The 2001 Toyota Corolla has had a long life as one of the leaders of the import market. The model has undergone a number of changes over time. Since its inception, a number of new competitors have risen to challenge the Corolla in the compact car market segment. Unfortunately, a number of competitors have taken over the Corolla.
The current generation of the Toyota Corolla traces back to 1998. Much of the car dates back further than that. 2001 brings some new changes, many of which concern cosmetics. The most noticeable change concerns the addition of the S model and the repositioning of the CE and LE. The front end shows slight alterations, with a new fascia and restyled lighting and grille. Two new colors replace two outdated ones. The only functional changes concern the addition of an internal trunk release and a new control for the ventilation system.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder
Transmissions: three-speed automatic, four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Toyota Corolla CE, Toyota Corolla S, Toyota Corolla LE
The 2001 Toyota Corolla has a new member in the S model. Although it has been touted as ?sporty,? it only looks this way. The S merely stands as the CE with some extra trim, fog lights, faux-leather wrapping on the steering wheel, and a tachometer. No additions have been made to increase performance. With the addition of the S, Toyota removes the entry-level VE. The CE now serves as the entry-level model, the LE becomes the mid-level model, and the S enters as the top model.
Cosmetically, the exterior shows some updates. The front end has been slightly remolded around a new chrome-ringed grille and new headlights. Exterior trim now uses the body color on the LE and S. Two new colors, Impulse Red and Indigo Ink, replace Venetian Red Pearl and Twilight Blue Pearl. Functionally, an internal release handle comes standard in the trunk, and a button has been added to the climate control system to allow control between fresh and recirculated airflow.
Much like other members of the compact car segment, the outside of the 2001 Toyota Corolla looks plain, bordering on bland. However, this also means that it does not look styled enough to appear ugly on unfashionable as time passes.
The 2001 Toyota Corolla’s interior, at best, provides a safe place. It feels slightly cramped, although the roofline stands high enough to allow tall people enough headroom. The materials fall on the cheaper side, and the ergonomics of the console do not seem well-thought-out. The ride feels smooth, although the seats themselves prove uncomfortable. Visibility for the driver remains quite good, though.
Performance & Handling
The 1.8-liter engine in the Toyota Corolla gives it plenty of zip. The three-speed automatic transmission holds the engine back in the base model, causing poor acceleration and poor fuel economy. Coupled with the other transmissions, the VVT-i system (variable valve timing and lift) used by Toyota gives the model solid performance, reduced pollution, and some of the best fuel economy on the road. The 2001 Toyota Corolla can get up to speed quickly and cruise along at a good clip. Steering feels crisp, but the suspension falls on the soft side. This allows for a smooth ride, but detracts from handling.
The 2001 Toyota Corolla comes equipped with a bevy of safety features. Anti-lock brakes get help from electronic brake force distribution. Daytime running lamps couple with headlights that can sense dusk. Child safety gets great attention, with integral child seat anchors, child safety locks, and the new interior trunk release to keep the kids from getting trapped in the trunk. Front airbags come standard; side airbags remain optional. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration awards the Corolla above-average rankings in all categories. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awards it an ?acceptable? rating overall, with ?good? ratings for head, neck, and chest safety.
EPA Fuel Economy
Toyota Corolla three-speed automatic: 25/30 mpg city/highway
Toyota Corolla four-speed automatic: 26/36 mpg city/highway
Toyota Corolla five-speed manual: 28/37 mpg city/highway
- Fuel economy
- Plenty of safety features
- Good build quality
- Smooth ride
You Won't Like
- Slightly cramped interior
- Plain styling
- Terrible three-speed transmission
Solid compact car let down by poor interior.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Nissan Sentra
- Honda Civic
- Chevrolet Prizm