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Certified Pre-Owned Deals: Toyota Camry, Corolla, Highlander and RAV4


If you’re in the market for a used car, a smart way to go is to shop certified pre-owned vehicles. Dealers inspect these units and offer them with factory-backed extras like extended warranty coverage that you won’t find on non-certified cars, trucks, and SUVs.

Here’s a look at four popular Certified Pre-Owned models, the 2018 Toyota Camry, 2018 Toyota Corolla, 2018 Toyota Highlander, and 2018 Toyota RAV4, and what to expect when in the market for one. You’ll find the current CPO price and how it compares to the original sticker, as well as similar non-CPO listings. But first, some background on Toyota’s Certified Pre-Owned Program.

Toyota’s Certified Pre-Owned Program

Toyota CPO vehicles must:

  • Be no more than six years old
  • Have less than 85,000 miles on the odometer
  • Pass a 160-point inspection

Toyota CPO benefits include:

  • A 1-year/12,000-mile extension beyond the expiration date of the original 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty
  • An extended 7-year/100,000-mile warranty
  • A year of free roadside assistance

2018 Toyota Camry LE

2018 Toyota Camry LE

Original MSRP: $25,070

Target CPO Purchase Price: About $22,600 for average condition and mileage

CPO Price Premium vs. Non-Certified Used: About $800

Browse Certified Toyota Camry listings near you

About the 2018 Toyota Camry LE

The most popular Camry is the LE trim level, which means you’ll be more likely to find one as a Certified Pre-Owned model.  The Camry LE is well-equipped with adaptive cruise control, air conditioning, 6-speaker AM/FM audio, and Bluetooth integration. You also get USB and auxiliary power ports, rearview camera, a power driver’s seat, 17-inch alloy wheels, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, and an alarm system.  The 2018 model is the first year of the most recent Camry redesign, so the look should hold up well.

What’s best about the 2018 Toyota Camry LE

We prefer the 4-cylinder engine that comes with this model rather than the more expensive V6. It offers better fuel economy and yet delivers great power. The lighter engine puts less weight on the car’s nose, so we also think it handles a bit better. We suggest shopping the LE, and SE trims to see which one suits you better. The latter comes with more equipment and may cost about $1,500 more.

Is the 2018 Toyota Camry LE a safe car?

Every 2018 Camry features a full set of front and side airbags, including side curtain airbags, backup camera, forward-collision warning, automatic braking, lane-departure warning, steering assist, and automatic high beam headlights. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems are available. Safety Connect emergency communications are standard on the V6-powered XSE and XLE and optional on all but the base L.  NHTSA Safety Rating: 5 stars

2018 Toyota Corolla LE

2018 Toyota Corolla LE

Original MSRP: $19,955

Target CPO Purchase Price: About $17,800  for average condition and mileage

CPO Price Premium vs. Non-Certified Used: About $800

Browse Certified Toyota Corolla listings near you

About the 2018 Toyota Corolla LE

A step up from the base L model, the 2018 Corolla LE is the highest-selling trim level in a broad lineup.  Larger numbers mean more choice when it comes to shopping for a CPO unit. Although it’s classified as a compact car, you will find nearly midsize room in the cabin, especially in the back seat. Standard features include LED headlights with automatic high beams, air conditioning, adaptive cruise control, a backup camera, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, 16-inch wheels, and keyless entry. The cloth-upholstered LE also features a 6.1-inch center touchscreen, heated mirrors, automatic climate control, an upgraded interior trim. Power comes from a 4-cylinder engine that mates to a CVT.

What’s best about the 2018 Toyota Corolla LE

As a compact economy car, the Corolla boasts great fuel economy in a family-sized sedan. When shopping for a Corolla LE, you might want to consider the LE Eco, which may command a premium of only $300 or so. The Eco comes with a slightly larger and more powerful 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. It delivers eight more horsepower than the base engine and also boasts fuel economy of 30 mpg city/40 mpg highway, respective gains of 2 and 4 mpg in city/highway ratings.

Is the 2018 Toyota Corolla LE a safe car?

