1999 Toyota Corolla SR 1.6 from UK and Ireland


The 1.6SR is a trusty reliable car, which looks faster than it is due to its unreliable performance


Nothing has actually gone wrong with it mechanically or electrically, but I suspect its not working to the best of its ability. Its never the same car from one day to the next in terms of performance. Sometimes its responsive and agile, sometimes it just won't get going or "pick up". The Toyota dealer have had it back 3 times, but claim that there's nothing wrong with it.

This leaves me not knowing whether I actually like the car or not.

General Comments:

I endorse the general consensus of opinion that UK Toyotas nowadays are not quite as good as the Japanese built ones. They just don't "feel" as good.

On one of its good days, I would say that it's a reasonably-powered car which has the necessary road holding and handling to deal with it.But a lot of the time it wouldn't be able to keep up with many smaller-engined vehicles in its class.

All in all, quite a good car to own. Just wish the performance was consistent.

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

Review Date: 14th May, 2003

1999 Toyota Corolla VE 1.8 from North America


The Corolla is a excellent all-around car that deserves a chance


My handbrake came really loose (maybe from the dealer pulling up on the handbrake too hard?...). I haven't really touched it, but I have been using the automatic catch to tighten it. I guess I could open it up and tighten it manually, but it hasn't been horrible.

Dash rattled after about 1,000 miles. I took it to the dealership, but they weren't very helpful. I ended up taking the dash apart myself. The noise came from some tape wrapped around some wires sticking and unsticking to the inside of the dash. As the car is getting older, there are little rattles here and there on the side and in the dash. I haven't bothered trying to fix them.

The radio light went out around 30,000 miles, and after a couple months came back on and I haven't had any problems with it since.

At around 45,000 miles the brakes began to shudder under really hard braking. I really think this was my fault since there was a time when I used to push the brakes really hard down mountain passes. I think I may have slightly warped my brake rotors from the heat.

At around 50,000 miles I thought my gas mileage was dropping dramatically. I used to average 39-40 mpg (miles per gallon) give or take a couple miles, and then it went to 30 mpg. Anyway, make sure your tires are properly inflated... I got lazy and neglected to check them for a while.

General Comments:

The car isn't the greatest handling car, but when pushed, it sticks enough. It's an economy car, not a sports car. There is body roll, but the car is very predictable as it slides.

The car is geared very appropriately for everyday driving and can be pushed. The shifter/clutch is very smooth and shifts very cleanly in between gears. It has one of the best shifters I have ever driven (compares to a lot of the luxury manuals I have driven). A lot of cars, Civics in particular, are geared inefficiently in my opinion, and have a "chunky" feel when shifting (might have something to do with the longer throw (distance) in between the different gears).

The car isn't the roomiest in the rear. The folks up front will be happy, but I can't say that for everyone in the back on a long roadtrip.

Random points: Car gets good gas mileage, has a decent ride, and is quiet.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th January, 2003

1999 Toyota Corolla GS 1.6 from UK and Ireland


A quality family car - but not the same quality as previous Corollas


Wipers stopped working during heavy rain on the motorway!

General Comments:

I bought this car as a replacement for my Almera which had a small boot. The Corolla boot is massive for the size of the car.

I've had several Corollas before and they are good cars. However, this is the first high-miler which might have something to do with the following :

Ride/handling quality poor at low speeds and don't inspire confidence at high speeds.

Seats uncomfortable - no support for thighs or back.

Build quality not as good as 'Jap' corollas. The AA guy who came to fix my wipers said that these cars use a lot of British parts, and are nowhere as reliable as the earlier ones.

Spec was fantastic - esr, air con, ABS, cd player etc etc faultless.

Engine and Gearbox unbelievably smooth and quiet. Performance and economy also very impressive.

However, boring to drive compared to the Almera - cannot drive it in a spirited manner at all.

Anyway, I do miss this car - gone back to an Almera now. But I'm on the lookout for a facelift (plus new suspension, seats etc) model which came out from a W reg - this should be the best of all worlds.

Corollas are expensive to buy used. My advice is to go for the best you can afford - and don't buy one which more than 25,000 per annum on the clock.

It's an A-B transport car, and a damn good one at that. But not one that you'll jump into to go for a quick spin for the hell of it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th December, 2002