2018 Toyota Corolla XSE Test Drive

2018 Toyota Corolla SXE

Editor’s Note: Car Pro contributor Michael Garfield is a radio host, TV personality, and columnist based in Houston.  

Fun fact: The Toyota Corolla is the best-selling car ever. It’s fuel efficient, affordable and always reliable thanks to Toyota’s reputation for build quality. Over 43 million Corollas have been sold since 1966 and the 2018 version will push those sales numbers higher.

This year’s model includes the L, LE, LE Eco, SE, XLE and the top-level XSE trim levels. The reasonably priced L starts near $18,500 and maxes out with all the bells-and-whistles on the XSE around $23,600.

Not many people buy the Corolla for top speed or acceleration but the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine has a nice giddy-up with 132 hp. The L and LE trims get 32 mpg combined (28 city/36 highway) while the SE and XSE with larger wheels will get 31 mpg combined (28/35).

I was impressed with the cabin for a compact car as it is roomy for my 6 foot-tall frame in both the front and back seats. The XSE has a large moonroof and trimmed heated seats.  Trunk volume is a pretty standard 13 cubic feet.

As technology goes the new Corolla has a lot of it. Toyota Safety Sense P is standard which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams and dynamic radar cruise control.

All trim levels come with backup cameras with projected path guidelines, smart-stop brake-override technology, vehicle stability control, traction control, ABS, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist tech, and electronic tire pressure monitoring.

The 2017 model received Top Safety Pick+ status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and the 2018 model earned a 5-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA).

Bottom line – there are a ton of great features in here that utilize some of the best technologies in the auto industry.

2018 Toyota Corolla XSE

2018 Toyota Corolla XSE

While I’m not the biggest fan of Toyota’s infotainment system, the Corolla does feature the Entune Audio multimedia bundle. The XSE has a 7” touchscreen, AM/FM CD player, 6 speakers, auxiliary audio jack, USB port, voice recognition system and Bluetooth. 

The Premium audio package has a suite of apps including traffic and weather overlays, streaming services like iHeartRadio and fuel price searches. 

Interestingly enough, Toyota remains the only major global automaker with no plans to incorporate the popular Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connection packages.  So until that happens, Entune is all you got.

If you’re in the market for a 2018 Corolla, find a Car Pro Certified Toyota dealer near you for an outstanding car buying experience.

Photo Credit: Toyota

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