Toyota Corolla
(2012 - 2019)

  • Incredibly reliable
  • Very economical
  • Excellent resale value
  • It’s very sensible
  • Not exactly an exciting thing to drive
  • Some may not like the interior design
  • Not much else…

With over 45 million Corollas sold since 1966, there is no shortage of used models available. The eleventh-generation E170 hatchback brought with it sharper styling, better fuel economy, a roomier interior, more safety features and Toyota’s reputation for reliability.

But, is it all good news for Toyota’s ever-popular hatchback? Read on.

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What goes wrong
  • From our research, there are no “common” problems or faults inherent with this generation Corolla
  • Short of being abused, a Corolla should give you minimal concerns
Model range, pricing and features


  • Price when new: $21,110
  • Price used: $8,500 - $15,000

The base model Corolla with minimal bells and whistles.

A good honest car but if you’re in the market, be sure to check if the Ascent you’re looking at was once a hire car, if so, it might be best to walk away.

Standard features:

  • 5-Star ANCAP safety rating
  • 7 airbags
  • Electronic stability control
  • ABS
  • Cruise control
  • Mobile phone connectivity
  • Hill start assist (from 2015)
  • 6.1-inch touchscreen with USB input & Bluetooth (from 2015)
  • Optional safety pack (from 2017)

Ascent Sport

  • Price when new: $23,120
  • Price used: $9,500 - $15,500

Don’t be fooled, adding “Sport” to the name does not make the Corolla any sportier. The Ascent Sport is simply an Ascent with a few bonus extras.

Ascent Sport adds:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Chrome trim pieces
  • Fog lights
  • Reversing camera
  • Leather gear knob and steering wheel (from 2015)
  • 7.0-inch touchscreen display (from 2015)

RZ Special Edition

  • Price when new: $24,540
  • Price used: $10,500 - $12,500

The limited-run RZ was based on the Corolla Ascent Sport hatch but loaded with over $2,000 worth of extras.

RZ Special Edition adds:

  • 16-inch gloss black alloy wheels
  • Darkened grille
  • Blackened rear garnish
  • RZ decals along the front, sides and rear
  • Satellite navigation
  • RZ floor mats


  • Price when new: $27,530
  • Price used: $17,000 - $19,000

Take an already efficient hatchback and make it even more fuel efficient.

When a Corolla Hybrid exists, who needs a Prius?

Hybrid adds:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • bi-LED headlights
  • LED daytime running lights

Levin SX/Corolla SX

  • Price when new: $25,995
  • Price used: $10,900 - $18,000

In our opinion, the SX is the sweet spot of this Corolla generation.

It receives just the right amount of niceties without the need to cough up more money for options you really don’t need.

Try to find one with the optional safety pack and you’ll be onto a winner.

Levin SX/Corolla SX adds:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Sports seats
  • Satellite navigation
  • Leather gear knob and steering wheel
  • Sports body kit (from 2015)
  • 7.0-inch multi-function control screen (from 2015)
  • Dusk-sensing headlights (from 2015)
  • Full colour 4.2-inch MID screen (from 2015)

Levin ZR/Corolla ZR

  • Price when new:
  • Price used:

The top of the Corolla range ZR is packed with loads of kit but even now, you’ll be paying a premium for things we’re not sure you really need.

Levin ZR/Corolla ZR adds:

  • Heated front seats
  • Leather upholstery
  • Xenon headlights
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • bi-LED Headlights (from 2015)
  • LED daytime running lights (from 2015)
  • Multi-function control screen (from 2015)
  • Dusk-sensing headlights (from 2015)
  • Safety pack standard (from 2017)
Should you buy it?

YES, we highly recommend it.

The Toyota Corolla is arguably THE go-to small car.

It’s dependable, practical, efficient and comfortable and while it might not stir your soul, it is the sensible choice.

Warranty & servicing


3 years/100,000kms


10,000kms or 6 months

Tech specs

Body style:

  • 5-door hatch

Engine & outputs:

  • Non-hybrid models – 1.8-litre, 4-cyl petrol, 103kW / 273Nm
  • Hybrid models – 73kW / 142Nm


  • Non-hybrid models – 6-spd manual, or CVT auto, FWD
  • Hybrid models – CVT auto, FWD

Fuel use:

  • Non-hybrid models – 6.7L-100km
  • Hybrid models – 4.1L/100km


  • Height: 1460mm
  • Length: 4275mm
  • Width: 1760mm
  • Weight: 1275kg (Ascent, Ascent Sport, RZ Special Edition & Levin/Corolla ZR) / 1365kg (Hybrid, Levin/Corolla SX)

Information correct as of December 10, 2020.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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