2003 Toyota Corolla CE 1.8 from North America


Boring but extremely reliable


- Starter.

- A/C relay.

- Plugs and wires at 80 thousand - could have went longer, but I was just bored and looking for something to do one day.

General Comments:

I bought the car (with 18,000 miles and 2 year old) for my daughter to go to college. Became my wife's car for a few years, and now my youngest daughter will take it to college in the fall of 2015. One day it will finally filter down to me. I'm using it as a test case to see just how many miles a properly maintained Corolla will run. I've used only synthetic oil, and have done the majority of the maintenance myself.

There is nothing spectacular about this car, other than it always starts and gets from point A to point B with little maintenance, and gets superb MPG doing so. It's not fast, showy or sexy, but it just keeps going. I'm a little surprised by the rust in front of the fender wells (we live in eastern Tennessee), but it has always been kept outside, uncovered since 2005. Nothing a little body work won't fix.

We've driven it to the Outer Banks numerous times and consistently delivered MPG in the high 30s at 70+ mph. Mostly driven around town, and I haven't checked it, but I imagine high 20s to low 30s MPG.

I've owned dozens of cars in my 54 years, and I can say without a doubt this has been the most reliable, trouble free car I have ever owned (to date). Boring yes, but very dependable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th March, 2015

2003 Toyota Corolla LE 1.8 from Mexico


Very boring car, with correct reliability and good suspension


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.


- 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.


- 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


A car you buy with your head, not your heart


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