2018 Toyota Corolla Review

Pros & Cons

  • Comes with a long list of standard convenience and safety features
  • Sport seats remain comfortable after hours of continuous driving
  • Plenty of room inside, especially in the back
  • Acceleration is slow, even for this class
  • Most interior materials feel cheap
  • Not very exciting to drive
  • Fuel economy isn't great
  • rivals achieve the same with more power
List Price Range
$11,500 - $25,796

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Which Corolla does Edmunds recommend?

If you don't want to spend too much money, the LE Eco is the way to go. We like it because you get plenty of features, a slightly more powerful engine, and modest fuel economy gains over the L and LE. Our top pick, however, is the Corolla SE. It adds a modicum of fun to the Corolla's otherwise snooze-inducing driving experience. It's also the only model available with a manual transmission. Select the manual over the drony CVT automatic and you'll also get extra goodies such as a sunroof and upgraded infotainment system.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

6.5 / 10

With a low price tag and history of solid reliability, it's easy to see why the Toyota Corolla has become one of the world's best-selling vehicles over the last 50-plus years. The 2018 Toyota Corolla builds upon the success of its ancestors with expressive styling, a surprisingly roomy cabin, plenty of advanced safety features and comfortable, supportive seats. But while the Corolla covers the basics well enough, a few deficiencies make its rivals better picks overall.

The Corolla's cabin is fairly plain and does little to make you think you've bought anything more than a basic small car. Its underpowered engine and so-so handling mean it isn't much fun to drive, either. Factor in a small trunk and poor smartphone integration and you have a car that is difficult to recommend in a class stacked with more desirable choices.

2018 Toyota Corolla models

The 2018 Toyota Corolla sedan is sold in six trim levels. L, LE, LE Eco, SE, XSE and XLE. Every Corolla is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. Most models produce 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque, though the LE Eco is a bit more powerful with 140 hp and 126 lb-ft. Power is routed to the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) on all models, though the SE can be optioned with a six-speed manual.

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Standard equipment on the base L model includes 15-inch steel wheels, LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, adaptive cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a driver information display, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth, a 6.1-inch touchscreen and a six-speaker audio system with a CD player, a USB port and, for iPhone users, the Siri Eyes Free voice control system. Standard safety systems include a rearview camera, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist (to nudge you back into your lane) and automatic high beams.

The LE adds 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, remote locking and unlocking, metallic cabin accents, upgraded upholstery, a rear armrest and automatic climate control.

The LE Eco starts with the LE's features and adds engine and suspension tuning designed for maximum fuel efficiency, 15-inch steel wheels, a rear spoiler and enhanced aerodynamics.

The XLE builds upon the LE's set of features, adding 16-inch alloy wheels, upgraded headlights, LED taillights, bumper-mounted LED daytime running lights, a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, simulated leather upholstery (Toyota's SofTex), a power-adjustable driver seat (with two-way power lumbar), heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an upgraded driver information display, a 7-inch touchscreen display, an app-based navigation system (Scout GPS Link), and satellite and HD radio.

The SE is the sporty Corolla, although we use that term loosely. It starts with the LE's features and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, unique front-end styling with a black mesh grille, a rear spoiler, steering wheel with paddle shifters (for CVT automatic models), sport front seats, SofTex upholstery with cloth inserts, and a sport-style gauge cluster. Also included are the XLE's upgraded headlights, bumper-mounted LED daytime running lights and leather-wrapped steering wheel. Opt for the manual transmission and you'll also get a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, and the upgraded infotainment system.

The XSE has the SE manual transmission's extra features and adds heated front seats, the eight-way power-adjustable driver seat, the paddle shifters and full SofTex upholstery.

A few options packages are also available. LE and LE Eco models can select the Premium package, which adds 16-inch alloy wheels, bumper-integrated LED running lights and the upgraded infotainment system. A sunroof can be added to this package for the LE (it's included with the package for the LE Eco).

The Premium package for SE CVT automatic models includes keyless entry and ignition, a sunroof and the upgraded infotainment system, while XLE and XSE models can opt for an integrated navigation system and smartphone integration via the Entune App Suite.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Toyota Corolla SE (1.8-liter inline-4 | CVT automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Toyota Corolla has received some revisions, including the deletion of the SE 50th Anniversary Special Edition (which will not affect this rating, as the trim was little more than an appearance package for the XSE). Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Toyota Corolla.

