CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

MPG for Toyota Corolla 2010

Bought a 2010 Corolla with 14,000 miles on it from Toyota dealer a few months ago. Car was only owned by Toyota. I am getting 17.5 MPG. I only do city driving, 3 or 4 days a week and average about 30 miles per week of driving. Have taken it to Toyota service and they said there was nothing wrong with the car. That is not what I have read about the corolla. Salesperson knew good mileage was very important to me. The car also drives like a bronco. What do you all think? What should I do next?
Paul z

If this is a 4 cylinder, that is pretty bad mileage. If you have a V6, that still isn’t great, but if you do all city driving, it is not totally unreasonable. Only 30 miles per week is about the worst city driving I’ve ever heard of, and your mileage will be kind of terrible compared to others with this car that at least do some highway driving. The salesperson was either misinformed or just wanted to make a sale, or both. There are some decent salespeople out there, but you must treat them all like they don’t care about you or your actual needs in the slightest. (because actually, they don’t)

How are you measuring your mileage?

How have you measured the mileage? Are you recording miles and gallons or are you using a on board computer? Have YOU checked the tyre pressure? Does your car call for high test fuel and if so are you using it?

Define city driving. Any car can get that low mileage depending upon the traffic. What was your previous car ? What did it do under the same conditions ? Highway miles are the only oonsistent indicator with fewer variables.

In addition to all of us needing clarification of the actual driving conditions (How much is stop & go? Are short trips involved?), the OP needs to explain exactly what is meant by, “The car also drives like a bronco”.

Is the Check Engine Light lit up?

Note to Oblivion: All Corollas have 4-cylinder engines, unless they have after-market modifications.

Utube has some neat Corollas fit with v8 s doing burn outs. Maybe that’s OP 's problem ?

If I’ve done the math right, you’re only driving 1500 (fifteen hundred) miles a year. That means an incredible amount of stop and go driving - which is terrible for MPG’s.

Think of it this way, if you go to the gas station and fill the car up, then let it idle without moving it, you will get 0 (Zero) mpg. That’s what is happening every time you stop at a stop light.

There likely nothing wrong with the car. It one of those “Your mileage may vary” sort of things. You’re just on the extreme end.

If you do strictly city driving you bought the wrong Toyota for mpg in the city. You should have bought a Prius. The motor shuts down when you are stop lights, braking recharges the battery, etc. You might be a good candidate for a Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, or a Prius. Likely not much you can do to improve the Corolla mpg with your driving pattern. What city San Francisco? Hills in SF kill mpg on a conventional car and make a Prius look even better.

Thanks for all your input. The corolla is 4 cylinders. The city driving has a lot of stop signs and a few lights, no hills. Have been recording mileage and fill ups all along and mpg is pretty consistent I think you are right. Bought the wrong car. Our other car is the new prius V and is great. My old car was a 1991 MBZ 190 and got about 19 MPG. Waiting to see or hear more about the new prius that is electric and gas. Any comments on this new model of prius?

Maybe an hour meter on the car would make the poor mileage more understandable. The engine is running and burning fuel as you sit at red lights and inch ahead waiting your turn at a 4-way stop. All that idling while sitting still burns a lot of gas.

Not sure if anything is wrong with your car. I have an AWD Cx-7 rated for 17/24 and I have averaged 14.5mpg the whole time I’ve owned it. With several out of town trips, I have just over 7100 miles in 2 years of ownership, and my commute is probably similar to the OP(I have 3 miles one way to work and to the store).
When I moved, my 99 Civic was getting similar mpgs as the OP’s Corolla on my route.

I’m still waiting for the OP to explain how the car “drives like a Bronco”.
What exactly does that mean?

Maybe it means it feels like it’s going to tip over at any second if they turn too sharply at speed…

Toyota offered 2 4-cylinder engines in the Corolla in 2010. Do you have the 1.8L or 2.4L? EPA estimated city mileage for the 1.8L is 26 MPG and is 22 MPG for the 2.4L. If you have the 2.4L, your mileage may be reasonable.

FWIW, I have a relative with a 2007 Ford Fusion, 4 cylinders. She drives it in 1 mile hops. It RARELY runs for more than 5 minutes at a time, and she puts on 3-4,000 miles a year, tops.

Since she’s owned it, she has averaged 14.8 mpg according to the trip computer.

I took the car once, reset the trip computer, and in longer city hops (15 minute runs) the mileage jumped to 23 mpg and got 34 mpg on the highway. Same car, the only difference was how long it was driven each time.

With your short hops, there are decent odds the car is fine. If you’re really curious, you could always get an arduino board and build an “obduino” - there are instructions free on the net for how to do that, and you could then have a real time display of the fuel consumption and other parameters… that would tell you a lot.

All city driving will give you abysmal mileage. There’s no way around it. And you can’t fault the salesman, even though he knew mileage was important to you. He didn’t mislead you that I can tell from your post.

Re: the Bronco-like ride…yup, it’s true. My '05 Corolla had a terrible ride too. Can’t fix that either. Perhaps both of us should have gone on longer test drives. .

I empathize with you, but this one’s totally on you. It’s up to you to do your research before buying. Just a sit was encumbant upon me to do a better test drive before buying that '05 Corolla.

I often drive an 05 Corolla and find it quite acceptable in comfort and power and fuel mileage. I prefer the sitting position in my trucks but feel quite comfortable in the Corolla. And yes, I do feel that the car is somewhat “squirelly” in loose gravel and rough roads are quite noticeable in the steering wheel and road noise is worse than most cars but I have driven a great many vehicles that the Corolla puts to shame while it cost far less. If a Corolla’s ride is terrible there must be a problem. And, I would prefer much stiffer front springs and struts but like me, no car is perfect. The Corolla I drive averages 32 mpg month after month and on highway trips runs in the 36 mpg range. On a parkway with 50 mph speed limit the car exceeds 40 mpg.

I think when decribing the rode we’re into a highly subjective area. If I were a younger fella with a healty back I probably would have considered the ride acceptable, but to my back it was horrible.

I admit to have test driven worse. Far worse. I recall a Kis Rio some years back.

Prius has been “electric and gas” all along. That is why it is called a hybrid. Is there a plug-in version coming out? How do you drive between the stop signs and lights? If you accelerate moderately and coast a while to the stop sign, you can make the best of a bad situation. I know people who go from the gas to the brake 100 times while driving a mile on a level road.

Doubleclutch, the OP has a regular 4-banger Corolla.