2018 Toyota Corolla Review

Toyoto Corolla
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finder score: 71.00%

Avg. critics score: 71.00%
4 critics
How did we calculate this? We analysed and aggregated the scores of Cars Guide, WhichCar, Car Advice and Drive to bring you the finder.com.au score. This is a comprehensive score that brings together the four different expert ratings you see below.
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Critic reviews

Website Rating Notable quotes
Cars Guide 69% "The Corolla isn’t} as pretty or engaging to drive as the Mazda3, but the car's reputation for reliability and durability, its good value-for-money, it's easy to drive nature, and the advanced driving equipment make it a sexnsible and smart purchase.” " Read more
WhichCar 80% "If you are comfortable with the added complexity, the Corolla Hybrid Hatch represents exceptional value. It is by some margin the best Corolla you can buy in Australia." Read more
Car Advice 75% "[The Corolla] has sporty looks and decent road manners, and it now comes with new optional safety tech – but it's still a bit short of the best in class." Read more
Drive 60% "This latest generation is trading off that reputation for reliability and dependability. In general the Corolla is a step behind its rivals in terms of its presentation and dynamics." Read more

How does the Toyota Corolla compare with its peers?

Updated December 14th, 2018
Name Product Boot Displacement Ancap Rating Price (from) finder Score Read Review
280L
5 stars
$17,990
82.6%
250L
5 stars
$14,990
82.5%
378L
5 stars
$19,990
82.2%
380L
5 stars
$22,840
82%
445L
5 stars
$20,490
81.2%
414L
5 stars
$22,390
78.6%
242L
5 stars
$15,990
76%
589L
5 stars
$20,190
71%

Compare up to 4 providers

The complete Toyota Corolla review

Toyota Corolla pricing

Prices for the Toyota Corolla start at $23,676 drive-away for a 1.8-litre petrol Ascent trim hatchback with a six-gear manual transmission. The seven-speed CVT automatic gearbox costs $2,100 extra.

The most expensive model is the ZR hatch, which is only available as an automatic cog swapper. This model features a range of added luxuries like heated and adjustable front seats with lumbar support and electrically heated wing mirrors that automatically fold away. The ZR hatch retails for $33,803.

A number of car reviewers highly recommend the hybrid model, which sells for $31,238.

Any other colour than the flat Glacier White incurs an additional charge of $450. There are eight colours to choose from, including metallic and pearlescent colours.

Prices are drive-away for postcode 2000. Prices include 12 months rego, a year’s compulsory third party insurance (CTP), the maximum possible dealer delivery charge and stamp duties. Toyota calculates these figures based on a vehicle parked in a garage, with a “rating one” driver, aged 40.

The Toyota Corolla range

Click on the price below to see repayment amounts across a range of car loan products.

Ascent Hatch Ascent Sport Hatch Hybrid Hatch SX Hatch ZR Hatch
1.8L Petrol Manual – $23,676 1.8L Petrol Manual – $24,729
1.8L Petrol Automatic – $25,779 1.8L Petrol Automatic – $26,829 1.8L Petrol hybrid Automatic – $31,238 1.8L Petrol Automatic – $29,660 1.8L Petrol Automatic – $33,803

Overview

Toyota sells heaps of Corollas each month, and it is usually the third best-selling overall car in Australia. The engine line-up is generally well received for its mix of solid fuel economy and performance, although the hybrid presents the best overall choice for most testers. The Corolla received universal praise for its good looks, excellent value, lowest in class servicing costs and forward thinking smart driving assists. It was only really marked down for having an average-sized boot, the lack of a turbocharged engine option and the omission of Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. It is unlikely you’ll regret opting for a Corolla.
Pros Cons Notable quote
Cars Guide
  • Great looking hatch.
  • Excellent value.
  • Loaded with advanced safety kit.
  • Noisy and sluggish CVT automatic.
  • No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
  • No true sports model.

“{The Corolla isn’t} as pretty or engaging to drive as the Mazda3, but the car's reputation for reliability and durability, its good value-for-money, it's easy to drive nature, and the advanced driving equipment make it a sensible and smart purchase.”

WhichCar
  • Hybrid offers solid economy.
  • Smart driving assists available.
  • Blandness.
  • No turbocharged engine option.

“If you are comfortable with the added complexity, the Corolla Hybrid Hatch represents exceptional value. It is by some margin the best Corolla you can buy in Australia.”

CarAdvice
  • Drives “quite nicely at high and low speeds”.
  • Affordable.
  • Comfortable.
  • Not quite best in class for equipment.
  • Less spacious than some rivals.
  • Boot is smaller than competition.
  • CVT auto is slow up hills.

