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As a 5-year-old compact sedan, a 2018 Toyota Corolla represents an excellent option for anyone seeking a practical small car. However, like any other vehicle, this Corolla model year has its strengths and weaknesses. Let’s look at two of each to see if it’s a good fit for your next used car

2 strengths of the 2018 Toyota Corolla

2018 toyota corolla, used toyota corolla
2018 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

Excellent fuel economy

The 2018 Toyota Corolla gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway with its base 132-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT). However, efficiency drops to 27 mpg city/35 mpg highway when swapping the available six-speed manual transmission for the standard CVT in the Corolla SE 6MT. 

For the best fuel economy, choose a 2018 Corolla LE Eco trim that increases the 1.8-liter’s output to 140 hp while improving the mileage estimate to 30 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. 

Spacious seating

U.S. News says the 2018 Toyota Corolla’s “front seats are comfortable and roomy, and the rear seats have decent headroom.” Also, the rear seating area has a flat floor that allows for “plentiful” legroom. The 2018 Corolla seats five, but it’s best if at least one rider in the back row is small. As a bonus, the trunk opens wide to access 12 cubic feet of cargo space. 

2 weaknesses of the 2018 Toyota Corolla

Underpowered engine and dull handling

With the base 1.8-liter four-cylinder making only 132 hp, the 2018 Toyota Corolla is slow to accelerate and “noisy when climbing to highway speeds,” U.S. News reports. The Corolla LE Eco’s 140-hp engine tune is slightly livelier but still underpowered for quick passes on two-lane roads at highway speeds. The good news: Either powertrain easily motivates the sub-2,900-pound Corolla around town. 

In addition to its lack of power, the 2018 Corolla has dull handling. Though the ride is comfortable on all but the roughest roads, the numb steering response makes driving this compact car boring. 

Lower-quality interior fit and finish

The 2018 Toyota Corolla’s spacious interior includes a long list of standard tech features, even in the base Corolla L. However, the abundance of hard plastic pieces reduces the interior’s overall quality feel. The standard seats have cloth upholstery, but upper trim levels include premium cloth or synthetic leather. 

Who should buy a 2018 Toyota Corolla, and who should avoid it?

The 2018 Toyota Corolla is a great choice for someone who wants affordable transportation without thrills. It’s a safe, family-friendly car that goes from point A to point B reliably and efficiently. 

On the other hand, it won’t put a smile on your face anywhere besides the gas pump. So if you want an exciting ride, you’d be better off looking elsewhere. 

If you desire more power but still want a used Corolla, consider a 2020 SE or XSE with a 169-hp 2.0-liter engine, available as a hatchback or sedan. The CVT-equipped version improves the 2018 LE Eco’s fuel economy by 1 or 2 mpg, but a 2020 Corolla typically costs about $4,500 more than a 2018 model.


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