Best & Worst Toyota Corolla Years

The Toyota Corolla has been a mainstay in the automotive industry for decades, with each model year bringing its strengths and weaknesses. If you are a fan of classic reliability or curious about potential pitfalls, navigating the best and worst Toyota Corolla years is essential for any prospective buyer or enthusiast.

We closely examine all Best & Worst Toyota Corolla Years and the standout features, notable advancements, and occasional missteps that have defined various iterations of this Toyota Corolla.

Toyota Corolla Generations:

The Toyota Corolla has evolved through multiple generations since its introduction in 1966. Known for its fuel efficiency, affordability, and reliability, the initial model featured a 1.1-litre engine and was targeted at average consumers. 

The Corolla has maintained these core attributes while undergoing updates and improvements in design, technology, and performance.

The below table Provides an overview of Toyota Corolla Generations from 1998 to the Present:

8th generation (E110)1998-2002
9th generation (E120/E130)2003-2008
10th generation (E140/E150)2009-2013
11th generation (E170)2014-2019
12th generation (E210)2020-Present

Each generation of the Toyota Corolla has built upon the success of its predecessor, incorporating advancements in safety features, fuel economy, and overall driving experience from its humble beginnings as a compact car with a focus on practicality and value.

Toyota Corolla Best, Neutral, and Worst Years:

In categorizing the best and worst model years for the Toyota Corolla, there are a lot of factors to consider. 

  • Owner-reported reliability is a big one. You want a car that will start every time you turn the key. 
  • Annual maintenance costs are important too. 
  • Safety ratings also play a big role if you want to feel secure on the road.
  • Consumer Reports reliability and owner satisfaction scores can give you a good idea of how happy people are with their Corollas. 
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints can also shed some light on potential issues with specific model years. 
  • And remember Edmunds owner ratings, JD Power owner ratings, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings, VehicleHistory owner ratings, and owner ratings.

These sources can provide valuable insights into the Toyota Corolla’s best and worst model years.

Below is a graph of compiled rating scores from the abovementioned sources

The research presents a table categorizing Toyota Corolla model years as best, neutral, or worst. Factors considered include reliability, performance, safety, and customer satisfaction.

The table offers a clear overview of the quality of each model year. The data is helpful for consumers considering purchasing a Toyota Corolla.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
8th generation (E110)2000, 2001
9th generation (E120/E130)2007
20052003, 2004
10th generation (E140/E150)2012
11th generation (E170)2016, 2017
2018, 2019
12th generation (E210)2021, 2022
2023, 2024

Neutral years refer to model years that neither stood out for exceptional performance nor suffered significant flaws. These years typically represent a balance of qualities, offering average performance, reliability, and features without standout strengths or weaknesses.

Best & Worst Years for Toyota Corolla 8th Generation (1998-2002):

The 8th generation Toyota Corolla, from 1998 to 2002, has been known for its reliability and affordability. The best Toyota Corolla years are generally considered 2000 to 2002 in the eighth generation. Toyota improved the engine and overall performance, making these models more reliable and efficient.

Best Toyota Corolla Years

The earlier years of the 8th generation, specifically 1998-1999, are often cited as Toyota Corolla years to avoid in the eighth generation. Some owners have reported issues with the engine and transmission during this period.

Best Toyota Corolla Years: 2000, 2001, 2002

The first-generation Toyota Corolla’s best years from 2000 to 2002 might be your golden ticket. These babies were outfitted with a nifty 1.8L 1ZZ-FE VVT-i engine, delivering pep and impressive fuel efficiency. 

Let’s remember the transmission options. Whether you prefer the smoothness of a 4-speed automatic or the control of a 5-speed manual, there’s something for everyone.

These bad boys didn’t skimp out regarding style and comfort. You’ll be riding in serious style with various trim levels available, including the sporty S trim that screams sleekness from every angle. 