“[The Corolla] has sporty looks and decent road manners, and it now comes with new optional safety tech – but it's still a bit short of the best in class.

Drive
  • One of the most affordable hatches on the market.
  • Capped service pricing.
  • No volume knob for radio.
  • Average boot size for hatchback.
  • Labours on hills.

“This latest generation is trading off that reputation for reliability and dependability. In general the Corolla is a step behind its rivals in terms of its presentation and dynamics.”

Engine and performance

If you hate making decisions, then the limited Corolla engine and gearbox line-up might appeal to you. You have the choice of a 1.8-litre petrol either with a manual or automatic or a hybrid model. Hybrid Corollas also have a 1.8-litre petrol engine, but leave the factory with a Synergy Drive automatic CVT transmission.

Hybrid models derive 73kw/142Nm from the standard petrol engine, while a 60kW electric motor supplements the torque output, adding 207Nm. Many car reviewers were pleasantly surprised by the off-the-line acceleration of the hybrid models, saying it had plenty of oomph. A few even went as far as saying it would be their pick of the line-up.

The rest of the range, perhaps confusingly, has the exact same petrol engine. The confusing part is the sporty ZR hatch shares the same motor as the lower spec Ascent. All non-hybrid models have 103kW and 173Nm. In practice, journalists described the Corolla line-up as docile and respectable, but way behind many of its direct rivals.

It’s a bit of a puzzle why Toyota omitted to bolt on a turbo. Most of the competition and international spec Corollas boast turbochargers for increased performance and efficiency. Several reviews picked up on this.

Almost unanimously, journos disliked the CVT automatic transmission. Words like droney and sluggish were bandied around. The six-speed manual was favoured as a better companion for the engine, with more immediate acceleration.

Features and Statistics

Engine type
- Direct injection, with 16 valves and a Double Overhead Cam plus Dual- Variable Valve Timing.

- Optional hybrid drivetrain

Drivetrain
- FWD
Engine size/displacement
- 1.8L, 1,798cc
Fuel type
- Petrol or hybrid
Cylinders
- Inline four
Fuel tank capacity
- 45-50 litres
Max. torque
- 173Nm @ 4,000rpm
Fuel consumption (best model Hybrid) – urban
- 4.1L/100km
Max. power
- 103kW @ 6.400rpm
Combined CO2 emissions
- 96g/km (hybrid) - 149g/km (1.8 petrol)
Acceleration
- N/A
Emissions standard
- Euro 5
Top speed
- N/A
Security
- Engine immobiliser
Transmission
- 6-speed manual transmission, 7-speed CVT or hybrid CVT
Towing capacity (braked/unbraked)
- 1,300kg (braked), 450kg (unbraked)

Fuel efficiency

The Toyota Corolla is a pretty frugal car, which sips fuel sparingly. Surprisingly, the manual transmission car boasts the worst fuel economy, using a combined 6.7L/100km of petrol. The CVT automatic transmission returns 6.1L/100km, while the hybrid model burns an impressive 4.1L/100km.

Those figures are direct from the Toyota specifications list for the Corolla, derived from an ADR81/02 fuel consumption test. In practice, real-world figures are always slightly higher due to traffic, road and weather conditions.

For an SX model, one media outlet saw an increased 8.4L/100km fuel usage, 2.4L/100km higher than the factory figures. Another journalist achieved 9.2L/100km, much higher than Toyota’s claimed stats, but in reality, very much middle of the road in its class.

The hybrid Corolla in real-world conditions delivered a much closer 5.5L/100km, just one extra litre over factory numbers.

Hybrid Corollas hit such impressive fuel usage by blending an electric motor together with a petrol engine. The system also recycles conventionally wasted braking energy to top-up the battery. Around town, where you brake a lot, and sometimes quite heavily, this can make a world of difference.

Toyota decided not to include stop/start technology on the Corolla.

Handling

The general consensus is that the Corolla is pretty decent to drive. According to testers, engineers have done a solid job of creating a car that is nimble. The steering feels nice and light and is described as accurate. This light steering also makes parking a lot easier, especially on confined metro streets.

Others found the ride to be comfortable, evening out road bumps nicely, but not particularly exciting in any way.

One thing to note about motoring journalists, they like to enthuse about a car’s handling, but you should take this with a pinch of salt. After all, the Corolla isn’t a sports car and most buyers will only ever use theirs on public roads. For everyday driving, it is perfectly fine. It’s a sensible and comfortable option, and that’s all that matters to most owners.

