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If you’re looking to purchase a Toyota Corolla, you likely know that there are quite a few different models of the car. With so many choices it can be hard to choose. But after reading this, you’ll have made up your mind on which model is the right fit for you.
The Toyota Corolla has seven different models: the L, LE, LE Hybrid, SE CVT, SE (6MT), XLE, and XSE. The list price varies by model but will range from $19,600 to $25,550 for the base models.
Continue reading to see what makes each specific model unique, what similarities they share, and what features each one has to offer.
Specifications of Each Corolla Model
Here, we’ll be giving an overview of the details for each individual Corolla model. Click here to view the full specifications for each model.
Toyota Corolla L
This is the least expensive of the seven models, starting off at $19,600. The L is a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder Corolla with an estimated 33 mpg combined. It’s rated as an ultra-low emission vehicle with variable transmission, front-wheel drive, electric power steering, and brakes with electronically controlled braking.
This model does not come with the option of selecting any of Toyota’s premium packages.
Toyota Corolla LE
Like the L, the LE is a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder with 33 combined mpg, low emission, front-wheel drive, power steering, and power brakes. The starting MSRP is $20,050.
You have the option of selecting the LE Premium package which will come with a Smart Key front door system, push-to-start, blind spot warning indicators, and moonroof with sliding sunshade.
Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE
Here we have the hybrid version of the LE which has much higher mileage estimates; it has 52 combined mpg. Driving at night definitely won’t be an issue with its high powered LED headlights. The starting price is $23,100.
As a hybrid, you can drive in three modes: normal, power, or ECO driving. It also has a hybrid sport mode driving option if you’re looking for that feature. However, this model isn’t rated as a low emission vehicle. Additionally, like the L model, there are no premium packages to add to the Hybrid LE.
Toyota Corolla SE CVT
Starting at $22,050, the SE CVT brings 34 combined mpg and a 2-liter 4-cylinder engine with 169 horsepower.
While it may bump up the price a bit, you have many options for premium packages:
- SE Premium package: comes with blind-spot warnings, push-to-start, and a keyless entry system
- SE Connectivity (Audio Plus) package: comes with an 8-inch touchscreen, voice recognition, is compatible with Bluetooth software like Apple CarPlay, and allows the car to be a wifi hotspot (up to 2GBs)
- SE Connectivity (JBL Audio): has the same features as the Audio Plus package but with nine JBL speakers installed as well
- Advanced Lighting package: provides an adaptive front lighting system to help with nighttime driving
Toyota Corolla SE (6MT)
The 6MT is a little different from the other models mentioned so far. This car has a manual transmission, as opposed to the automatic transmission of the previously mentioned models. It costs almost the same as the SE CVT at $22,750 with 32 combined mpg.
This model doesn’t come with sport mode but it is rated as a low emission vehicle. The 6MT also lacks the push-to-start feature, and the ability to add any premium packages.
Toyota Corolla XSE
The XSE is the most expensive model of the Corolla with a starting price of $25,550. It comes with 34 combined mpg, a backup camera, outside mirrors with signal and blind-spot warning lights, low-emission vehicle rating, push-to-start, and power doors with automatic lock.
Optionally you can add these two premium packages: the Connectivity package, and the Advanced Lighting package
Toyota Corolla XLE
Last, but not least, is the XLE, a 32 combined mpg Corolla priced at $24,050. Like the XSE, it has push-to-start, a backup camera, blindspot warning lights on the outside mirrors, and is a low-emission vehicle.
The same optional premium packages that are available for the XSE are available for the XLE as well.
Similarities Between the Models
There are a lot of similar features that come standard on all of the Toyota Corolla Models.
No matter which model you pick, you’ll be driving a car designed with safety in mind. Each model comes with Toyota Safety Sense which provides the following safety features:
- Pre-collision system: helps detect cars and pedestrians and automatically applies the brakes to reduce the chances of collisions.
- Lane departure alert: steering assist activates when the system detects that the driver isn’t steering properly
- Lane tracking assist: detects lane markers and displays the position of the car
In the event of an accident, every model comes with eight airbags, emergency locking/retractor seat belts, and whiplash-reducing seats to protect you and every other passenger in the car (it has a maximum seating capacity of five passengers).
Size and Weight
The Corolla is 182.3 inches long, 70 inches wide, and 56 inches tall. Its interior has decent legroom with 42 and 41 inches of leg space in the front and back seat respectively. Taller passengers may feel slightly cramped, however. The sport seats provide good support for whenever you’re making a long drive.
You can pack a decent amount of items throughout the Corolla with its cargo volume sitting at 13 cubic feet (except for the Hybrid LE, which has 11.4 cubic feet of space). Just be mindful that the trunk has hinges that take away a little bit of available space.
Toyota offers multiple accessories to personalize any Corolla you choose such as all-weather floor liners, a rear bumper protector, an emergency assistance kit, or a paint protection film. Adding any of these may increase the overall price.
Which Model is Best for You
If the price tag is your primary concern, the L and the LE are the two cheapest models costing roughly $20,000. Both models have 33 mpg combined, so gas won’t be much of an issue.
If mileage is your primary concern, the Hybrid LE is the top choice with 52 combined mpg. Of the seven models, this one is priced in the middle.
The title of “the best bang for your buck” would belong to the SE and the XSE models. Unlike the L, LEs, and XLE, these two have a 2-liter engine which is more convenient for everyday driving. They also have automatic climate control and larger radio screens.
How Reliable is a Corolla?
A Corolla is a car you can trust no matter what make or year you choose. According to U.S. News, it’s currently ranked as the 5th best compact car, the 7th best small-sized car, and was given a perfect five out of five reliability rating from J.D. Power.
Even choosing an older model can be an excellent choice. Toyota of Murfreesboro, Tennessee gave the 2017 iteration of the Corolla high remarks. It was the best-selling car in the United States with roughly 1,000 models driving off lots per day at the time.
For more peace of mind, the Corolla also comes with a 3-year (or 36,000-mile) standard warranty, or a 5-year/60,000-mile extended warranty.
A Great All-Around Car
As you can see, even with the different models of the Toyota Corolla, selecting any one of them brings you good gas mileage, extreme reliability, compact size, and possibly longevity. If the 2017 model brings superior performance, you can be assured that the 2020 model (or any other year) will provide you with similar performance. Click here to view Toyota’s brochure for the 2020 Corolla.