1991 Toyota Corolla DeLuxe from North America
Point A to Point B in perfect comfort; seventeen years later, still the ideal everyday runabout.
Exhaust system and radiator replacements. Cassette player broke at about 60,000 miles.
First-time starter, all the time.
Took 17 years for the interior to start falling apart, and there were no mechanical emergencies, just compulsory check-ups at the local garage.
Never rusted until last year (2007), and that could have been due to a lack of trips to the car wash.
Ergonomically satisfactory, with A-plus cup holders (if that means anything) and all the switchgear in the right places.
Auto transmission was reliable, quiet, and did its job leaving passengers in serenity.
Trunk space was abundant for such a tiny car, and the rear seat backs could flip down to maximize this storage area.
The A/C and heater never once faltered, the radio always worked, and the Siberia-Grey interior never faded.
Looks weren't particularly offensive, if a little bland, but such can be expected from a Japanese vehicle.
It was no performance car, for sure, but was tame enough to navigate through crowded rush hour traffic and strong enough to keep rage drivers happy.
Handling was (relatively) agile, and the brakes were very manageable.
Decent ride; not too floaty, not jarring at all.
Build quality on our example was superb, but I have witnessed examples of the same model year in lesser condition. That said, the bodywork was thinnish, and dents were attained easily.
Used it for 'great escapes' through the Rocky Mountains rarely, when the CR-V wasn't available. It held up perfectly well, as long as we stayed within the car's comfort zone.
The seats were supportive and relaxing; they could be faulted for being slightly hard-feeling at times, but they never felt uncomfortable.
Leg room was great for the driver, slightly squished for the front seat passenger, and the rear seats were confined, but tolerable except for the middle, where the presence of the transmission tunnel made for womb-like travel when there were passengers on either side.
In all, the perfect car for what we used it for: a small, economical, affordable city car for everyman, with character bursting out the seams when you've owned it long enough.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th February, 2008