Interior and other features

Here’s a breakdown of the Corolla trim billing.

  • Ascent trim. Baseline Ascent trim is actually very well appointed. You can choose between a 7-speed continuously variable automatic or 6-speed manual to go with the 1.8L Dual VVT-i engine. This model gets 16” steel wheels, a multi-information display (MID) and steering wheel controls for the MID and phone/audio inputs. This model also features Bluetooth and a reasonable 6.1” colour touchscreen sound system tied to six-speakers. Ascent Corollas have cruise control, manual A/C and a bank of safety assists. All Corollas come with a reversing camera.
  • Ascent Sport. Next up, is the Ascent Sport. This adds to the Ascent spec by swapping the steel rims for alloys, upping the entertainment system screen to 7” and including Toyota Link. These models also have voice recognition, privacy glass, premium gear levers and an executive three-spoke steering wheel. Buyers have the option to add satellite navigation with traffic data and a Toyota smart safety pack.
  • Hybrid. Hybrid models build upon the Ascent grade, replacing some of the standard equipment. Obviously, this model has a 1.8L petrol working in tandem with Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive. Additionally, Hybrid drivers benefit from smart entry and starting, plus a 4.2” colour multi-information display. This car also has dual-zone, automated climate control and LED headlights with cleaners to save energy. Hybrid vehicles can also be fitted with Toyota’s Safety Sense.
  • SX. The SX model is based on the Ascent Sport, but the six-speed manual as an option is done away with. The alloy wheels jump up one inch to 17” in diameter, which reviewers felt improved the handling. This model also has sat-nav as standard and automatic headlights. Sports bucket seats replace the traditional seating and the racing styling is strengthened with a sharp front spoiler and rear valance, plus matching side skirts.
  • ZR. The ZR is the top flight Corolla. It’s built around the SX spec, but includes a smart entry system, dual-zone climate control, heated part-leather front seats with power adjustable lumbar support, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, LED headlamps, heated mirrors that fold away automatically and an anti-theft alarm. Buyers can also choose an optional panoramic sunroof not available on the rest of the range.

Transmission

Ascent Hatch Ascent Sport Hatch Hybrid Hatch SX Hatch ZR Hatch
6-Speed Manual Gearbox
7-speed CVT
Hybrid CVT

Exterior

Ascent Hatch Ascent Sport Hatch Hybrid Hatch SX Hatch ZR Hatch
16” Steel wheels
16” Alloy wheels
17” Alloy wheels
Full-size spare wheel
Space saver spare wheel
Front fog lights
Body coloured and electric door mirrors
Heated and automatically folding mirrors
Halogen projector headlights
Bi-LED headlamps with daytime running lights
Automatic headlight levelling
Front spoiler
Rear bumper skirts
Side skirts
Skyview roof with electric shade Optional

Interior

Ascent Hatch Ascent Sport Hatch Hybrid Hatch SX Hatch ZR Hatch
Front bucket seats
Sport front bucket seats
60/40 split fold rear seats
Power windows (front and rear)
Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
Premium 3-spoke steering wheel
Premium shift lever
Leather accented interior
Driver and passenger front seat heaters
Rear and side privacy glass
Driver’s seat power adjustable lumbar support

Instruments and controls

Ascent Hatch Ascent Sport Hatch Hybrid Hatch SX Hatch ZR Hatch
Multi-Information Display (MID)
4.2" colour Multi-Information Display (MID)
Cruise control
Smart Entry and Start system
Tilt and telescopic steering column adjustment
Steering wheel controls for MID, telephone and audio
7-speed CVT with paddle shift controls
Rear window defogger with automatic cut-off
Manual air conditioning
Dual-zone automatic climate control air conditioning

Storage and convenience

Ascent Hatch Ascent Sport Hatch Hybrid Hatch SX Hatch ZR Hatch
Front and rear cup holders
Bottle holders – front and rear
Accessory socket (front and rear)
Coin box
Front and rear door pockets
Front seatback pockets
Driver and passenger sun visors with vanity mirrors and lamps
Overhead console with sunglass holder
Headlight reminder warning buzzer
Seatbelt warning light and buzzer – front seats
Centre console with storage box lid

Sound system

Ascent Hatch Ascent Sport Hatch Hybrid Hatch SX Hatch ZR Hatch
6.1" touchscreen colour display
7" touchscreen colour display
Toyota Link
Voice recognition
Bluetooth hands-free connectivity
USB input for compatible iPods®/ USB memory sticks
AUX 3.5mm audio input for portable audio players
Six speakers
Satellite navigation with SUNA traffic channel Optional

