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2018 Toyota Camry vs. 2018 Toyota Corolla: What's the Difference?

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Chris O'Neill July 2018
  • The 2018 Toyota Camry is all-new.

  • The Camry offers more features and refinement, but costs more than the 2018 Toyota Corolla.

  • The interior and cargo dimensions of both the Corolla and Camry are more similar than you'd think.

The 2018 Toyota Camry and 2018 Toyota Corolla are among the most popular sedans on the market. Two of Toyota's longest running nameplates, the Camry and Corolla, both offer safety, efficiency and amenities -- a virtual guarantee that you'll make it from point A to point B without a fuss. But what are the major differences between the two? Is the Camry just a larger version of the Corolla? Below, we'll lay it all out to help you decide which is right for you.

Considered a compact, the 2018 Corolla starts at $18,600 and tops out at around $23,300 when fully loaded. The midsize Camry starts at $23,645 and reaches $35,100 in fully loaded XSE V6 trim.

Exterior

The Corolla was last fully redesigned for the 2014 model year, and received an update for 2017. At its core, the Corolla's design is rather conservative, but some of the new styling elements adopted in 2017 give it a more aggressive look. Up front, the Corolla has a wide open grille which looks like a large mouth. While the front end is perhaps a bit in-your-face, the rest of the Corolla is clean and simple, with tight lines and even proportions all around. Opt for the sportier XSE model and the Corolla gets a more aggressive front fascia and sporty 17-inch wheels.

The Camry was the recipient of a full redesign for the 2018 model year, and it shows. No longer just the humble, conservative people mover it was in years past, the all-new Camry actually looks quite attractive. On lower trim levels, the front end still features the wide open black grille, but the headlights are sharp and the chin more aggressive. The design continues with a strong beltline and greenhouse that should offer good visibility while still being stylish. The Camry's rear window incorporates a unique design feature in that it wraps around into the D-pillars, giving the vehicle a premium feel. Opt for the sporty XSE model and that front fascia becomes even more aggressive, offering a litany of scoops and air intakes, along with a rather attractive adaptation of Toyota's "whale tail" grille surround design. The XSE also gets larger 19-inch wheels and an equally-as-aggressive rear bumper featuring four exhaust tips. XSE models are also available in a unique 2-tone design that features a black roof.

The Camry is a midsize sedan while the Corolla is a compact. The Camry's overall length is 192.1 inches while the Corolla is nine inches shorter at 183.1. The Camry is also wider at 72.4 inches to the Corolla's 69.9.

Interior

Inside, the Corolla wears a conservative, clean design. A digital readout in the instrument cluster and center infotainment screen are standard.

In line with Toyota's effort to make the new Camry more exciting than generations past, the vehicle's interior has been given a stylish redesign as well. Even entry-level L models receive wood-appearance treatment on the dashboard, while XSE, XLE and Hybrid models receive an electronic parking brake. The 2018 Camry offers a unique, asymmetrical center stack design that offers considerable room for the driver. XSE models are available with an adrenaline-inducing red leather interior with paddle shifters and brushed aluminum accents.

Mechanicals

The Corolla is available with one engine -- a 1.8 liter 4-cylinder making 132 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque. The standard transmission is a CVT, but there is a 6-speed manual available, although this option appears to be going away for 2019. Equipped with the CVT, the Corolla earns 32 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving.

The Camry is available with three different powertrains: A 4-cylinder, a V6 and a hybrid. The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder makes 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, while the 3.5-liter V6 makes 301 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, propelling it from 0-to-60 in 5.8 seconds. The 4-cylinder earns between 32 and 34 mpg combined depending on trim level, while V6 models earn 26 mpg overall.

The Camry Hybrid uses a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine combined with Toyota's hybrid technology for an overall output of 208 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid system earns an impressive 52 mpg overall in LE trim; or 46 mpg combined in SE and XLE trims.

All Camrys come with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Space

The compact Corolla offers 38.3 inches of front seat headroom and 42.3 inches of front seat leg room. Back seat passengers get 37.1 inches of headroom and 41.4 inches of legroom. The midsize Camry, surprisingly, is overall slightly less spacious inside than the Corolla, offering 38.3 inches of headroom and 42.1 inches of legroom in the front seat and 38 inches of headroom and 38 inches of legroom in the rear.

The Camry has slightly more trunk room, offering 14 cu ft. to the Corolla's 13.

Features

In terms of features, the Corolla offers LED headlights, optional 17-in wheels and an optional spoiler. Inside, buyers can opt for imitation leather instead of cloth seats, and automatic climate control.

Outside, the Camry offers available LED headlights and taillights along with 19-in wheels as part of the sporty, aggressive XSE package. Inside, the Camry is available with a birds-eye-view 360 degree camera system, available in-car Wi-Fi and an app from which you can locate and connect to the vehicle from afar. The 2018 Camry is also offered with a large head-up display that projects valuable information onto the windshield above the instrument cluster.

These features are in addition to the infotainment and driver assistance tech offered by both vehicles that we'll discuss below.

Infotainment

The Corolla gets a standard 6.1-in screen, but a 7.0-in unit is available with upper trim-levels. The Camry starts off with a 7.0-in screen in lower trim levels and offers an 8.0-in screen in higher trims. Also available in the Camry is a 9-speaker JBL audio system.

Both the Camry and Corolla are offered with Toyota's Entune infotainment system, although the Camry runs an updated version of the system. Regardless, Entune has significant shortcomings when compared to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto -- modern, dynamic systems that are becoming the norm aren't offered on either of these Toyota products, which is a major strike against them.

Safety

Both the 2018 Toyota Camry and Corolla perform exceptionally well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety third-party crash testing, earning both models Top Safety Pick designations.

For 2018, both models come standard with a few driver assistance safety features; adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, forward-collision warning, front automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist are found on every single 2018 Camry and Corolla; from the top-spec XSE trim level all the way down to the humble L models.

That said, starting with the LE model, the Camry offers front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and rear automated emergency braking -- features unavailable on the Corolla. With the absence of the blind spot monitoring feature, the Corolla's driver assistance package feels a bit half-baked, but it's more than what you'd find in most $19,000 cars.

Quality

Given Toyota's proven reputation for quality, Corolla and Camry buyers should both experience above-average reliability from their vehicles. Both offer a 3-year/36,000-mile basic and 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, on par with the rest of the industry.

Conclusions

At the end of the day, the Camry is the nicer vehicle and competes in a class up from the Corolla. It offers more features, a larger trunk and more powertrains to choose from. While the Corolla was last redesigned for 2014, the Camry was redesigned this year, meaning that the 2018 model features a more modern design overall. The Camry also has available blind spot monitoring and front and rear parking sensors with rear cross-traffic monitoring and rear automated emergency braking -- features unavailable in the Corolla. Still, the Corolla starts at only $18,600, a full $5,000 less than the Camry, and for that price buyers get a respectable suite of standard driver assistance features and a touchscreen infotainment system, not to mention a vehicle that offers just as much interior space as the Camry, making for a good overall value.

If you're interested in the Corolla, we recommend also considering the all-new 2019 Corolla Hatchback, which offers premium, modern amenities and considerable refinement when compared to the current Corolla Sedan.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2018 Toyota Camry vs. 2018 Toyota Corolla: What's the Difference? - Autotrader