2005 Toyota Corolla GL 1.8 VVTi

Summary:

Efficient, well-built and an enjoyable drive

Faults:

CD player doesn't work.

Intermittent clutch smell.

Blown headlight bulb.

General Comments:

As a city car, the Corolla is hard to beat. Even the entry-level GL has the 100 kW (135 BHP) engine, pulling a mere 1100 kg, which makes for ample get-up and go.

The gearshift is clunky but precise, and the hydraulic clutch is silky smooth.

Steering is nicely weighted and geared, all-disc brakes are fine, but the ABS is a little over-sensitive. Ride quality is very good, for a light car with conventional strut/torsion beam suspension.

Only major negatives are poor rearward visibility, and a lack of traction in the wet.

On the open road, it's not quite so accomplished. The low gearing makes it feel a little buzzy at 100 kph, although it smooths out by 120. Economy very good, 38.5 MPG (7.5 l/100Km), without trying too hard to be economical. Overtaking is not a problem, plenty of grunt.

Pressing on through the twisties, the steering loads up dramatically, and handling is nowhere as composed as, say, a good Euro hatch. It does its best to dissuade pushing hard.

General comments: Plain inside, but nice dash and white-faced dials. Column stalks have a smooth, quality feel. Seats themselves are comfortable, but the driving position is not tailored to taller people. Rear-seat folding is excellent; just as well, because the boot is smaller than you might expect (only 270 litres). Build quality excellent; looking closely in, around and under, there is nothing remotely dodgy about the design and build. There's even a cabin filter for the ventilation system.

Minimal maintenance, thanks to chain-driven cams, hydraulic lifters, no distributor. Combined with excellent fuel economy, and proven reliability, running costs are low.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th January, 2013

2005 Toyota Corolla Hatch 1.8

Summary:

Absurd engineering!

Faults:

Toyota's philosophy of "even though it's good, why not try to improve it" should be re- termed "if it ain't broken... Leave it alone!"

I am very disappointed with aspects of my latest Corolla.

To replace a rear brake or indicator light, requires one to dislodge the light holder from the top to bottom, then extract a festoon type of bulb through a ridiculously small entry portal with the smallest of hands of a midget! What an improvement! (my son's similar car had a festoon globe fall into the lens itself - requiring an hour's work to remove half the boot fittings to remove the light fitting - to extract the bulb! Great Toyota!)

Then I needed to install a tow bar for a light trailer!

Wow. What an improvement in design. First I had to physically cut off a piece of the number bar tabs, then remove all the boot lining, followed by removal of the bumper bar itself, and then insert a tapped bracket for the front bolt hole fixer inside the chassis subframe. Great design work Toyota! - not... Why not machine a proper threaded hole as per the others? Derr!

Then there is the issue of the wiring for the tow bar! What a nightmare. With the crazy wiring colour and non-compatibility of standard stop/ tail light arrangements of most trailers, one requires a 'converter module' or Toyota loom. Great, except that in Australia they no longer stock the loom as it is "too old"!!!

And the 'converter module' items are nowhere to be found.

I can't believe that the trusted simplicity of Toyotas has been distorted to such lunacy!

Then there is the craziness of the "wiring loom" that was available for the same model Corolla, differs from the sedan to the hatch. Really brilliant!!!

Damien Curry.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 30th September, 2012

3rd Jun 2013, 04:46

All this so called "review" is about is how difficult it was to add a tow bar and wiring. You got frustrated with the vehicle by adding on an aftermarket accessory. Try adding something about reliability, what's it like to drive, fuel economy etc. Can't even believe this was allowed to be posted; it's not even a review.

15th Apr 2014, 18:00

No kidding. Who the hell tows with a Corolla anyway? It WASN'T designed with that in mind, so don't complain about the design! Buy a Tacoma!