For years, Toyota has manufactured some of the best sedans on the market, thanks to their impeccable safety records, interior comfort, and impressive reliability. But how do you know if you should purchase the 2021 Toyota Camry or Corolla?

Named the best midsize car by U.S. News and World Report, the 2021 Toyota Camry remains one of the company's most popular options. The Camry, which Toyota has produced for more than 35 years, no longer has the base L trim and now offers five trims (LE, SE, XLE, XSE, and TRD).

After undergoing a complete overhaul in 2020, the 2021 Corolla comes in either a sedan or hatchback style and has five trims available (L, LE, SE, XLE, and XSE). Use this guide to help you determine which Toyota vehicle is best for your needs.

Performance

White Toyota sedan parked on dirt road
Image via Flickr by Mic V.

Both vehicles offer two engine options. The standard engine on the Camry is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder one that produces between 202 and 206 horsepower, depending on the trim and drivetrain, and 182 pound-feet of torque. The other option is a 3.5-liter V-6 that gets 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Corolla sedan comes standard with a 1.8-liter engine that produces 139 horsepower and 126 pound-feet of torque. This engine comes with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). On the hatchback, you get a 2.0-liter engine that gives you 169 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. This second engine is available on the SE and XSE sedan trims, although the horsepower decreases by one. You can choose between a CVT or six-speed manual transmission with the latter engine.

Neither vehicle disappoints when it comes to fuel economy, with both garnering similar numbers. The Camry with the smaller engine achieves 28 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. With the V-6 engine, the vehicle gets 22 mpg in the city and between 31 and 33 mpg on the highway, depending upon the trim.

The Corolla sedan with the base engine gets an EPA-estimated 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. With most vehicles, the larger engine achieves worse gas mileage, but not with the Corolla. The 2.0-liter engine gets 31 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. With the hatchback and CVT, you get 32 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway, while the six-speed transmission gets 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.

Safety Features

Both the Corolla and Camry have one of the easiest LATCH systems to use on the market. They have two complete sets of connectors for the rear outboard seats and a tether anchor for the rear middle seat. You can easily borrow an anchor from either side as well.

All Camry trims come standard with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 suite of standard safety features. These features include the following:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Forward-Collision Warning
  • Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Pedestrian Detection
  • Lane Trace Assist
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Traffic Sign Recognition
  • Automatic High-Beam Headlights
  • Rearview Camera
  • Lane Departure Warning

There are several upgrades available, some of which include blind-spot monitoring, reverse automatic emergency braking, and a surround-view parking camera.

All Corollas come standard with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of standard safety features, which includes the following:

  • Pedestrian Detection
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Traffic Sign Recognition
  • Automatic High-Beam Headlights
  • Pre-Collision Warning and Braking System
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Lane Trace Assist

Available upgrades include blind-spot monitoring, adaptive headlights, and rear cross-traffic alert.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the Camry with a perfect five-star overall safety rating, including five stars for the frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests. It also gave the Corolla a perfect five-star safety rating in the frontal crash test and four stars in the rollover test.

Technology

To keep everyone connected, Toyota outfitted both the Camry and Corolla with the easy-to-use Entune 3.0 infotainment system. Both vehicles have this system connected to a 7-inch touch-screen display, as well as two USB ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, and satellite radio. You can connect the infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with the Corolla offering Android Auto connectivity new for 2021.

There are numerous technology-driven updates offered on both vehicles, including wireless device charging, HD radio, and a navigation system. The Corolla offers an additional USB port. On the Camry, you can upgrade to a 9-inch touch-screen display, while the Corolla offers an 8-inch touch-screen display.

Seating and Storage Capacity

Five people can easily sit in either the Camry or Corolla, and that includes the sedan or hatchback option on the latter. There is plenty of legroom and headroom in both vehicles, even for adults riding in the back seat. It boasts an impressive 100.4 cubic feet for passengers. The Camry has a 15.1-cubic-foot trunk, which gives you plenty of room for cargo. The split-folding rear seats allow you to load longer items, but keep in mind that the trunk floor is slightly lower than the lowered seatbacks.

The Corolla sedan has 88.6 cubic feet of space for passengers, while the hatchback offers 84.6 cubic feet of space. The amount of space for your cargo in this vehicle is decent, with 13.1 cubic feet of space in the trunk. You can choose the Enhanced Cargo Space option, which expands the area by 6 cubic feet by removing the spare tire and replacing it with a spare tire kit.

In the sedan, the rear seats fold down partly, so you can load longer items into the vehicle. But if you're seeking additional room, consider the hatchback. It has 17.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, and unlike the sedan, its rear seats fold down completely. When you do this, your cargo space increases to 23.3 cubic feet of space.

Sometimes the best way to get a feel for a vehicle is to get behind the wheel and experience it for yourself. To determine if the 2021 Toyota Camry or Corolla is the best vehicle for you, contact the professionals at Kings Toyota. We have a great selection of new Toyota vehicles for you to peruse at our Cincinnati, Ohio, dealership and can help you drive off our lot in your dream car today.

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