1988 Toyota Corolla hatch 1.8 from Australia and New Zealand


Great and reliable


Replaced the old fuel pump. Put on new tyres, minor work.

General Comments:

The car is better then I expected. I wasn't very happy when my parents got it for me as I was only 18. Won a few races against other cars. Raced a friends Ford XD 81, left him behind by a car length. First car I smoked up using the park brake, very happy. Kept up with a newer corolla that had less kilometers then mine, runs beautifully. 2nd fastest car at my school, out of th eold and small cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th May, 2004

1988 Toyota Corolla XL Liftback 1.3 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


If everyone learned to drive in one of these, there'd be no crashes


Locked CV joint after 6 months of clicking.

The radiator blew twice.

Water pump has been replaced twice.

Recurring problems with the distributor turning itself, upsetting timing.

General Comments:

This was my first road legal car, and I have to say it taught me how to really drive. There is something to be said for excessive body roll, slop in the suspension, and a very underpowered engine/body weight combo - it certainly showed me a thing or two.

The car has a very twitchy back end, although this has always been the case.

ABS would have been good, as it would have saved me the expense of replacing the headlights three times - let alone the cost of the other people's taillights.

The sills, A pillar, and tailgate surround are prone to rusting.

If I hadn't had the last crash, I would still be thrashing this Corolla - it won't die. Pity NZ cars need lights for a warranty of fitness.

This car performed remarkably well off-road, more-so than most "crossover" 4x4's.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th March, 2004

1988 Toyota Corolla DX 4 Cylinder from North America


Most reliable, economical car in the world


The only thing that ever happened was the death of the fuel pump.

General Comments:

This car had high mileage, but never even hiccupped.

Everything was original, and operated smoothly.

It had good acceleration, and was quiet and economical.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd March, 2004

1988 Toyota Corolla GL 1.6 from UK and Ireland


A good, reliable car


Rust, rust and more rust. The rear wheelarches were a real problem.

The starter motor squealed from the day I bought it. It never packed up though!

General Comments:

A great car and not expensive to run. Japanese care are supposed to be expensive for parts, but parts were always cheap for the Corolla.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th January, 2004

1988 Toyota Corolla XL 4WD 1.6 twin cam from Australia and New Zealand


The all-rounder


Replaced the alternator twice in the last 6 months.

Steering rack failed, but was cheap to repair.

No other major problems have occurred with the engine despite its mileage.

General Comments:

The highlight of these small wagons is the constant four-wheel drive. While they are not capable of true off-road venturing, the Corolla offers surprising road handling abilities, especially in the wet. They struggle to lose traction at the highest of cornering speeds, making this a safe car to drive.

The Toyota 4A-FE engine is indestructible. Nearly 350 thousand K's have been reached without a major hiccup. Thanks to the fuel injection and twin cams, it packs just enough power to haul the large frame around without great effort. It is economical and reliable, but don't get excited at the lights...

With split fold rear seats, the wagon comfortably turns into a mobile bed, luggage carrier or drive-in specialist. Towing a boat or ferrying passengers are other fortes.

An honorable first car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st June, 2003

1988 Toyota Corolla AE 80 Hatchback Pov Pak 1.3 from Australia and New Zealand


Budget car that is moody, but as robust as a tank


3 engine rebuilds.

General maintenance has saved this engine from major repairs unless completely overhauled.

Occasional timing belt and fan belt.

All four shock absorbers and springs need to be replaced in 2001.

General Comments:

This is the best car I have ever owned.

Lacking in performance, but superior in handling and features for its time.

I own a 1988 Corolla "Pov Pak" (ie no added extras :) no power steering, no air conditioning, AM radio standard). My mother bought it brand new from the dealership in Lismore NSW Australia and it has traveled 3/4 of the way to the moon in kms. The speedometer km reading is approaching 300000 kms for the 4th time.

It has had 3 complete engine rebuilds and is bored out 40 thousands of an inch oversize increasing its capacity near to 1400cc.

In all rebuilds bottom end bearings were unnecessarly replaced.

Shock absorbers have been a major issue as Australian roads do serious suspension damage to this car.

This Corolla like all has brilliant steering, and accelleration that will beat a V8 for 50 metres, but needs some serious enhancement (ie turbo or supercharged).

Overall a budget car that is seriously rally competitive if the money is spent on engine and suspension components.

I am currently researching modifications to my car which will include upgrading to a 4agze supercharged 1.6 litre engine with 5 speed 4wd Tercel gearbox mounted north/south as to build my corolla into a 4wd hatchback.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th February, 2003

11th Aug 2006, 20:51

Man, I don`t know what you are doing to your car, but three engine rebuilds... LOL.. No way, not a Toyota. I have owned the same car for 10 years... all I've had to change is the contacts in the starter, and the brushes in the alternator... and oh yes, the oil every 5000 kms... maybe that's what you forgot to do?

Go and buy a Ford.. see how you like their quality.. LOL

Best regards


30th Aug 2010, 06:13

Actually, the older Ford's are very reliable. I have had my ED Falcon for about 5 years now, and all I have done is replaced the head gasket once. Starts first time every time, put fuel in and away you go. Maybe it's different people's driving styles.. I take care of my cars, and they serve me well.