1997 Toyota Carina Classic 1.6i petrol from Iceland


One of the best cars in the world!!!


Changed time belt after 100.000 km.

Bought new tires after 85.000 km.

General Comments:

Much more economical than handbook figures suggest, It consumes about 7 liters pr. 100 km, based on 4 years general driving.

Everything is original in the car, even the exhaust system and the brakes.

Its common to see 20 years old Carina's in original condition, driven more than 500.000 km.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th September, 2003

22nd Jun 2008, 01:03

Yes, one very reliable car.

1997 Toyota Carina emerald 2.0 turbo diesel from Belgium


Practical and reliable family car


Nothing really.

General Comments:

I bought this car secondhand after my Peugeot 405GLD had done 235K km.

It's not the quickest (even for a turbo-diesel) or sexiest vehicle in town, but it has been a very reliable companion until now.

Very cheap to run also; I visit my mechanic (an ex Volvo and Alfa Romeo employee) 2x a year for a quick checkup and apart from changing oil, he has never had to do any work on the car.

Reasonable fuel economy (7 liter per 100 km), not as good as my previous Peugeot (5.7 liter / 100 km)


* door rubbers tend to loosen quickly

* occasional rattle in the dashboard

* occasional rattle in the suspension.

I feel this car will do at least 250-300K without major problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th September, 2003

9th Jul 2004, 09:32

An update at 106.000 km : air-co didn't work, turned out to be a leaky air-co radiator, all in all a expensive repair, some 500 EUR (2 visits to garage, they couldn't find the problem the first time) ; rather disappointing since the air-co radiator had been replaced in september 2001 due to a minor crash; apart from this no problems.

1997 Toyota Carina E CDX 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Great compromise between functionality and performance


Disk brakes warped at c.50K - while repair as covered by the extended warranty I was charged for costly "sundries" to the same value.

The standard CD player is "Pants" - or maybe mine has an intermittentfault... it will only start to play when going downhill on an smooth road - thereafter... fine!

Brakes had parts replaced at service under warranty (can't remember what.)

General Comments:

In 1999 I was looking for a reasonably priced (slightly-sporty) car to replace my ailing Peugeot 405. After spending too long messing about I finally decided the Ford probe was OK but had an interior made from toilet roll holders and sticky backed plastic. I realised I couldn't afford a decent coupe - so miffed, with a very poorly Peugeot, I contacted a friendly Toyota garage with my budget: "Find and sell me a 2L car which won't ever break down. It mustn't leak oil or ever annoy me! I sent a cheque and bought the Carina without ever having knowingly seen the same model (I hadn't been looking!)

For a "normal" car I now really like my Carina - a car of compromises. Mine's the hatchback, and while the curved profile limits load capacity... I still managed to transport a new double divan bed (in two sections, two journeys) in the back! The engine is quiet and (while I'd prefer something nippier from a standing start) it out-performs most cars from the lights. On the motorway, it effortlessly tackles hills and gives confidence you've always acceleration to overtake - it was an especially fantastic choice during the months I regularly drove between Bristol and Edinburgh in an evening. While car-obsessed friends find this next remark "hopelessly-girly" - I think it's remarkably easy to drive - almost idiot-proof... maybe because it's front wheel drive? (So was my previous car - maybe I find the steering responsive?) When I do something silly (say make a turn too quickly or drive a tad to aggressively in the ice) I get to know about it without serious consequences - while I check I'm wearing my "sensible head," the Carina magically returns to full control remarkably quickly.

The CDX variant was a positive move too. Apart from the exterior styling - about which I don't give a hoot - I think the main distinction is that this one has air-conditioning. I can't imagine driving a car without now - no condensation is great! In the interior, I like the seats (cloth/velour) but the remainder of the trim lets the car down in my opinion - functional but lacklustre. Oh... I seem to wear out front tyres rather quickly too (maybe that's my driving... least said eh?)

All in all, I've been very pleased... and now, as I tentatively look for my elusive replacement I find I'm hard pressed finding a credible 2 or 3 year old alternative. The competing "family cars" have become bigger (harder to find parking space) and slower - while the coupes seem to have become "trim only" small engine runabouts or lardy, 3L gas-guzzling monstrosities.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th February, 2003

24th Feb 2003, 13:50

I'm having the same problem, I'm due to change my Carina E 2.0, but I have yet to find anything as quick, comfy, economical or generally great all round.

If I do however the only car I think might do it is a 2000 Primera 1.8S, it doesn't have the grunt, but it does handle like a go kart.

24th Apr 2003, 07:52

The point is far better specification i.e ABS with brake force distribution, driver, passenger and side airbags, standard air con/climate control, a state of the art new 1.8-litre engine that is the cleanest in its class and already exceeds European emission standards to be brought in in 2005.

Better fuel consumption, lower insurance, a proven reliability record and a fantastic chassis and great suspension set up that make it stick to the road like a limpet, therefore making it a safer car to drive in all road conditions.

I think those are good enough reasons to buy a Primera.

5th May 2003, 06:37

Just been to test drive a Primera and it feels good on the road, however the paint and build quality on the one I tested was definately a bit dubious... flaky lacquer on bumpers, paint strangely matt in places, and a baggy rear bumper that moved up and down when I pushed it... could have been previous owner, but with only 5000 miles I doubt it, so I'm a bit sceptical about them now.