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2018 Toyota Corolla review

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

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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.
Finder is a personal finance comparison site that provides you with the tools you need to make better decisions. Learn how we work and how we make money.

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

How does the Toyota Corolla compare with its peers?

Name Product Boot displacement ANCAP rating Price (from) Finder Score
Volkswagen Golf
5 stars
Mazda 3
5 stars
Mazda 2
Mazda 2
5 stars
Hyundai i30
Green Company
Hyundai i30
5 stars
Ford Focus
5 stars
Holden Astra
Holden Astra
5 stars
Toyota Corolla
5 stars
Volkswagen Polo
5 stars
Honda Civic
Honda Civic
5 stars
Subaru Impreza
5 stars
Suzuki Swift
Suzuki Swift
5 stars
Nissan Leaf
5 stars

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


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."
  • 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."
  • 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."
  • 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.

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)
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)

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.


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.


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


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


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


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 Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp. Rate (p.a.) Application Fee Monthly Fee Monthly Repayment - New - Variable Rate Special
Variable3 - 7 Years $5,000 - $150,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
to 7.74%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
to 8.85%
Application Fee
Monthly Fee
Monthly Repayment
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OurMoneyMarket New Car Loan
Fixed1 - 7 Years $2,001 - $75,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
to 18.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
to 21.78%
Application Fee
Monthly Fee
Monthly Repayment
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Verified Lending Used Car Loan
Fixed1 - 7 Years $10,000 - $200,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
to 18.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
to 22.99%
Application Fee
Monthly Fee
Monthly Repayment
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NRMA New Car Loan
Fixed1 - 7 Years $5,000 - $130,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
to 16.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
to 17.77%
Application Fee
Monthly Fee
Monthly Repayment
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Note: Take out a loan for an eligible electric vehicle and receive a 1.5% discount on your personalised interest rate (interest rates start from 5.79% p.a. and comparison rates from 6.49% p.a.)
OurMoneyMarket Used Car Loan - No Vehicle Age Limit
Fixed1 - 7 Years $2,001 - $75,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
to 18.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
to 21.78%
Application Fee
Monthly Fee
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
NRMA Used Car Loan
Fixed1 - 7 Years $5,000 - $130,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
to 16.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
to 17.77%
Application Fee
Monthly Fee
Monthly Repayment
Go to siteMore Info
You'll receive a fixed rate from 8.49% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours. - Variable Rate Used Car < 5 years
Variable3 - 7 Years $5,000 - $150,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
to 7.74%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
to 8.99%
Application Fee
Monthly Fee
Monthly Repayment
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Showing 7 of 7 results

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
Agreed or Market
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Youi Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
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Who it might be good for: Those who want good customer service with lots of inclusions.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
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⭐ Current offer: Get $75 off your first year's comprehensive car insurance premium when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Multiple people using one car.
ROLLiN' Comprehensive
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Who it might be good for: Young drivers looking to keep costs down and anyone who’d like to get more flexibility from their car insurance.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Our best-rated Car Insurer for Customer Satisfaction in 2021/2022 and Green Insurer for the last 3 years.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those who want a trustworthy insurer and more cover than other brands, such as 3-year new car replacement (e.g. they'll give you money for a new car for up to 3 years if yours is written off).
Bingle Comprehensive
Finder's summary: Our data shows it’s the cheapest comprehensive policy. It just covers the basics such as damage to your car, theft and storms – it doesn’t go in for add-ons and extras.

Who it might be good for: Those wanting a low-cost, no-frills policy.
Kogan Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Kogan comes with all the perks that most comprehensive car insurance policies include, but you'll also be entitled to some benefits from its online store. This usually comes in the form of a gift voucher or discount if you buy online.

⭐ Current offer: Get $75 off first year premiums when you purchase Kogan Comprehensive Car Insurance online + $10 monthly credit. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Kogan shoppers and those after a good range of policy options.
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