Safety got an upgrade too, with advanced airbag systems and improved braking mechanisms ensuring you stay protected while enjoying that thrilling drive. Some folks experienced oil consumption issues, but it was nothing compared to previous models. 

These early 2000s Corollas brought some serious improvements, making them a solid choice today.

Toyota Corolla Years to Avoid: 1998, 1999

The 1998 and 1999 models have a tarnished reputation, and it’s not just hearsay. Owners reported troublesome engine and powertrain issues that put a dent in these vehicles’ reliability. Oil leaks seemed a common headache, causing potential long-term damage that no one wants to deal with. 

There were widespread complaints about grinding noises when applying the brakes, hinting at possible braking system malfunctions. Power steering unit failures also appeared, posing yet another obstacle for owners to navigate.

These year’s models may have attractive qualities like affordability and fuel efficiency, but the laundry list of problems raises some serious red flags. For anyone considering purchasing a used Corolla from these years, it might be best to proceed cautiously or explore other options.

Considering all these factors together, it’s clear why many experts advise steering clear of the 1998 and 1999 Toyota Corolla models if you’re in the market for a dependable ride that won’t give you constant headaches.

Best & Worst Years for Toyota Corolla 9th Generation (2003-2008)

Best Toyota Corolla Years

The 9th generation Toyota Corolla and its highs and lows. From 2003 to 2008, this iconic compact car underwent notable changes that significantly impacted its performance and reliability.

2007 and 2008 are the best years for Toyota Corolla, and 2004, 2005, and 2006 are Toyota Corolla years to avoid in the ninth generation.

Best Toyota Corolla Years: 2007, 2008

The Toyota Corolla hit its stride in 2007 and 2008. With fewer complaints and recalls, these years saw significant upgrades that made them stand out. The fuel-efficient 1.8L 1ZZ-FE engine delivered a respectable 26 city/35 highway mpg, striking a sweet balance between power and economy.

With trim options like CE, LE, and S trims, Toyota gave consumers plenty of choices to match their preferences. And let’s remember safety. Introducing side-curtain airbags is a game-changer in this segment. While some hiccups with ECM problems led to recalls, occasional AC malfunctions couldn’t dull the shine of these model years.

The Neutral Years: 2005

The 2005 Toyota Corolla is a real transitional phase for this iconic model. It certainly had its ups and downs, but one thing’s sure. It left an impression. Known for its decent performance, the 2005 Corolla found itself in a bit of a gray area, not plagued by as many issues as some other models, yet stuck in the neutral category.

The more notable issue that popped up during this year was the Engine Control Module malfunctions. This sneaky troublemaker would trigger the dreaded Check Engine light and even lead to engine stalling talk about adding drama to your daily drive. 

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for this model. Despite its hiccups, Toyota showed its proactive approach to addressing concerns through various recalls, reminding us there’s always room for improvement, even in neutral times.

Toyota Corolla Years to Avoid: 2003, 2004, 2006

According to NHTSA data, the 2003, 2004, and 2006 models have raised some red flags. The 2003 and 2004 versions were plagued by oil leaks, wonky transmissions, and unwelcome internal noises that might make you wish for earplugs.

Fast forward to 2006, and things could have gotten better. This model saw its fair share of engine woes, ECM malfunctions, and transmission failures, certainly not a recipe for worry-free motoring. 

Imagine hitting the road only to be greeted by a cheeky little Check Engine light or, worse, an engine stall leading to potential unexpected crashes. Those pesky air conditioner troubles could leave you hot under the collar in more ways than one.

Best & Worst Years for Toyota Corolla 10th Generation (2009-2013)

The 10th generation Toyota Corolla, from 2009 to 2013, brought modern styling and updated technology to the popular compact car. Known for its reputation of reliability and economy, the Corolla has been a top choice for many drivers.

The best years for the Corolla are 2012 and 2013, with performance and interior features improvements. Due to reported reliability and quality issues, the 2009 and 2010 models are often singled out as years to avoid.

