What’s The 2005 Toyota Corolla MPG Like?

The 2005 Toyota Corolla is well known for being a sturdy and reliable vehicle. If you want a car that will keep on trucking forever more or less then Toyota Corolla is a good place to start. And the 2005 Corolla is up there with the best of them.

But something you have to consider with older vehicles, which there is no mistaking that the 2005 Toyota Corolla is, is that they aren’t always the best when it comes to mileage. It isn’t even a matter of old age, it’s simply different standards of engineering and different consumer expectations. You are unlikely to find anything from the early 2000s that can get 50+ miles to the gallon!

Is the 2005 Toyota Corolla MPG Good?

As we just mentioned in our introduction, mileage in older vehicles isn’t always the best. However, the Toyota Corolla is an exception to that rule. Toyota outdid themselves and actually the 2005 Toyota Corolla MPG as new was around 42 MPG which is pretty good going. Sure, it doesn’t compete with modern hybrids but for a 20-year-old petrol engine it is beyond good, it is great.

When compared to something else common around 2005, like a Ford Focus, the difference is pretty jarring. A new 2005 Focus would have an average MPG of about 27 which is pretty dire in comparison to the Corolla. In the city, it would be even worse at about 22 while the Corolla would be about 35. Maybe even still around 40 with a good driver.

What’s A Used 2005 Toyota Corolla MPG Going To Be Like?

A new 2005 Toyota Corolla is going to run at something like 42 MPG. But you can’t expect it to keep up like that forever. It’s not a symptom of Corollas so much as it is a symptom of cars in general. 10-15 years later you can expect the Corolla’s mpg to be about 5-10% worse off overall. So, something like 38-40 MPG.

This is obviously not quite as good as it was originally but it is still nothing to turn your nose up at. You may find that if you are doing almost exclusively city or town driving with a lot of stop-starting that the mileage drops to around 33 MPG. Which is pretty on par with what you might expect from that era, and even some from this era to be honest. And compared to a brand new 05 Focus, it is still a clear winner. But that’s enough of the Ford slander for now!

What Can Cause A 2005 Toyota Corolla MPG To Be Low?

So, working off the expectation that your 2005 Toyota Corolla MPG will be about 33-38 depending on where and how you are driving it you can be forgiven to be being concerned about your mileage being far lower than this.

This isn’t a common occurrence but it is possible for the mileage to be severely impacted by age, etc. However, there are some instances that there is a mechanical issue going on that impacts the mileage that you can absolutely rectify. Old and damaged air filters or blocked cylinder heads, old engine oil, broken or dirty oxygen sensors, and damaged fuel injectors.

Are There Any Ways To Improve A 2005 Toyota Corolla MPG?

Well, firstly you can rectify some of the issues mentioned above. Older cars are more likely to suffer from poor MPG because they have been through a lot. Even if it is just normal wear and tear an engine that’s been used for well over a decade and a half will by now have accumulated massive carbon build-up in and around air or fuel filters which shouldn’t just be cleaned but replaced. Cylinder heads will become deformed, rough, and heavily carbonized.

Machining old heads is a great way to achieve a consistent burn rate in the combustion chamber and improve performance and mileage tremendously. Freshly machined cylinder heads, new air filters and fuel filters, and clean oxygen sensors could theoretically improve your mileage to the right side of 40 MPG once again.

What Is The 2005 Toyota Corolla MPG Like In Winter VS Summer?

A common complaint people have with the Toyota Corolla, especially 2005 (but not only 2005), is that it struggles a bit in the winter. This is common with older cars in general but the 2005 Corolla seems to have a bit of a harder time of it. You can expect your mileage to drop as far as the low 30s even.

This can make the winter months, which are already generally more expensive, even more costly. This is a common problem in all vehicles to an extent though older cars struggle more. Winter gasoline produces less energy per gallon than summer gasoline so it’s not always the car’s “fault” perse.

Is The 2005 Toyota Corolla MPG Better With An Automatic Or Manual Transmission?

If you are hoping to claw back some of the mileage lost to age, the winter, and inner-city driving you may want to consider the difference between automatic and manual transmission. It absolutely does make a difference to your mileage in slightly different ways than you might expect.

Many people assume that automatic transmission is more fuel efficient because it removes the human impact in the equation. Surely an automatic vehicle is pre-designed to be as fuel efficient as possible, right? Not quite. Studies show that a manual transmission vehicle will have better mileage of as much as two to five miles per gallon.


The 2005 Toyota Corolla is a really solid choice of car even all these years later. If you value MPG over most other aspects of car ownership, which many savvy car owners want to do, then you can’t go wrong with the 05 Corolla.

40 MPG is pretty good going and since the 05 Corolla is 17 years old you can pick one up in condition for pretty cheap and run it just as cheaply. You might not set any records going to and from work but you’ll get there comfortably without having to fill up all that often!

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