2018 Toyota Corolla Expert Review

4.2 Overall Score
Performance 3.7 Comfort 4.2 Styling 3.6 Value 4.2

Editor's Overview

The 2018 Toyota Corolla may be one of the best compact-car values on the market. It has an exceptionally reasonable price tag, outstanding reliability and resale figures and one of the most comprehensive standard safety-equipment rosters of any car in the class. While not particularly fast or sporty, the Corolla’s remaining attributes are very appealing.

You'll Like The 2018 Toyota Corolla If...

Toyota’s 2018 Corolla makes a great first car, but even longtime drivers will appreciate the Corolla’s exceptional value. From its low price to its fuel-efficient engine to its impressive list of standard safety and driver-assist features, the Corolla compact sedan checks all the right boxes.

You May Not Like The 2018 Toyota Corolla If...

If you can’t live without high-tech features like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, you won’t be happy with the 2018 Toyota Corolla’s audio setup. Those seeking an aggressive driving attitude won’t find much excitement here, nor will speed demons. Hatchback fans will have to look to the smaller Corolla iM.

What's New

For 2018, the Toyota Corolla compact sedan carries over with no changes of note. The 50th Anniversary trim is discontinued.

Interior Features

The 2018 Toyota Corolla interior may be short on pizazz, but it's quiet, comfortable and gets the job done. The modern dash design features round air vents, a user-friendly climate-control interface, updated infotainment system, improved and more legible gauges, and a multi-information display. The Corolla’s front seats are comfortable and supportive, and the rear seats are surprisingly roomy, even for tall passengers. Even with the new features everything is easy to use and see, and there's good cargo space with split-folding rear seatbacks to help with longer objects.

Exterior Features

The 2018 Corolla offers two different exterior designs, reflecting the new model lineup. The L, LE, XLE and LE Eco offer a nose-and-tail treatment that's distinct from the sportier SE and XSE models. Yet both offer similarities. There are standard LED headlights, with a 2-element version on the SE-type Corollas. The SE-based models also get vertically styled front vents and LED fog lights, plus all-red taillights, while LE-type models use subtle cues, such as 2-color taillights, to look a little more upscale.

Driving Impressions

Driving enthusiasts aside, most people will find much to like about the 2018 Toyota Corolla sedan. The ride is soft without excessive wallowing, and the steering is surprisingly responsive with good on-center feel. Visibility is also a Corolla strong point, as are its comfortable and supportive front seats. While it can’t compare with the Mazda3 or Honda Civic for performance, the 2018 Corolla SE trim does offer a bit more athleticism thanks to a sportier suspension setup and 6-speed manual-transmission option. A 132-horsepower 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard on all but the LE Eco model, which gets a slight bump to 140 horses. This setup won’t encourage any daring passing maneuvers, but at least the CVT automatic makes the most of what little power is on tap while maximizing fuel economy. There is a lot of noise at full-throttle, however, but otherwise the Corolla’s cabin is surprisingly quiet.

Pricing Notes

The 2018 Toyota Corolla L base model has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $19,400. On the other end of the scale is the Corolla XSE, which comes in fully loaded at just above the $24,000 mark. That's a pretty good bargain on both ends; on the low end, the Civic LX with the Honda Sensing package comes closest, but still runs about $1,000 more. On the high side, a loaded Corolla is notably less than many competitors. Check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid for their new Corolla. As for resale value, the Corolla outpaces virtually everything but the Civic, where the two run neck-and-neck.

Notable Equipment

We've already mentioned the array of active-safety systems now standard on even the base 2018 Toyota Corolla L. Beyond that the Corolla L offers LED headlights, a rearview camera with path projection, air conditioning, cruise control, and tilt-telescope steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth controls on the spokes. There's a USB port for phone recharging and audio integration, and a 6.1-inch touch-screen display audio system that includes Toyota's Entune multimedia bundle and Siri Eyes Free, although Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren't available at all. The 6-way-adjustable driver's seat and the rest of the interior are upholstered in comfortable cloth.

Notable Options

Corolla LE models get automatic climate control, a multi-information display (MID) between the gauges, and nicer interior trim. The XLE and XSE get faux-leather seating surfaces and an 8-way-power driver's seat, nicer instrumentation with a color MID, and push-button start and keyless entry. If you want a "sporty" Corolla, the SE can be equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission. SE models are generally equipped a little better than LE models, offering a color MID among other things. XLE, XSE and SE manual Corollas get a standard 7-inch infotainment system, which can be upgraded with an integrated navigation system.

Favorite Features


No other compact car offers the standard safety equipment found in the 2018 Toyota Corolla. The Safety Sense-P suite includes pre-collision warning and pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning and assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams. Better still, the system is standard on every trim level.


For an entry-level compact, Toyota’s 2018 Corolla sedan offers a rather pleasing interior. An elegant dash design is bolstered by an extensive use of soft-touch materials and quality plastics throughout the roomy and comfortable cabin.

