2018 Toyota Corolla review

We’ve packed 4 expert motoring reviews of the Corolla into 1 review, saving you time.

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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 score. This is a comprehensive score that brings together the 4 different expert ratings you see below.
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Toyota Corolla critic reviews

WebsiteRatingNotable quotes
Cars Guide69%"[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, its easy-to-drive nature and the advanced driving equipment make it a sensible and smart purchase."Read more
WhichCar80%"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 Advice75%"[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
Drive60%"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

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How does the Toyota Corolla compare with its peers?

Name Product Boot displacement ANCAP rating Price (from) Finder Score Read Review | Find a deal
Mazda 3
295L
5 stars
$25,590
83%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Mazda 2
250L
5 stars
$20,990
82.5%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Hyundai i30
Green Company
Hyundai i30
378L
5 stars
$20,440
82.2%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Volkswagen Golf
380L
5 stars
$22,840
82%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Ford Focus
341L
5 stars
$25,990
82%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Holden Astra
445L
5 stars
$21,490
81.2%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Toyota Corolla
333L
5 stars
$22,870
80.25%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Volkswagen Polo
280L
5 stars
$18,790
79%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Honda Civic
414L
5 stars
$23,590
78.6%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Subaru Impreza
345L
5 stars
$23,080
77.75%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Suzuki Swift
242L
5 stars
$17,690
76%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
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Note, the model shown above is the 12th-generation, 2018 onwards Toyota Corolla.

The complete 2016-2018 Toyota Corolla review

2016-2018 Toyota Corolla pricing

Prices for the Toyota Corolla, when new, started at $23,676 drive-away for a 1.8-litre petrol Ascent trim hatchback with a 6-gear manual transmission. The 7-speed CVT automatic gearbox cost buyers $2,100 extra.

The most expensive model was the ZR hatch, which was available with an automatic transmission. This model featured a range of added luxuries like heated and adjustable front seats (with lumbar support) and electrically heated wing mirrors that could power-fold for a little protection in small parking spaces.

The ZR hatch retailed for $33,803 when new. A number of car reviewers highly recommended the hybrid model, which was valued at $31,238.

Any other colour than the flat Glacier White incurred an additional charge of $450 at the time of placing an order. There were 8 colours to choose from, including metallic and pearlescent colours.

These prices were correct at the date of publishing for the postcode 2000.

Toyota Corolla 2018 used pricing

  • 2018 Toyota Corolla Ascent 1.8-litre hatch manual: $16,100 to $18,100
  • 2018 Toyota Corolla Ascent 1.8-litre hatch automatic: $17,100 to $19,800
  • 2018 Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport 1.8-litre hatch manual: $16,900 to $19,000
  • 2018 Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport 1.8-litre hatch automatic: $18,700 to $20,900
  • 2018 Toyota Corolla Hybrid 1.8-litre hatch automatic: $22,500 to $25,000
  • 2018 Toyota Corolla SX 1.8-litre hatch automatic: $21,200 to $23,600
  • 2018 Toyota Corolla ZR 1.8-litre hatch automatic: $23,600 to $26,100

Estimated private-sale value is from Redbook and is based on a vehicle having between 45,000km and 75,000km on the odometer (an estimate based on the age of the Corolla).

The 2018 Toyota Corolla range

Click on the price below to compare a range of car loans.

Ascent HatchAscent Sport HatchHybrid HatchSX HatchZR Hatch
1.8L Petrol Manual – $23,6761.8L Petrol Manual – $24,729
1.8L Petrol Automatic – $25,7791.8L Petrol Automatic – $26,8291.8L Petrol hybrid Automatic – $31,2381.8L Petrol Automatic – $29,6601.8L Petrol Automatic – $33,803

