1997 Toyota Corolla DX 1.8 from North America


Most reliable car ever made


Door handles stick up and have to be pushed down.

Rear wheel bearings and hubs $40.

4 shocks and struts $200.

Power steering leaks, but it's pretty slow so I just have to add some every two months or so.

Check engine light is on for exhaust recalculation; it doesn't affect performance and cost too much for me to care to replace it.

General Comments:

This car is great. I may have over paid for it a little back when I bought it. I used to buy whatever used car looked cool on Craigslist.

I got a super reliable car that seems like it's gonna keep on lasting. The other great thing is it gets fairly good MPG (around 30ish) and parts are really cheap.


Zippy enough.

A/C works.

Has a big enough trunk.

Easy to work on.

Cheap parts.


Seats are not that comfortable.

A fair bit of road noise, but not the worst I've driven.

This car has been great to me. I don't feel like it will just break down on me. It's the first beater used car that actually had every thing working.

It's getting a bit of rust on it now. I just use some spray paint, because who cares what it really looks like; I mean it's 20 years old, it's not like I'll lose anything on it.

The rear wheel wells and rear mount points are really rusted; I managed to put a jack through it.

I recommend this car if you can find one that has been maintained.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th August, 2017

28th Aug 2017, 11:51

Good review. The 90s was such a balanced time for cars. Every car I had from that time period had excellent reliability. Anything before the 90s is a little too old now, and anything after the year 2000 seems to be plagued with electronic problems.

I'll drive 90s cars till there's none left, but it's already getting harder to find any from that era in good condition now.

28th Aug 2017, 18:34

I agree. We had great luck with Civic and Accords then. And even the 80s worked better too. Later they were far more trouble prone. Especially in areas such as hardware. Locks, windows etc.

6th Sep 2017, 12:44

I totally agree. I feel like I was almost spoiled by starting my driving experience in cars from this era that were just so reliable, easy to use, and simple to service. There were many repairs we could do ourselves with standard tools, but even then servicing was generally cheap.

1997 Toyota Corolla CSi 1.6 inline 4 from Australia and New Zealand




Very little! The headlight relay was blown when I bought the car; I got a replacement for free from the wreckers.

General Comments:

It's a wonderful car! Australian made, perky and handles very much like a Morris Mini, a brick on wheels.

I have a 1959 Jaguar, and the Corolla's ride is incredibly firm in comparison, but still more than acceptable for long drives on Australia's poorly kept country roads.

It's not what one would call powerful, but it's a light car so it doesn't need to be. The manual gearbox is notchy and not particularly pleasant when it's cold, but when it has warmed up it does the job fine.

The build quality is good, surpassing my previous, significantly newer Australian made Ford. It's also remarkably quiet, despite relatively high RPM at cruising speed. It will happily cruise at 120 - 130 km/h, but that's not technically allowed so it rarely goes above 110. It is very cheap to run, and is bulletproof reliable, although it prefers high-quality oils over the cheap stuff, which it tended to burn despite being the correct viscosity.

Overall, a wonderful car that's fun, cheerful and not as boring as you might expect. I really want to keep it so it can join the high-mileage club!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th November, 2016