Best Years For Toyota Corolla: 2012, 2013

These models stepped up their game in terms of performance and efficiency. The 1.8L 2ZR-FE engine was a welcomed addition, offering a good balance of power and fuel economy. With a 4-speed auto or 5-speed manual transmission, drivers could choose their driving experience.

Safety was also a top priority for these models, with enhanced braking systems and stability control. There have been some reports of excessive oil consumption that owners should watch. Unsurprisingly, J.D. Power and Consumer Reports received high praise for these model years.

The Neutral Years: 2011

The 2011 Toyota Corolla and its transitional refinement. With the retention of the reliable 1.8L 2ZR-FE engine, drivers enjoyed consistent performance and commendable fuel efficiency.

Despite these strengths, some setbacks emerged from Electronic Control Module (ECM) concerns, spacious interior and tech-savvy environment, leading to unexpected stalls. Toyota swiftly responded to these issues with service bulletins and recalls, showcasing their dedication to customer satisfaction and safety.

Due to these challenges, the 2011 model may have been placed in a neutral category, but it’s important to remember that every car has its ups and downs during transitional years. It’s all part of the journey toward improvement and innovation.

Regarding technological strides, the revised audio system and navigation options added a modern touch to this transitional period for the Corolla, demonstrating Toyota’s commitment to staying competitive in an ever-evolving market.

Toyota Corolla Years to Avoid: 2009, 2010

The rough patch that Toyota Corolla hit in 2009 and 2010. These two years seemed like nothing short of a nightmare for many Corolla owners. Experiencing issues related to excessive oil consumption, overheating, unintended acceleration, and loss of power steering assist must have been incredibly frustrating. 

Imagine cruising down the road and suddenly feeling your power steering going haywire or your car accelerating unexpectedly. It’s not cool.

The Electronic Control Module malfunctions and gear slipping that seemed to plague these models. It’s one thing to occasionally deal with a few hiccups, but when these problems become widespread, it’s hard not to feel let down by the brand you trusted. 

With recalls issued for brake vacuum intake port obstruction and sticky accelerator pedals adding fuel to the fire, it’s no wonder these model years received the lowest reliability and owner satisfaction scores from Consumer Reports. It truly makes you think twice before getting behind one of those cars during that time.

Best & Worst Years for Toyota Corolla 11th Generation (2014-2019)

Best Toyota Corolla Years

The 11th generation Toyota Corolla, from 2014 to 2019, saw the best performance and reliability in the 2016-2019 models.

These years featured improved safety features, better fuel efficiency, and overall refinement compared to earlier models in the generation. The 2014 model year had several reported issues with its transmission and suspension, making it the one to avoid in this generation.

Best Years For Toyota Corolla: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

These models were powered by the reliable 1.8L 2ZR-FAE engine with the innovative Valvematic system. Whether you opted for the CVT or the responsive 6-speed manual transmission, you were in for a smooth and efficient ride with an impressive 28 city and 36 highway mpg.

Introducing the Safety Sense-P suite elevated these models to a new level of security on the road. With features like lane departure alert, dynamic radar cruise control, pre-collision system, and automatic high beams, peace of mind comes standard.

But it wasn’t just about safety Toyota also stepped up its game in terms of technology and comfort. The revamped infotainment system and superior cabin materials made each journey pleasurable.

Those years were more than just reliable; they brought together performance, safety, and comfort in a way that genuinely impacted drivers’ experiences. And that’s why they stand out as some of the best years for the Toyota Corolla.

The Neutral Years: 2015

The 2015 Toyota Corolla year was a neutral period for the model, with newer cars stealing the spotlight. The 1.8L 2ZR-FAE engine from the previous model carried over, which was reliable but didn’t bring any wow factor.

While it did come with a standard backup camera and improved dashboard ergonomics, advanced safety options were limited.

One of the downsides of this year’s Corolla was its occasional transmission hiccups and infotainment system glitches. These issues hindered its performance and left drivers feeling frustrated at times.