Overview

Even in 2021, Toyota still sells heaps of Corollas each month, and it is usually one of the top 10 best-selling cars in Australia. The engine line-up is largely well received for its mix of modest fuel economy and performance, although in the eyes of testers, the hybrid was the pick of the range. The Corolla received praise for its good looks, excellent value, lowest in class servicing costs and forward thinking smart driving assists across the motoring expert panel. 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. All things considered, it is unlikely you'll regret opting for a Corolla.
ProsConsNotable quote
Cars Guide
  • Great styling
  • Superb value
  • Advanced safety tech
  • CVT performance and noise
  • Lacks Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
  • No proper hot hatch variant
"The sweet spot in the Corolla range is the Ascent Sport Hatch with its 7.0-inch screen and the ability to option sat nav and the advanced safety technology. That said, a special mention has to go to the Hybrid – the petrol electric drivetrain suits the Corolla character well."
WhichCar
  • Hybrid efficiency
  • Sedan proportions
  • Auto emergency braking availability
  • Unexciting
  • No turbo engine
"Of the petrol-only Corollas, our reviewers like the Ascent Sedan, for its impressive interior space and good equipment for the money."
CarAdvice
  • Drives well at all speeds
  • Surprisingly exciting
  • Sport mode makes drivetrain eager
  • Price
  • Comfort
  • Not best-in-class for equipment
  • Some rivals are bigger in rear
  • Boot not a segment-leader
  • CVT auto struggles on hills
"So if you like the look of the Corolla SX and you can deal with the fact it isn't the best for space and equipment, you should put it on your list. Or perhaps check out one of the less expensive Corolla models, or the Hybrid."
Drive
  • Pricing and value
  • Appealing capped-price servicing
  • Physical radio volume knob would be nice
  • Boot size is average
  • Toils on hills
"...what makes [the Corolla] so popular then? Well, it's spacious, economical and good value – all good reasons that help to explain its success."

2016-2018 Toyota Corolla: Engines and performance

If you get stressed when facing too many decisions then the limited 2018 Corolla engine and gearbox line-up might appeal to you. You have the choice of a 1.8-litre petrol (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 extract 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 Corolla, saying they had plenty of oomph. Quite a few even went as far as saying it would be their pick of the line-up.

Thanks to their "bulk buying power", Georgie are able to help you buy the car you want and potentially save you money too. In fact, the average saving through Georgie is $4,616.
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The rest of the range, perhaps confusingly, has the exact same petrol engine. The mystifying part is that the sporty ZR hatch shares the same power plant as the lower spec Ascent. All non-hybrid models have the same 103kW and 173Nm. On public roads, journalists described the 2016-2018 Corolla line-up as docile and respectable, but behind many of its rivals.

It's a bit of a puzzle why Toyota chose not to bolt on a turbo. Most of the competition and international spec Corollas have turbochargers for increased performance and efficiency. Several reviewers picked up on this.

Almost without exception, journos disapproved of the CVT automatic transmission. Words like droney and sluggish were thrown around. The 6-speed manual was favoured as a better companion for the engine, with more immediate acceleration.

Features and statistics

Engine typeDirect injection, with 16 valves and a Double Over Head Cam (DOHC), plus Dual Variable Valve Timing (Dual VVT)
DrivetrainFWD
Maximum power103kW @ 6,400RPM (non-hybrid)

90kW @ 5,200RPM (hybrid, combined output)

Peak torque173Nm @ 4,000rpm (non-hybrid)

142Nm @ 3,600rpm (hybrid)

Engine size/displacement (cc)1.8L/1,798
Fuel typePetrol
CylindersInline 4
Transmission6-speed manual or CVT auto (or e-CVT for hybrid)
Fuel tank capacity45-50 litres
Fuel consumption - combined (best model)4.1L/100km (hybrid)
Combined CO2 emissions 149g/km (non-hybrid)

96g/km (hybrid)

AccelerationN/A
Emissions standardEuro 5
SecurityEngine immobiliser
Towing capacity (braked/unbraked)1,300kg (braked), 450kg (unbraked)

Fuel efficiency

The 2016-2018 Toyota Corolla was a pretty frugal car and sipped fuel sparingly. Surprisingly, the manual transmission car boasted the worst fuel economy, using a combined 6.7L/100km of petrol. The CVT automatic transmission is theoretically capable of 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 often slightly higher due to traffic, road and weather conditions.
For an SX model, one media outlet saw an increased fuel usage of 8.4L/100km, which was 2.4L/100km higher than the factory figures. Another journalist achieved 9.2L/100km. This is much higher than Toyota's claimed stats, but is still very much middle of the road in its class. It should be noted, it is not abnormal for fuel economy to sit within a 1.0L/100km margin of the brochure figures.

The hybrid Corolla in real-world conditions delivered fuel usage of 5.5L/100km, just 1 extra litre over factory numbers.
Hybrid Corollas hit such impressive fuel usage by combining an electric motor together with the propulsion generated by the petrol engine. The system also recycles ordinarily wasted braking energy to top up the battery. Around town, where you brake more frequently, and sometimes quite heavily, this can make a significant difference.
Toyota decided not to include stop/start technology on the Corolla.

