1997 Toyota Corolla CE 1.6 liter 4 cylinder


Excellent car, excellent value


My only real complaint about this car in 13 years was lack of acceleration power: Not much pick up and go, it was pretty gutless even new, forget passing on a hill.

At about 10 years old, the roof headliner fell down like the adhesive holding it to the roof failed; it was held up only along the edges and under the dome light. I never bothered to get it fixed.

I hated the dealership (they're since out of business), but I would buy another Toyota from a different dealership.

The car, as manufactured, has cost almost nothing to maintain or operate. Most parts lasted well beyond expected lifetime. Never a major or costly problem.

General Comments:

I have loved this car! My car was totaled in an accident or I would still be driving it. I was planning to drive it beyond 200K miles! I am seriously heartbroken to have lost this car.

This car was very comfortable as a driver and passenger.

Easy to drive, easy to park, easy to parallel park, could U-turn in small spaces.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th April, 2010

1997 Toyota Corolla 1.8L DOHC


Old reliable


Always rumbles like a monster truck. Have replaced front bearings numerous times, but sound remains persistent. Reliable for over 100k miles, so I have no problems with it now.

Interior is worn badly.

General Comments:

This car is quite reliable. I've kept it maintained performing all major maintenance (timing belt, etc.) as well as oil changes every 3k-4k.

It's relatively inexpensive to run and maintain.

Good fuel mileage (I get 26 mpg in the summer, noticeably less in the winter).

Rides pretty loudly ever since I purchased it. Have learned to live with it however.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st January, 2010

21st Apr 2010, 21:27

26 MPG? That's all you can get out of your Corolla? You should be getting MPG in the high 30's easily. Even in city driving you should expect MPG in the low 30's. If you can only manage to get 26 MPG then something is either wrong with your car or your driving style.

1997 Toyota Corolla SD 1.6L


Reliable economy car if you don't mind performance and comfort


Windshield washer fluid pump died.

New pump wasn't very good either.

Replaced the catalytic converter.

Check engine turned on, O2 sensor.

Lights in the dash burned out.

General Comments:

The car was incredibly boring to drive, slow and very normal handling. I drove the car very hard and nothing major broke, but the performance made me sell it even though it was reliable.

The interior was very boring and small. Did not find it comfortable for long drives. The stereo was horrible, only 2 speakers in the doors and a AM/FM radio.

Car was cheap on gas for city driving, but the 3 speed automatic made it more expensive on the highway... and more boring to drive!

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

Review Date: 22nd November, 2009

1997 Toyota Corolla DX 1.6


Wonderful small car -- super reliable


I bought this car from the terrible previous owner.

A month after that the engine was blown. Most likely the engine was overheated before, or ran without engine oil.

Anyway, I bought a used engine with 40K miles on it. While swapping the engines, I also changed the timing belt, water pump, radiator, engine mounts. All these problems were caused by the lack of maintenance and abusive driving style. The repairs cost me a lot of money.

Fortunately, since then, my Corolla has been taking good care of me, it doesn't have any problems at all. I was told by my mechanic that this car can last for at least 10 years.

General Comments:

The 3-speed automatic is something I don't like. Too much engine noise when running at high-speeds.

City MPG isn't so good, average 20 with 100% city driving. However, good sides are: I have 42 MPG on the highway with 55-60 mph. Driving at 70-75 mph that will be 37 mpg.

It is a small car, small engine, but the handling is excellent in its class. This is an ideal car for those who drive to grocery shopping, school and etc.

In speaking of long distance road trips, this car might not be a good option except for fuel economy.

My experience with my current Corolla encourages me to buy a brand new Corolla in the future.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd April, 2009

10th Feb 2012, 20:49

Good review.

The 4-speed automatic is a better deal for both performance and fuel economy - less revs on the highway, better launch and through-the-gears acceleration.

You may want to flush the transmission fluid if you suspect the engine was severely overheated - if the fluid is "baked", the additives get depleted, and the transmission fails soon afterward.

1st Mar 2014, 22:17

Interesting observation on number of transmission ratios. 9-speeds are in production now (Jeep Cherokee). To think that 3-speeds were an ugly alternative to a 4-speed ;)

Excellent advice on the transmission fluid/filter change after engine overheating. The trans fluid is cooled by the radiator. Bake the fluid, and kill the additives. Kill the additives, and ramp up transmission wear. Keep the fluid fresh (keeps the additives that prolong trans life replenished), and keep the filter clean (keeps the flow of fluid plentiful) :)