Blog Toyota Camry vs. Toyota Corolla: Which Car is Right For Me?

Toyota Camry vs. Toyota Corolla: Which Car is Right For Me?

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Toyota is one of the best-known nameplates in the automotive industry. Its Corolla compact car is the best-selling vehicle of all time with more than 45 million sold worldwide. No sales slouch either is the Camry, which outsold all other midsize sedans last year. Both vehicles are competitive within the automotive space. But how do they fare against each other? Does the Toyota Camry versus the Toyota Corolla make for an interesting matchup? Or is it a case of sibling rivalry?

About the Toyota Camry:

The Toyota Camry launched in 1982 and has been the best-selling car in the United States since 2002. Throughout its history, the Camry has had various engines, drivetrains, and body styles. This includes diesels, V-6s, station wagons, and convertible options depending on the market. The Toyota Camry showcases its performance edge by competing in NASCAR. Now called the Monster Energy Cup Series, the Toyota Camry has been a vehicle entrant since 2007. Currently in its 8th generation, the Toyota Camry was redesigned for the 2018 model year. Available only as a 5-passenger sedan in the U.S., the 2019 Toyota Camry is offered in five trim levels (L, LE, SE, XLE, XSE). A 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard on all trims while a 3.5-liter V6 is an option on XSE models. A hybrid version of the Camry also is available on LE, SE, and XLE models. All 2019 Camry vehicles are equipped with an 8-speed automatic. The Toyota Camry has been built in Georgetown, Kentucky since 1988. 

About the Toyota Corolla:

The Toyota Corolla may be smaller than the Camry but the compact car is the older and wiser of the siblings. The Toyota Corolla debuted in 1966 and by 1974 earned the title of “best-selling vehicle in the world.” Not just the best-selling car but the best-selling vehicle, which means no other car, truck, or SUV comes close to its sales success. Popular the world over, the Toyota Corolla is in its 12th generation. Like the Camry, the Corolla was redesigned in 2018. In the U.S., the 2019 Toyota Corolla hatchback debuted first followed by the 2020 Corolla sedan. These models are essentially the same except for body style. The Corolla hatchback is available only in SE and XSE trims. The Corolla sedan is offered in L, LE, SE, XLE, and XSE models. A hybrid version is available but only in LE sedan form. The drivetrain for the low- and high-end L, LE, and XLE trims is a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Mid-level and sporty SE and XSE models receive a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with a dynamically tuned CVT or 6-speed manual. From 1984 until 2010, the Toyota Corolla was built at New United Motoring Manufacturing in Fremont, California, as part of a joint-venture with General Motors. The partnership dissolved in 2010. Production of the Toyota Corolla shifted to an all-new facility located in Blue Springs, Mississippi. 

Toyota Camry versus Toyota Corolla: What has Better Interior Quality, Space, and Comfort?

Interior materials for the Toyota Camry and Corolla are generally on par. The Corolla is an entry-level vehicle with more hard plastic surfaces in the cabin. Seats in both vehicles are comfortably bolstered with fabric and leather upholstery options. The Toyota Camry features a refined interior with layered wood inserts as standard. Textured metal as optional. The Toyota Corolla goes the sportier route with metallic splashes here and there. Spaciousness is surprisingly similar despite the Camry and Corolla occupying different class sizes. On the exterior, the midsize Camry extends about 10 inches longer and 2 inches wider than the compact Corolla. The interior specs are much closer, though. Headroom for front passengers is identical at 38.3 inches. But rear seat occupants lose an inch of headspace in the Corolla. Sedan versus sedan shows the Corolla actually winning in the legroom category. The Corolla offers 42.3 inches in the front and 41.4 inches in the rear to the Camry’s 42.1 and 38.0 inches, respectively. The Corolla hatchback with 29.9 inches won’t be as accommodating to taller passengers. Both vehicles have room for five, but the Camry’s wider body translates to more hip room should you have a full house. The Camry bests the Corolla by 2 inches in front and almost 11 inches in the backseat.

Toyota Camry versus Toyota Corolla: What has Better Safety Equipment and Ratings?

