inch tires and wheels, variable intermittent wipers, a sliding center console with card holder, remote keyless entry and wood-grain trim; and the S has fog lamps, front and rear spoilers, sport seats and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. Only the XRS gets the 2.4-liter engine, rear disc brakes and standard cruise control.

Notable Options

The base Corolla's option list offers just cruise control, a six-disc CD changer and an All-Weather Guard Package (heavy-duty heater, rear heating duct and heated outside mirrors), while the LE adds available remote keyless entry (RKE) and larger tires on 16-inch alloy wheels. XLE buyers can specify JBL audio and navigation, and the S offers an available Power Package (power windows, locks and remote keyless entry) and leather-trimmed seats and shifter. The well-equipped XRS is available with the All-Weather and Power Packages, JBL audio, navigation and leather. All Corollas except the base model are available with the optional moonroof.

Favorite Features

Tilt/Telescopic Steering Wheel

This much-appreciated standard feature, rare in this class, helps drivers of all sizes find a comfortable position.

XRS Model

This better-looking, better-performing handling-oriented sport model is the highest-priced and least fuel-efficient Corolla but provides a substantial boost in driving enjoyment over the other four, including the semi-sporty S.

Under the Hood

Four of the five 2010 Toyota Corolla models offer only the base 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine; it's great for reliability and economy, but, as would be expected, only so-so for performance. Driving through a choice of either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, it delivers an excellent 26 city, 35 highway and 30 combined EPA-rated miles per gallon. The larger, more powerful 2.4-liter four, with either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic, is available in only the sportiest, top-of-the-line Corolla XRS.

1.8-liter in-line 4

132 horsepower @ 6000 rpm

128 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 (manual), 26/34 (automatic)

2.4-liter four-cylinder

158 horsepower @ 6000 rpm

162 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30

Editors' Notes

The original Toyota Corolla, a small rear-drive subcompact, arrived in the United States in the late 1960s; by the 1970s the second-generation version was the best-selling import in the country and new Corollas have followed every four or five years since. Now in its tenth-generation, the 2010 Corolla is slightly longer, lower and wider than the last generation, and comes with class-leading engineering improvements. The Corolla has grown over time, both in size and in features, with each generation being better than the one that went before, and the 2010 model certainly maintains that standard. But it's in a market segment with some very tough, excellent competition, from Japan, Korea and the United States, and smart buyers have lots of choices for their automotive dollars. As with many Toyota products, expected strengths of the Corolla should be long-term reliability, great fuel economy, a pleasant ownership experience and excellent resale value.

Road Test Video Reviews

2010 Toyota Corolla Owner Reviews

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Reliable and efficient Toyota.

2010 Toyota Corolla Base

My car is very reliable, easy on gas, drives easy, etc. However it has some issues with the startup as if I am overturning my key in the ignition when I start the cold engine. Mechanics cannot discover the issue and I have even recently replaced all of my ignition coils. It does not seem to affect anything seriously. . This car is comfortable, spacious, and all-in-all the best vehicle I have ever owned. The trunk space is invaluable. I can even move small pieces of furniture in this car. The speakers and sound system that come with the car is very impressive, including the bass. There's awesome space within the glove compartment and a separate storage compartment above that. There are two areas to plug in a car charger. There are 2 cupholders between the seats plus holders in each door and a separate fold down cup holder (2 spaces) for the back seat. The back seats also fold down to allow space for longer objects through the trunk. All-in-all this car is dependable, handles well, and was a great investment.

- Kelsey S

My experience with my 2010 Toyota Corolla so far

2010 Toyota Corolla S

I purchased this car used, originally was unhappy with what the dealer was selling me due to the maintenance light being on, but after a quick oil change and tire rotation I was on the road. Also the acceleration on this vehicle is not amazing, it drives quite smooth and quietly, whenever the road allows it. The interior is very comfortable and with the dual glove box I can store things with room to spare. The black cushion seats are very comfortable and the back seat has lots of legroom. My one complaint with this vehicle is that it does not have a rear window wiper, my back window dogs quite frequently in the mornings and I have to use a tool to clean it off. Other than that, with good maintenance, gas will last you a lot time. I spend roughly $25-$32 to fill up the tank from E every 2 weeks. This is a great car, I highly recommend for anyone who wants to save money on gas and have a reliable vehicle.

- Jeffrey J

Great mid size car with little to no problems! Great on gas!

2010 Toyota Corolla Base

I haven't really had any real problems with my car. If you want to know what I've had to replace (which I don't consider a problem ) are my battery, oil change, wiper blades and tires. This Toyota handles great, when I go to pass another car it has plenty of pick up, no play in the wheels and great manoeuvrability in and out of traffic. I'm a single lady and not afraid of going long distances with my car, it has been very dependable. No worries! As for comfort it seems to be very comfortable for myself and apparently for people riding with me. They always want to take my car for long distances. They say there is more room and comfort. The best feature in my opinion are good pick up, power everything, cruise control so I don't get a ticket and safety features ( air bags front and sides.) The car is a mid size, it appears to have a little more weight behind it and is good on gas.

- Debra S

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