1988 Toyota Corolla XL 1.3 petrol from Costa Rica


Basic, but hyper-reliable transportation tool


Normal wear and tear. However, the interior shows almost no visible signs of tear whatsoever.

A couple of years ago, power door locks sometimes refused to work - the problem disappeared by itself. One of the ventilation controls broke - but that was my fault.

The air conditioner seems too much of a burden for the tiny 1.3 liter, feels kind of like cutting off a couple of cylinders. It has always been like that, since new. That said, it should also be noted that the gearing is chosen to extract the best possible performance out of the little thing, so when the air is off, the car ends up feeling quicker than it really is.

Nothing else.

General Comments:

It's a basic transportation tool and it fulfills its job without drama and without pretense. Great basic design, good choice of materials.

It's just so frigging R E L I A B L E that you would not believe, more so than any other car that comes to mind, except possibly other Toyotas (my father's Land Cruiser for example).

I am also the very happy owner of a 2001 Audi A6; however, I deem the reliability of the Corolla as far superior. I don't know if the Audi will be still with me in one piece 17 years from now, like the Corolla.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th January, 2005

1988 Toyota Corolla SR5 Sports Coupe from North America


An excellent, faithful car!


I have replaced the clutch and the timing belt, but that was at 204,000 miles.

The driver's side window won't roll up without a helping hand, but again, this only started to happen a year ago.

Earlier repairs included replacing struts, front wheel bearings, and the starter. Mechanics have called it a "funny little car," but I have loved it!

General Comments:

This is my first and only car. I have driven it across the United States and back. It has lived through sweltering Southern California summers and frigid Upstate New York and Utah winters.

I am amazed at how well it handles for being 16 years old and with 211,000 miles on it. I am still able to zip around town and squeeze through the tightest spaces with ease. The engine often runs so quiet, passengers have been surprised it's even on.

The dashboard has cracked, the trunk leaks, the "LO" control on the air doesn't work, but the heater and A/C still kicks, and it still looks cute and sporty.

After having this car for so long and having it run so well, I am sold on Toyota.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th December, 2004

8th Feb 2005, 13:30

I love this car. My father bought it for me right before I left for college in 1988 and I believe this to be the best car on the road.

The dashboard has 2 small cracks and the driver's side seatbelt broke a couple of years ago, but the latter was replaced by the dealer at no charge. The only major repairs I have needed to make were to replace the distributor cap and wires, starter and fuel pump, and of course, breaks, shocks, etc. I have 180,000 miles and the original clutch. The trunk does leak a little in a torrential rain and the air conditioner does not get as cool as it used to, but those are my only complaints.

This car turns on a dime and is a delight to zip around the San Francisco hills and freeways. Also, it squeezes in tight parking spaces with ease.

1988 Toyota Corolla SR5 1.6 4AFE from Australia and New Zealand


Cheap 4wd power


Nothing much has gone wrong with the car, just keep is serviced and it will live for ever!

General Comments:

This car is pretty good for the price I paid which was $3300AUD with Road worthy condition and reg. The engine is also very strong and can keep up with most new cars in it class.

Has some room, but not as big as most wagons then again it is the same size as a corolla sedan or lancer sedan.

As a added bonus it is a 4wd which makes it a bit more safe. In addition the 4afe engine can be swapped over for a 4age 20v.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th September, 2004