2001 Toyota Corolla LE 1.8 from North America
Not bad overall
This car is great except for the third brake light in the rear window. The thing caught fire twice. It seems that the plastic begins to melt with the heat from the bulb, and then the plastic housing contacts the bulb. Then the plastic begins to smolder and eventually catches fire. I've seen the smoke and what not coming from the back window...
This has happened twice so far, and each time cost around $70 - $90 (not to sure) just for the parts alone from the dealer. I've replaced the entire housing, bulb, socket and had the wiring checked each time. There seems to be nothing wrong with the wiring, and I checked and there seems to be no recalls or TSB.
The interior of this car is also not very good. Unlike our previous Corolla, the headliner is falling down, the door panels are warping a bit, and the seat material seems to wear and fade faster. The trim around the doors is also starting to peel very badly, and makes the car look horrid, and the inside door handle has broken twice so far. Although the interior is obviously more modern, my 1989 Pontiac 6000s interior is in way better condition than this car, and I don't really baby that car compared to this one. The interior pieces (before they began to get deteriorate) felt of much higher quality than my 1989 Pontiac Firebird, a car that is known to not have a very solid interior, but the pieces although they feel cheap in that car have not deteriorated when compared to this car. I'm rather shocked about that.
Aside from that the car seems to be great. It rides fairly well, the A/C blows cold, and it has decent power. The engine itself is very reliable and has yet to have a breakdown since we first got it. Just brakes and tires so far.
Overall? Not being biased here, as I am telling what I think about my car. I don't prefer American nor do I prefer Japanese (I own both obviously). This is a good car. The brake light catching fire thing is kind of a turn off... but aside from that it is great.
To sum it up, this Corolla is very reliable engine wise and it is pretty comfortable. However, when compared to older models (based on my older Corolla and Camry), Toyota seems to have cheaped out on the interior and trim details.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th August, 2007
I also own a 01 Toyota Corolla and totally agree with your comments. In addition to your interior issues, I also had to replace some dashboard bulbs, but I don't have problems with the brake light overheating (yet). Also a minor problem with a check engine light due to a dirty air mass sensor which I just carefully cleaned myself.