2001 Toyota Corolla GLS 1.4 VVTi from UK and Ireland


Quirky looks, but superb car behind them


I am writing this review on my Father's car, which he has had for the last 6 years, and to date, the only thing that I have had to replace on it for him was the rear exhaust box support strap, which corroded through. The exhaust itself is still the original, after 10 years on the car, and still seems very solid. Granted, he doesn't do many miles in the car, as he is now 70, and only uses it for short local runs, but it has always started, and has never let him down.

One problem I found was that when I went to switch the A/C on, the button pushed through the dashboard! I had to get my hand up behind the dash to push it back into its housing - he subsequently put a screw into it to stop it happening again.

Otherwise, it's been impeccably reliable.

General Comments:

This car is pretty ugly in my opinion, but it's not my car! However, it redeems itself with its ride quality, and the inside is definitely a better place to look at the car from than the outside.

It is a second facelift of the early 90's Corolla shape, and is very long in the tooth in its body shape, but the dreadful first facelift with the frog eyed front has now been toned down, so this model doesn't look quite so hideous from the front. This second facelift wasn't made for long though before Toyota finally retired it for the all new Corolla in late 2001.

My father loves it though, and I have noticed that this model of Toyota does seem to be favoured by the retired generation, although I'm no one to talk, as I own a Rover 45.

The car, being the GLS, is the top of the range model, and has all the bells and whistles, and a very ergonomic dash layout, with the radio display at eye level in the top of the dash. It has nice comfy seats, but the sunroof reduces headroom, and I found this to be limited for me when sat in the drivers seat, and when getting into the car, as the doors don't extend into the roofline.

The engine is very responsive for its size, and acceleration is remarkably quick, as this 1.4 VVTi was a new engine in this model line, replacing the earlier 1.3 units. It also gets a very good fuel economy figure of in excess of 40mpg, which my father also likes, given the price of fuel these days.

In summing up, this car is not for the fashion conscious, and its looks are like Marmite - you either love them, or hate them, but it's a very good car if you can live with its looks, and don't care what other people think.

Prices for these cars seem to be holding up as well, as people still want them down to Toyota's legendary reliability, and I would have to agree that this car has been no exception to the rule.

My overall rating for this car is 8 out of 10, but its looks are the polarising factor, which otherwise spoil a very good car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th February, 2011

1st Apr 2013, 14:34

Excellent review. Have one myself and this mirrors my views.

7th Dec 2016, 15:15

I have 2002 Corolla Liftback, last of the E11. It's got nearly 200,000 miles on board. Can't fault it, a great car, looks are not great, but really very reliable. That's a good thing, it gives most new cars a run for their money.

2001 Toyota Corolla S 1.8 VVT from North America


Fun, reliable, fuel efficient, and cheap to own if you take care of it


Uses about a quart of oil every 1000 miles since day 1.

Developed piston slap at about 80,000 miles, which gets worse with time, but goes away when the engine warms up.

General Comments:

Though not as good as the '86 Chevy Nova (really a Corolla) it replaced, it's still a decent car.

Much faster off the line with the manual transmission.

I don't have to replace half the exhaust every year here in the rust-belt.

The flywheel seems a little light, making it easy to stall letting out the clutch from a standstill.

Great on gas, getting 32 to 45 MPG.

It's only been in the shop once for new front pads and rotors at 90K. I do my own oil changes and got one without electric windows, locks, etc., which I found increases reliability and decreases maintenance hassles.

It's been extremely reliable, despite the piston slap and high oil consumption.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th October, 2010