The 2016 Toyota Corolla gets decent safety ratings, though they're not quite top-tier, and it's missing some of the advanced active-safety technology that even compact buyers are starting to expect.
The NHTSA gives the 2016 Corolla five stars overall, its highest score, and five stars in every specific test except rollover, where it gets four out of five. In IIHS testing, however, last year's Corolla earned top "Good" ratings in frontal, side, rear, and roof strength tests—but only a "Marginal" rating in the new small overlap frontal test.
The current generation of Corolla comes with eight airbags as standard equipment, including a driver’s side knee bag as well as a front passenger seat cushion bag. That's in addition to driver and front passenger front and side airbags, as well as side-curtain bags that cover outboard occupants front and back.
It also has Toyota's Star Safety system, plus the now-standard suite of vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock braking systems, electronic brake-force distribution, and brake assist. There's also electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist, as well as a Smart Stop system that automatically cuts engine power in some cases if the brake and accelerator pedals are simultaneously pressed.
But while an increasing number of small cars offer one or more active-safety features—like active parking systems or blind-spot systems—the Corolla keeps it simple. It offers good outward visibility, however, and a rearview camera is standard in most versions.