Both vehicles feature Toyota Safety Sense equipment. Surprisingly, the Toyota Corolla comes with more as standard. The Toyota Camry has Toyota Safety Sense P. This includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert (RCTA) are standard on top-of-the-line trims. An optional package offers a bird’s eye view camera and automatic rear braking with sonar. The Toyota Corolla comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, which includes TSS-P enhanced with road sign assist and lane tracing assist. Blind spot monitoring is available as part of a package on LE and SE. RCTA is not available on Corolla. The Toyota Camry and Toyota Corolla hatchback received a 5-Star (out of 5) overall crash safety rating from NHTSA. The Corolla sedan had only partial ratings available. In tests conducted by the IIHS, the Toyota Camry earned a Top Safety Pick+ designation. The Toyota Corolla was listed as a Top Safety Pick due to an “acceptable” headlights score.

Toyota Camry versus Toyota Corolla: What has Better Technology?

Both offer a fair amount of multimedia and connectivity features. The Toyota Camry has an edge with a more premium experience. Standard for both is a 7-inch touchscreen with an available 8-inch display. Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa also is included but no Android Auto yet. The Corolla is outfitted with two USB ports while the Camry gets three. Both feature 4G LTE wi-fi capability, but Camry owners get 6 months of complimentary service. The standard Corolla audio system is 6 speakers with a 9-speaker, 800-watt JBL system available as part of a package including integrated dynamic navigation. Audio Plus, which adds SiriusXM Radio, Service Connect, and Remote Connect is standard on higher trim levels. Service Connect provides vehicle and maintenance alerts. Remote Connect includes services like remote start and location services. The Toyota Camry comes standard with the Entune 3.0 system featuring more connectivity services. For example, dynamic navigation and Audio Plus are included. A specially-tuned 9-speaker JBL audio system features a 10.1-inch subwoofer and Clari-Fi technology that enhances dynamic range. 

Toyota Camry versus Toyota Corolla: Which is Better to Drive?

Toyota has improved the dynamics of its family sedans. Although they are by no mean sports cars, the vehicles do feel less frumpy and are engaging to drive. Personality points, however, go to the Toyota Corolla. Its smaller, compact size allow for more exuberant excursions. The Corolla is available with an intelligent manual transmission that improves shifting and minimizes stalling. The Toyota Camry can be tossed around but the vehicle you find on a dealership lot is a far cry from the NASCAR version.

Toyota Camry versus Toyota Corolla: Which Car is Priced Better?

Toyota prides itself on quality, dependability, and reliability. Many decades-old Camry and Corolla vehicles are still on the road, requiring only routine maintenance. Toyota’s standard warranty includes ToyotaCare covering factory scheduled maintenance for up to 2 years or 25,000 miles. The 2020 Toyota Corolla L starts at $19,500 and tops off at $25,450 for the XSE. The Corolla LE hybrid starts at $22,950. The 2019 Toyota Camry start at $24,095 for the L model and $34,850 for the XSE V6. The Camry LE hybrid starts at $28,400 with the XSE hybrid starting at $32,975 on the high end. Both the Toyota Camry and Corolla have an additional destination charge of $930. Both the Camry and Corolla are priced in the middle of their respective competitive segments. When optioned right, they can even be considered bargains considering their longevity.

Toyota Camry versus Toyota Corolla: Which Car Should I Buy?

Deciding between the Toyota Camry and Toyota Corolla comes down to price and amenities. An argument over interior room is moot based on the numbers (unless you’re sitting in the back). The sub-$20,000 starting price of the Toyota Corolla offers youthful handling and appearance. The vehicle is a good first-car choice for a newly licensed driver, for example. The Toyota Camry is larger by exterior dimensions and offers a bit more niceties. But the differences don’t seem to be $10,000 worth. Even the hybrids offer comparable fuel economy. The Corolla has an EPA-rating of 53 city, 52 highway, and 52 combined mpg. The Camry is listed at 51/53/52 (LE model). The price difference is $1,145. Unless you frequently travel with passengers or prefer a V6 engine, the Toyota Corolla is the better purchase of the two. Between sedan and hatch or automatic and manual, the Toyota Corolla is not only the economic choice but also more flexible based on your needs.