Used Toyota Corolla (2018-Current) Price/Thoughts On Hybrids

Partner and I are looking forward to our first big purchase together and we have a budget of ~20k drive away. After hours of research, we've come to the non-exciting default of a corolla…

However I have my heart set on the newer, current generation model due to the much improved pop-up display and array of safety as standard. We will likely keep this car for the next decade, so I'd like something that looks somewhat modern.

The cheapest currently on carsales is 21k drive away from a dealer in Wagga (I'm based in Sydney, where they look to start from 21k excluding fees).

Has anyone managed to get a deal or are we looking to wait a few more months, possibly when the 2021 model comes out?

I may consider stretching the budget to 21k if a hybrid is available. However, does anyone have thoughts on the longer term maintenance of these variants? Are they worth it given the potential extra servicing of the electrical components may cancel out the fuel savings?

Note: happy to have my mind changed with any alternatives we may have missed! From my understanding the kia cerato had an update in 2019 but they're looking pricier than the corolla (esp when you add safety packages)


  • +3

    I own the 19MY hybrid (current shape) and I am happy we spent the extra to get the hybrid. If you live in the city, it should be very economical for daily stop start traffic. It has a host of features over the base model non-hybrid Corolla.

    As for servicing, it’s the same as any other Corolla. Ours is on capped price servicing and there has never been any mention of the hybrid system needing more servicing than the non-hybrid version. That part of the system would be virtually maintenance free. I think there might be an extra air filter for the battery cooling, and that’s about it, but so far, I’ve not noticed any servicing extras.

    • And side benefit is that brake pads generally last longer on hybrids, from what I've been told by owners

      • Also, hear hybrids have discounted rego fees, like a $100 lower rego fees?

        • Depends on the state. Can get lower insurance premiums due to being more economical

    • Good point! We're in the inner west + Sydney traffic here so I'd imagine we'd be on electric 90% of the time :)

      Out of curiosity, what's your avg fuel consumption atm?

      • Driving it around average roads - not highway but not quite city driving, I'm sitting at about 4.1L/100km most of the time.

      • +1

        Last time I looked, it was about 21km/l. I don’t live in bumper to bumper traffic areas though. More outer urban.

        I have driven the vehicle in Sydney a few times and, for example, on the drive from Hornsby to the airport, the vehicle ran almost completely from the battery system. On the near hour run, the engine came on for a total of about 5 mins in a near hour transit.

      • I live in Newtown and get Toyota Hybrids from work. You will not be "on electric" 90% of the time. The Hybrid system doesn't work like that.

        The difference is that the economy around the city doesn't vary that much from highway figures. EG: in a Camry Hybrid I get 4.8l/100km when I drive down to Bargo / Berrima / Kangaroo Valey and around 6l/100km near home. In my Octavia I get 6l/100 going down to B/B/KV and 9l/100km around town with a similar lead foot. So you will save fuel but it isn't huge. The great thing about the hybrids is the low down torque but they do run out of puff when you hammer them..

  • +6

    For a 10yr car, the hybrid would make sense, plus you get keyless entry/start and climate control on the Ascent Sport as a nice addition.

    Aim for 2019 onwards as it got the 5yr/unlim warranty, not the 3yr/100k warranty you'd get on the 2018. Meaning a 2018s warranty runs out next year, but you'd have 4yrs left on a 2019 model.

    New spec about to hit just changes the colours, nothing more, so it won't affect resale down the line.

    New car does have the advantage of 3.9% finance over 4yrs, regardless of the negotiated price you're paying for the car, so that could help make a new/demo model more affordable if you're not paying cash.

    Oh and see if the Carplay/AA is installed, otherwise it's a $199 upgrade (go into Setup - check for "projection settings" on the first screen of options)

  • Wow, thanks for the tip! Didn't know about that difference between the 18/19 models.

    Though, not sure how I'll go trying to get that for 21k, hoping something will come along by Christmas?

    • Why is the budget exactly 21k?

      I would say you're better off waiting til you can stretch your budget for the right vehicle, or financing some of the purchase.

      You're spending a large amount of money already, another 5% on top of it doesn't really make a difference.

      I can highly recommend the 2019 Corolla, it's a great car and you won't regret it, and as spackbace said, you wanna get the good warranty and the Carplay/AA.

      • 21k for the hybrid is a stretched budget already to be honest! We were looking for a 5 year old corolla originally, hoping to spend around 15k but since I've researched on the new gen, I can't give up much updated style, standard safety and AA.

