2003 Toyota Corolla LE 1.8 from Mexico

Summary:

Very boring car, with correct reliability and good suspension

Faults:

Headlight bulbs.

Very high RPM when cold.

Little box door in dashboard, broken.

Loose exhaust.

General Comments:

Although this car is indeed reliable, it isn't at all impressive. My A Class is still more reliable, at much higher miles on the clock.

The Corolla feels cheap, the doors are light, and the finishing is similar to that of a Ford Escort, not more.

I have driven many cars, and like to drive quickly; something that's difficult to do with an automatic Corolla.

Minuses:

- Very loud engine, more so at high speeds.

- Too old a transmission design; only 4 forward gears, and it's focused on a dull kind of driving.

- Extremely poor mileage at high speeds - too high RPM, because of the bad gear ratios.

- Interior finishings.

- No stability control.

- No traction control.

- A very boring car.

Pluses:

- Very good independent suspension. Although the suspension is designed towards comfort, it has excellent stable and safe reactions. This is the best attribute of Corollas, and a good suspension is essential.

- Reliability, durability.

- A big and well designed boot.

- Interior comfort.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th October, 2012

2003 Toyota Corolla 1.6 VVT-i petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

A car you buy with your head, not your heart

Faults:

Other than the faulty steering column that the car had when we picked it up from the dealer's forecourt (fixed immediately under warranty), not a single button, switch, sensor or function has failed or stopped working in the last 4 years, which makes this "in depth" review a bit difficult to write.

Front brake discs were replaced (by myself - ridiculously easy) at around the 50,000 mile mark.

I think it blew a headlamp bulb once... erm... I'm struggling here!

General Comments:

Overall, it has been a ridiculously reliable car. The paintwork still has a deep shine, the engine is still almost inaudible, and everything still works as Mr Toyoda San intended on the day it left the factory.

Performance-wise, it's no GTi, in a straight line or in the corners, and it can be a bit thirsty sometimes, but after my previous Fiat Stilo and the disaster that was the 'big booty' Megane, it's good to have a car that just works all the time, every time.

Boring, but you'll be glad you bought one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th March, 2011

2003 Toyota Corolla CE 1.8L from North America

Summary:

A headache everyday

Faults:

Engine rods bent and broken.

Ignition module.

Electrical wiring.

Transmission wouldn't shift into second gear at 80000.

Intake manifold cracked in the cold weather of 2009.

Driver's side mirror motor burnt out.

Driver's side passenger door window motor burnt out.

CD player doesn't work any longer.

Rear door latch passenger side broke.

Trunk will not close until three hard slams.

Plastic wheel wells fell off both sides.

Reoccurring braking problems.

The air conditioning doesn't work.

Other numerous things as well.

My engine light stays on.

All problems haven't been fixed yet.

General Comments:

The car handles well on roads with curves.

It's peppy at the green light. But I wouldn't say it's a sports car.

Noisy interior with little wind resistance.

Ugly boring car with no individuality.

More plastic than a water bottling company.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th February, 2011

16th Feb 2011, 14:36

Don't people say Toyotas are reliable and all that jazz? Guess not. My 20 year old Horizon has slightly more mileage, and it has none of those problems, despite Chryslers being unreliable, according to people that consider Japanese cars to run forever.

21st Feb 2011, 18:27

The Corolla was a very reliable car, but that seemed to change in 2000. They seem to be quite spotty since then. My father's 1998 is still going strong. It's been a very good car so far, and very reliable.

2003 Toyota Corolla Sedan CE 1.8L from North America

Summary:

Boring, reliable, stiff ride

Faults:

Replaced left door manual window mechanism under warranty (about 3 months in).

Replaced serpentine belt under warranty (2 years in) was squealing in high humidity weather.

Replaced OEM battery after 5 years (normal).

Replaced front discs and pads at about 80000km (also normal).

Replaced ECU under warranty (TSB2754) (this year 2010), was causing well known (but not every car may exhibit this behavior) idle hunting condition in cold weather (Corolla and Matrix 2003-2004).

General Comments:

This is a car to go from point A to point B. Not a sports car, not a luxury car, just a reliable car.

It's got cabin rattles (especially in cold weather), a stiff suspension combined with uncomfortable seats makes for a bumpy ride. It also has decent power and great fuel mileage, but it's a boring ride.

My motor is surprisingly quiet at highway cruising speeds in fifth gear. It growls a bit to pass a car, but not an unpleasant noise. My father has a 2007 Yaris, and his 1.5L motor is very noisy at any speeds!

So far, it's been a dependable, economical means of transportation. With a very low maintenance cost!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2010