The all-new 2021 Toyota Corolla Apex edition is a limited production compact sedan.
The Corolla’s been around since 1966 and has built about 46 million units.
In the 21st century, there have been some changes with these models, and Toyota is not resting.
|Image credit: Toyota|
They know that a lot of people are looking into performance. We expect to see the GR Corolla, a hot hatch with a turbocharged engine like the Apex, although it’s a nice bridge gap.
We are almost calling it a TRD light because you will be getting some extra performance and style.
You know, because of such magnificent support from Toyota, you can get more performance and wants to make it more accessible with 2021 Corolla Apex.
So let’s dive in to find out if this is a real performance compact sedan.
Toyota Apex Body Design 2021
At the front, you get the same headlight housing as your standard Corolla.
It is not a bad thing because you’re getting LED headlights and daytime running lamps.
What’s different is the whole front fascia. The way Toyota designed it is incredible.
It makes the vehicle look lower and more comprehensive.
It starts on a hard edge on the side; you can see how it flows down very nicely into the fender.
It almost gives it a flared fender. The front lip splitter goes all the way across and has been aerodynamically tested.
So it’s not something that’s just stuck on with some double-sided tape to make it look cool.
But it has a function. The way it curves on the side of the bottom corner is unique to the Apex.
So you’re getting the bronze treatment, which red and orange is so overplayed.
We are glad Corolla Apex brought a different color to signify what this edition is.
The way that it extends off the front fascia gives it many different elements of design.
You have unique vents, but they’re not functional.
So they’re not an air curtain or anything like that. But we do like the LED fog lamps.
As you come to the center section, you have a large open mouth grill area with the same design as the fake vents on each corner.
So we’re glad that Toyota kept an excellent cohesive design.
The front lip splitter extends all the way across to help give you some downforce at speed.
The way the section extends looks lovely, with lots of different design elements.
You have a blacked-out Toyota badge. On the hood, you get the same body lines as your regular Corolla sedan.
It goes nicely up in the hood, kind of turn a little bit, and goes right towards the eight pillars, looking great.
Around the bend, so unique to the Apex, you have 18-inch wheels gloss black.
Though not forged aluminum, they are cast free Form wheels.
Almost three pounds lighter per corner to help quicken up the steering.
With the lowering springs, Apex is sitting almost an inch lower than your standard Corolla sedan.
Also, you’re going to have thicker anti-roll bars to help with the steering.
You’re going to get a cat-back exhaust.
On the side, you have the same fender treatment and color-matched mirror caps turn signals built-in.
You could see the lower side sill extension. It extends out and functional with the bronze trim.
The backside looks very stylish and going to help aerodynamic performance.
You can see the gap between the top of the tire inside the fender member at the tail end.
There’s also specially tuned suspension in all four corners.
The dampers have been specially tuned for Apex.
The tires’ size is 225 on the width and a short 40 series sidewall, wrapped in Dunlop summer performance tires to help give you a better grip.
The roof comes down into the rear trunk area. You’re going to get a trunk lid spoiler as an option on the Apex.
The end plates come up just high enough, but it’s not going to impede your vision.
The way it extends off the back of the trunk looks great.
Some gloss black, and everything blacked out on all your Toyota and Corolla badge.
You have an Apex badge, super clean, nothing too flashy.
The lower rear bumper area is specific to this model.
However, you are going to get some more fake vent.
We wish they would have just kept it smooth or used a different texture.
But we do like the rear diffuser, especially in the end.
You’re going to get a cat-back exhaust kind of wake up the sound of the Corolla.
It’s got a flared out exhaust tip almost like a dinner bell size but looking aggressive from the back or front.
Corolla Apex Engine
Under the hood, you do have a prop rod. The good news is it’s all the way over to the passenger side.
You’re getting a two-liter inline-four naturally aspirated, 169 hp, 151 lb-ft of torque, mated to a six-speed manual or a CVT transmission.
The CVT does simulate a 10-speed automatic.
With all of that performance, the actual 0-60 in 6.8 s, quarter-mile around 16 s, and top speed 112 mph.
But you’re going to be the real winner with MPGs 31 in the city 40 on the highway.
The car weighs around 3055 pounds.
2021 Toyota Corolla Apex Price
If you go manual, that’s based on the SE trim, and if you choose automatic with the CVT, that’s based on the XSE trim.
So it’s a higher trim if you go automatic.
Here are the MSRPs of Corolla Apex 2021:
- SE CVT $25,070
- SE Manual $25,460
- XSE CVT $28,210
Corolla Apex Interior
On the door panels, we love what Toyota does by really brightening up the interior.
You have off-white, all soft-touch material. It’s probably going to get dirty, but it will always look good if you clean it.
You have some leatherette material on the armrest. Toyota brought the bronze color that stitching nicely on the armrest.
We love the door handle design, and a smaller door pocket is nice.
On the dash, you get all soft-touch material, even in the center section.
The silver trim is good, and you have a seven-inch infotainment system screen.
It is an iPad style but easy to use at the perfect ideal height. Yes, it is a touch screen with SiriusXM but very easy to figure out.
You got all different readouts with fuel mileage and everything else, which is excellent.
You have integrated the AC vents with standard control. But no dual climate in SE trim.
You have a start-stop button and storage place compartment. You get a reverse camera but no trajectory.
However, it fills up the whole screen, so you’ll like that.
You do have the Intelligent Manual Transmission (IMT) button. It will automatically rev-match downshift for you.
So you turn that on when you downshift. It will blip the throttle, so you don’t have to heal toe downshift.
You have a superior slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission. It does have longer throws.
But every gate has an excellent engagement with it. We like that you can feel every single gate for each of the six gears very nicely positioned.
We also like how it’s high because you don’t have to drop your hand down; some gloss black and silver look tasteful.
You do have an electric e-brake and two cup holders.
The Corolla Apex key fob is standard, pleasant, light, and easy to use.
The armrest is at a great height.
We like the leatherette material with the bronze stitching, and you also have it on the boot.
You do have USBs, 12 volts, and a little bit of felt lining.
The seats SE trim are cloth, but we like the texture material with some decent size bolstering up top.
On the manual bottom seats for both the passenger and the driver, you got plenty of headroom.
Behind the Wheel
The manual seat controls easy to figure out. The big thing that we love in this car is the three pedals.
So you have a clutch brake, throttle, and a right size dead pedal.
The steering wheel has an exceptional thickness, the same design as other Toyota products, whether it’s a Corolla, Rav4, or whatever.
You’re driving the same setup. The flat black on the buttons easy to understand and the dash is clean.
You have an analog speedometer, tachometer, and a digital display over on the right.
You can scroll through a cornucopia of information.
We wish the tachometer were a little bit larger. Anyway, if you use the two ears for listening, you should navigate nicely through the six-speed.
The great news is no compromises on the amount of room.
The backseats are comfy. You have a little storage area and one pocket.
The headroom is excellent, and you get lovely soft on the armrest. The bronze stitching is throughout both the front and back.
You get 13.1 cubic feet of space in Toyota Corolla Apex 2021.
We like how low the floor is in the cargo area to help you get some taller items.
For your Corolla, you do have a spare underneath.
So this does not just give you a can of a flat fix, but you do have a spare, which is very lovely.
Conclusion of 2021 Corolla Apex
The all-new Corolla Apex is a performance sedan that brings extra style and sport to the Toyota Corolla platform.
Ryan Daniel is a car enthusiast, and he has years of experience in the automotive field as an engineer. Now he is also active as an automobile blogger and member of the auto community.