1990 Toyota Corolla GL 1.6


Toyota = Reliability


Sometimes the car only runs on 3 cylinders due to oil flooding the fourth one. Easily fixed by cleaning the spark plug.

Normal wear and tear items such as brake pads, shocks and the various filters.

Front left headlight bulb blew at 225000km - easily replaced with a Toyota OE bulb for R9!!!

One of the speakers blew in the dashboard.

Rings are badly worn due to previous owner running the car without engine oil!

Drivers seat is slightly worn, but seems like it will last a few more years.

General Comments:

Previous owner (an old lady) had not serviced the car at all! This car still had all the original parts, almost all of which were still in perfect working order even after 15 years (incl the shocks)!

Every so often blue smoke will come out of the exhaust (due to the worn rings).

Very reliable, has NEVER left me stranded even when running on 3 cylinders!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th August, 2007

17th Nov 2012, 13:32

As the owner of this car, I can honestly say that it is as reliable as the ocean currents! The Toyota has now passed the 300,000km mark, and despite some signs of smoking, it never fails to start, no matter the weather.

The left headlight has been replaced (all parts being VERY cheap for older Toyotas) and the body has had a respray. The shock absorbers, brake pads, bulbs (100w), mags (15'), tyres and a new radio/CD player have all been replaced or installed. My wife is very happy with this simple, extremely reliable car that never misses a beat!

12th Nov 2013, 00:15

Reviewer update:

The car has just done 300,000km and has not missed a beat.

The alternator failed at 280,000km and is a VERY EXPENSIVE part to replace (costs almost as much as the entire car is worth). Replaced with a good 2nd hand part.

CV joints (original) and clutch (original) starting to go and will be replaced soon.

The car starts first time every time, and has been the most reliable vehicle in my collection from the moment I bought it.

2004 Toyota Corolla 160i GLE 1.6 petrol


Good car


Engine Noise - This was high from the start, especially between 3000 and 5000 rpm at any speed or in any gear. I complained to Toyota South Africa, but they seemed to agree that the engine noise was the right one!

General Comments:

+ Car is extremely reliable. Never a single problem from purchase time at 0km to 90,000km.

+ Only complaint is with engine noise, which is a bit higher than I think.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th July, 2007

1994 Toyota Corolla GL 160 i


Reliable, responding when needed


The handbrake gave me a few problems on some occasions, but not something I couldn't fix.

General Comments:

If you give the car the proper service at the right time than I can honestly say nothing will go wrong. I have this car for a number of years now and will never let it go. I'm at a time where I'm looking for a new car. but I'll hold on to this Corolla because it has given me such great service. It really never lets me down.

My seats needed some upholstery, but that came with the time. We use this car everyday and it works like a charm.

My wife said we'll teach our kids how to drive using this car. It handles well and the gears change over very easily. I'm very impress with this car.

It must be in the all time list of cars being build over the last hundred years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th November, 2006

1997 Toyota Corolla GSE 180i


A big mistake of a purchase


The clutch on my car burnt out before 100 000km.

The springs on my car lost their tension far too early in the cars life.

Every time I drive over a speed bump, I hear a terrible knocking sound coming from the front left hand side of the car, but the sound cannot be traced. This was so from about 30 000km.

The front seats on my car wore out very quickly considering that the car is just under 6 years old. The cloth and leather are still fine, but the framework and sponge are worn out.

The head lights have always been very dim and theres nothing the manufacturer can do about it.

My car from the first batch of Corolla's in South Africa that were fitted with Anti-Lock Braking System and I think that the manufacturer didn't know what they were doing because I need to change brake disks, not pads at 5000km intervals. If I don't do this I get a terrible shudder on my steering wheel when I apply brakes. My stopping distance also increases dramatically before I change the disk.

The leather on my steering wheel tore off when the car was approximately 3 years old.

My engine sometimes cuts off at about 140 kilometers per hour and nobody can find the fault.

There are many small faults that will take too long to type out.

General Comments:

The car doesn't go to o badly, but because of the worn springs the handling is terrible.

When I go around bends, my front left hand side wheel spins too much. I had the tire checked and that isn't a problem.

Toyota doesn't seem to be making cars the way they used to in the past. I was very happy with my previous car and this one didn't give me half the service of it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th January, 2003

20th Apr 2007, 06:27

My name is Chris I drive a 180iGSE, Got the car for the past 3 years and never had a problem. The car is serviced 10 000km and runs like dream got it 90 000km currently doing 150 000km Loving every min of it.

17th Jul 2007, 21:21

Here's a quick story for anyone considering buying a used '97 Corolla: my grandparents own one with about 200,000 miles on it. Recently, my grandfather checked the oil and it registered absolutely nothing on the dipstick. I noticed oil on their garage floor, so I put the Corolla up on ramps to see where it was leaking.

As it turns out, their last oil change was done by a local mechanic who forget to tighten the oil filter properly. It wasn't even close to hand-tight. It was covered in oil and I still was able to spin it off easily with two fingers. I tightened the filter and added almost 3 and a half quarts of oil (the car has a 4.5 quart capacity) to the car just to get the reading on the dipstick into normal range. They don't even know how many months ago the oil change was, and have been driving the car with almost no oil in it for who knows how long. It never overheated, never made any noise at all, and continued to run perfectly.

These little engines (1.6 liter) are incredible. The car has never had any work done at all, and at 200,000+ miles, it sounds and drives like a brand new car. Not a speck of rust, which is unusual for a car that has seen 11 Pennsylvania winters and lots of road salt. They do nothing to the car other than put gas in it and OCCASIONALLY (when they remember) change the motor oil, which I will now be doing since they have no faith in their last mechanic after the filter issue.

The car has never had the exhaust replaced, and has had ONE set of front brake pads put on in its lifetime. Not to mention it still gets 38 mpg, in town, religiously. They don't drive on the highway, so I would guess that it would get at least 40 or 42 mpg on a long trip. Toyota engines are works of art. I wish they'd sell it to me, but they won't let go of it!