A refresh of the 2017 Corolla brought with it Toyota’s Safety Sense P suite of driver and safety assists. Among these features are pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure alert with steering assist. The Corolla also comes with anti-lock brakes, stability control, eight airbags, including front, driver-knee, passenger seat-cushion, front-side, and full-length side-curtain. NHTSA Safety Rating: 5 stars

2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE

Original MSRP: $37,915

Target CPO Purchase Price: About $29,450  for average condition and mileage

CPO Price Premium vs. Non-Certified Used: About $650

Browse Certified Toyota Highlander listings near you

About the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE

Toyota offers a complete family of vehicles in its 3-row 2018 Highlander. The lineup starts with a base 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine in front drive. You can add all-wheel drive on it or the 3.5-liter V6. If you’re looking for a non-hybrid version, the V6 may cost a bit more, but you’ll get the same city mileage and better highway fuel economy than I4 along with a considerable boost in power. We like the Hybrid version because it offers the best fuel economy (30 mpg city/29 mpg highway in LE trim), a stout 306 horsepower, and standard all-wheel drive. All models come with Toyota’s Safety Sense which features forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, lane departure alert, and adaptive cruise control.

What’s best about the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE

The Highlander is quintessential family transportation. It offers seating for up to eight on three rows, though you might consider looking for a middle row with captain’s chairs. While these models carry only seven passengers, the layout is much more comfortable. While an all-new Highlander debuted in 2020, the 2018 model is just past the mid-point in the product cycle, so there’s not much difference between it and the models that precede or follow it. Overall, the Highlander is reliable, offers high quality, and solid value.

Is the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE a safe car?

In addition to Toyota’s Safety Sense P suite of driver and safety assists, the Highlander offers a full complement of front and side airbags (including driver knee and a front passenger under cushion airbags), anti-lock brakes, stability control, and a standard rear-view camera. Higher trim levels can be found with blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic warning system. NHTSA Safety Rating: 5 stars

2018 Toyota RAV4 LE

2018 Toyota RAV4

Original MSRP: $27,460

Target CPO Purchase Price: About $23,140 for average condition and mileage

CPO Price Premium vs. Non-Certified Used: About $900

Browse Certified Toyota RAV4 listings near you

About the 2018 Toyota RAV4 LE

The 2018 model is the last one before a full redesign in 2019. If you like a more carlike look, this is the RAV4 for you since the newer model has the more aggressive squared-off look of a traditional SUV. The Toyota RAV4 LE is the most popular model. If you live in an area where weather is an issue, you may want to consider an all-wheel drive version, which may cost about $300 more. On the LE, you get Toyota’s Entune infotainment that features a 6.1-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth integration, USB and auxiliary power ports, and a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD sound system.

What’s best about the 2018 Toyota RAV4 LE

While the LE model is the most common and represents solid value, you might also want to look for a RAV4 Hybrid. The higher price, which adds about $800, can be recouped at the pump. These savings may be as much as $250 per year. Hybrid models weren’t as popular even a few years back, so they might be harder to find. However, last year, Toyota sold more RAV4 Hybrids than conventional versions, so we expect the price premium to come down in subsequent years.

Is the 2018 Toyota RAV4 LE a safe car?

Toyota added its Safety Sense driver assists as standard equipment in the 2017 model year, so the 2018 RAV4 LE benefits from this change. Among the features included are adaptive cruise control, pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, an alert for lane departure with a steering assist, and automatic high beams. Other safety content includes antilock brakes, stability control, front-side airbags, side-curtain airbags, and a rearview camera. It also comes with a driver-knee airbag, a front-passenger under-cushion airbag,  NHTSA Safety Rating: 5 stars

Matt DeLorenzo
Matt DeLorenzo is an author who specializes in writing news, advice, and car reviews. A member of the North American Car of the Year jury, he has spent more than four decades covering the auto industry and has held key posts at industry and consumer publications including Automotive News, AutoWeek, and Road & Track. He is also an author of automotive books including Modern Chrysler Concept... Read More about Matt DeLorenzo

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