1996 Toyota Corolla DX 1.8 from North America


Never owned a better car!


Other than the average maintenance items, nothing has gone wrong.

The paint seems to scratch very easily however. It had 34 very visible scratches on the car when I bought it, and have I have so far been able to collect another 3 really big scratches.

General Comments:

This Corolla I am impressed with in general.

I have driven many other Corollas before (friends, family, etc.), and can't say I've been particularly impressed with them. Even the new 04' models didn't appeal to me very much.

However, when I saw this car in the dealers lot for $4900, I had to take a look, because everything that was a Corolla of this age that I had seen was over $6200.

When I drove it, the first thing I noted was how fast it was for a little compact. It really takes off for only 105 hp I believe because of the standard transmission. Since this was the only standard Corolla I had seen, I can't compare it to the newer models in terms of power.

After I bought it, several things failed, but they were all maintenance items.

The timing belt snapped, the headlights (both) burned out, the gas pedal fell off, all things that could have been prevented by maintenance.

This car is very comfortable compared to my Tacoma, and very quiet as well. I've heard other people complain that it's noisy on the freeway, but to me, it's not so bad. As long as I can hear the stereo.

The best feature is the gas mileage. I'm used to 7 mpg from my 454 Cheyenne. My Tacoma gave me great joy when I averaged 26 mpg, and this car gets about 41, so I'm now saving a lot of money at the pumps, considering I drive 70 miles a day.

The only thing that I am stumped about is why I get better gas mileage in town than on the freeway. (33 on the freeway, and 42 in the city) NO JOKE. I'm just a college student who knows nothing about cars so if someone could help me with this question, I'd be happy.

In all, I love this car because it doesn't attract too much attention on the road and yet, is fun to drive.

One last comment, "You never notice how many Corollas there are until you drive one." And there's a good reason for that, because they are so good. I've stuck my key in the wrong White 1996 Corolla DX sedan, three times in the past 2 months.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th December, 2004

14th Dec 2004, 12:57

Regarding your fuel consumption on the highway.

First, make sure you are in fifth gear, not in third. I used to have a Corolla, and the gears were close, therefore I would put it into third instead of fifth. Check your rpm range (if you have it on your dash), otherwise, listen to your engine, is it VERY loud, as if it was in third? If you don't even have fifth, then that is the cause also. The lower the gear at higher speeds, the more fuel it takes.

Second, if the engine is loud, and you ARE in fifth gear, there is your explanation. As the engine gets louder, it works harder, therefore making it use more gas. In the city, the engine does not work as hard.

Third, how fast do you drive on the highway? If it's 140km/h, then it will definitely use a lot of gas. Keeping it around 90-100km/h will reduce it.

Hope this helps, email me @ wojtek112@hotmail.com if you have more questions.

1996 Toyota Corolla DX 4 door sedan 1.8 gasoline from North America


Exceptional care with limitations


Very little. With minor exceptions. Legroom limitations for the taller than average, both front and rear. Weight capacity is very limited and easily exceeded if you carry four people and cargo.

General Comments:

Superior reliability and dependability. Excellent handling, especially with tire upgrades. Only limiting factor of this car is it really isn't for folks larger than average size. Notable is limited legroom in front for the long legged and none for the rear passenger. 1997 and earlier models use a timing belt, which requires 60,000 mile replacement. Or, you risk severe engine damage. Not well presented in the owners manual. Figure $500 every 60,000 mile for replacement. This car averages 34 miles per gallon in all around driving. Super!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th December, 2004

11th Jul 2005, 20:23

Most Toyota's have a non-interference engine design. The chance of engine damage from a timing belt breaking is a gross exaggeration by many dealers. The reason why the owner's manual does not state it is because of this design. Gates.com has a fairly comprehensive list of which model year, make, and model of car have interference design engines or not.

23rd Aug 2005, 00:24

500 dollars are enough to replace both engine and transmission with Japanese low-miles parts, at least here in California... timing belt replacement cost not nearly as much.

12th May 2010, 20:52

I disagree with you on the '96 Corolla not having enough legroom. I'm 5'11" and I find it extremely comfortable. The man I bought it from was over 6 feet tall, and even he said it felt perfectly comfortable.