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Toyota Corolla vs Camry: Which Is Right for You?

Corolla vs Camry Featured Temp

Corolla vs Camry Featured Temp

We compare and contrast two of America’s top-selling sedans. Which sedan is your perfect vehicle, the Camry or the Corolla?

The Camry is the larger of the pair, but the Corolla is also surprisingly roomy. Aside from size, the Camry has more to offer for buyers who prioritize performance.  Both offer excellent green powertrain options.

Here is our breakdown of these great Toyotas.

Toyota Corolla vs. Camry Comparison

Specifications

Corolla
2021 Toyota Corolla
Camry
2021 Toyota Camry
Length/Width/Height
182/70/56 in.
193/72/56 in.
Passenger Volume
88.6 cu. ft.
99.3 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume
13.1 cu. ft.
15.1 cu. ft.
Top Power Rating
169 hp
301 hp
Drive Type
Front
Front or All-Wheel
Best Fuel Economy (Hybrid Trims)
52 MPG
52 MPG
IIHS Rating
Top Safety Pick
Top Safety Pick+
Consumer Reports: Actual and Predicted Reliability*
5/5
5/5

* Actual reliability is for the 2020 model year, predicted for 2021

The Tale of the Tape

Tale of the TapeOur chart above shows the dimensions of the Camry vs. the Corolla. The Camry is meaningfully larger in every way except height. FindTheBestCarPrice has test-driven both the Camry and Corolla in their current generations, and we find them to feel larger inside than many competitors with similar specifications. Toyota wisely carves out room in the driver’s space so that one does not feel confined in the right knee, shoulder, or headroom areas. The Corolla, in particular, will feel roomier than its competitors if you drive them back to back.

The cargo area is where you may see a small difference between the two. The Camry has two cubic feet more space. To Toyota’s credit, the Corolla and Camry both have a spare tire. We feel this is an advantage since many competitors now delete that important safety feature.

Pricing

Camry PricingThe Toyota Corolla is a less expensive car than the Camry, starting at just $21,020, including destination charges. By contrast, the larger Camry starts at $25,965. Do the math, and that is a sizeable 23% difference. If you are looking for a lower-priced option, the Corolla is the place to begin your search.

Both the Corolla and Camry have a broad range of trims from which to choose. The top trim Corolla Apex has a price of $29,305. The Camry XSE V6 has a price of $36,540. Looking ahead, the Camry and Corolla will retain their values in a similar way. Both are average for their class or better in terms of resale value.

Current Toyota Corolla Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021ToyotaCorolla$1,500 0.00%$139/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing5/3/2021
2021ToyotaCorolla Hybrid$2,000 0.00%$139/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing5/3/2021
2021ToyotaCorolla Hatchback$1,500 0.00%$139/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing5/3/2021

Current Toyota Camry Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021ToyotaCamry$1,250 0.90%$239/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing5/3/2021
2021ToyotaCamry Hybrid$1,750 0.90%$239/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing5/3/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Toyota deals here.

Performance

Camry PerformanceThe Corolla offers a choice of three engines. The base four-cylinder engine produces 139 hp. The upper trims offer a larger engine with 169 hp. The Hybrid is an interesting choice. It has the least hp, but the electric assist boosts starting torque, and the mileage is an amazing 52 MPG. Most Corollas use a CVT transmission, but a manual stick shift is available on the SE trim.

The Camry’s engines are all best in class choices. The base four-cylinder engine has 200 hp, the top trims with the optional V6 offer 301 hp, and the Hybrid has a combined hp of 208 with added electric torque. The Camry Hybrid also earns a 52 MPG rating. The Camry offers optional all-wheel drive in some trims, something no Corolla does.

Infotainment

Camry Corolla InfotainmentThe great news for budget shoppers is that even the Corolla L, the least-equipped trim, does have standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. That provides navigation, music, and more at no added cost. The Corolla trims offer four steps up in audio quality from the base trim with JBL Premium audio as an available option.

The Camry also offers standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The Optional JBL audio can be paired with a subwoofer and a large 9-inch infotainment display in top Camry trims.

Safety Ratings

Both the Camry and Corolla are very safe vehicles with a legacy of IIHS Top Safety Pick ratings. One way the two differ is that the 2021 Camry has the higher Top Safety Pick Plus rating, the highest possible from IIHS. Toyota was the first in the industry to commit to including automatic emergency braking on all models and the Corolla and Camry both have a long list of active safety systems.

Quality RatingsCorolla Fuel Economy

Ask most Toyota shoppers to name their top requirements, and many will include “reliability.” Here the Corolla and Camry shine. Both models have a 5/5 rating for reliability from Consumer Reports for the 2020 and 2021 model years. Neither model has any red flags going back to 2013. These cars top the segment in reliability for both new and used years.

Fuel Economy

With both the Corolla and Camry earning a segment-best 52 MPG in their Hybrid trims, it is easy to call either the best choice for green buyers. Toyota’s Prius is no better in fuel economy. We dug a bit deeper and compared the conventional four-cylinder Corolla to the four-cylinder Camry. We found just a $50 annual fuel cost difference between the two.

The Driving Experience

Corolla DrivingWe’ve driven many Corolla and Camry cars over the years, and we have found one thing to be true - They all feel different. A base Corolla does not feel like a mid-trim or the Apex top trim. The same is true of the Camry. We suggest that you speak to your sales advisor and tell them what you value most. Is it a quiet ride? The Hybrids are for you. Do you want sporty handling and sharp steering? The Corolla Apex or Camry TRD will deliver. In between, each Corolla or Camry will have a class-competitive driving satisfaction.

Toyota Corolla vs. Camry: Conclusion

Having both driven and analyzed the Camry and Corolla, we find the Camry is the standout, and not just because of the higher price point. The Camry is a world-beater. It can offer all-wheel drive, a V6 with over 300 hp, or 52 MPG. The Camry is also the highest-rated car in its size for safety and adds in the best possible reliability scores. If you want the better car, the Camry is the obvious choice.

That said, the Corolla’s value is amazing. For around $25K, one can drive home in a very well-equipped sedan with the best reliability record in its segment. Those looking for a great commuter car or a long-term all-around use vehicle with a limited budget will find the Corolla is hard to beat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is more reliable Corolla or Camry?

The Camry and the Corolla each earn top reliability scores from Consumer Reports.

Which is more expensive Camry or Corolla?

The Corolla starts at just over $21K and the Camry at about $26K. The Camry is about 23% more expensive than the Corolla.

Is a Camry bigger than a Corolla?

Yes, the Toyota Camry is larger. It has 99.3 cu. ft. of passenger volume and 15.1 cu ft of cargo space compared to the Corolla’s interior volume of 88.6 cu. ft. and cargo space of 13.1 cu. ft.