Despite these challenges, many drivers found the Corolla a dependable vehicle for daily commutes and running errands around town.

Toyota Corolla Year to Avoid: 2014

The 2014 Toyota Corolla model had a lot going for it regarding design and technology, but unfortunately, it was overshadowed by some major issues. 

Complaints from owners flooded in, particularly concerning transmission problems such as hesitation, jerking, and even unintended acceleration. To top it off, the infotainment system caused its fair share of frustration with touchscreen malfunctions.

Toyota didn’t just sit back and twiddle their thumbs. They swiftly addressed the concerns raised by consumers, showing a commendable dedication to quality and customer satisfaction. 

It is reassuring to see a company take responsibility and commit to making things right when they go wrong.

Best & Worst Years for Toyota Corolla 12th Generation (2020-Present)

The 12th generation Toyota Corolla, produced from 2020 to the present, benefits from the TNGA platform, which enhances stability and comfort. The model’s reliability varies, with 2020 being the least reliable year and 2021-2024 proving to be the most reliable.

Toyota Corolla Best Years: 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024

The twelfth-generation Toyota Corolla has set a new standard for compact sedans with its refined powertrain options. The 2.0L Dynamic-Force engine paired with Direct Shift-CVT delivers impressive power and an outstanding 31/40 mpg, making it a fuel-efficient choice for any driving enthusiast.

For those seeking a more engaging driving experience, the 6-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission has received praise for its smooth and responsive handling, adding an exhilarating touch to the Corolla’s performance.

To its dynamic driving capabilities, the 2021 model onward comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, including adaptive cruise control and pre-collision systems, ensuring peace of mind on every journey. Inside the cabin, connectivity is key, as the Corolla features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and various other connectivity options that keep drivers seamlessly integrated with their digital lives.

Looking ahead to 2023 and 2024 updates that further enhance the Corolla’s position as a top compact sedan, one can expect even more exciting advancements in technology and design that continue to push boundaries and exceed expectations in this competitive segment.

Toyota Corolla Year to Avoid: 2020

The 2020 Toyota Corolla faced many criticisms that marred its debut. While commendable features such as advanced driver-assist technology and a redesigned interior were highlights, the lackluster performance of the CVT and minor infotainment glitches drew considerable flak from consumers and critics alike.

It resulted in lower ratings from well-respected platforms like J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, signaling a disappointing start to what was anticipated as a groundbreaking model year.

The 2020 Corolla’s struggles are not unique, as it encountered challenges common to the first year of a newly launched generation. This insight sheds light on the complexities of introducing significant updates or redesigns within an established automotive lineup.

Despite initial setbacks, there remains potential for future iterations to address these issues and reclaim Toyota Corolla’s status as a reliable and innovative vehicle choice for consumers in the years ahead.

If you are not satisfied to buy Toyata Corolla on any year I have more information on Best & Worst Honda CRV Years and Best & Worst Toyota RAV4 Years you visit these guide.

Toyota Corolla Average Resale Values:

The Toyota Corolla has long been known for its impressive resale value, and it continues to hold its ground as one of the top choices for buyers looking for a reliable and high-value vehicle. Below look a graph:

Best & Worst Toyota Corolla Years

Final Words For Best & Worst Toyota Corolla Years:

The Toyota Corolla has seen both highs and lows over its many years of production. From the reliability and fuel efficiency of the best years to the transmission and engine issues of the worst years, it’s clear that not all Corollas are created equal.

It’s important for prospective buyers to carefully consider their options and thoroughly research before making a purchase. With proper care and maintenance, any model year can serve as a reliable vehicle for years to come.


Is 2007 a Good Year for Toyota Corolla?

Yes, 2007 is considered a good year for the Toyota Corolla. It received positive reviews for its fuel efficiency, reliability, and low maintenance costs.

What is the Most Reliable Toyota Corolla Year?

The Toyota Corolla model year 2007 is often considered one of the most reliable due to its solid build quality and low maintenance costs.