Best Years for Used Corolla to Buy

Toyota Corolla is the best-selling vehicle of Toyota. Corolla has sold over 50 million units since its debut in 1966.

It is one of the most durable vehicles which attracts so many users. Toyota Corolla’s legendary life expectancy makes it a great choice for used car buyers.

Moreover, it has great resale value and recognition among users. But all the Toyota Corollas are not equally built or have the same reputation.

Some of the Corolla model years have impressive reliability ratings whereas some model years have a lot of complaints.

You should invest your money in the most reliable Toyota Corolla if you are up to buying a used Corolla.

I have talked about the best years for a used Corolla to help you find the most suitable vehicle.

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Best Years for Used Toyota Corolla

According to user reviews, ratings, complaint numbers, and recalls 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 model years are the best years for used Toyota Corolla.

1. 2004 Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla 2004 got a 4.8 out of 5.0 consumer rating according to Edmunds. According to KBB, it has a consumer rating of 4.7. It has got 31 mpg combined which is great as an old vehicle.

2004 Corolla has a lot of safety features with great fuel economy. The resale value of that model year is also great. Though it has a lot of NHTSA complaints about seat belts and airbags, it has got the Seal of Awesome from CarComplaints.

This model year has improved a lot compared to the 2003 model year. For that reason, the 2004 Toyota Corolla is a good option for used car users.

2. 2007–2008 Toyota Corolla

After the failure of the 2003 Toyota Corolla, Toyota made a massive improvement in the 2004 model year. But the 2005 and 2006 model year got a lot of user complaints.

After that, the 2007 and 2008 model year became successful again. Consumer ratings of 2007 and 2008 model years of Toyota Corolla in Edmunds is 4.5 and 4.6 out of 5.0. Similarly both cars have received a consumer rating from Kelley’s Blue Book of 4.6 out of 5.0.

They have a reliability rating of 85 and 82 out of 100 in J.D. Power Also they have a combined mileage of 31 mpg. These model years have good performance, fewer complaints, great fuel economy and user experience. Overall 2007 and 2008 Toyota Corollas are good choices as used cars.

3. 2011–2013 Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla 2011–2013 model years are also recommended for used vehicle purchase. 2009-2010 Toyota Corollas are the problematic years of that generation. 2011 and 2012 Toyota Corolla have 4.1 and 2013 Corolla has 4.3 out of 5.0 consumer ratings in Edmunds.

Also the 2011 and 2012 model years have a reliability rating of 85 and 2013 has 86 out of 100 in J.D. Power. All the model years have a consumer rating of 4.4 out of 5.0 in KBB.

These model years have great safety, endurance, fuel economy rating and resale value. As a matter of fact, it would be a good choice to buy a used Corolla from the 2011–2013 model years.

4. 2016–2021 Toyota Corolla

Corolla’s 2014 and 2015 model years have more complaints compared to other model years. Later model years of 2016 to 2021 have less complaints and good user reviews.

As for consumer ratings in EDmunds, 2016 Corolla got 4.2 out of 5.0. 2017 and 2018 Corolla got 3.6 and 3.5 out of 5.0 respectively. 2019 and 2020 corolla got 3.8 and 3.5 out of 5.0.

Finally the 2021 Corolla got 4.1 out of 5.0. 2016 to 2020 Corollas have 85, 83, 84, 83, 84, and 80 reliability rating in J.D. Power. 2016 to 2019 Corollas have 4.3 rating out of 5.0 in KBB.

On the other hand 2020 and 2021 model years of Corolla have 4.2 out of 5.0 consumer rating there. 2016 to 2021 model years provide great safety features with stylish design.

Corolla’s 2016 and 2021 model years are especially great among those models. They also provide great fuel economy, good driving experience, better resale value and customer satisfaction. For better value for money, you can choose between the 2016 and 2021 Corolla  for a used car.

Used Toyota Corolla Years to Avoid

According to the user reviews and complaint numbers, these are the used Corolla model years you should avoid:

  • 2000–2003 Corolla
  • 2005–2006 Corolla
  • 2009–2010 Corolla
  • 2014–2015 Corolla

2009 Corolla has the most complaints among these problematic model years. Additionally Corolla 2010 model year has the second most complaints. Other cited model years also have a lot of problems at lower mileage. So you must avoid those model years.

Toyota Corolla Complaints By Year and Source

Corolla Model Years User Complaint Numbers

(Source: carcomplaints)

User Complaint Numbers

(Source: NHTSA)


66 156
2001 66



98 148
2003 111



48 497
2005 85



82 894
2007 56



37 338
2009 253



126 1246
2011 36



32 429
2013 43



110 244
2015 72



39 189
2017 35



10 110
2019 6



20 1
2021 2



3 32
2023 0


Used Toyota Corolla Reliability

Corolla can easily last up to 300,000 miles. You can drive the vehicle for a decade and still resale it at a great price.

For that reason there is a great demand for used Corolla cars among the users.

According to RepairPal Toyota Corolla gets a reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5.0. Average compact vehicles have reliability ratings of 4.0 out of 5.0 and Corolla scores above average.

Average annual repair and maintenance cost of the Corolla is $360 and it is way lower than average compact vehicles.

Repair and maintenance frequency is also low for a Corolla.

Probable major issue expectancy rating is 7% for a Corolla, whereas it is 11% for other compact vehicles.

Overall, Corolla is a reliable vehicle and you can get a used Corolla from the best years without any tension.

Closing Remarks

Corolla is a safe, dependable and reliable compact vehicle. Toyota is known for long-lasting vehicles and Corolla is no different.

You should choose from the best years for Corolla while buying a used car.

Also you should avoid the problematic years of used Corollas as they will not be the value for money.

Whatever you do, thoroughly research the vehicle and model year for a better result.

I hope this article helps you to choose the best-used Corolla.

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