        Hence, needed to draw the line in the sand somewhere of 20-21k. As an ozbargainer, this 2-3 year old car will probably be the closest thing to a "new" car I'll ever get

        • Ah okay, fair enough.

          Then I suggest you wait a little longer for the newer models to come down a bit in price and for your budget to increase by 1-2k.

          It's 100% worth it to get a hybrid and carplay/AA and all the safety features.

          I would say if you're not getting the hybrid, you might as well buy an older and cheaper car as it will still be safe (just without the active safety features) and you can chuck an aftermarket head unit in to get carplay/AA.

          • @DisabledUser220804: @jrowls and @spackbace thanks for the suggestions re: 2019 hybrid model for 5 year warranty and AA

            Devil's advocate here: Just had a look at prices on car sales and it looks like the price difference between 2018 hybrid (~21k)and 2019 hybrid (~26k) is an extra $5k for an extra 2 years of warranty and AA, albeit they have half the number of kms (~20k vs ~40k)

            I don't think that it actually worth it for me looking into the 2019 version for 2 years of warranty and I can add AA for $200.

            Am I missing something here? I think it works out better "value" to just go with the 2018 model to save a fair bit of $$$

            • @darque: New warranty goes out to 7yrs on engine and drivetrain if you use genuine parts on servicing, and hybrid battery gets a 10yr warranty (instead of 5) if it gets checked every year as part of the service.

              In saying that, new demos can be had for high-20s, so the 2019s seem overpriced for what they are.

              For the money, if you can get a 2018 hybrid for around $21k then yes it probably represents the best value. 2019s should be around $24-25k for a used car.

            • +1

              @darque: Also, FWIW, this one looks like an absolute pig! Sticker marks on the rear hatch (or damage), scuffs on the alloys, the sticker on the stereo means it was a fleet or hire car.

              So just be careful on what you think you can afford vs what it's actually buying you. $21k for a pig vs $25k for a nice car, I know what I'd prefer.

              Highly likely that the 40k mileage cars are ex-rentals (and the cheaper ones on Carsales look beaten up) and the 20k mileage ones are closer to private/fleet and have led a less stressful life

              • @spackbace: Thanks mate! Good eye for detail, I didn't even pick those up on the online photos… really appreciate your thoughts and insights.

                You've definitely sold me on the hybrid variant. Unfortunately the 2019 seems a bit out of reach (for now), but I'll definitely keep an eye out. Hoping to shave ~1.5-2k off these listed prices - do you think that is reasonable in today's market?

                • @darque:

                  Hoping to shave ~1.5-2k off these listed prices - do you think that is reasonable in today's market?

                  Well that depends how they've priced them! You can't expect major discount off the cheapest ones on Carsales, nor can you expect to pay the same for an absolute gem of a car as a pig of a car!

                  I think you'll find anything over $1k is unreasonable with cars of this price point. They're just number cars, and given that every dealer will have the same stock, it just depends how they've priced them. Some have discounted already, then offer at fixed price, others have jacked the price expecting you to negotiate. End result is the same

          • @DisabledUser220804: 'you might as well buy an older and cheaper car as it will still be safe'

            every car is safe - if it's not involved in an accident …

            I drive a $200 car (OK I paid $5K for it in as-new condition nearly 17 years ago) and I drive defensively to avoid accidents

            having had my major motorbike accident where I woke up in hospital after hitting a totally illegal Holden u-turning on the blind crest of a hill in an 80kph zone

            the old joke was - if you're an unsafe driver, get a Volvo (boxy but good)

            if you're a safe driver, any well-maintained car is fine.

            but hey if you're ready to spend $21K becos you feel you 'need' a 'safe' car, gopher it. Just watch out for those Takata airbags - -

            • +1


              Just watch out for those Takata airbags

              Oh no, a recall!

              Every car gets recalled, FYI

            • @Hangryuman: What a ridiculous comment.

              You can't control other drivers on the road. I'd rather be in a late model car with 500 airbags and 15 crumple zones than a 1997 Mitsubishi Mirage if I get in an unavoidable accident.

  • Do corolla’s have features like cruise control?

    • +1


      Source: my 2011 Corolla Conquest

    • +1

      My 19MY Corolla Hybrid has adaptive cruise control, Lane Keep Assist and Auto Emergency Braking. No rear parking sensors though, but it does have rear camera.

    • I've had cruise control for a decade and I never use it. lol

      The BMW adaptive cruise control is also super neat but too lazy to fiddle with it all the time, especially on a Sydney motorway where traffic is horrendous.

  • +1

    You could wait for the new Yaris to come out, it looks pretty good. First time the yaris will have a hybrid version.Not sure what the price will be, but it would have to sit below the Corolla in pricing by like $1000-3000 i guess.

