1997 Toyota Corolla GSE 180i from South Africa


A big mistake of a purchase


The clutch on my car burnt out before 100 000km.

The springs on my car lost their tension far too early in the cars life.

Every time I drive over a speed bump, I hear a terrible knocking sound coming from the front left hand side of the car, but the sound cannot be traced. This was so from about 30 000km.

The front seats on my car wore out very quickly considering that the car is just under 6 years old. The cloth and leather are still fine, but the framework and sponge are worn out.

The head lights have always been very dim and theres nothing the manufacturer can do about it.

My car from the first batch of Corolla's in South Africa that were fitted with Anti-Lock Braking System and I think that the manufacturer didn't know what they were doing because I need to change brake disks, not pads at 5000km intervals. If I don't do this I get a terrible shudder on my steering wheel when I apply brakes. My stopping distance also increases dramatically before I change the disk.

The leather on my steering wheel tore off when the car was approximately 3 years old.

My engine sometimes cuts off at about 140 kilometers per hour and nobody can find the fault.

There are many small faults that will take too long to type out.

General Comments:

The car doesn't go to o badly, but because of the worn springs the handling is terrible.

When I go around bends, my front left hand side wheel spins too much. I had the tire checked and that isn't a problem.

Toyota doesn't seem to be making cars the way they used to in the past. I was very happy with my previous car and this one didn't give me half the service of it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th January, 2003

20th Apr 2007, 06:27

My name is Chris I drive a 180iGSE, Got the car for the past 3 years and never had a problem. The car is serviced 10 000km and runs like dream got it 90 000km currently doing 150 000km Loving every min of it.

17th Jul 2007, 21:21

Here's a quick story for anyone considering buying a used '97 Corolla: my grandparents own one with about 200,000 miles on it. Recently, my grandfather checked the oil and it registered absolutely nothing on the dipstick. I noticed oil on their garage floor, so I put the Corolla up on ramps to see where it was leaking.

As it turns out, their last oil change was done by a local mechanic who forget to tighten the oil filter properly. It wasn't even close to hand-tight. It was covered in oil and I still was able to spin it off easily with two fingers. I tightened the filter and added almost 3 and a half quarts of oil (the car has a 4.5 quart capacity) to the car just to get the reading on the dipstick into normal range. They don't even know how many months ago the oil change was, and have been driving the car with almost no oil in it for who knows how long. It never overheated, never made any noise at all, and continued to run perfectly.

These little engines (1.6 liter) are incredible. The car has never had any work done at all, and at 200,000+ miles, it sounds and drives like a brand new car. Not a speck of rust, which is unusual for a car that has seen 11 Pennsylvania winters and lots of road salt. They do nothing to the car other than put gas in it and OCCASIONALLY (when they remember) change the motor oil, which I will now be doing since they have no faith in their last mechanic after the filter issue.

The car has never had the exhaust replaced, and has had ONE set of front brake pads put on in its lifetime. Not to mention it still gets 38 mpg, in town, religiously. They don't drive on the highway, so I would guess that it would get at least 40 or 42 mpg on a long trip. Toyota engines are works of art. I wish they'd sell it to me, but they won't let go of it!

1997 Toyota Corolla CE 1.6 from North America


Very reliable car for an average price


The manifold cracked. Hopefully, it was still under warranty. (dealer even replaced the cover even if this item was not covered by the warranty)

The steering had to be adjusted.

General Comments:

I like this car, the fuel economy is very interesting.

As for the performance, it's quite normal for a Japanese 1.6 (85 hp).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th October, 2002

11th Jul 2003, 19:32

This car has a 105hp engine not 85.