Toyota Corolla is one of the most recognizable vehicles all over the world. The sedan is one of Toyota’s cash minting machines that don’t require much attention. To be fair, the Corolla is average at best from any front. Despite this, Toyota has sold over 40 million units of the model since its debut. The sedan is for individuals on a budget. The car is offered in six different trims for different tastes among these price-conscious buyers. Most enthusiasts love it for its solid reliability, superb fuel economy but most importantly its affordable retail price. Toyota took the sedan through a comprehensive redesign for the 2017 model year meaning it will carry over for the 2018 Toyota Corolla without any noteworthy updates. Its hatchback variant i.e. the Toyota Corolla iM (previously Scion iM) is reviewed separately.
2018 Toyota Corolla Exterior and interior styling
As mentioned above, the sedan is available in six trims. Like the outgoing model, the 2018 Toyota Corolla sedan will feature the Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver-assist systems as a standard for all trims. The suite features lane departure warning, active cruise control, automatic high beams, lane-departure warning that integrates steering assist and a forward collision warning system with automatic braking. The base L trim gets LED headlights and DRLs. It also features 15-inch wheels, cloth upholstery, a 6-way power adjustable driver seat and 4-way adjustable front passenger seat. It also features a 6.1-inch Entune touch-screen infotainment system that integrates Bluetooth connectivity. There are no extra options for this trim but one can opt for dealer-supplied lowering springs and special mats.
The LE trim adds keyless entry, 16-inch steel wheels, heated side mirrors, a rear-view camera and a climate control system. Unlike the L trim, the LE has an optional Premium Package that adds an upgraded infotainment system, alloy wheels and a moonroof. The most powerful of the 6 trims, the LE Eco is styled almost like the LE; its main difference is the more powerful engine as well as its better fuel efficiency. It also features a more aerodynamic belly and a dedicated Eco driving mode.
The XLE gets all features of the LE trim and adds a smart-key, a 7.0-inch touch-screen infotainment system, heated front seats upholstered in faux leather and 16-inch alloy wheels. An upgraded infotainment featuring an in-built navigation system is available.
The SE looks sportier than other trims. It features 17-inch wheels, rear disc brakes, a roof spoiler, a chrome exhaust tip while its side mirrors are integrated with turn signals. The model also features an upgraded instrument cluster and a Sport mode for the CVT system. There is an option for lowered springs, a performance air filter and a performance exhaust setup.
The top XSE trim is a blend of the sport treatment of the SE trim with technologies available on the XLE trim including the 7.0-inch infotainment system, smart-key and moonroof.
Engine and performance
The 2018 Toyota Corolla is powered by a single engine but in two flavors. The engine is a 1.8 L, 4-cylinder engine rated at 132 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque on the lower tune. The mill is paired to a CVT transmission that delivers power to the front wheels. A 6-speed manual gearbox is optional for the SE trim. The mill returns 28 mpg, 36 mpg and 32 mpg on town, highway and combined drives respectively. The more powerful iteration of the mill is good for 140 hp and 126 b-ft of torque. It returns 30 mpg, 40 mpg and 34 mpg on town, highway and combined drives respectively. This engine is however available for the LE Eco trim only.
Price and release date
The 2018 Toyota Corolla with base LE trim starts with an MSRP of $19,445 inclusive of a destination fee of $895. The LE trim goes for $19,880, adding the Premium Package attracts an extra $1,215 while a Smartphone-activated navigation system is available for $450. Going higher, the LE Eco trim sells at $20,280 while the XLE trim starts at $22,880. An upgraded infotainment system is available on the XLE trim for $525. The SE trim, on the other hand, is available for $21,390 for models with a CVT system while models with the 6-speed system fetch $22,610. Finally, the top-of-the-range XSE trim attracts a $23,625 price tag.
Toyota has already started delivering the 2018 Corolla sedan to its dealerships.
Although the Corolla is hugely popular across the globe, a host of other models targeting the same buyers have sprung up and are giving it a serious run for its money. These models include the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus and Volkswagen Jetta.