Security

Ascent Hatch Ascent Sport Hatch Hybrid Hatch SX Hatch ZR Hatch
Engine immobiliser
Anti-theft alarm

Toyota Corolla Safety Equipment

Ascent Hatch Ascent Sport Hatch Hybrid Hatch SX Hatch ZR Hatch
Hill-start assist control
Emergency brake signal
Toyota Safety Sense (pre-collision safety system, lane departure alert, automatic high beam) Optional Optional Optional Optional
Vehicle stability control (VSC) and traction control (TRC)
Anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and brake assist (BA)
Seven SRS airbags
Three child restraint anchorage points
Reversing camera with fixed guidelines

The verdict

Toyota knows their market very well and reviewers agree this is the best Corolla they’ve made to date. There’s a reason the Corolla is Toyota’s second best-selling model and consistently ranks in the top three overall cars sold each month. It’s because the car perfectly blends value for money, low-servicing costs and a reputation for reliability and longevity with a pleasing form factor and sturdy build quality.

While critics may not have pegged this as the best in class, it does everything very well, with few compromises.

Compare loans for a Toyota Corolla below

Rates last updated December 14th, 2018
$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Monthly Service Fee Application Fee Product Description Monthly Repayment
Latitude New and Used Car Loan
From 6.99% (fixed)
8.1%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$10
$295
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 14.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Apply for a loan from $5,000 to finance a new or used car. Flexible repayments and options to finance a classic car.
IMB New Car Loan
5.89% (fixed)
6.24%
$2,000
1 to 7 years
$0
$250
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.89% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one up to two years old.
Beyond Bank Low Rate Car Loan
From 5.69% (fixed)
5.97%
$25,000
1 to 7 years
$0
$175
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.69% p.a.
Take advantage of a competitive rate, pre-approval and no early repayment fees when you finance a car under two years old.
RACV New Car Loans
From 5.99% (fixed)
6.55%
$15,000
1 to 7 years
$0
$399
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.99% p.a.
A larger loan of $15,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees. Note: Product only available to residents of Victoria.
Australian Military Bank Car Loan
From 5.71% (fixed)
6.57%
$1,000
1 to 7 years
$10
from $100 to $500
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.71% p.a. and 8.66% p.a. based on your personal credit history
A flexible loan to help you finance a car, motorbike or boat up to five years old.
Broli Finance Consumer Car Loan
From 4.8% (fixed)
5.7%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$5
$375
Get a fixed rate from 4.8% p.a.
You can choose a secured or unsecured loan to finance a new or used vehicle with flexible loan amounts.
Westpac Car Loan
From 8.49% (fixed)
9.67%
$10,000
1 to 7 years
$12
$250
You'll receive a fixed rate of 8.49% p.a.
Finance a new or used car and benefit from convenient features for car buyers including a car search tool and the option to borrow extra for on-road costs.
Stratton Finance New Car Loan
From 5.14% (fixed)
5.8%
$18,000
1 to 7 years
$8.90
$457 (for private seller vehicles this fee is $608)
You'll receive a fixed or variable rate depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $100,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
Loans.com.au - New Car Loan
5.44% (fixed)
5.99%
$5,000
3 to 5 years
$0
$400
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.44% p.a.
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment.
St.George Secured Personal Loan - Fixed Rate
From 8.49% (fixed)
9.6%
$3,000
1 to 5 years
$12
$195
You'll receive a fixed rate from 8.49% p.a. based on the value of your car
Get a competitive rate and apply for a larger loan up to $80,000 when you attach a new or used car as security to the loan.
People's Choice CU Car Loan
From 5.64% (fixed)
5.99%
$20,000
1 to 10 years
$0
$250
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.64% p.a.
A lower interest rate when you're borrowing over $20,000. Benefit from pre-approval and no monthly fees.
IMB Secured Personal Loan
6.89% (fixed)
7.24%
$2,000
1 to 5 years
$0
$250
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.89% p.a.
Benefit from this competitive rate by securing the loan with a vehicle up to 6 years old. Use this flexible loan for any purpose.
NRMA New Car Loan
From 5.99% (fixed)
6.55%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$0
$399
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.99% p.a.
Purchase a new car with this loan and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
MyState Bank Secured Personal Loan
From 7.99% (variable)
8.96%
$10,000
1 to 10 years
$10
$200
You'll receive a variable rate of 7.99% p.a.
Apply for up to $75,000 and benefit from features such as fast approval, free online redraws and no penalties for early repayment.

Compare up to 4 providers

Pictures:Toyota

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