2003 Toyota Corolla Sport 1.8 from Belgium

Summary:

Fast, comfortable and discrete

Faults:

Nothing, so far. My car still has to get the new valve lift rocker screws, but the old ones still work perfectly. The new ones I will have installed at 20 000 km (Sept 2009). I don't use them a lot.

I bought a showroom model, that hadn't been sold when the new model came. So it had been standing still for quite some time. It only had driven from one showroom to another and back.

I have recently moved to Poland, and I only use 2nd and 3rd categories roads, so quite slowly (till 100 kph). I drive it like a normal car, not a sports car. Except next Summer, I will be driving to Belgium, through Germany, and then it will come handy, of course.

But a benzine engine (gas) is the most optimal at 73 percent of its max, so 165 kph will be perfect.

Revs : they talk about it being lazy under 3000, no it's quite fast enough, but between 3200 and 4000 it makes quite some noise (and not so nice), above 4000 it is beautiful. But, driving over a 1000 km in sixth gear at 140-150 kph is noisy (nice noise, but for 10 hours?), so the good sound system is welcome. I have standard package, no spoilers or anything (don't want), and I took off the 'Sport' badge, it is not even attached, you just 'glide' it off the front, nice.

It drinks officially 8.3 liter per 100 km, but I in daily use get it at 7.3 liter per 100 kms. Through Germany with air con on, I will take a 9.9 - 10.3 liter in account.

General Comments:

But there is a thing you have to take in account when you buy this car. Tests complain about the middle armrest. Don't believe them, it is a bless. The high seat, I find practical, but it lacks a little feeling with the road.

The progressive electrical power steering is perfect, but a little vague above 180 kph.

I don't exceed 2600 rev, till the temp meter is in the middle, and in pulling hard, 1st gear can do 64 kph, I don't exceed 40 kph, in test underneath. Pulling in first till maximum is not so healthy for any engine.

Officially it pulls 0-100 kph 8,4. But tests show 7.5 to 7.7, so it pulls a lot faster (and I measured mine till 105kph speedometer at 7.9 seconds in second gear (1st gear, see above), my wife had the stopwatch). Top speed : 225 kph officially, you might get 228 or 229. (240 on speedometer). To do that (a friend did it with his and me in it, I not yet), you have to go in fifth gear till 200, 210 or 220, otherwise you don't get there in 6th. The reason it is stated to get at a hundred in 8.4 seconds has to do with Japanese insurances. Japan electronically limits (through satellite signal) to 112 mph. So competition came in 0-100 instead of topspeed. Insurances were higher when acceleration was faster than 8.2 sec from 0-62 mph, so they 'published' it lower. If you combine weight, power and torque you would see this 8.4 sec is not correct.

I have got 3 door hatch, 5 door is more practical but not so nice. The car in general looks a little like a giant shoe (previous model was nicer)

Interior and built quality is almost Volkswagen.

Leather is quite good quality, but thin. No problems yet, but will be problems later on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th May, 2009

2003 Toyota Corolla CE 1.8L from North America

Summary:

If you want a reliable, cheap to operate, car this is a goodun

Faults:

There's a high pitched squeal coming from the dash at high speeds every now and then.

Hubcaps cracked all around.

Brakes needed replacing (still had original pads)

General Comments:

Car has a surprising amount of pep for its size.

I'm 6ft. tall and it is surprisingly comfortable.

Good gas mileage.

Trunk is big for a small car.

Definitely wish I had power locks/windows.

AC unit gets damn cold.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th August, 2008