2004 Toyota Corolla SOL 1.4 gasoline


Comfortable, stable on the road, low consumption, bland styling.


Clutch pedal got a slight free motion at the upper end of its path, fixed at dealer by strengthening some screws.

Gearbox (my hunch) developed a slight whistling under all gears, especially second, especially under acceleration or engine braking, but mostly all the time. 5-speed manual. Dealer says it's normal. I say they will suddenly "hear it" when the warranty runs out.

The engine runs smoothly, although startup is a bit slow.

Plastic cover on the underside of the side of the chassis (under the doors), on both sides, became unglued in places. I fear water will get in and corrode the metal. Dealer says not covered under warranty.

Plastic cover of the back left light assembly, in the trunk, is loose, probably from lifting the spare wheel cover too often (previous owner). Dealer says not covered under warranty.

One of the number plate illumination bulbs burned out, replaced it myself.

General Comments:

Goes great, until now. Consumption (outside) is about 5.5 liters/100km.

Seats are comfortable. I wanted seat covers, the dealer offered custom-made ones at 292 USD. What? Got some cheap universal seat covers, will buy new ones when these get dirty. The problem is, they don't fit in the back, especially the seat belt's lower connector is inaccessible.

Can't find winter wheels (steel). Will keep looking.

Stable in curves. Bad acceleration, but I watch the consumption anyway, not the 0-to-100 times.

If anyone knows about the whistling/crying gearbox issue, and how to fix it or get them fix it, please help me. The warranty expires this September and I read a new gearbox costs about 1000 USD. Of course, probably only some bearing is gone, but still. I suppose this can happen to any engine, actually less to a Toyota.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st September, 2007

10th Dec 2007, 11:08

I'm the original poster.

Found steel wheels. Original Toyota wheels at the dealer are expensive (104 EUR apiece), found some German-made replacements, especially made for this car, 63 EUR apiece. Could not find proper screws to mount the steel wheels, but the original screws from the alloy wheels are alloy AND steel wheel compatible, although they stick out quite a bit, with the steel wheels.

Gearbox whine still present, although not so noticeable, maybe due to the lower winter temperatures. I can't imagine why.

Car out of warranty, hopefully nothing really bad happens.

5th Dec 2010, 18:38

Still the original poster.

Bought the car in 2006 with 25000 km on it; now, it has 66000 km. All is well, except the gearbox whine still appears, from time to time. Also, sometimes it is a bit difficult to change gears, but this is to be expected on a six year old car (is it?).

Just changed engine and gearbox oil again (Mobil 1), also brake/clutch fluid (genuine Toyota), the car works well, although there is no big difference with respect to how it behaved before the change.

I keep feeding it with 95 octane fuel, occasionally with 99/100 octane.

Bought a Chinese GPS/DVD/etc unit for it (made for BYD F3, which is a Chinese knockoff of the Corolla, so the head unit fits great, except the steering wheel buttons do not work).

I keep looking for genuine Toyota parts (filters and all), for the next oil changes. There are plenty, but product codes vary by country of manufacture, so it's not clear if a part will fit my car or not.

2002 Toyota Corolla T-Sport 1.8


Perfect for me


Nothing so far.

Just a bang when I start and drive. Read about it and it seems it's from ABS although is nothing serious.

I have to replace the rocker bolts (known as "lift" bolts) as preventive action (these can break and go in oil bay). According to Toyota they need replacement after 100.000 km (there is a TSB for this). There are 2 bolts and the cost is less than 1 Eur / piece.

General Comments:

Sure, it's loud, but after all it's a sports car (noisy just above 140kmh when it has 4.000 rpm in 6th gear).

Seats are excellent. Plenty of comfort for long distances and very good side support.

Dashboard is very ergonomic and everything is at hand.

Handling is very good, but there is a bit of body roll. Lowering the springs and installing a stiff bar will improve that a lot.

They could have installed an MP3 player, but it's just a CD player.

You have to rev it to get the thrill. After 6.200 rpm you have a smile on your face.

Acceleration is very good for this price. Yamaha engine is more like a bike engine so, high revs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th April, 2007

8th Aug 2007, 10:26

I've changed the lock pins at Toyota service and they told me they noticed that the 2 lobes from intake camshaft are worn. I've checked and they were quite worn. I've changed the camshaft, Toyota covered 50% of the part price. Also they gave me warranty 6 months for the work and 2 years for the part. The car had 107.000 km. Now it has 110.000 km and no problems. Anyway I'm gonna go again for a check-up.

1992 Toyota Corolla LX 1.3E


A real friend on four wheels!!!


Nothing. It drives and works like a dream!!!

General Comments:

It is an excellent car. Low consumption with high power (as much as can be from this 1.3L engine).

It has astonishing brakes and stability. I can say with my hand on my heart, that this is by far the best car I ever owned! So do yourself some good and buy one. If you won't like it, you can call me any day you want!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th March, 2003