Should You Take the Toyota Corolla Off Road?

The Toyota Corolla has low ground clearance, low torque, and front-wheel drive—so we suggest sticking to paved roads.
Written by Jacqulyn Graber
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
When you think of a
Toyota Corolla
, we’re sure you don’t think of a powerful off-road vehicle. We suggest avoiding the road less traveled—or at least proceeding with extreme caution—in your Corolla. 
Okay, so you’re probably not planning on going mudding in your Corolla. But maybe you’re going camping and wondering if your compact car can handle a muddy, grassy parking lot. Or, perhaps you live in a cold climate and are wondering if it can handle driving over a bit of snow.
Whatever your reason is for potentially taking your Toyota Corolla off road,
car insurance
super app
can help you prepare. A
licensed insurance broker
—Jerry is also an expert in all things car, bringing you key factors like ground clearance, torque, and tires to help you understand your vehicle’s off-roading abilities.
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Can the Toyota Corolla go off-road?

Not really—the Toyota Corolla is a quintessential compact car, and was not built with off-roading in mind. It has a starting MSRP of $20,425 and was manufactured for those looking for affordability, high fuel economy, and reliability.
But can you take your Corolla off-road in a pinch? Let’s go through the key specs and decide! 

Ground clearance

The tiny Toyota Corolla offers just 5.3 inches of ground clearance—the space between the lowest point of your vehicle’s chassis and the ground. This is one of the most important measurements to consider when it comes to off-roading! 
Experts recommend a ground clearance number between 8.8 and 10.8 inches for ideal off-roading ability—for reference, the 2021
Jeep Wrangler
(a quintessential off-road SUV) has 9.7 inches of minimum clearance. Unfortunately, the Corolla just doesn’t compete.


The best off-road vehicles are extremely powerful, with low-end torque—that is, high amounts of torque at lower rpm.
The Corolla’s 1.8-liter four-cylinder base-level engine isn’t exactly powerful—it offers just 126 lb-ft @ 3900 rpm. This is great for fuel economy and perfectly satisfactory for driving around town but won’t offer you the turning power necessary for pushing through dirt and mud. 


The Corolla is equipped with P195/65SR15 all-season tires. All-season tires are designed to last and last, whether you’re driving in cold temperatures, warm temperatures, or both.
Unfortunately, their tread pattern is only designed to handle paved roads. You could slightly increase your Corolla’s chops by upgrading to all-terrain tires—however, keep in mind that this will only cause a marginal improvement. Plus, all-terrain tires do not last as long as all-season tires, effectively increasing your cost of ownership. 


When it comes to off-roading, all-wheel or four-wheel drive is essential—it ensures that all of your wheels are working to get you through whatever terrain comes your way.
Once again, the Corolla prioritizes fuel economy with front-wheel-drive—which won’t help you if you’re stuck in mud or snow. 


Off-roaders must consider their vehicle’s angles—especially its approach angle—before tackling hills, bumps, or other major rises. 
The Corolla has an approach angle of 21 degrees—which certainly isn’t embarrassing, but it’s not much more than a steeper-than-average driveway.

Off-road rating: Trail Boss

We’ve rated the Toyota Corolla using
super-technical DIRT rating system, broken down in the table below:
Don’t Try It
Vehicles better suited to highway conditions
In a Pinch
Vehicles that can handle off-road conditions in certain circumstances
Rough and Ready
Vehicles designed for casual off-roading
Trail Boss
True off-road vehicles capable of tackling a range of terrain
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The Toyota Corolla earns a D rating for don’t try it! The Corolla has a lot of great things going for it, making it one of the best-selling cars in the U.S. However, it’s only suited for highway conditions. 

The best off-road alternatives to the Toyota Corolla

Are you looking for a compact vehicle that won’t get stuck in your driveway on a snowy day? Consider some of these popular alternatives to the Toyota Corolla:
Mazda keeps things affordable with their CX-3; however, this subcompact crossover SUV is a little more suited for muddy conditions. You have the option to upgrade to all-wheel drive, plus you’ll benefit from an added inch or so more of ground clearance.
If you don’t want to upgrade to a tiny SUV and prefer to stick to a compact car, consider the Kia Forte. Not only is it cheaper than the Corolla, but it offers up to 195 lb-ft of torque, making it a slightly more powerful option.
Choose between three engines for customizable speed, power, and up to 195 lb-ft of torque at top trims.
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How to find affordable car insurance for off-road vehicles

Whether you’re looking for insurance for your off-road vehicle (which can get a bit pricey), or worried that you and your Toyota Corolla might be stuck in the mud without assistance,
can help you find a customized car insurance policy with ease.
It’s this simple: download the Jerry app or go to In less than 45 seconds, Jerry collects all of your information from your existing insurer. Choose from competitive quotes from top insurance companies and Jerry takes care of the rest—securing your new policy and helping you cancel your old one upon request. 
Not only is shopping with Jerry fast and easy—but you’ll also save an average of $800 annually on your new policy! 
“I wanted to buy my first car soon, so I needed cheap and fast insurance.
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