Driving

6.5
Performance has never been a strong suit for the Corolla, and it still isn't, especially with the current crop of compact cars. The engine under its hood hasn't changed since 2009, and the CVT automatic seems conflicted about its identity. If you value an engaging drive, there are many better options.

Acceleration

5.5
The aging four-cylinder engine delivers underwhelming acceleration and whines unpleasantly when asked to work. This characteristic is exacerbated by the CVT automatic, which tries to simulate transmission gear changes without success. We needed 10.1 seconds to reach 60 mph, which is quite slow for the class.

Braking

7.0
Around town, the brakes have a good feel, are smooth and easy to modulate, and don't have the pedal squish that plagues some of the other Toyota models. In our emergency braking tests, the Corolla needed 125 feet to stop, which is slightly longer than average for this segment.

Steering

6.5
At low speeds, steering effort is light, but there's no feel of being connected to the road. It's better in Sport mode at higher speeds; there's less assist, better on-center feel and even some semblance of feedback rounding a corner. Most buyers in this segment will find this adequate.

Handling

7.0
Without any real sporting intentions, the Corolla exhibits surprisingly tidy handling. There isn't much grip supplied by the all-season tires, but we were surprised by how composed the Corolla remains at a mildly spirited pace, which is more than enough to make it feel lively around town.

Drivability

6.5
The powertrain delivers decent throttle response despite its lack of power and unrefined character. The CVT automatic is a little more fickle in how it adjusts ratios on the fly but also simulates gearshifts in certain instances. Putting aside all the aural idiosyncrasies, the Corolla is a decent driver.

Comfort

7.0
The sport seats that come with the SE provide great support, even if they seem a bit misplaced. There's nothing outstanding about the ride in the Corolla, but we did find the climate control to be more than sufficient in keeping cabin temps in check.

Seat comfort

8.0
The SE trim includes sport seats with generous lateral support, and despite its sparse adjustments, the seats proved comfortable over a three-hour trip. Cloth center sections provide breathability, preventing the seats from getting swampy over a longer drive stint.

Ride comfort

6.5
Ride comfort is no better than average for a compact car. It isn't overly floppy and bouncy but it transmits bumps like the small car it is. Higher frequency vibrations are especially prominent and it doesn't seem like much effort was put into making it ride like a larger car.

Noise & vibration

6.5
There's an average amount of road noise, a little more than some and less than others in this class. There's also some wind noise around the mirrors, but it's not enough to be a nuisance. The biggest noise offender is the racket created by the engine at full throttle.

Climate control

7.5
The climate controls are straightforward with a set of three rocker switches in the center for temperature, fan speed and vent control. The auto climate setting works effectively to maintain comfortable cabin temperature.

Interior

7.5
Slipping in and out of the Corolla's cabin is easy, and once you're in, there's ample room to stretch out. All cabin controls are straightforward, and the touchscreen is responsive, if not a bit oversensitive. Unfortunately, some will find an issue with the lack of steering column extension.

Ease of use

7.0
The Toyota Corolla's cabin layout is clear and familiar and doesn't try to be fancy, so it's pretty easy to use and figure out. The touchscreen is responsive, but it's easy to inadvertently brush a finger against a control you don't mean to, which can be frustrating.

Getting in/getting out

8.0
Ingress and egress are easy thanks to a low step-over height and wide door openings. Even the rear doors have a good head clearance, which helps minimize the amount of ducking needed to slip into the back seats.

Driving position

6.0
There are few seat adjustments beyond the basics. The steering wheel tilts and telescopes, but the puny amount it extends is laughable. Taller drivers will likely have to compromise legroom to accommodate their reach. At least the steering wheel is leather-wrapped and has a nice ergonomic feel.

Roominess

8.5
There's an abundance of room up front, though the sport seats may feel a little narrow for larger drivers. There's decent headroom in back and 41.4 inches of legroom, which obliterates everything in the compact segment and embarasses many midsize cars. A nearly flat floor pan also aids foot space.

