2018 Toyota Corolla: Which spec is best?

AutoTrader NZ
Published 3 September 2020

The Toyota Corolla is available in hatch and roomier sedan body shapes with a hybrid powertrain introduced as an alternative to the 103kW/173Nm 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine that powers the rest of the range. CVT auto is available across the range, with some models also offering a six-speed manual.

2018 Toyota Corolla




There are five main specification levels starting with the Ascent priced from $20,190 (AUD) for the manual hatch, with a premium added if you want it with a CVT auto, or in sedan form.

Standard features in the Ascent hatch includes cruise control, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps. There’s also an optional safety pack for around $780 with auto emergency braking, lane departure alert, forward collision warning, and auto dipping headlights.

The Ascent sedan has a bigger 7.0-inch touchscreen with Toyota Link infotainment system, but fitted with smaller 15-inch steel wheels. The safety sense option in the sedan is only available in conjunction with 15-inch alloy wheels for $1571 (AUD).

The Ascent Sport is a hatch-only model with a few extras over the Ascent hatch including 16-inch alloy wheels, premium feel steering wheel, and the Ascent sedan’s 7.0-inch touchscreen system. Satellite navigation is optional for about $1040, or around $1800 when bundled with Safety Sense pack.

2018 Toyota Corolla sport


The mid-spec Corolla SX comes in hatch and sedan form, though there are some differences between the two. The SX hatch only comes with the CVT auto and features 17-inch alloy wheels, satellite navigation, paddle gear shifters, sports front seats, and sporty body kit.

The SX sedan on the other hand comes with a CVT or manual option and keyless entry, but lacks the hatchback’s sports seats and is shod with smaller 16-inch alloys.

2018 Toyota Corolla SX


The Hybrid hatch has the fuel saving battery assisted hybrid powertrain, which features the same 1.8-litre engine as the other models. It has similar features to the Ascent Sport, including 16-inch alloy wheels and plush cloth seats, as well as a string of extras including dual-zone air-conditioning, satellite navigation, keyless entry and start, and LED headlights with daytime running lights. It also has a different suspension setup to the conventional models with a double-wishbone design that improves grip and stability. There is no manual hybrid hatch.

The Corolla range is topped by the sporty ZR hatch and sedan which also lack a manual option. The hatch gets the sportier wheels and tyres from the SX, and the hybrid hatch’s extra features. Its heated sports seats are trimmed in a combination of real and fake leather, and the driver’s seat has power-adjustable lumbar support. It also comes with the Safety Sense pack as standard, which is an option in all the other models. You can also add a panoramic roof for around $1600 (AUD).

The ZR sedan is similarly equipped as the hatch, but gains eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat though only equipped with single-zone air-conditioning. The panoramic roof is not an option for the sedan.

2018 Toyota Corolla ZR


  • Corolla Ascent hatch manual – $20,190 (AUD)
  • Corolla Ascent hatch, auto – $21,790 (AUD)
  • Corolla Ascent sedan, manual – $21,240 (AUD)
  • Corolla Ascent sedan, auto – $23,490 (AUD)
  • Corolla Ascent Sport hatch, manual – $21,210 (AUD)
  • Corolla Ascent Sport hatch, auto – $22,790 (AUD)
  • Corolla SX hatch, auto – $26,000 (AUD)
  • Corolla SX sedan, manual – $23,820 (AUD)
  • Corolla SX sedan, auto – $26,070 (AUD)
  • Corolla Hybrid hatch, auto – $27,350 (AUD)
  • Corolla ZR hatch, auto – $30,020 (AUD)
  • Corolla ZR sedan, auto – $31,930 (AUD)




2018 Toyota Corolla hybrid


The Toyota Corolla Hybrid Hatch represents exceptional value with its better suspension and state of the art powertrain that sips fuel at a rate of 4.1L/100km (combined cycle), compared to around 6.1L/100km for the similarly equipped petrol hatches.

Of the petrol-only Corollas the Ascent Sedan has decent interior space and good equipment, especially if you add the optional Safety Sense pack and more attractive alloy wheels.  




  • Toyota Safety Sense (all models except Accent sedan and ZR) – $784 (AUD)
  • Toyota Safety Sense and 15 inch alloy wheels (Ascent sedan) – $1571 (AUD)
  • Toyota Safety Sense and satellite navigation (Ascent Sport) – $1826 (AUD)
  • Satellite navigation (Ascent Sport) – $1042 (AUD)
  • Panoramic roof (ZR hatch) – $1597 (AUD)
  • Premium paint – $467 (AUD)