2003 Toyota Corolla 1.6 VVT-i petrol


A car you buy with your head, not your heart


Other than the faulty steering column that the car had when we picked it up from the dealer's forecourt (fixed immediately under warranty), not a single button, switch, sensor or function has failed or stopped working in the last 4 years, which makes this "in depth" review a bit difficult to write.

Front brake discs were replaced (by myself - ridiculously easy) at around the 50,000 mile mark.

I think it blew a headlamp bulb once... erm... I'm struggling here!

General Comments:

Overall, it has been a ridiculously reliable car. The paintwork still has a deep shine, the engine is still almost inaudible, and everything still works as Mr Toyoda San intended on the day it left the factory.

Performance-wise, it's no GTi, in a straight line or in the corners, and it can be a bit thirsty sometimes, but after my previous Fiat Stilo and the disaster that was the 'big booty' Megane, it's good to have a car that just works all the time, every time.

Boring, but you'll be glad you bought one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th March, 2011

2003 Toyota Corolla T3 1.4 vvt-i


Fast, reliable pretty little car


The water drips in the front doors onto the seats on wet days - very annoying.

A lot of brake dust on the alloy wheels even after as little 30 miles.

General Comments:

Great little car. Goes like a rocket and not to shabby at the handling either. Vast improvement on the last generation. Very womanly needs to be beefed up a bit.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st November, 2006

2003 Toyota Corolla T3 1.4 petrol


Hugely recommended quality car


Nothing has gone wrong.

General Comments:

The first thing I noticed about this car was how quiet it is, I mean seriously quiet, you can barely hear the engine and there is no wind or road noise to speak of.

The dashboard is very well designed and made of very high quality materials, if I had one gripe I think the seats are a touch too firm, but they are superbly supportive and have an infinitely adjustable ratchet system to get super comfy.

ABS with EBD, numerous airbags plus a very high quality CD player come as standard as do electric windows, mirrors, air con, fuel computer etc...

Another surprise was the ride and handling, which are simply superb, especially in bad weather it is unflustered by strong winds, heavy rain and shrugs off flooded motorways as though there is no water at all. You can chuck it into corners and the steering weights up nicely and the car offers loads of grip, it really is a sorted chassis. I can take bends at a much higher speed than I could in my 200SX, it really inspires confidence.

Performance wise its not going to set your world alight, but you get used to it, I guess it has 0-60 of about 11secs, but a lot of usable power through the rev range. The fuel consumption is nothing short of spectacular, around town I get around 36-56mpg and on the open road anything from 48-60mpg, it makes me wonder why buy a diesel Corolla, aside from the extra torque it isn't that much better on fuel plus it sounds like a tractor at idle.

I have read a few reviews mentioning niggles with UK built Corolla's, mine is Japanese built and really is perfect, I think its worth stipulating a Japanese built one when you go to the dealer, they usually have a selection in stock.

All in all I can't recommend this car enough.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th December, 2004

4th Apr 2007, 17:31

Sorry to hear about your complaints about the creature comforts with your Corolla, but rest assured, you will have a lot more mechanical issues with your VolksWagen as time goes by. My wife has a 1997 Golf K2 that ran flawlessly up until the 150,000KM mark, and now it has hesitation, stalling, Catalytic converter failure, (replaced, with no difference in performance)...We have spent $2000 on this piece of German crap with no improvements. We have taken it to 3 mechanics, and they have advised us to trade it in "while it looks good." IMO, I will take reliabilty over Prussian (in) efficiency every time. I am German by birth, so I am not biased in any way. NO WONDER WE LOST THE WAR!!! I will only buy Toyota, and thank god, my wife now thinks the same way....a little late, but hope for the future!