1988 Toyota Corolla LX from North America


Perfect car to surprise a Pontiac with


I needed a new radiator at 113,000 miles, and new brakes every now and then, but otherwise nothing...

Unless you count the strange things the previous owners of the car did to it, such as gluing a big plastic spider inside my shifting console...

The seats have worn a bit though, but the previous owner was immensely fat, so that could have a lot to do with it.

General Comments:

The shocks are excellent. The Corolla only seriously bounces when you hit a nasty bump.

Of course, it comes with the Toyota hallmark of reliability, and it looks far better than the boxier comparable cars. I have it in a burgundy color, which looks very sharp with the black trim.

Excellent gas saver - 20-25 miles per gallon in the city.

I love her so much, my next car is another Corolla. I'll cry when I let this baby go.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th May, 2001

1988 Toyota Corolla GT-S 1.6L DOHC T-VIS from North America


An excellent vehicle, on the track and off


I had to replace the alternator at 109,000 miles.

I replaced the exaust because the tail pipe had cracked.

General Comments:

The acceleration is great and handling is superb, especially on curvy roads.

If you have the sport seat option, the seats adjust every way to suit your needs.

For all intensive racing purposes, a great choice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th April, 2001

1988 Toyota Corolla GTS 1.6 L DOHC from North America


An amazing first car


Replaced brakes when first bought.

Have replaced the exhaust system, alternator, battery, front tires and struts since.

Trunk hinges don't work.

General Comments:

Very sporty car with attention to detail, e.g. sport steering wheel with stitched cover, bucket seats, alternator and oil pressure gauges, pop up lights, etc.

Very good on gas and very good traction in winter.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th January, 2001

1988 Toyota Corolla LX 12v from Portugal


Nice car


Just the normal over the 10 years and 110,000km in my hands.

General Comments:

It is a good and cheap car.

Good reliability.

Comfort (rated 4 above) is a minor point indeed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2000

1988 Toyota Corolla DLX 1.6L 16V from North America


One of the best cars manufactured for its era


There are only two notable malfunctions with the car, and they are both minor and circumstancial.

The first problem is the exhaust system. We replaced most of the exhaust system at least once a year, but because of a lifetime warrenty on the muffler, we hardly ever had to pay for it. The car never left our small town unless my father or I were traveling out of town in it. Therefore it never got went over 30-40mph and allowed water to condense in the exhaust pipes. A "User Malfunction".

The second problem did not occur until this year (2000) right as it turned 100K miles, it started to lose coolant rapidly causing a lot of heat build up but never a break-down (even at over 100 mph for an hour or so, it ran like a champ). All I needed was the radiator flushed out (which should normally be done yearly anyhow). Yet another "User Malfunction".

General Comments:

The 1988 Toyota Corolla is a remarkable car in almost every aspect. Absolute reliability, and more bang for the buck than your average automobile.

I have driven 5 speed versions and found their performance (acceleration, top end speed and sound) to be very similiar.

To help express my admiration for this car, I must tell you this: When I was 16 or so I was late coming home from out of town. I admit it was foolish to speed so excessively, especially in deer territory, but I had hit a deer who had jumped in front of the car at almost 110mph and the car didn't even stop moving. The headlights worked fine, one pointed to one side, the other stayed on target. $1800 body damage (fender, hood and rear passenger door), that's all.

This car has been abused by my father and I for 12 years now, and it purrs like a kitten, runs like a champion, and still looks good in the sun with its (mostly) factory white paint. I plan on passing this little piece of family history down to my children.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st November, 2000

7th Dec 2000, 23:37

I agree wholeheartedly with this article. I also own a 1988 Corolla Deluxe, and in 12 years this car has not left me stranded by the side of the road.

The only significant problem I've experienced is the battery and muffler.

Now over 120,000 miles on the clock, it continues to run very smoothly. While rather plain looking, I love the simplicity and feel of this car and bumps on the road are smoothed out evenly.

While my other car (an 89 Supra) is stored for the winter, me and the Corolla will blast through snowdrift after snowdrift this winter!