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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2022 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE

Vehicle Type: Small Hybrid
 overall score
Category Ranking: 8

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $23,400
Price as Tested: $25,994

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Regular
Fuel Capacity (gal): 11.4
EPA City mpg53
EPA Highway mpg52
EPA Combined mpg52
with specific headlights

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [S]
  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [O]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [O]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional
NHTSA Rating:

Overall Observations

When fuel prices rise, Americans gravitate toward vehicles that wring maximum mileage out of a gallon of gas, such as the Toyota Corolla Hybrid. The Corolla’s hybrid drivetrain—a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor (121 hp total)—gets an EPA-estimated 52 mpg combined and is seamless in its gas-electric transitions. Unfortunately, it’s also slow and noisy, and the drivetrain drones under acceleration. Handling in everyday driving is competent, but the Corolla isn’t fun to drive. Additionally, the brakes have a mushy feel. The cabin offers decent room in the front. The interior is plain and, in the base model, the materials feel cheap. A Premium Package, with leatherette seating ($1,525), was a welcome upgrade for 2021. On the plus side, standard features include LED headlights with auto high beams and Toyota’s well-regarded Safety Sense 2.0 suite of advanced safety features. Blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning are optional, however
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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • Good overall value
  • 600-plus miles on asingle fill-up
  • Lots of standardadvanced safetyfeatures
  • Smooth hybriddrivetrain

Weak Points

  • Powertrain is noisy;performance is justadequate
  • Boring drivingexperience
  • Plain interior styling;cheap fit and finish

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2021
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 3060.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 182.3 / 70.1 / 56.5
Wheelbase (in): 106.3
Number of air bags: 10
Warranty (months/miles): 36/36,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Yokohama Avid GT
Front and rear tire size: 195/65 R15
Max towing capacity (lbs): Not recommended
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Hybrid drive
Drivetrain type: Front wheel
Engine/motor: 1.8L 4-Cyl. dual VVT-i
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 121 @ 5200
Electric motor horsepower: 71
Combined system horsepower: 121

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:


Fuel Efficiency:


EPA Emissions Score:








Ride Quality:


Interior Size:


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