    • Not a bad suggestion either. Estimates are low-$20s starting price

      • Is that for the hybrid?

        • +1

          Nope, just a starting price for the range

          Hybrid is only being offered on SX and ZR trim, not entry level

          • @spackbace: Yeah thought so. Hard to stomach spending Corolla money on a Yaris.

            I'm sure I'm not alone in being shocked how expensive some small cars are getting. Base price over 20k for a Yaris?!?

            • @DisabledUser220804: Yeah because of the safety features going in as standard equipment, rather than "safety packs" (hello Hyundai).

              Won't be long before these levels of safety are mandatory

              • @spackbace: I understand why I just don't think I could justify it, and I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't.

                Couple grand more and you're in a bigger, comfier, more practical car with the same features if not more.

                • @DisabledUser220804: Has always been the way though. You could look at it another way, another few grand to a Corolla buys a C-HR or even a Camry

                  • @spackbace: True but the gap is surely closing and the use case decreasing for a Yaris over a Corolla. If it was 16k vs 22k that's a big step. Less so now.

                    Also, the Yaris and Corolla basically serve the same purpose / market, just at a different budget. A C-HR and a Camry are very different cars to a Corolla or Yaris (according to the market… obviously a Corolla and C-HR are basically the same car, and a Camry does 99% of things the same as a Corolla too.

  • +1

    Hi OP

    I'm a long time owner of a Prius, future owner of a RAV4 hybrid (when it finally gets here).

    You'll love the Corolla hybrid, they've got the Prius hybrid system which is absolutely bulletproof. Mine is 11 years old (ZVW30 model) with 310,000km and it seriously drives like a new car. Original brake pads, original HV battery, nothing but fluids and filters otherwise. Average 4.5L/100km with 80% freeway 20% suburban driving. HV batteries seem to last about 12 years on average, some up to 14.

    Definitely go for the hybrid, the fuel savings over 10 years will more than cover the extra outlay.

    • Thanks mate! I think I'm just about sold from the replies to this thread.

      I've heard services can be expensive down the line, however? I was looking at the cost of dealer servicing (not that I will go to dealers after capped price servicing) but I think I recall it went from about $180 to $800 servicing at the 90k/120k (km) mark or both.

      I get the argument of saving the condition of the petrol engine, but was curious from your experience, whether there was additional maintenance of the electrical system/battery? Worried those big services will offset the fuel savings

      • +1

        Sorry mate, I can't help you too much with regards to the exact cost of dealer servicing, as I bought it used just after it came out of warranty, and I have completed all servicing since then myself. But I do know that the only hybrid specific servicing requirements involves changing the inverter coolant once every 7 years. It uses the same coolant type as the engine, and took 1 bottle ($40) and about an hour for me to do.

        The rest of the hybrid system including the battery is maintenance free, but apparently if you carry long haired pets regularly their fur can eventually block up the battery cooling fan. I've checked mine and there was only a fine layer of dust on the blades after 10 years of operation (I don't carry pets though).

        Here is an excerpt from a comment I wrote on the RAV4 hybrid thread recently regarding the transmission reliability:

        "The hybrid uses an ECVT, which is a completely different design that is comprised of a continuously meshed planetary gearset (Power Split Device) coupled with 2x 3 phase motor/generators sitting in an oil bath. No physical gear shifting, no friction materials, the output ratio is changed by varying the motor speeds relative to each other and the petrol engine.

        Slightly boring but informative video for reference:

        This design is far superior to any belt/chain driven design. They require no service and they essentially never wear out.

        Seriously, Toyota hybrids are popular as taxis in many countries, and countless examples have racked up close to 1 million kms before the engine finally blows. The transmission - never."

        Pretty much all evidence suggests that extra servicing costs are minimal and are far outweighed by the fuel savings and the fact that basically nothing goes wrong with them south of 12 years (HV battery). The engine, inverter, electric motors and transmission - bulletproof.

  • If something goes wrong with a hybrid, it might be more expensive to fix. Here's someone with a Lexus RX400h: "We've been quoted $3-5k for aircon repairs, which need to be conducted by a Lexus specialist due to the positioning of the aircon unit relative to the hybrid battery."

  • I love my 2019 Hybrid corolla. Our budget was $25,000. But we got it for $27,000. Do not regret it one bit. $500 more for custom emoji plates. Wonderful. Added weather floor mats and weather shields for windows and rear boot mat. Weather shields Must have in rain conditions I think.

