1998 Toyota Corolla CE 4 cylinder gasoline from North America


Boring and Reliable Is Good


I put a new starter in it May of 2006.

The dashboard illumination has partially blown to where part of the gauges don't light up. I've been driving it like this for a couple years now.

Freak hailstorm beat the hell out of it in 2004. I refused insurance settlement.

I had to replace a ball joint and a half-axle in April 2007.

The headliner started coming loose around 3 years ago, and is tearing in places.

Brake lights gave out about two years ago.

Foam around steering wheel wore out about 4 years ago.

Driver's side inside door handle broke off from years of being outside in the heat.

Hood is starting to rust.

Discovered a transmission leak in June 2007.

Seat belt light quit working years ago, which I like because it was driving me crazy!

General Comments:

This model Corolla is, for me, not too big, and not too small, which is why I chose it in the first place. As a daily driver, and as an ONLY driver, it does quite well, and on slick days benefits from a bag of dog food in the trunk for extra weight.

I'm a big woman, and drive with the seat fairly far back. I have tilt steering, but don't mess with it. I have no trouble merging into traffic. However, going down to Texas with their short ramps, merging requires some thought, but there's nothing wrong with thinking while driving. I always push the AC off for extra power.

Stock radio is mediocre, which means it'll do the job. It's got, I'm sure, one of the last cassette players ever made. I never took it to get an upgrade because really my commutes aren't that long, and I don't need extra bass to listen to NPR.

Trunk space is sufficient for a single gal with a couple of bags to take to the airport. The backseat folds down for extra room if needed. I managed to get a peacock chair in the back seat with some creativity!

This Corolla has been reliable beyond words. For some reason, people look down on reliability, but for someone like me without a man around or the benefit of public transportation, reliability is as necessary as clean air and water. People seem to have no idea what peace of mind can do for your bottom line. I've never had to take off work to see about this car, at least not until the car had well over 100,000 miles. Until then, I had scant reason to take the car to the dealer for repair work.

I need a reliable car in my life just like I need reliable people in my life. Excitement isn't everything. All I need is to be able to turn the key and go, and my Corolla has more than fulfilled that end of the bargain!

For someone looking for a reliable second hand car, I would say that you could do a whole lot worse than this car especially if you have a daughter in night school and you want something that will get her home safely. My insurance costs are low, gas had been low until it started going up, and honestly, my gas mileage might be higher if I weren't using the original plugs still!

Another thing to consider is that all Corollas from the 8th generation (1998-2002) on use a timing chain rather than a belt. You don't have to take this car in at 60,000 miles, or play Russian roulette by trying to guess when this thing is going to snap. I feel that's an expense you shouldn't have to pay for what should be a part of the engine you don't mess with (one doesn't change the crankshaft, after all, does one? So why consider timing "maintenance"?). My car has over 125,000 miles, and I've never messed with timing belts and never will.

I'd like to say, too, that after 9 years of ownership I'm still running the original headlights!

All in all, I can say that my '98 in Sanddrift Metallic is easily the best car I've ever had. It's a car that hadn't given me any reason to be afraid of it. I haven't been the greatest at maintenance, but it's been very forgiving of that. I'm seriously going to miss it when it's time to replace it, and now that it's older and things are starting to need replacing one by one, it's time to consider what my next car will be. I've heard horror stories about the 9th Generation Corollas, having been built in America and starting to have quality control issues. But until they give me real reason for concern, another secondhand Corolla will be at the top of the list.

Like a good husband or boyfriend, boring and reliable is good!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th August, 2007

5th Aug 2007, 23:53

I wrote this review, and for whatever reason, I don't know if it was my fault or not, this was put under 1997 Corolla, when I have a 1998 Corolla CE. Please fix this.

25th Nov 2009, 00:28

"Like a good husband or boyfriend, boring and reliable is good!"

I love this analogy! Corolla's fulfill their purpose as a cost-effective, reliable car, that's for sure!

24th Oct 2010, 08:41

I had a 1993 Toyota Corolla base model sedan that got crushed and totaled by a huge tree branch a couple of weeks ago. I had a GREAT two years with that car. Never had any major problems with that car.

I replaced the exhaust manifold and didn't even have to, so I spent $75.00 for no reason.

Replaced PCV valve (preventive maintenance), cost $3.00.

Replaced valve cover gasket and spark plug tube seals (preventive maintenance), cost $25.00.

Mods: Cold air intake, header.

Car had 169,933 miles on engine and transmission.

I do miss my Corolla. Currently driving my Grandfather's 1993 Ford Explorer. Do plan on getting a 1998-2002 Toyota Corolla.

15th Nov 2010, 00:21

I got my Corolla for my 18th birthday, but crashed it soon after getting my license. :(

Other than that happening it is an amazing car. My gas lasts forever and it fills up on only about $30. Unfortunately I crashed it a few weeks ago again, so hopefully it will be fixed soon, or I can hopefully get another.

1998 Toyota Corolla LE 1.8L Gas from North America


You can rely on this car just as much as you can rely on a great price.


My Corolla was recently bought used with only 35007 miles on it. For an eight year old car, that's very low. Not only that, but there are no mechanical defects whatsoever to my knowledge.

However, if I let go of the wheel, the vehicle does somewhat lean to the left. It's almost negligible, but still a concern.

General Comments:

The automatic lights are very convenient. I never have to turn them on or off myself.

There is no legroom for passengers in the rear seat.

For a small car, the trunk is very spacious. And if I need more space, the rear seats fold down.

The engine is a bit noisy for the first minutes of running.

Every control is nicely and conveniently placed. I don't like to take my eyes off the road when adjusting the climate control or radio. In this car, I don't have to.

The sound system is above par for its class. I just ordered an after-market head-unit, though; needed a CD player.

After being spoiled by key-less entry systems with separate unlock/lock buttons, it took time to get used to the one button operation of this remote... and not having a trunk button.

However, the alarm is a great feature and I appreciate it.

I definitely appreciate the dual front and side air bags.

I wish the key-less remote got better range. It only works from 50 feet or less.

Great gas mileage.

Climate control works great even after just starting the engine.

I could fall asleep in these seats; they're very comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th November, 2006

22nd Dec 2006, 21:56

This is my review, and I'm updating now at 36,344 miles.

The car still leans to the left. It was suggested to have someone look at the bearings in the wheels, which I will soon. Until then, I've adapted. When I want to change lanes I just signal and let the car do so itself lol. It only works when changing to a lane to my left, of course.

I realized that the engine is only noisy when first starting because of warming up. It revs itself to about 1300 RPM, and gradually lowers speed the more the engine reaches a comfortable temperature. If the engine is already warm, or if I shift into gear, it'll idle normally and warm up while I'm driving.

Fuel usage is WONDERFUL. I make short runs constantly, drive to work everyday, and I'm constantly using climate control, but I visit gas stations only every 2-3 weeks or so. And that's to fill up from a little above a quarter tank to full (I never let my fuel level reach or pass the 1/4 mark).

The steering squeaks when I'm turning the wheel to the right. It's an external sound.

The rear left door cannot be opened from inside. I thought it was the child safety lock, but it isn't.

This is an overall beautiful car.