Under the Hood

There are two versions of the same 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine for Toyota’s 2018 Corolla. The one used in nearly all models offers 132 horsepower, routing it through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), or in the case of the SE, an available 6-speed manual transmission. The Corolla LE Eco offers a 140-horsepower version of the same engine, but it's no hot rod, instead being tuned for better fuel economy. Fuel economy is good, especially the Eco getting up to 40 mpg on the highway, but these days that's par for the course instead of class-leading. Some 2018 models may show slightly lower fuel-economy numbers due to changes in EPA testing.

1.8-liter inline-4 (L, LE and S)

132 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm

128 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/35 mpg (SE 6-speed manual), 28/36 mpg (CVT, 16-inch wheels), 28/35 mpg (CVT, 17-inch wheels)

1.8-liter inline-4 (LE Eco)

140 horsepower @ 6,100 rpm

126 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 30/40 mpg (15-inch wheels), 29/38 mpg (16-inch wheels)

Editors' Notes

The 2018 Toyota Corolla compact sedan may not be the fastest or most technologically advanced small car you can buy, but its dedication to value, economy and comfort is unsurpassed. For the money, Toyota’s 2018 Corolla sedan offers a spacious cabin wrapped in an attractive body, and a list of unrivaled standard safety features including adaptive cruise control, pre-collision warning and automatic high-beam headlights. A wide model range offers something for everyone, although the Corolla’s standard 1.8-liter won’t impress like the turbocharged engines in the Honda Civic or VW Golf, and its driving dynamics are no match for competitors like the Mazda3 and Chevrolet Cruze. High-tech fans won’t be happy with the omission of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, either.

Road Test Video Reviews

2018 Toyota Corolla Owner Reviews

485 Reviews
74% 21% 3% 1% 1 star 0%
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My 2018 Toyota Corolla is the best vehicle I have ever owned!

I love all the automated features. The lane assist works great when you have grandchildren in the back causing a distraction. On the highway the cruise control is automated so I no longer have to tap the breaks, then speed back up and reset my speed because the sensors allow the car to do it for me when I approach vehicles at a lower rate of speed so when I pass them and there is open road in front again it returns to my set speed all on its own! I love having the climate control as well. I never have to freeze or be too hot again on a road trip! It is roomy and very comfortable. It also has very high safety ratings in all its classes which is extremely important to me. It also automatically senses and switches the transmission to drive in eco or sport mode so I don't have to remember to anymore. I also like that you now have a my Toyota account which keeps a connection to my service team and monitors the health of my vehicle. The backup camera has a great picture which I can change the quality if I choose. It also has a great sound system. I like that although the system allows messages and email, it only allows certain functions to be performed while the car is in motion which is a great safety feature that allows me to stay as connected as I want. Another great safety feature is being able to use auto settings on the running and headlamps so I never worry about forgetting to turn them on or off which is comforting at night when I am alone. I can lock it up and walk to my door and it gives me light to walk up, unlock my house door and get inside safely before the lights ever turn off! The best part though is that it is a Toyota! And as a Toyota it is less expensive to purchase and maintain and holds its value very well when maintained properly. All in all, it is an awesome car!!

- Kelli B

2018 Toyota Corolla accident prevention technology.

I bought a 2018 Toyota Corolla and what's cool about the new cars is that they have a lot of technological functions that prevent accidents. For example, when I am driving in a lane and my car swerves a little a light will come on and my steering wheel will turn slightly. These newer cars help you drive more cautiously. The interior is extremely comfortable and high quality. It is spacious in the back seats with plenty of legroom. The windows are tinted and there's access to all windows and doors per one switch. When you are backing up, there is a little camera in the front of your vehicle where you can see behind you. So you do not need to always turn your head when you are about to back up; those it is probably safer to do so. As you backup, the car beeps and let's you know your proximity to a vehicle behind you, or a sign, curb etc. One problem with the car, is that since it is a limited series kind of car, certain car parts are hard to purchase unless I go to the dealership itself. If you have like a regular 2004 Toyota you can find standard brake lights and a new engine, but for this car specifically, you need a newer engine model that most dealerships do not have. To end on a high note, the performance is really smooth ensuring a safe and relaxing ride. The pedals are sensitive and move quickly even with a tap of your foot so be careful. All in all, these newer cars are amazing and are the future.

- Kate T

Review of the Savvy 2018 Corolla SE

My Corolla SE is a really solid car, looks sporty and is very reliable. I bought it used at the local dealership which saved me from losing several thousand dollars in new car cost. I'm a Toyota fan from my college days because the company just makes solid vehicles all the way around and they rarely cost owners much money in maintenance until their older years. Even then, ownership cost is below many other car manufacturers cost. The Corolla I own is a 2018 SE and it is great on gas mileage, averaging 40 miles per gallon city. The slate blue color is a nice option for guys but my wife likes to drive the car as well although she prefers her Sienna! The leather seating was upgraded that year and is a very soft, smooth leather that is extremely comfortable. I would highly recommend giving the Corolla SE a test run if you are in the market for a sporty, reliable car you want to hang onto for a few years or even pass down to your high school kid who may start college in a few years. That way, you get to drive it a few years and have fun and it will still be in great driving shape for them when they need it.

