1989 Toyota Corolla sr5 1.5 from North America


Very Disappointed


Sunroof motor died.

Sunroof seal leaks.

Driver side floor rusted out.

Water pump died.

Timing belt replaced.

Passenger side seatbelt broke.

Valve cover leaks.

Ignition hesitation/uneven acceleration.

Ignition cap, wires & Rotor replaced.

Shocks/struts are starting to wear out.

General Comments:

The car is not comfortable, a low ceiling means anyone over 5'10" cannot drive it, yet the driver seat does not adjust enough for someone under 5' 2" to drive it.

The back seats are really only for children, the roof slopes too low for adults to sit comfortably.

The brakes are soft and weak.

Transmission is clunky, sometimes it will not shift properly, forcing you to double clutch.

Revs quite high, 3000 rpm in 5th gear is only good for 110km/h.

Not great gas performance, 400 km per tank (40l) mixed hwy and city/suburban driving.

The design of the ignition system is pathetic, the cap/wires are one complete very expensive unit and you cannot change the spark plugs without a special deep socket wrench.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd May, 2007

26th Nov 2007, 23:56

Just bought a cap and rotor for $19.00; you're right, very expensive.

2nd Mar 2008, 12:40

I had a 1985 Toyota Camry and if someone hadn't crashed into it (totaled) my car I would still have it! You need only to know basic mechanics to maintain it yourself! I always loved that car, all oils and extra lubricants were always added!

I loved that car and I was sad the day it was towed away. Believe it or not, 2 weeks later I saw it on the street! Someone actually took it out of the junk yard and fixed it. I got a Toyota van cause my family is bigger now, and yesterday I bought a 1989 Corolla for 1000 bucks! This will be my new baby!

3rd Aug 2008, 09:50

Sounds like you need to simply fix the things that are wearing out. Parts wear out with age; they don't last forever. What makes Corollas so nice is that parts wear out slower than many similar models from other auto makers.

My car has almost 200K miles and the rear brakes are finally wearing out.

Original manual transmission, original clutch, original sunroof, etc.

Yes, I have replaced the radiator, alternator (recently), timing belt, and starter motor (at 197K miles).

11th Oct 2008, 04:53

I'm using a Corolla 1989; only minor repairs and a change of tires, it's very reliable, just don't forget to put in gas and it won't stop till you drop...

11th Oct 2008, 09:30

Yet another reviewer expecting a lifetime warranty, perhaps?

27th Feb 2010, 08:45

Since when is a deep socket a "special" tool?

Standard rule of thumb says belts and hoses should be changed every 5 years. In the case of the Toyota SR5 (last built around 1989), it should be on the 4th set. Yours is the first complaint about the floor pan, so it's safe to say you're not under coating your vehicles or removing your floor mats to allow the carpet to dry.

1989 Toyota Corolla LX 1.6 12 valve from France


The best compact car I've ever owned


Considering this car was driven by a former pro go-cart driver (my brother) with little consideration for wear and tear, I wasn't too surprised to have to change the gearbox around 215000km.I was broke then and purchased a second hand unit from a scrapyard. That along with CV joint overhaul is the only heavy maintenance I've done on the car.

General Comments:

Many Africans have tried to purchase it from me. I recently learned that corolla's have an afterlife in west coast Africa with entire fleets of corolla taxis operating there which says a lot on the car's reliability. Now that I'm no longer broke I can't seem to get rid of my ole clunker : I'm attached to it!Only undesirable characteristic is a marked tendency to lock up on wet surfaces, a little footwork required there in this age of ABS. Happy driving!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st February, 2007