2001 Toyota Corolla LE 1.8 gas from North America

Summary:

The most boring car that I've ever loved!

Faults:

Loose brake caliper (still haven't fixed).

General Comments:

The styling is a bit bland, but the reliability is outstanding! I've bought and sold a number of vehicles over the years, and wasn't sure if I was going to keep this Corolla at first or if I was going to flip it for a profit. But I really wanted a car that got great fuel economy as I live about 90 miles from Las Vegas and drive there semi-frequently to buy and sell stuff. This car gets 36 MPG on the highway so it was hard to beat when gas prices were so high. The air conditioning is the coldest I've ever had on any car, which is a must have in the desert... it's 38 degrees at the vent even when it's 100+ outside!

As far as the blandness, I installed an in-dash DVD player, new speakers and an alarm with remote start as well as new rims so that made the car more appealing to me. I also installed a trailer hitch so I can pull a small trailer and I don't have to use my gas thirsty truck as often. The Corolla has an amazing tow rating of 1500 pounds!

Two-and-a-half years later, I've thought about getting something else, as I get bored with cars, but this car is just hard to beat and it's got everything I want so I changed my mind. This is the LE model and is factory equipped with all power options as well as cruise control.

Common with many cars -- including this Corolla -- is oil consumption... I usually have to add a quart after 2,000 miles so be sure to check your dipstick every 1500 miles or thereabout and add oil accordingly.

If you're considering buying one of these Corollas, go for it! It's a great deal for the money!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st June, 2016

2001 Toyota Corolla T Sport 1.8 VVTL-i from Lithuania

Summary:

Perfect allrounder with an extra punch

Faults:

Front passenger side ABS sensor went wrong and lit the VSC/ABS/TRAC "Christmas light". Cost with replacement - 50 EUR. Rusted bolt that held the sensor snapped and was drilled to be replaced by a new one.

General Comments:

This car is not as bad as people claim. It does require some time to get used to. The gear shifting is notchy, valve "lift" (Toyota version of VTEC) is too far away (at 6200 RPM) and it revs to ~8200 RPM until the limiter and needs to be shifted very swiftly if you want to get straight into the "lift" zone in an upper gear. The clutch bites late and the pedal travel is too short and is too light. You really need to concentrate and have proper footwear to feel the car. Most TS Corollas have worn out engine mounts because of dodgy shifting, and stretched accelerator cables due to that. Shifting must be very well planned and rev matched at around 3K RPM if you want to operate this car smoothly in the city. Highway travel is OK, but very noisy due to high revs with the short six speed gearbox.

But then, there is the good part. Fuel consumption is really surprisingly good - around 8,3 liters per 100 km of mixed driving with occasional acceleration up to the "lift" and beyond. The engine itself proves to be very flexible, towing itself even uphill in any gear starting from 1,2K RPM. There is a lot of body roll because of the car's height, however it can really handle with its regular shock absorbers and stiff spring combination provided by Toyota without losing the comfort. The gaps between the arches do not make this car any prettier, but it's good for city driving around the curbs.

Then there's acceleration - 6,6 secs to 100km/h (with traction control off) instead of the official ~8 to 100! I can easily keep up with 535d Beemers while looking at their funny faces, and I'm able to beat EP3 Civics!

The downsides of this car are: a notchy gearbox that often requires a double clutch press when the gearbox is cold to let the disc go and to shift properly when the revs are matched, corrosion on a bruised body, and not that pretty gap between the wheel and the arch.

Good things: great acceleration (although you need to watch the speedo because the lack of torque does not make you feel acceleration that much), absolute reliability (just give it the oil it needs like 5w40 or 10w40, but not too dense as it's not good for the valvetrain, and not 0w20 or any other fancy watery liquid, and this engine will outlive you).

The car is very roomy too and has the best A/C I ever had on a car. The 55 liter fuel tank gives you a range of around 600-650 km in mixed conditions, and the ride component quality and geometry is top notch as it holds all the bumps without any problems requiring fixing.

It's the best hot hatch for money it's worth. It's not as great to drive as a Civic Type R, but it's a better allrounder and it's cheaper, and most important of all, it's far more reliable than any Renault/Peugeot/Ford or even VW.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th March, 2015