1990 Toyota Corolla GTi 1.6 from UK and Ireland


The definition of reliability


5 years ago it needed a replacement rear brake caliper, which was unexpected and quite expensive (£250)

Once needed a replacement radiator thermostat.

General Comments:

I have owned my Corolla GTi for 6 years now and it is the definition of reliability. It refuses to break.

Apart from the brake caliper, all I have had to buy is a new exhaust system, a battery, headlight bulbs, and a set of brake discs and pads. No non-service items. Everything else is as factory, quite amazingly in fact – still on original suspension bushes, wheel bearings, clutch, alternator, starter, you name it.

Not the fastest car in the road; you really need to rev it up to get the best out of it. Flies along after 5 to 6000 rpm and really loves it. Revs round to 8000rpm+ :-) unfortunately drinks the fuel with too much right foot; you can almost see the fuel needle move sometimes!! Great fun and a cracking sound from those twin-cams as the revs rise! Nurse it along at 60mph and you can get some serious miles per gallon.

Interior is as new. No signs of age at all; none of this shiny steering wheel or gear knob that you usually get with 100,000 mile cars. Also worth mentioning is the driving position –its nice to have a car that doesn’t insist you have the steering wheel up in the air like you’re driving a Bus.

Body suffers from rust in usual places – sunroof & wheel arches. I guess it can’t rain much in Japan. The only weak point of the car.

So my Corolla is now 12 years old and (from previous owner) has never broken down, not once; 130,000 miles and it purrs like new. I do admit I look after my Toyota, but considering it is driven hard, and also is in stop start traffic every day, the fact that it has taken everything I have thrown at it and basically not cared…. I have to give this car and hence Toyota, top marks for reliability. One day it will have to go, which will be a shame ‘cus whenever that is I know my Toyota will still never have let me down.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th October, 2002

30th May 2003, 02:58

A quick update...

Another year and no problems!

Well... almost! I did end up replacing the dizzy cap and coil, trying to figure out where an intermittent misfire was coming from. It turned out, that it was nothing to do with them and (somewhat ironically) was really due to faulty leads... aftermarket ones that i'd fitted a couple of years back! Fortunately I still had the original ones so put them back on and now purrs like a kitten again :-)

1990 Toyota Corolla LX 4 cylinder; fuel-injected from North America


A well-built, dependable car.


Required a new exhaust system every 1-2 years. I have been told this may have been a result of the short daily work commute. To be more specific, the exhaust didn't get the chance to dry out each time it was driven, leaving it highly susceptible to rust.

Power window motors quit after approximately 100,000 miles (I don't really consider this a fault - they were just plain worn out). They were replaced by an independent mechanic for just under $100 (versus the $300+ the dealer would have charged).

General Comments:

I loved my Toyota Corolla and had a very hard time selling it a few months ago. It was the most reliable car I have ever owned. Even with 100,000+ miles, I never worried about getting stuck somewhere when I was driving my Corolla.

When I started a new job which required driving longer distances on a regular basis, I bought a new car so that I wouldn't wear down the Corolla. It was great knowing that I could always drive the Corolla when my new cars were in the shop for repairs.

Now, 4 years and 2 cars later, I sold the Toyota just to make more room in the garage. I miss her. :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th September, 2002