Better, less expensive, used car options are available
Timing chain cover leak at 75,000 km. Cost $750 to reseal the cover. (Dealership advised this was a labour intensive job, as the engine had to be removed from the engine bay, but this was questionable in retrospect.)
A bulb back lighting the HVAC control panel burnt out. Replaced with an aftermarket replacement bulb (less than $5), but it was difficult to find a bulb having the shape of the original bulb to fit the original green bulb cover.
Ventilation system emitted a foul odour unless the air conditioner was turned on.
The grey velour upholstery retained atmospheric dirt, and appeared soiled even with routine vacuuming and gentle cleaning.
I found myself driving more slowly when driving this car than when driving other cars. The engine, steering, throttle, and brake characteristics are not conducive to spirited driving.
The car was comfortable, performed adequately, and very fuel efficient. The powertrain sounded and felt refined for an economy compact car. The front suspension seemed to lack sufficient travel, as the struts would seem to use up their travel limit even on modest speed bumps at low speed. The factory radio was weak in power. In all other respects, the car was unremarkable.
Given Toyota's reputation for reliability and engineering quality, the aforementioned timing chain cover leak, lighting, and HVAC odour problems were disappointing, in view of the car's relatively low mileage, its gentle use, and regular maintenance and care, both before and during my ownership.
The only real compelling reason to choose this Corolla would be its fuel efficiency and expected higher than average reliability, but as actual experience has shown, expectations may not be reality.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 28th June, 2013