A cheap sports-luxury import sedan
Nothing out of the ordinary has gone wrong with the car at all. The only parts requiring replacement are those that are normally replaced/repaired at regular intervals and those resulting from general wear and tear, including:
*Timing Belt (due 100,000km) replaced at 104,000 however was still in good order when it was replaced.
*Power steering rack boot split.
*Small oil leaks from engine rocker cover gasket, and auto trans. pan gasket.
*Dash is starting to show signs of splitting/cracking, and steering wheel is badly split on the underside of the top of the wheel.
*Overdrive, in the 4-speed automatic is a little difficult to engage when the engine is cold.
If you want something a little different and head turning, the ST182 Corona EXIV is definitely both of these! Although it is almost 15 years old, it still looks modern.
Thanks to aftermarket KONI adjustable front springs, sports suspension and the standard strut brace, it handles like a go kart and feels really tight in corners.
The 3S-FE engine, more commonly featured in the SV-21 series Camrys, is super-reliable and suprisingly spritely. Fuel usage is not a big problem, I usually get about 500-550 kilometres out of a tank, which I think is quite acceptable.
The 4-speed automatic is silky smooth most of the time, the only exception, however is when the engine and trans is cold, overdrive is a bit difficult to engage, but rectifies itself after a few minutes, then its smooth sailing.
The interior is excellent; with velour sports-derived seats, well laid-out dashboard, and convenient features like electric windows, central locking, tilt/tele steering column, electric mirrors (with a fold-in feature to prevent scrapes), air-conditioning and what seems to be a Toyota luxury trademark, the air-purifier.
Its isn't difficult, nor extremely expensive to modify this car to stand out in a crowd; I have a set of 16x7 ALT mags, rear spoiler and a MOMO Leather/Wood combination steering wheel, and it attracts onlookers wherever I go. I love it!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 6th June, 2004