2000 Toyota Corolla GLS 1.6 VVti from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Unbelievable reliability

Faults:

Rear suspension link had to be replaced. Not dangerous, just rattling. Passed its MOT with it rattling. Cost £20 to replace.

General Comments:

Truly thought I had reached middle age when I bought my Corolla and tried to sell it after having it 3 months because of its image. However, after 3 years and negligible faults, I now have huge respect for this little car. I bought it for absolute peanuts as it was an automatic, and it just goes and goes. I do all the maintenance myself, and recently when the rear section of the exhaust failed, I got the bit off eBay for £25! The local fast fit place wanted £95. Driven gently on a motorway run, 43 MPG is possible. Stop start city driving delivers late 20s MPG. The 1.6 VVti engine uses a bit of oil (a litre every 3000 miles), but I know some use a lot more due to a design fault with this engine.

As regards handling and the overall design of the car, it is very dated, even when it was new in 2000. I sell cars for a living and have worked for most major manufacturers over the years. A Ford Focus was a hugely better car than the Corolla in nearly every respect from handling to interior ergonomics. The equivalent VW Golf had a much nicer interior. The Corolla beats all else, though, excepting a Civic when it comes to reliability. Thats why I now love it. It'll probably soldier on for another few years until the body falls off with rust. Reckon the mechanical bits will still be bombproof. It's a pity no one makes a car with Swedish rustproofing and Japanese mechanicals!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th June, 2015

5th Jun 2015, 11:40

I've have or had 4 old petrol Japanese cars (Honda, Nissan) and have found they just keep going with just routine maintenance and consumables so long as they have been looked after by previous owners. My theory is that these types of cars tend to be bought by private and sensible owners.

I only let go of my three previous rice burners because they were written off in accidents. Being old cars, even cosmetic damage results in an instant insurance write off.

2000 Toyota Corolla VE 1.8L petrol from North America

Summary:

Engineered for the ages

Faults:

Engine replaced at 166000.

Fuel pump replaced at 166000.

Normal wear and tear items: ball joints, tires, fluids, wiper blades, light bulbs, etc.

Front struts are creaking and need to be replaced.

General Comments:

I received this free but badly neglected VE from an in-law, and proceeded to install a second hand engine and fuel pump myself.

After the coldest MN winter in 20 years, I have to give this little car some props. Many, many days of below zero weather parked outside and this car started up every time. Upgrading to 185 tires is a good decision.

Pros:

Fantastically easy car to repair and work on, especially this base model with power nothing. The engine bay has plenty of room to reach everything (try changing spark plugs on a VW Jetta or changing the oil filter on a Honda Civic from the same time period).

Low beam and high beam are bright and well aimed.

Very good view from the driver's seat with small A-pillars.

Affordable replacement parts. Widely available at auto parts stores (note: use OEM Denso upstream oxygen sensor).

Fits easily into compact car parking spaces. Short wheel base and small turning radius.

Brakes are surprisingly good for having rear drums.

Functional layout of controls and dials without looking.

Timing chain and external water pump.

Does not attract attention.

Cons:

VVT-i is a joke with auto trans.

Lack of right armrest.

Backseat is tight for anyone over 4 feet tall.

Gas mileage is not that great with the 3-speed auto. Getting around 25 MPG city with lots of stop lights.

Key copies are impossible to cut for some reason.

The best selling American passenger car in 2000 was the Ford Taurus. I don't see many Taurus on the roads or in parking lots, but I see plenty of these Corollas rolling around. I have no doubt that this car will be around another 6 years to become a "classic".

Simple does not mean less than!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd April, 2014