2013 Toyota Corolla Preview

Jeff Youngs | May 14, 2013
  • Slightly revised grille introduced for 2013 model year
  • Trim packages are slightly revised
  • 6.1-inch touch-screen display for audio now standard on upper trim levels
  • Compact sedan gets two special-edition variants
  • Electric steering is standard


The Toyota Corolla is a compact sedan, introduced in the late 1960s and believed to be the best-selling passenger car of all time. During its several generations of production, its profile has become less boxy, more curved. Competitors include the Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Mazda 3, Hyundai Elantra, and other budget-priced compact cars. The Corolla is available in five trim levels: base L, LE, and S, plus special limited editions of the LE and S trims. All Corollas employ front-wheel drive, with a standard 4-cylinder engine. The 2013 model carries over from the previous year with a few upgrades, including a 6.1-inch touch screen for the audio system. The front grille has been redesigned for 2013, and a few tweaks have been made to the menus for each trim level.

Exterior Features

The 2013 Toyota Corolla is offered in a choice of 10 exterior colors, although not all colors are offered for all trim levels. Standard equipment includes color-keyed power outside mirrors and 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers. The LE trim level adds 16-inch steel wheels, intermittent wipers, and heated mirrors. The special edition of the LE upgrades to alloy wheels. The Corolla S includes fog lights, underbody spoilers, rear spoiler, and a sportier body kit; its special edition adds 17-inch alloy wheels and more paint color options. A sunroof is available on all but the base Corolla.

Interior Features

Standard interior features on the 2013 Toyota Corolla include seating for five, power windows with driver-side auto up/down, air conditioning, cruise control, cloth upholstery, height-adjustable driver's seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, USB port with iPod connectivity and control, audio system, and Bluetooth phone connectivity. The LE trim level adds phone and audio controls to the steering wheel, plus an upgraded sound system with 6.1-inch touch-screen display, and more power connectors. The Corolla S upgrades the cloth upholstery. A navigation system is standard with the LE Special Edition trim level; so is leather upholstery, with heated front seats and a power-adjustable driver's seat. The S Special Edition features similar upgrades. Trunk capacity is 12.3 cubic feet.

Optional Features

Many of the upgrades offered on the upper trim levels are available as options on the lower trims. Optional equipment available on various trim levels includes a sunroof, leather upholstery, sportier 17- or 18-inch wheels, and other enhancements. Available accessories include a security system, alloy wheel locks, body side moldings, paint protection film, rear spoiler, door edge guards, rear bumper protector, ashtray, doorsill enhancements, auto-dimming mirror, upgraded sway bar and strut brace, and cargo organizers.

Under the Hood

All Toyota Corolla models for 2013 are fitted with a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 132 horsepower and 128 lb.-ft. of torque. All Corolla models are front-wheel drive, and come with a 5-speed manual transmission, or an optional 4-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Toyota Corolla are:

  • Corolla with manual transmission: 27/34/30 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Corolla with automatic transmission: 26/34/29 mpg


Standard safety features on the 2013 Toyota Corolla include anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, and a complement of 6 air bags.

In government crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Toyota Corolla received 4 (out of 5) stars for frontal crash protection; 5 stars for side-impact crash protection; and an overall rating of 4 stars. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Corolla received "Good" ratings--the Institute's highest--for frontal-offset and side-impact protection, and for roof strength.
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