1997 Toyota Corolla SD 1.6L from North America


Reliable economy car if you don't mind performance and comfort


Windshield washer fluid pump died.

New pump wasn't very good either.

Replaced the catalytic converter.

Check engine turned on, O2 sensor.

Lights in the dash burned out.

General Comments:

The car was incredibly boring to drive, slow and very normal handling. I drove the car very hard and nothing major broke, but the performance made me sell it even though it was reliable.

The interior was very boring and small. Did not find it comfortable for long drives. The stereo was horrible, only 2 speakers in the doors and a AM/FM radio.

Car was cheap on gas for city driving, but the 3 speed automatic made it more expensive on the highway... and more boring to drive!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 22nd November, 2009

1997 Toyota Corolla DX 1.6 from North America


Wonderful small car -- super reliable


I bought this car from the terrible previous owner.

A month after that the engine was blown. Most likely the engine was overheated before, or ran without engine oil.

Anyway, I bought a used engine with 40K miles on it. While swapping the engines, I also changed the timing belt, water pump, radiator, engine mounts. All these problems were caused by the lack of maintenance and abusive driving style. The repairs cost me a lot of money.

Fortunately, since then, my Corolla has been taking good care of me, it doesn't have any problems at all. I was told by my mechanic that this car can last for at least 10 years.

General Comments:

The 3-speed automatic is something I don't like. Too much engine noise when running at high-speeds.

City MPG isn't so good, average 20 with 100% city driving. However, good sides are: I have 42 MPG on the highway with 55-60 mph. Driving at 70-75 mph that will be 37 mpg.

It is a small car, small engine, but the handling is excellent in its class. This is an ideal car for those who drive to grocery shopping, school and etc.

In speaking of long distance road trips, this car might not be a good option except for fuel economy.

My experience with my current Corolla encourages me to buy a brand new Corolla in the future.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd April, 2009

10th Feb 2012, 20:49

Good review.

The 4-speed automatic is a better deal for both performance and fuel economy - less revs on the highway, better launch and through-the-gears acceleration.

You may want to flush the transmission fluid if you suspect the engine was severely overheated - if the fluid is "baked", the additives get depleted, and the transmission fails soon afterward.

1st Mar 2014, 22:17

Interesting observation on number of transmission ratios. 9-speeds are in production now (Jeep Cherokee). To think that 3-speeds were an ugly alternative to a 4-speed ;)

Excellent advice on the transmission fluid/filter change after engine overheating. The trans fluid is cooled by the radiator. Bake the fluid, and kill the additives. Kill the additives, and ramp up transmission wear. Keep the fluid fresh (keeps the additives that prolong trans life replenished), and keep the filter clean (keeps the flow of fluid plentiful) :)

1997 Toyota Corolla AE101R 1.6L Twin Cam from Australia and New Zealand


Cheap, reliable small car


Speedo stopped working

Rear hatch popped open

Flat tyres.

General Comments:

Engine feels effortless around town and the ride is decent.

Problem with speedo and hatch were fixed by dealer prior to purchase.

This model doesn't have air conditioning, but is not really a problem most of the time. Vents seem to gently blow warm air all the time, even when set to cool or the fan is off.

Have spent some time in an automatic, definitely get a manual, the auto is harsh and uses a lot of fuel.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th February, 2009

1997 Toyota Corolla DX 4 cylinder from North America


Toyota rocks, period


There is a need for alignment, due to pothole, not to car defect.

Drivers side seat had cushion loss at entry exit point (I believe this may be due to a very large previous owner, however), but the upolstry itself is still perfect.

General Comments:

This car runs like a dream and has good pickup for a 4 cyl. engine.

For a vehicle of this age, it is in beautiful shape (due, I am sure to previous owner care by 2 owners)

Within 3 months of purchase, the car made a 2000 mile trip with ease and netted 38 MPG!

I found the front passenger side room better than our 2005 Corolla, which has a different dash area.

Normal summer in-city driving was about 32 MPG & highway about 36-38. Winter mileage has been around 27 city and have not tested highway driving, which I do not do much of in winter.

There is some discomfort with the worn drivers seat, but that was easily remedied with a pillow, and considering the vehicle is 11 years old, this is not a major complaint.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th December, 2008

10th Sep 2010, 15:35

I bought a 1997 Toyota Corrolla CE in 2004. The car only had 40,000 miles on it and I paid 5,000.

For the first 2 years, it was my everyday car, and the only thing besides normal oil changes that I've had to do with the car was replace front brakes & rotors. The total bill with inspection was 340.00 and haven't had to replace anything else.

I have since sold the car to my nephew for 1,200 with 65,000 miles. I'm sure this car will last him a while.

All in all, it's been a very good car. I hope to someday get a 2000 Camry as a replacement for the Corolla.