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2021 Toyota Camry vs Corolla

2021 Toyota Camry vs Corolla

2021 Camry vs Corolla - How do they stack up? What are the differences?

The Toyota Camry and Toyota Corolla have been around for decades. During that time, they've been some of the best sellers in the sedan market. For 2021, Toyota has given the Camry and Corolla a nice array of high-tech features, to include things that people can use to stay entertained as well as those that will keep passengers safe and comfortable.

There's no doubt that the Camry and Corolla can be very practical. The real question is which model would be ideal? This overview will go into detail as to how these cars differ from each other. It should give a potential customer a better idea of which car would be the right pick.

Size and Styling

Out of these two models, the Camry is the larger car in just about every way. It's slightly taller and a few inches wider than the Corolla is, and it's about ten inches longer than its counterpart. It even has a higher ground clearance. The Camry sits 5.7 inches off the ground while the Corolla has a ground clearance of 5.3 inches.

This means that the Camry is going to have the more sizable cabin. Its front-row passengers have up to 42.1 inches of leg room, and those in the back have a decent amount of space, with there being 38 inches of leg room.

The Corolla has 42 inches of leg room in the first row, so it's not as if the driver and front passenger will be cramped in any way. However, those in the back seat only have 34.8 inches of leg room. This could become an issue if taller people are riding in the back on longer road trips.

Cars like the Camry and Corolla aren't going to have as much cargo space as some other types of vehicles, but they still have a good amount of cargo room in their trunks. The Corolla has a trunk that has a volume of 13.1 cubic feet. The Camry might be more practical if people are often packing their trunk full of items because it has a cargo volume of 15.1 cubic feet.

These two cars look very modern. They have a sporty appearance and have a bit of an edge to them. Helping in this regard are LED Daytime Running Lights, LED taillights, and LED headlights. Some trims have black or dark grey front grilles, and some have special side rocker panels and rear spoilers.

The wheels on the Corolla range from 15-inch steel wheels to 18-inch alloy or aluminum wheels. With the Camry, the basic wheels are 16-inch steel ones, whereas the higher trims can have 19-inch gloss-black or matte-black wheels.

Both models have trims that are designed to look really athletic and stylish. For example, the Corolla XSE Apex Edition has a two-tone exterior color scheme with a black roof, blacked-out badging, a black spoiler, and a sport-tuned exhaust. Some Corollas have power moonroofs and heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals.

The Camry has some similar elements, such as quad chrome tips on the exhaust and black or chrome badging. A power moonroof is available on many trims, and some can be enhanced with a panoramic glass roof. That would have a fixed rear panel and a front panel that can tilt or slide open. The Camry has an available two-tone look, too.


Toyota has given its customers a lot to think about in regards to the powertrain on these models. Both come with a few different options, so customers will have to consider whether efficiency, power, or affordability are more important. The good news is that most powertrains are going to have a nice mix of all three of those qualities, though some stand out in a few ways.

The first option with the Corolla is a 1.8-liter engine. It has 139 horsepower and 126 pound-feet of torque. This amount of capability should be sufficient for some drivers, but there will certainly be others who will want more. In that case, they can choose a Corolla with a 2.0-liter engine. Since it's a little bigger, it can churn out more power. It comes with 139 horsepower and 126 pound-feet of torque.

A third option is a hybrid powertrain. It uses a 1.9-liter engine and an electric motor. It only has 121 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. Its main benefit is its efficiency. It can earn up to 53 miles per gallon, which is a mark that's difficult to beat. The other Corollas can earn up to 31/38 (city/highway) miles per gallon. This is still great fuel economy, compared with what other non-hybrids can do.

Every Corolla has front-wheel drive. Most have continuously variable transmissions, with there being some that have six-speed manual transmissions. To make things a little more exciting, there are some trims that have Sport driving modes. By simply pushing a button, drivers can engage Sport mode, in which their cars can be a little more aggressive. Some models also have paddle shifters to give people manual control over shifting.

The Camry is in a different league when it comes to performance. Its lower trims run on 2.5-liter engines that can make 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. To have more than 200 horsepower is impressive, and it's something that gets the Camry a lot of attention from prospective buyers.

With that standard engine, the Camry is available with all-wheel drive. This is another reason why the Camry stands out in a crowd. Having all-wheel drive can enhance traction, and it can be so important for those who frequently deal with wintry conditions.

Some of the Camrys can be upgraded with 3.5-liter V6 engines. One of these engines rivals what one might see in a sports car or a full-size SUV. This V6 comes with 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Unfortunately, the V6 is not available with all-wheel drive; it only comes with front-wheel drive.