Handling

The general opinion of the reviewers is that the Corolla is pretty decent to drive. According to the motoring press, Toyota engineers have done a pleasing job of creating a car that is nimble. The steering response is nice and light, with testers saying it is also accurate. This light steering also makes parking a lot easier, especially on bustling urban streets.

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

One thing to note about motoring journalists: they like to dissect and hyper-analyse a car's handling, but you should take this with a pinch of salt. After all, the Corolla isn't a sports car and 99.99% of 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 most owners truly care about.

2016-2018 Toyota Corolla: Interior and other features

Here's a breakdown of the 2016-2018 Corolla trims.

  • Ascent trim. The baseline Ascent trim is acceptably appointed. You can choose between a 7-speed continuously variable automatic and a 6-speed manual to go with the Ascent's 1.8L Dual VVT-i engine. This model gets 16" steel wheels, a Multi-Information Display (MID), plus steering wheel controls for the MID, as well as the phone/audio inputs. These Corollas also have Bluetooth and a humble 6.1" colour touchscreen. The sound system is wired to 6 speakers. Ascent Corollas also have cruise control, manual A/C and a bank of safety assists. All Corollas come with a reversing camera.
  • Ascent Sport. Next in the range is the Ascent Sport. This trim adds to the Ascent spec by:
    • Swapping the steel wheels for alloys
    • Upping the entertainment system screen to 7" and enabling Toyota Link
    • Including voice recognition, privacy glass, premium gear levers and an executive 3-spoke steering wheel
    • Offering options like satellite navigation with live traffic info and the Toyota smart safety pack
  • Hybrid. Hybrid models improve upon the Ascent grade, replacing some of the standard equipment and tech. Most noticeably, this model has a 1.8L petrol working together with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive. Additionally, hybrid drivers enjoy smart entry and starting, as well as a 4.2" colour Multi-Information Display. This car also has a dual-zone, automated climate control system and energy-saving LED headlights (with cleaners). Hybrid vehicles can also be equipped with Toyota's Safety Sense.
  • SX. The SX model is based around the Ascent Sport spec, but there's no option for a manual gearbox in this Corolla. The alloy wheels bump up 1 inch to 17", something that reviewers believed improved the handling. This model also has satellite navigation and auto headlights. Traditional seats are swapped for sporty bucket seats. That racing theme is built upon with a crisp front spoiler and rear valance, together with matching side skirts.
  • ZR. The ZR is the range-topping Corolla. It's based on the SX spec, but includes a smart entry system, dual-zone climate control A/C, heated partial-leather front seats (with power-adjustable lumbar support), auto-dimming rear-view mirror, LED headlights, auto-folding heated mirrors and an anti-theft alarm. Buyers could also choose an optional panoramic sunroof not available on the rest of the Corolla range.

Transmission

Ascent HatchAscent Sport HatchHybrid HatchSX HatchZR Hatch
6-speed manual gearbox
7-speed auto CVT
Hybrid e-CVT

Exterior

Ascent HatchAscent Sport HatchHybrid HatchSX HatchZR Hatch
16" steel wheels
16" alloy wheels
17" alloy wheels
Full-size spare wheel
Space-saver spare wheel
Front fog lights
Body-coloured, electric door mirrors
Heated, automatically folding mirrors
Halogen projector headlamps
Bi-LED headlights with daytime running lights
Automatic headlight levelling
Front spoiler
Rear bumper skirts
Side skirts
"Skyview" roof with electric shadeOptional

Interior

Ascent HatchAscent Sport HatchHybrid HatchSX HatchZR Hatch
Front bucket seats
Sport front bucket seats
60/40 split fold rear seats
Front and rear power windows
Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
Premium 3-spoke steering wheel
Premium shift lever
Leather-accented interior
Front seat heating
Rear and side privacy glass
Driver's seat power-adjustable lumbar support

Instruments and controls

Ascent HatchAscent Sport HatchHybrid HatchSX HatchZR 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, phone and audio
7-speed CVT with paddle shifter controls
Rear window defogger with automatic cut-off
Manual air-conditioning
Dual-zone automatic climate control air-conditioning

Storage and convenience

Ascent HatchAscent Sport HatchHybrid HatchSX HatchZR Hatch
Cup holders – front and rear
Bottle holders – front and rear
Accessory socket (front and rear)
Coin box
Door pockets – front and rear
Front seatback pockets
Driver and passenger sun visors with vanity mirrors and lights
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 HatchAscent Sport HatchHybrid HatchSX HatchZR Hatch
6.1" touchscreen display
7" touchscreen display
Toyota Link
Voice recognition
Bluetooth hands-free connectivity
USB input for compatible iPods/ USB memory sticks
AUX 3.5mm audio jack
6 speakers
Satellite navigation with SUNA traffic dataOptional

