2021 Toyota Corolla Trim Level Review

2021 Toyota Corolla Trim Level Review

When you approach the Toyota Corolla, you have a lot of options in terms of trims. Each has their own advantages and benefits, which we’ll investigate here in this 2021 Toyota Corolla trim level comparison. At Al Hendrickson Toyota, we’re here to help Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, and Boca Raton shoppers find the perfect car for their lifestyle.

The Toyota Corolla at A Glance

EPA-estimated MPG

30 City/38 Highway/33 Combined1


1.8L 4-cylinder engine


139 horsepower


Continuously Variable Transmission

Drive System

Front-Wheel Drive (FWD)

Toyota Corolla L

Toyota Corolla Base Trim: The L

This trim is your basic entry point. Everything here will get built upon further as we go along the trim models. In addition to the quick facts mentioned in the section above, this trim includes a 7 inch touchscreen, 6 speakers, and is compatible with Apple CarPlay®, Amazon Alexa, and Android Auto™.

Some additional features of this trim include:

  • Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0 (TSS 2.0).
  • Star Safety System™.
  • Color-keyed power outside mirrors.

Toyota Corolla LE

Toyota Corolla LE Trim

This is a step forward along the time trim line, just enough features to make it distinct, but the original base still shines through. For example, those color-keyed power outside mirrors? Thanks to an optional package, they become heated with blind spot warning indicators.

Some additional features of this trim include:

  • Remote keyless entry system.
  • 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
  • Automatic climate control with dust and pollen filter and push-button controls.

Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE Trim

What really sets this trim apart from the rest is its hybrid powertrain meaning it takes both gasoline and electricity providing up to an EPA-estimated MPG 53 City/52 Highway/52 Combined MPG.1 That kind of mileage makes this trim ideal for commuters.

Some additional features of this trim include:

  • Automatic climate control with dust and pollen filter and push-button controls.
  • Electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT).
  • Smart Key System on front doors and trunk with Push Button Start, remote keyless entry system with lock, two-stage unlock, panic and trunk-release functions.

Toyota Corolla SE

Toyota Corolla SE Trim

The SE boasts an EPA-estimated 31/40/34 MPG and 169 horsepower thanks to its larger 2.0L engine.1 You’ll find this to be mid-range trim, perfect for the driver who just wants a touch extra.

Some additional features of this trim include:

  • Adjustable front shoulder anchors, driver and front passenger seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters.
  • Normal and Sport driving modes.
  • Dynamic-Shift Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

Toyota Corolla SE Nightshade Edition

Toyota Corolla SE Nightshade Edition Trim

This sleek trim reflects the SE model in that they share the same powertrain and fuel economy. It also touts exclusive black exterior features like a sport mesh black front grille, black sport ride rocker panels and rear spoiler, and blacked-out 18-inch alloy wheels.

Some additional features of this trim include:

  • 2.0 liter 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve with Valvematic technology.
  • Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV-30) status.
  • Independent MacPherson strut front suspension with stabilizer bar; multi-link rear suspension.

Toyota Corolla SE Apex Edition

Toyota Corolla SE Apex Edition Trim

Like it says in the title, this edition is the top of the SE line. Aside from the exterior coloring, it’s designed to leave an impression both in motion and standing still. While it does not proclaim an enhanced fuel economy, it is still a strong performing vehicle.

Some additional features on this trim include:

  • Blacked-out Corolla, Apex, and Toyota badging.
  • Premium sport seats with sport fabric inserts with 6-way adjustable driver’s seat and 4-way adjustable front passenger seat with seatback pocket.
  • Front and rear energy-absorbing crumple zones with side-impact door beams.

Toyota Corolla XLE

Toyota Corolla XLE Trim

We now enter the final line in the Corolla’s trim selection. This Is the first model to boast a lower fuel economy, putting out an EPA-estimated 29 City/37 Highway/32 Combined MPG.1 It also continues the sporty interior design approach of the SE Apex trim.

Some additional features of this trim include:

  • SofTex®-trimmed heated front sport seats with sport fabric inserts.
  • Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic 3-spoke steering wheel with audio, multi-information display, Bluetooth® hands-free phone, voice-command, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/ SA) controls.

Toyota Corolla XSE

Toyota Corolla XSE Trim

This next trim offers a minorly improved fuel economy, it’ll take you a little further out than the base trim. However, it’s another situation of pushing the mileage up a few points. It’s really for the driver that wants to show off their vehicle and cruise.

Some additional features in this trim include:

  • 18-inch machined alloy wheels with dark, gray-painted accents.
  • SofTex®-trimmed heated front sport seats.
  • Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging (available as part of an options package).

Toyota Corolla XSE Apex Edition Trim.

Last but certainly not least is the Toyota Corolla XSE Apex Edition trim. It contains the same fuel economy as the basic trim which provides a solid performance. Like other trims, but especially here, it was designed to be showpiece on the road.

Some additional features available on this trim include:

  • Sport-tuned exhaust with conical-shaped tip.
  • Lowered sport-tuned suspension.
  • Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA).

Test Drive the Different Toyota Corolla Trim Levels Today!

We know that our comparison has a lot of details for you to take in. While you might be unsure of which trim is right for you, we hope that you’ve got a better idea thanks to this guide. For drivers in the areas of Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, and Boca Raton, FL, we’re always ready to help.

Make sure to call us at Al Hendrickson Toyota to schedule your test drive today!

1 2021 EPA-estimated mileage. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary for many reasons, including your vehicle’s condition and how/where you drive.

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