1998 Toyota Corolla 1.3 from Italy
Cheap car, cheap maintenance, feels like a modern car
Almost nothing; there is some strange ticking noise on cold starts in winter time; after 5 minutes it goes away.
Idle is below 650 RPM. I can't remember but it seems it was 800 RPM when I bought it.
Anyway nothing serious, belts, brake pads, filters, oils.
Can't say much about the car because I have had it for 8 months only; got it from a woman with 130.000km.
The car was serviced well and is in good overall condition.
The interior is grey and boring, but of a good quality. After 18 years it still looks good, and seats are in a very good condition. The only bad thing about the grey interior is it gets dirty very fast.
Sometimes it thinks too much when you shift in 1st gear and reverse; other gears work very good. I changed the transmission oil, but nothing changed.
I was very impressed with the body; absolutely NO RUST!!!
One of the tail lights gaskets failed and I was getting water in the trunk. I think it failed before I bought it, so for at least a year there was wet in the trunk; surprisingly there is no rust at all, not even a bad smell!!
The engine is in good shape. I changed the oil two times already, every 9000km, and it does not consume oil at all.
Still, there are some bad things I'm worried about. I find every morning a drop of oil mixed with red coolant, and when you take off the oil cap it blows air pretty hard; that is a sign of a blown head gasket.
Anyway after 8 months and 14.000km I can say the engine never got hot and never stalled, so maybe it's not the head gasket, but something with the water pump?
It's got R15/195 tyres and the power steering seems to struggle a little bit with those.
Also I was impressed with how easy it is to repair that car, how it was designed. I can do all the maintenance by myself without expensive instruments.
Overall I like the car. It lacks power at low revs in some situations, but you can reach 175km/h with those 85hp.
The suspension is not bad at all. Hey it's a 1998 car, you get 85hp, OK suspension, A/C, powered windows, powered mirrors, airbag, ABS (not on mine), and low costs on everything. It feels like a more recent car by the way.
I'm thinking seriously to buy another Corolla E11, but 4 doors, a 1.6L SW or a lift back version with lower mileage and black interior. It is definitely worth the money.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 12th April, 2016