Security

Ascent HatchAscent Sport HatchHybrid HatchSX HatchZR Hatch
Engine immobiliser
Anti-theft alarm

Toyota Corolla safety equipment

Ascent HatchAscent Sport HatchHybrid HatchSX HatchZR Hatch
Hill-start assist control
Emergency brake signal
Toyota Safety Sense (pre-collision safety system, lane departure alert, automatic high beam)OptionalOptionalOptionalOptional
Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRC)
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA)
7 SRS airbags
3 child restraint anchor points
Reversing camera with fixed guidelines

2016-2018 Toyota Corolla mechanical problems

There are one or two product recalls for the 2016-2018 Toyota Corolla. Hybrid Corollas from this generation had a fail-safe mode issue. 5,118 vehicles were affected.

Looking into common complaints with Corollas after they were a few years old, there didn't really seem to be a pattern of frequent issues. These vehicles should currently, as of July 2021, have some of their factory warranty remaining (2016 Corollas might have run out of warranty), unless they've gone over their kilometre quota.

The verdict

Toyota knows its target audience through and through. Reviewers agreed that this was the best Corolla they'd produced at the time.

The Corolla then (and now) neatly combines value for money, sensible servicing costs and a time-honoured reputation for reliability and longevity with an inoffensive form factor and robust build quality.
While critics may not have ranked the 2016-2018 as the best in class, it does everything very well, with few compromises.

Compare loans for a 2018 Toyota Corolla below

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Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Monthly Repayment View Details CTA
Credit Concierge Car Loan
From
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Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.
IMB New Car Loan
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Plenti Car Loan
From
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Loans.com.au - New and Dealer Used Car Loan
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Stratton Finance New Car Loan
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Apply for up to $250,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.85% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with
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NRMA New Car Loan
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Heritage Bank Car Loan
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NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed
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Borrow from $5,000 to $55,000, with 1 to 7 year loan terms available. This loan comes with no fees for extra repayments and no early exit fees.
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A secured loan with a high maximum borrowing amount up to $100,000. Redraw facility and no monthly fees.
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SocietyOne Car Loan
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Compare car insurance side-by-side and get quotes

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2021 Finder Award for Car Insurance - Value in QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA and Car Insurance - Features in NSW, VIC, WA, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct's claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

⭐ Current offer: Get 15% discount on first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Australia Post car insurance offers comprehensive cover for things like theft, fire, new for old replacement and emergency accommodation and transport. Cover also extends to anyone who uses your car, not just you.

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Who it might be good for: If multiple people use the one car and you don’t want to worry about listing all drivers.
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: With Coles comprehensive car insurance, you could earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. If your car is damaged, you could benefit from a one-week turnaround on repairs.

⭐ Current offer: Get 10% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary:Bingle consistently comes up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. It only covers the basics. You don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and unless you add it as an option, you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps its premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low-cost option that covers them for the basics.
Virgin Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2021 Finder Awards for Best Car Insurance - Value in VIC, QLD, SA, WA and TAS, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price.

⭐ Current offer: Get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you purchase a new eligible comprehensive car insurance online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to manage their policy online 24/7.
Stella Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed
Finder's summary: Stella offers car insurance that's been designed with women in mind. This means competitive pricing, rewards for being a safer driver and some unique inclusions like cover if your car is damaged as a result of domestic violence. It also offers higher cover for baby gear than most, with up to $2,000 cover for prams, strollers and child seats.

⭐ Current offer: Save 10% when you pay your premium annually. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a female-centred car insurance policy (it will cover men too).
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be with optional extras like choice of repairer and the option of agreed or market value.

⭐ Current offer: Earn Qantas Points for joining and paying your premium. Sign up today and earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points (points awarded will be based on your premium). T&Cs and eligibility apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to earn Qantas Points.
ahm Comprehensive
Optional
Both
Finder's summary: ahm comprehensive car insurance lets you choose higher excess to reduce your premiums. Its Fixed Kilometre Plan can save you up to 30% compared to its standard comprehensive cover.

⭐ Current offer: Get 12 months free roadside assistance when you purchase a new policy online.^ Offer ends October 14. T&C’s apply.

Who it might be good for: People who drive less than 15,000 km per year.
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