• Car Review

2018 Toyota Corolla Review

By Autolist Editorial | August 4, 2020

Quick Facts:


  • Impressive safety ratings.
  • Lots of driver assistance features.
  • User-friendly infotainment system.


  • Slow acceleration.
  • Unresponsive braking.
  • Lackluster cabin.

Would we buy one? Absolutely.

Vehicle Type: Five-seat, compact sedan and hatchback.

Price Range: Pricing ranges from $18,600 to $22,780, not including a $895 destination fee.

Powertrain: All models feature a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and front-wheel-drive.

A continuously variable automatic transmission is standard, but you can opt for a 6-speed manual transmission

Competitors: Mazda Mazda3, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Jetta, Honda Civic, Chevy Cruze and Kia Forte.

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Overall Score: 7.6/10

Safety Features: 9/10


The 2018 Toyota Corolla has excellent safety ratings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the Corolla an overall safety rating of five out of five.

Although the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hasn't rated the 2018 Corolla yet, it gave the previous model year a 'Good' rating on all crash tests except the headlights test, which received a rating of Acceptable. IIHS also presented the 2017 Corolla a 'Top Safety Pick Plus' award.

This vehicle comes standard with the Toyota Safety Sense-P suite of safety features, including forward-collision warning, LED headlights, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, automatic emergency braking, eight airbags, stability control, and lane departure warning with steering assist.

The Toyota Corolla iM hatchback model has the Toyota Safety Sense-C suite, which comes with all of Safety Sense-P's features except adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection.

Value: 8/10


The 2018 Corolla comes in several trim levels: the base L, the LE, the LE Eco, the SE, the XLE, and the XSE. There is also the Corolla iM, a hatchback model.

The Toyota Corolla L has an MSRP of $18,600. Meanwhile, the Toyota Corolla LE costs $19,035, the Toyota Corolla LE Eco costs $19,435, and the Toyota Corolla SE costs $21,765. The Toyota Corolla XLE trim has an MSRP of $22,035, while the Toyota Corolla XSE trim has a sticker price of $22,780. Finally, the Corolla iM hatchback starts at $19,990.

Most reviewers agree that the 2018 Toyota Corolla gives you a lot of bang for your buck. Unfortunately, its estimated fuel, maintenance, and insurance costs are $4,480 per year, higher than many other cars in this category.

Tech Features: 9/10


The 2018 Corolla's cabin features an Entune 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which reviewers praise for its large, visible buttons and crisp graphics. Other standard tech perks include a USB port, Bluetooth, power windows, a rearview camera, Siri Eyes Free voice recognition technology, physical volume and air conditioning controls, and a six-speaker audio system.

Many more tech amenities are available at higher trim levels, including HD and satellite radio, an integrated navigation system, keyless entry, a moonroof, automatic climate control, heated outside mirrors, push-button start, and a Pioneer premium audio system. You can also upgrade the touchscreen to 7 inches. Unfortunately, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren't available for the Corolla. The iM hatchback model comes standard with the larger touchscreen, dual-zone climate control, and the Pioneer premium audio system.

Practicality: 7/10


The 2018 Toyota Corolla has about 13 cubic feet of trunk space, on par with other compact cars. However, when the 60/40 split-folding rear seats are down, the vehicle boasts extra storage space.

The iM hatchback model enjoys a more impressive 20.8 cubic feet of trunk space behind the rear seats. Some rival compacts, such as the Honda Civic, enjoy more cargo space than the Corolla.

Unfortunately, the 2018 Corolla doesn't have many utility-boosting features, such as roof rails or a power liftgate.

Styling & Design: 7/10


Reviewers praise the 2018 Corolla for its elegant exterior styling, especially for the Corolla iM's long roofline and European feel. The Corolla weighs just 2,840 to 2,885 pounds, depending on the trim, and it's 183 inches long and boasts 6.7 inches of ground clearance. Optional exterior touches include daytime running lights and a rear spoiler. The Toyota Corolla iM hatchback gets 17-inch alloy wheels.

Reviewers are more reserved about the Corolla's cabin, which they view as a little bland. On the other hand, the cabin's contrasting stitchwork and blue lighting lend some flair to the interior, and the dashboard is regarded as easy to use.

Cloth seats are standard in the new Corolla, but synthetic leather and premium cloth upholstery are available. In addition, sport seats, heated front seats, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat are optional, as are a sporty instrument cluster and leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Driving Experience: 6/10


Sitting in the 2018 Toyota Corolla is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine capable of 132 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque. The iM hatchback's version of this engine gets 137 horsepower and 126 lb-ft of torque.

All Corollas have front-wheel drive. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is standard, though a 6-speed manual transmission is available.

Critics aren't bowled over by the Corolla's ride, noting that the engine doesn't have much pep, but they agree that the handling is serviceable. Steering is light, and this new car absorbs bumps well. Unfortunately, acceleration is slow, and the braking isn't as smooth or responsive as it could be. The iM hatchback enjoys an independent rear suspension for a smoother ride.

Fuel Efficiency: 7/10


All in all, the 2018 Toyota Corolla has decent fuel economy. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the base model gets 28 mpg on city roads and 36 mpg on highways for a combined 32 mpg. With the manual transmission drivetrain, that same vehicle gets 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway for a combined 31 mpg.

Higher trims have worse gas mileage than the base model, partly owing to their larger wheels. The SE, XSE, and XLE with the CVT transmission installed all get 28 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. Likewise, the SE with a manual transmission only gets 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway for a less impressive but still strong 30 mpg combined.

The LE Eco is the most fuel-efficient Corolla. It gets 30 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, and 34 mpg combined with 15-inch wheels equipped or 29 mpg city, 38 mpg highway, and 33 mpg combined with 16-inch wheels equipped. It lags some rivals, though, like the Honda Civic, Mazda3, and Chevy Cruze sedans, which all enjoy 40 mpg combined or better.

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