The final choice is to get a Camry with a hybrid powertrain. It uses a 2.5-liter engine and an electric motor. It has a net horsepower of 208, so it will still be able to handle itself well. This hybrid powertrain uses an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission, whereas the non-hybrids have eight-speed electronically controlled automatic transmissions. Either way, there would be sequential shift mode to allow for manual shifting, if drivers ever want to have more control.

Some of the Camrys are specifically designed for performance. They can have higher quality suspension systems and active cornering assist to improve their handling.

A hybrid version of the Camry can do just as well as the hybrid version of the Corolla in terms of efficiency, earning up to 53 miles per gallon. A Camry with a 2.5-liter engine and front-wheel drive can earn up to 28/39 (city/highway) miles per gallon. If there's an all-wheel drivetrain, those numbers drop to 25/34 miles per gallon. With the 3.5-liter V6, the Camry gets an estimated 22/32 miles per gallon. With the non-hybrids, people will have to give up some efficiency in order to have more capability.

Comfort, Options and Performance

Just as it's the larger and more powerful car, the Camry also has a few more interior amenities than the Corolla does. Now, the Corolla has much to offer, and most people would be quite pleased with all the features that it can have. However, the higher trims of the Camry just go a step further to give people a luxury experience when on the roads.

In the Corolla, lower trims have fabric seats, manually adjustable front seats, and standard air conditioning systems. Mid-level trims could get upgraded with automatic climate control, SofTex or premium fabric upholstery, heated front seats, and a smart entry system. That smart entry system lets people keep their key fobs tucked away somewhere safe, and all it takes to unlock the door is to touch the sensor on the door handle. Higher trims can have many more features, such as ambient lighting, wireless charging, and leather-wrapped steering wheels.

All of those same components are available or standard on the Toyota Camry, and mid-level and higher trims can have many more elements. For example, many Camry trims have dual zone automatic climate control and seven-inch digital information displays. Heated and ventilated front seats are available, as is a heated steering wheel.

In addition, there are some things that the Camry can have that are commonly found on luxury cars. They include an auto-dimming rearview mirror, LED reading lights, leather seats, sport pedals, and a head-up display.

In every trim of the Camry, there's a touchscreen that measures at least seven inches. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth are standard, as they are on many modern cars. Notably, the Camry comes standard with SiriusXM, Amazon Alexa, Wi-Fi Connect, and three USB ports. Higher trims have nine-inch touchscreens, and they could have nine JBL speakers and integrated navigation.

Likewise, the Corolla comes standard with a seven-inch touchscreen, smartphone compatibility, Bluetooth, Amazon Alexa, and SiriusXM. The lower trims have two USB ports instead of the three ports that the Camry has. The available technology is comparable with what the Camry offers, though higher trims of the Corolla have eight-inch touchscreens instead of nine-inch ones. Navigation is available, and so is a nine-speaker JBL sound system.

Buying Tip:

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Customers should be happy that Toyota has worked hard to integrated driver-assist technology into its vehicles. Every Corolla and Camry has a comprehensive Toyota Safety Sense package. With this package, one of these cars can sense when it's drifting out of position or approaching another vehicle or pedestrian too quickly. If so, it can warn drivers and potentially correct its steering or hit the brakes.

These cars can also turn on their high beams if the road ahead is especially dark, thanks to automatic high beams. They can read road signs and remind drivers of important information, like the speed limit and upcoming changes to traffic patterns. With adaptive cruise control, they make adjustments to speed in order to stay a safe distance behind the leading vehicle. Of course, this last feature would only work if the program has been engaged by the driver. With both models, blind spot and rear cross-traffic alert are included on select trims.

To help with parking and maneuvering in small spaces, the Camry has an available 360-degree camera. It provides a top-down view of the car and shows how close it is to other objects. The Corolla doesn't have this feature, but it does has a rearview camera with guidelines.

Which Model to Choose?

The Camry is the definitely the more upscale choice. It should impress a lot of potential customers with its cabin size, powertrain options, and available amenities. Its higher trims can be quite sophisticated, and this may actually be surprising to those who have long associated the Toyota Camry with being a basic, budget-friendly vehicle.

With a starting price of $24,970, the Camry can be affordable for many buyers. There are 12 total trims, including some V6 models and those with hybrid systems. The XSE V6 is at the top of the list with a cost of $35,545, so that's not as cheap as some may be hoping for.

The Corolla is going to be more attractive to customers who want to save money. Its base trim only costs $20,025, and the next trim in the lineup doesn't cost much more than that. There are nine Corolla trims, with the most expensive being the XSE Apex Edition ($28,310).

For a customer, it'll come down to preferences related to size, power, and affordability. From most perspectives, the Camry wins in two out of these three categories, but one can't underestimate the importance of sticking to a budget. Besides, some drivers are going to want something compact and youthful as opposed to the more traditional Camry. The truth is that either car would be a pleasure to drive.

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