2011 Toyota Corolla GX 1.8 VVTi


Design omissions and poor quality make it disappointing


Let's begin:

- When the car has been parked say overnight and you go to set off in the morning, you start it up, let the handbrake off, and put it in drive... a big graunchy clunk is audible from inside the cabin, and it sounds as if it's the rear brakes. I've heard this is common, and is simply part of the car's character apparently.

- The AutoCar and Top Gear reviewers are complaining in droves about the Cruze and its carpet dash. Well the Corolla has a type of soft touch plastic materiel on their dash boards and over the binnacle. Looks nice, but man can it squeak. It seems the glue lifts in the hot sun, and it rubs. Lovely. 6,400km.

- Window wiper motor developed a very very nasty ticking noise whilst in operation. Repaired under warranty (wiper blades are excellent, perfect wipe every time) 8,234km.

- Steering column rattle; can calm it by adjusting the steering wheel around.

- Plastic scratches very easily. Don't let anyone with rings or bangles apply the hand brake, because the silver plastic beneath will wear into tidy black scratch marks that are irreversible, and very, very horrid.

- The parcel tray is flimsy, second only to the world leader in flimsy trays, my aunties pink Alto! It collapses and has now broken the weak PLASTIC clip! Was talking to a friend of mine at Hertz, and he said it's hell for them. "Oh they are all like that". Toyota say it's fair wear and tear. Seems to me that is the majority are broken; they must have a cloudy vision on what's fair wear and what's questionable materials.

- Major design omission with the stereo unit!!! The tuner is positioned on the right, closest to the driver, and volume knob is on the passenger side, so that's a bit of a reach, but it doesn't stop there. The station you are selecting is displayed directly under the adjuster knob. So while you are turning the knob, your wrist is then obscuring your view of the what you are actually tuning! Big big omission! Goggle corolla interior; you will see what I mean. Thing that annoys me is I didn't even try the stereo when I tested it! It's liveable, just tune at home and sit in the passenger seat!

- The steering wheel has one button on it, and that is the DSP (Display) button. Very nice button, trouble is, Toyota also have an old fashioned push in stalk in the binnacle that does the same thing. That's wasted money making all those little stalks etc, when they could have addressed say replacing the weak plastic clips in the parcel tray with metal or something! Just a suggestion.

General Comments:

I purchased my Corolla GX hatch brand new in June last year, after much encouragement from people driving around in their 90's Corollas still going strong, and of course Toyota's perceived reliability cloud is still riding high, thanks to those cars from the 90's and early 00's. I wanted to wait and buy the 2012 Focus Ambiente or new Cruze hatch, but was talked around for this 'great deal'.

Not long after I purchased it, the issues began.

I must say it is extremely economical and has a reasonable amount of power from what is an ancient 4 speed auto.

Great wiper blades.

Reclining rear seats are a good gimmick, and have been useful once.

Love the electric folding mirrors; it's like a Peugeot!

Love the steering wheel's flat bottom, very sporty, shame nothing else is.

Dealer service is OK. It's very hard to get appointments because they are always so busy. All mostly late models, and most look like they are in for a little more than a service, little niggles, like rattles etc.

All round, if you simply don't care about the particular details and don't mind if things just fall apart around you, then this is your car. Just keep in mind, this is a very very expensive car in this category. Guys, it's not worth it!

You can get so so much more from competitors at the RRP. Which is why I'm lucky I got a bit off it.

I'm trading it on a Holden Cruze SRi in the coming month or so. Yet that Focus is also looking very appealing; just a bit too steep for the Sport!

In short, I've been really disappointed, because this car is talked up by everyone, but sadly they are talked up by people that are driving a car that has the same badge, yet was built well before it. IT'S NOT THE NAME THAT MAKES IT GREAT!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th May, 2012

29th May 2012, 22:35

It's funny, I've got a Focus that I bought brand new in Brisbane in 2007 (2.0L TDCi) and I was expecting things to go wrong it as it 'wasn't a Toyota' and was built in South Africa and not 'in Japan'.

However, 5 years and 70,000km later, I've had none of the problems you've had with your Corolla like ticking wiper motor, flimsy broken parcel shelf, clunking brakes or scratch-prone plastics. Maybe 'non Toyota's' aren't so bad after all.

I've hired quite a few Corolla's for work purposes, and they've left me pretty uninspired. I've also hired a few Cruzes, and they were also pretty bad (albeit all gutless 1.8L petrol auto's), one of which took off with a definite 'clunk' as the brakes unstuck themselves, and another had peeling chrome on the inside drivers door handle, and that had a bit of sellotape on it to stop people cutting themselves, and another had a binding ignition barrel. Hopefully they are better now as they are locally made. Maybe take another look at the current Focus?

2011 Toyota Corolla 1.8 petrol


Don't buy one


Speed sensitive stereo broken.

Around the 40km/h mark, the stereo will go very loud and then reduce the level for no apparent reason. If you adjust the stereo to a decent volume as you go faster, it gets louder, to the point where it is painful, you then adjust the volume to a normal level, and then if you happen to slow down or stop, it resets itself to a very low level, and you have to turn it up to continue to hear, so when you take off, you are deafened again.

General Comments:

Transmission is awful. If you put your foot down, there is a marked pause before the engine revs, and then after a few seconds, the gearbox will drop a gear and you will accelerate all the time with the engine revving very high.

Seating position is bad, not enough adjustments on the seat to get comfortable.

Leg room for your left leg is woeful.

Cabin - plastic death - so much plastic, and a cheap, cheap feel to everything.

Uses a lot of fuel for what should be quite an economical car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th September, 2011

27th Sep 2011, 12:32

I think Toyota quality has slipped from what it used to be. I have a 2005 Corolla that I am very unhappy with. Only 90K miles, and the automatic transmission is going out. This is UNACCEPTABLE. Maybe I got a bad one, but I am soured on Toyota at this point.