- Thomas C

Substandard Build Quality

I purchased a 2018 Corolla SE 15 months ago and at 16,000 km the driver's door check started cracking. The local dealer told me it's wear and tear and that I should be careful how I use the door. I told him I use the door by opening and closing it for entry/exit purposes, as I've done with every car I've owned for the past 35 years. Not covered by warranty and therefore $242 later it was fixed at my own cost. I've owned cars up to 15 years at a time and never had a door check go. Now I notice the windshield washer reservoir is leaking. When I fill the reservoir to full, it empties to 1/2 or 1/3 on its own without any use. I'll skip the dealer this time, and go straight to a bodyshop as no doubt the dealer will question the methodology in which I use the windshield washer. I've owned numerous Toyotas since 1984, but this will be my last one. Garbage product which dealer does not stand behind.

- Alvin L

The Toyota Corolla sport is dependable to a point.

The Toyota Corolla is their “sport” version, and I do like the sporty look. It does not have great pick up though, considering it is a sports car. It is very easy to maneuver through, like in parallel parking. My husband and I are not fans of how tall the headrests are. There are many times where they block our view. I love the rear camera and how it aids in safely backing up, but cannot rely solely on it of course, and having high headrests does not help matters. The sound system is nice. The clarity is a big plus. I do not like the dashboard lighting. It does not always light up to the appropriate level and is a bit erratic. We've owned various Toyota models for many years, but not totally pleased with this particular one. Would love to trade it in for another. Model.

- Gloria M

Safety Features are Special

I love the technology for this vehicle, which includes receiving and replying to text messages. Some of the nicer versions also have GPS that you can see onscreen, but mine does not, which I think should be standard. The car is fairly comfortable. It lacks some of the driving pep of our other car, which is a Jetta, but it is surrounded by cameras, which helps significantly with safety issues. The car can even brake for you if you need to and does correct your driving if you move out of your lane. The tech seems pretty fancy to me and overall I enjoy the car. I don't think that physically it's a particularly stylish looking car, it's actually pretty plain, but it has the basics, which works fine for me.

- Stacey L

The automatic safety features are amazing.

My 2018 Corolla is wonderful. Smooth ride, very comfortable seats, spacious even with two kids seats in back. Plenty of legroom. Great trunk space. Love all the features such as keyless entry and hands free calling. However, my only complaints are that you have to be sitting in the driver's seat to start car. Which is difficult in extreme weather to get the heat/air going first if you have children who need buckled in. You cannot just reach in and start in. You literally have to be sitting in the driver's seat with you foot on the break. Also, this model does not have navigation, rather a navigation app (scout) through your phone and it is horrible. Other than those two things. . . I love my Corolla!!

- Trisha D

2018 Toyota Corolla LE REVIEW

My 2018 Toyota Corolla LE is amazing. It has great interior 4 cup holders. All 4 doors has room for a soda or water bottle. Spacious trunk and back seat. Love the stereo and backup camera. Love the front camera if I come too close to a vehicle in front of me it beeps in case I wasn't paying attention. It also has a very good engine and runs great. It notify me if I'm going over a line it will beep. Using cruise control if a car is in front it slows the car down tell there far enough away then will pick up speed again. Love how the driver seat can raise (since I'm short) or lower if I was taller. It is also Bluetooth can control my stereo an answer phone calls off steering wheel

- Jessica M

Corolla review from an automotive technicians POV

As a technician for Toyota, I can honestly say these are one of the most reliable vehicles. That's why I purchased one myself. Maintenance is cheap and it's really great in gas. Over 35 miles per gallon is it half city and half highway driving. These new corollas come with a lot of features like lane departure detection, intelligent cruise control, it even has auto braking when you don't react quickly enough approaching vehicles. Performance is decent if you need more power pick the necessary trim that meets your needs. These cars are perfect for young drivers especially with all these safety features that come standard. Interior is also a lot better compared to older models.

- Jesse M

Great and cheap beginner car for those just starting off!

Great for beginner drivers with little to no experience. This vehicle is extremely comfortable and reliable. Tons of leg room for both the driver and all passengers. Drivers seat adjusts front to back, Up and down, back angle and headrest. Very efficient gas mileage and small tank so gas will never be pricey. All compartments are spacious despite the car feeling small. Side view mirrors are electronically adjusted and have a circular blind spot mirror in the bottom outer corners. Under the radio are small rectangular panels that can be taken out and replaced with charger ports or switches to anything you may want to add, be it seat heaters or other gadgets.

- Ashley R

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