CV joints noisy - replaced.
Bought this one owner 16 year old car in 2009 with just 36K km, in original silver paintwork.
Given its very low mileage, the car was mechanically in excellent condition.
As a preventive measure, the timing belt, engine mounting and hoses were replaced.
Other than these, tyres and batteries, the car has been very reliable and a real joy to drive.
The peppy and torquey 1.6 4A-FE engine is also very smooth and economical. 10km/litre in short-run town use, but improves to 14.5km/litre on inter-state runs at 120km/hr. 100km/hr at 2,200 RPM confers refinement unusual for a small C segment car like this. Pulls away easily even with 5 on-board.
The suspension is somewhat soft, but otherwise comfortable with 14 inch steel rims. With Michelin XM1 rubbers, the ride is extremely quiet.
Build quality is exceptional, even if the materials used do not seem expensive. The fabric, dashboard etc feel solid and well made. They don't call this the mini-Lexus for nothing.
For good reason, Australia continued offering this particular AE101 model right through to 1999 when other markets switched to the AE111 in 1996. I have driven the latter model, which surprisingly is an inferior model with lighter body panels and poorer driving dynamics.
I would buy another one new if they still made this.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th June, 2013