Visibility

7.5
The front windows feel large, and pillars that are thin in your line of sight make for good forward visibility. Rear visibility is also decent thanks to fairly sizable rear windows and headrests that aren't obstructive. A rearview camera is standard.

Quality

5.5
The Corolla lacks in quality feel especially when compared to Honda, Mazda and Subaru. Hard plastic abounds in most areas, which unfortunately cheapens an otherwise attractive interior design. The seats, infotainment, climate controls and steering wheel look of quality; everything else does not.

Utility

6.0
Compact sedans aren't sought after for their outstanding utility, but some do a better job of maximizing the space they have. The Corolla isn't one of those cars. While we like the wide trunk opening and split-and-folding seats, the level change from the trunk kept us from loading some longer items.

Small-item storage

6.5
Storage options for small items is average. There's a small tray ahead of the shifter and a relatively small dual-level armrest bin. The door pockets will hold a standard water bottle, but not much else. The glovebox is an average size, and there's no flip-down storage for sunglasses.

Cargo space

6.0
The Corolla's trunk has a fairly wide opening and a broad floor ahead of the rear wheelwells but, at 13 cubic feet of volume, space is on the lower side of average. The rear seats are split 60/40 and they fold, but there's a pretty significant two-level step up from the trunk floor.

Child safety seat accommodation

7.0
Two pairs of LATCH anchors are tucked away somewhat deep into the rear-seat cushions, which doesn't make for easy access. But the upper tethers are located under flip covers and are easier to access. The Corolla's generous rear legroom is advantageous when it comes to rear-facing seats.

Technology

6.5
The Corolla is just average across the board when it comes to technology. The driver aids don't quite function to the standard of other competitors such as Honda and Subaru, and Toyota's smartphone integration, through its own proprietary app, is a poor substitute for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Audio & navigation

6.5
The audio system is fine, but sound quality begins to get a little fuzzy when you crank up the volume. Navigation comes courtesy of your smartphone after downloading Toyota's Entune app. The screen resolution is sharp, but the glassy piano black surfaces surrounding it are a magnet for fingerprints.

Smartphone integration

5.5
There's a USB connector, and Bluetooth pairs quickly and works well. Toyota provides smartphone integration through its own app called Entune, which isn't nearly as robust as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Driver aids

6.5
Lane departure/lane keeping assist doesn't operate below 32 mph, though it does a decent job when it's operational. The adaptive cruise control had some trouble maintaining uphill speed and, like Mazda's system, won't bring the car to a stop. Bummer. But this stuff is standard! That's rare.

Voice control

7.5
The voice controls respond well to commands, though if they don't there is an option to train the system to recognize your voice. Functions are limited to audio and phone calls unless you use Toyota's Entune app. Siri Voice will work with a paired iPhone if you hold the button longer.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall6.5 / 10
Driving6.5
Comfort7.0
Interior7.5
Utility6.0
Technology6.5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2018 Toyota Corolla.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

