2004 Toyota Corolla LE from North America


Reliable, zippy little car


At my request, I had the Catalytic Converter replaced by the dealership within the first year of ownership due to a rotten eggs smell from the exhaust.

Not really a problem, but noticed that the engine squeaks when it's wet out. To be fair, I think it might be a belt getting wet or something. I took it to a reputable mechanic and they said that the belt is still looking new and I'm probably right. Just a wet belt.

General Comments:

Seems that sometimes the fresh air vents will catch the exhaust fumes from my car and blow them in. Every time it does, it smells like someone passed gas. I swear it. I'm quite sure my car was a guy in the past life. Anyways...

I'm 5'10" and the Corolla feels cramped to me. Just a matter of opinion, but I felt the car was made for shorter legged people.

You can position the drivers chair higher by turning a knob. Which I might add is very nice.

The seats felt OK. Nothing more.

The interior is nicely laid out and no pieces fell off which sometimes happens from wear and tear.

The rear passengers never complained about leg room. Seemed to be plenty given the size of the car.

The trunk space is pretty big.

All the doors give a solid thunk when shut.

No leaks or whistling.

The car has automatic daytime running lights of course. But what some may not realize is that when nighttime approaches, the daytime running lights click off, and the nighttime headlights turn on automatically. This is due to a sensor on top of the dash to the left.

This can be good and bad. I'll give some pointers.

- The good:

* Never having to worry about turning your headlights on or worry if you turned them off at night when turning off your car.

- The bad:

* Ever seen dash lights go nuts when it can't decide if it's dark or light enough to have them on or off? Try the highway and driving through shaded area's at dusk. Yikes... I should add though, that they aren't clicking on and off continuously. But more like ever couple of minutes. But your reminded of this when they go "Click!".

Not sure if it's an option or not, but this car doesn't have the option of a trunk release on the keyless remote. What's up with that? Hellooo... This is 2007. Shouldn't almost all vehicles have this option 3 years ago? I lost count how many times I needed the trunk release feature. Personally, I think Toyota said, "Hmmm...nighttime headlight sensor or keyless remote trunk release...". Need I say more.

The best way to describe the engine for this vehicle is...zippy. Weren't not talking about blow me away power. But it does have pretty good pickup for 130 horsepower. Even with 4 adults in the car, pickup was pretty good. It didn't feel sluggish at all.

The engine is pretty smooth in city and highway driving I noticed.

I should add, that being a 4 gear automatic, it kicks into 4th gear a little too much sometimes. Probably to save gas I realize. I notice that sometimes I'm turning the overdrive off (small button located on the shifter) just because it feels like the engine shouldn't be kicking into 4th gear yet.

Also, if I'm going around 45mph (by this time, it's in 4th gear) and needing to pass someone, I turn off the overdrive to pick up some rpm's and pass with ease. I can hit 65-70mph in 3rd gear. I turn overdrive back on and I'm good to go. And this my friends is the zip I was talking about that the car had.

There is plenty of space in the glove compartment. It's not cooled. sorry...

The stock tires from the manufacturer feel generally...crappy. Driving on wet roads with these, I feel more cautious and not real secure. Snow driving?...Just drive slow. grandma slow. Period.

As an observation, I have noticed older people driving these vehicles. Like in the 30-60 yr old range. There's nothing wrong with it of course. But when I compare the kinds of people driving a Honda Civic compared to a Toyota Corolla, it seems the Civic has a larger following of all ages. Maybe the Corolla has to much of a conservative look, and needs to redesign their style like Honda did with the Civic.

The styling of the car seems to be a little bland for my taste. There's nothing about the car that stands out from the rest of the crowd. In this car, you ARE part of the crowd.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th March, 2007

2004 Toyota Corolla S 1.8L 4 cylinder from North America


Good overall, probably a 300,000+ mile car


The Toyota service department in my experience is less than knowledgeable.

The "check engine" light kept coming on shortly after I purchased the vehicle used. Since it was still under factory warranty, the Nissan dealership I bought the car from referred me to the Toyota dealer for service.

I brought the car it three times, each time the service manager told me the gas cap must be too loose, and the code will clear itself.

When the vehicle started idling poorly, I purchased a code reader and decoded the car myself, and found that it had some vacuum lines crossed and a vent line that ran to the gas tank was unplugged. Also I found that the warning light will not clear itself, it has to be manually cleared with the code reader.

I am extremely unimpressed with Toyota mechanics, I suppose I will just repair the car personally and disregard the warranty in the future. I do not have the patience to drop my car off repeatedly for the same problem, especially with no loaner car offered.

General Comments:

Very zippy little car, fun to drive to work alone in. For more than one occupant it is slightly claustrophobic.

I am 6' tall and the seats don't slide back far enough, and when I buckle my three kids into their car seats, the rear doors have to be forced shut.

Pretty fast, goes 65 miles per hour in second gear, 110+ in fourth. It's has a five speed transmission, but unfortunately the speedometer stops at 110.

Good looking car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th February, 2007

15th Feb 2007, 02:26

I hope you aren't driving that fast and furious with those three kids in the car.. speaking of which I think you might want to check out the mini-vans sounds like your sub-compact days are over-