    My wife was convinced to buy it for extra money because of the fuel savings, quiet battery drives, safety features and keyless entry and start button.
    The stability and smoothness of the car on eco mode was a big bonus. Lane departure mode has saved me a few times I think. Rear camera is a must have now for me. Too many crashes in the past for reversing. Front camera extra is great, saved me from losing a claim to the other driver not admitting to damaging my car. Apple car play is very handy for not getting me fines.

    • Oh, I have a hatch back. Very useful space when seats are folded. For Ikea trips, bunning garden trips, moving trips, segway storage trips.

    • Was the front camera an add-on? I know there are no parking sensors per se, but was only aware of the reversing parking camera. Or do you mean a dash cam recorder? Not sure how a front parking camera helped you with an insurance claim!

      Great to hear you're enjoying your Hybrid! I am keen to get myself one in a few months when or if prices ever come down… Out of curiosity, where did you get your weather shields from? And how much?

      • Hmmm dash cam recorder. Records video I mean, I got that later on.
        Weather shields from Toyota. Not sure of cost. You could ask them to include them in final price. Would be cheaper to buy it when you buy your car.

        Weather shields and weather floor mats were probably included in my $27,000

  • Hi OP any updates since the Yaris, GR Yaris and 2021 Corolla have now been released? Did you end up waiting and getting your intended discounts? If you couldn't wait, did you get another car? Interesting thread - never particularly thought of a Hybrid until this, thanks! :D

    • I'm glad I didn't wait actually. Prices have gone up since due to COVID affecting supplies of new vehicles which caused a ripple effect on the used car market.

      I ended up buying a used 2018 Corolla Hybrid (33k kms) from a dealer for 23k (excl taxes) a month ago. This was an OK deal but did sting a bit, because 2 weeks prior we were offered 22k before the prices started going up! The prices of hybrids keep going up and look to be around 24k-25k now (for a higher km vehicle too).

      No regrets, however! Hybrid is an awesome drive and fuel savings are great. We're going at least 3 weeks on a full tank @ ~4.4L/100km real-world which means were getting around 900km range

      • Interesting that you didn't wait, because I honestly thought COVID would affect it the other way:
        - families strapped for cash / don't need 3 cars / downsizing car size / want better fuel efficiency / higher supply of used cars / not many new sales as people can't afford / getting rid of the merc and living more within means? hahaha

        In your opinion, what other reasons for rising car costs? (whether for hybrids, or cars in general)

        Asking because I'm also looking to sell mum's car / buy her a used corolla 2016 model onwards (or something similar) - but the entire car space is new to me (both buying/selling), so it's taking me a while to do research and get my knowledge up during my spare time.. any pointers for a first timer (other than the obvious)?

        edit: btw would you say paying that extra for hybrid is a no brainer? - not just fuel, but perhaps mechanically as whole too?

        • The price of used car prices have been definitely been affected for my price range, ~20k 1-3 year used car.

          I've spoken to a few dealers, the main reasons are 1) new cars are not coming into Aus due to COVID delays, 2) new cars have risen in cost due to AU exchange rate, 3) fleet cars are holding onto their current fleet for an extra year to save costs, hence there are no ex-fleet flooding the market. All of these have had a flow on effect for what I was looking for, current gen hybrid corolla. I've found a lot of car yards are looking empty at the moment and if supply remains the same, prices will go up.

          If you can get the hybrid for 2k or less difference I think it's a no brainer given the fuel savings, addition features like keyless entry/start, dual a/c and more recently, higher resale value

          • @darque: The research I've been doing shows me Corollas around 1-4 years are roughly $18-22K+ too (but they're are non-hybrids…)
            If they're the same price range, might as well expand my search to hybrids too :)

            Thank you for enlightening me with this thread and your last post! Never considered the shipping/fulfilment side of new cars but very handy to know!

            As your experience says there's less cars in yards, would you say dealers would be fighting over people trying to trade in / sell their used car? For yard stock purposes? (given that the car is in condition for dealer to accept trade in)

            Also a last note - was there anything that deterred you away from Prius and other hybrids?

            • @Brodo Faggins: Yeah, I think now is a good time to trade in your car. But of course, it's a double edged sword if you buy a used car now as well. The dealers I've spoked to believe prices MAY come down early next year. Hence ideal would be if you trade in now + afford to hold off buying til next year.

              Honestly never considered other hybrids until this thread. We've always been set on a newer gen small car with AA/car play + advanced safety like the corolla, then I did some research on the corolla hybrid and was sold!

        • In your opinion, what other reasons for rising car costs?

          People not using public transport and using private transport instead due to COVID-19

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