I own a 2009 Corolla LE with 7000 miles, purchased new September 08. I live in Massachusetts.
Problem is mileage very poor and suspension very twitchy and soft. Engine is 1.8 liter.
Ever since new, it has never achieved the stated gas mileage of 27/35. It usually gets 23 MPG city, lowest was 18. The best highway I ever received was 27. I drive normally, do not race anyone at stop lights. I often read of great gas mileage, up to 43 MPG, etc. When I fill the tank, I divide the total miles traveled (trip odo) by the gals of gas.
When complaining to the dealer it first was "your car is new, engine not broken in, mileage will get better", fair enough.
Then it was, "Its winter, gas additives kill mileage". After winter, they re-flashed the computer, still bad mileage and dealer won't do anything else.
I keep track of mileage, fill up at several corporate stations, check tires often ( has low pressure light)
One thing I noticed is the car always seems to be pulling ahead, even when coasting. I could take foot off brake and go 5 MPH up a slight hill without touching the accelerator. I have to constantly keep foot on the brake.
I also noticed the RPMs do not come down when coasting. If I am at 65 MPH and take my foot off the accelerator, the RPMs stay above 2200, around 40 MPH they stay around 1600.
Is this RPM issue normal? Shouldn't the RPMs come down right away when coasting? They do in my other cars. The RPMs only come down when low speed or full stop.
Usually RPMS at 900 - 1200 constantly. What should I tell my dealer to look at next?
Other issue is suspension very soft, slight winds at highway speeds and coming off a curved ramp cause the Corolla to lean from side to side noticeably. The steering is also very touchy. Any slight moves and the Corolla shoots to another direction.
I just had my tires rotated last month, so maybe that is causing the twitchy steering, but I don't think the Corolla should have this much body roll at 7K.
I'm not sure why everyone is just dismissing the '09 as a heavy, underpowered beast that gets poor fuel economy compared to the the previous generation. I have 19K mi on my 2009 Corolla LE w/ Auto and I average 33-36MPG per tank year round here in Virginia. On the first tank alone I got 36MPG. On pure highway trips I regularly break 40MPG. In fact, in the spring/fall when I don't have to run the A/C I've had several full tank trips of 44-48MPG. The worst tank I've had thus far was 29mpg which was a bunch of short (<10mi) trips in the cold (15-30F). I would say I have a 60/40 split of highway/city driving and an enthusiast driving style (not a Prius driver or a Cannonball Run). I haven't owned a previous generation Corolla so I can't speak to whether the 2009 is noticeably slower or less efficient. I can say that I've been happy with the power levels of the Corolla, although sometimes I need to pre-select the proper gear with the automatic to prevent hitting a power dead spot under certain conditions.
The RPM/pulling you talk about sounds similar to my experience with my vehicle, but I can't compare the 'severity' of the surges between cars. Maybe yours is pulling significantly worse than mine does.
As for the mileage, I suspect you are getting dinged a bit by the short trips. In the warmer months, my car seems to hit operating temperature by the time I get out of my neighborhood (~2mi @ 25-35mph). In the winter months, it takes a few miles more. If you are mostly on the 10mi trip side, I could see 23-26mpg, especially in the cold. But if you are closer to 25mi per trip, especially if you have fairly little stop and go, I would expect 27mpg+. My daily commute is either 17mi each way or 30mi each way for comparison and fully 95% of the miles on my car are from commuting.
As others have suggested, some things you should check are:
- the air filter (I ran the factory installed one until 18K and then switched to a K&N just for the convenience of not replacing it as often)
- the tire pressure (I run 32 PSI cold temp front/rear on the factory OEM tires)
- oil (the car will take 0W-20 or 5W-20.I Use 0W-20 for the best fuel economy)
- accessory load (if you are running both defrosters a lot that eats up some gas)
- driving style (not just acceleration, but stop & go, long idling periods, remote start)
Do you Ever get it out on the highway for a good 20-30mi fairly constant speed drive at 55-65+mph? Many cars adapt their fuel trimming based on a sliding window of the past driving conditions.
It's possible you have something wrong with the car like a faulty O2 or MAF sensor, etc.
As far as the suspension, again, it's hard to say if yours is worse than mine, but overall the LE is fairly floaty and has a decent amount of bodyroll. It was tuned more for soaking up potholes and long highway stretches, not canyon carving. I do find that as long as I "setttle" the suspension before entering a turn, I can still carry speed well in excess of the speed limit with plenty of confidence.