It's a Corolla, not a luxury car
Rover,04/12/2018
LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)
I got lucky and got mine for 15 grand. Comparing to other sedans that I have at this size it compares fine. My gas mileage is 36 mpg, mixed driving and it's fine for me for acceleration as I don't drive so sporty with it. Cons for me compared to other cars in this class is that I noticed it catches leaves and tree debris in places that you have to remove moreso than with other cars. Trunk lid catches leaves and I have to open it to clean them out. Front between the windshield and hood catches a lot of leaves. Seams at the doors and trim catches stuff too. My other make of car doesn't or is easier to clean, hose off. The radio controls with the steering wheel buttons don't match the vertical list of stations on the display as the stations are left and right to change and volume is up and down. I get mixed up when trying to choose the stations. The cruise control waits until it gets a few miles per hour higher to keep up and my other car is within a mile per hour. The CVT has smart intelligence and shifts just like a geared transmission when needing to speed up or down quickly and I thought it would not be so. But leaving a stop light it is shift free and I like that. Michelins came on mine and the road noise and ride is good and it handles bumps well. The rear camera won't beep when coming close to hitting something but maybe I have not set it yet in the controls adjustments. I am 6 ft. tall and used to pickup trucks and Sonatas and they are larger so I expected the entry, exit to be a bit tight but not uncomfortable as I wanted a smaller car for short spurts and gas mileage. The paint is blizzard pearl with a luxury looking sheen and I like that. Factory listed it as a special color. Overall I am pleased with it and don't mind the small cons. It's a Corolla and my price can't be beat compared to another car compared to it.
Great commuter car
Dennis,03/24/2018
LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)
I drive about 75 miles round trip for work daily and bought the Corolla to be my commuter car. So far so good. The seats are comfortable, the handling is good, radio works well and it simply drives as it should. I do not have any complaints. It is not the fastest car off the line but if you drive normal without a lead foot then you will be just fine. I am averaging 38mpg with mixed driving, I love the gas mileage. The safety features are great too, I love the automatic high beams and the lane departure works well. I expect strong reliability with the Corolla and am very happy with my purchase.
More than I bargained for in a GREAT way
Bert Copeland,04/12/2018
LE Eco 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)
I traded in a 2017 Nissan Sentra SV. I test drove a few cars before I picked this one. I was using the Consumer Reports car buying guide and tested their top 6 cars. This car really surprised me. I grew up with Cadillacs which had automatic dimmers for the high beams in the 60s. Standard equipment. My wife accuses me of drifting out of my lane frequently. Lane warning Standard equipment. And an option that I thought Cruise Controls should have for years. When the cruise is set and you go down a hill it works to maintain you set speed so you are not talking to officer friendly at the bottom. And did I mention that the cruise has a vehicle detection system that slows you down or stops you if you start getting to close to the other vehicle. ALL of the preceding were STANDARD EQUIPMENT. Extra on other models. The car has the usual Corolla ride (Okay), handling (okay), Comfort (adequate), Noise (okay). BONUS because of the standard safety features the price of my insurance went DOWN $20 verses the 2017 Nissan.
GOING PLACES
Jessie Tracy,04/23/2019
LE Eco 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)
you will never be found on side of road with car trouble. I love my cars I never had any problems. I have a 2006 scion xb and I have a 2018 corolla red I call her lip stick I love her I love Toyota all you have to do is keep up with the oil change. other than that it will run and you will keep on going places. cars are made to be driven and Toyota delivers just keep new tires. I don't need the inside to be stunning so that I don't care about I love the fact it has safe senors on it. the speed it fast enough for like to get places alive so speed aint a problem. so if you are like me and just want to go place with no problems get a TOYOTA

Safety

Our experts like the Corolla models:

Pre-Collision System
Alerts the driver when the car approaches a stationary or slow-moving vehicle too quickly. Automatically applies the brakes if necessary.
Lane Departure Alert w/ Steering Assist
Notifies the driver as the Corolla wanders out of its lane. Makes small adjustments to the wheel to keep the Corolla in its lane.
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
Maintains a set distance between the Corolla and the car in front by automatically accelerating and slowing down.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover11.8%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2018 Toyota Corolla

Used 2018 Toyota Corolla Overview

The Used 2018 Toyota Corolla is offered in the following submodels: Corolla Sedan. Available styles include XSE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), L 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), SE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), LE Eco w/Premium Package 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), XLE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT), SE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 6M), and LE Eco 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT). Pre-owned Toyota Corolla models are available with a 1.8 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 132 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2018 Toyota Corolla comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic. The Used 2018 Toyota Corolla comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 2 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Toyota Corolla?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Toyota Corolla trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Toyota Corolla LE is priced between $11,500 and$22,600 with odometer readings between 5443 and164778 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Toyota Corolla SE is priced between $14,999 and$21,000 with odometer readings between 7308 and150450 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Toyota Corolla L is priced between $13,999 and$18,955 with odometer readings between 32540 and95618 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Toyota Corolla XSE is priced between $19,500 and$25,796 with odometer readings between 9780 and32526 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Toyota Corolla XLE is priced between $17,550 and$17,550 with odometer readings between 41939 and41939 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2018 Toyota Corollas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Toyota Corolla for sale near. There are currently 133 used and CPO 2018 Corollas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,500 and mileage as low as 5443 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Toyota Corolla.

Can't find a used 2018 Toyota Corollas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota Corolla for sale - 8 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $8,553.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 9 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $11,365.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Corolla for sale - 5 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $20,041.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 2 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $18,224.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Toyota Corolla?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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