2006 Toyota Corolla D4D, M-MT 1.4 turbo diesel from Greece

Summary:

Perfect!

Faults:

Nothing major so far.

A whirring/clicking servo noise started to develop at summertime (hot outside temperatures up to 40C) behind the dash. I have narrowed it down to a large motor in the center of the dash - everything works correctly so I can't find what's wrong with it. It's just annoying. If anyone knows, please let me know.

Driver's side (left) mirror sometimes does not heat up.

The small shelf door on the dash is very easy to break; be careful.

These Corollas have a recall for the airbag detonators. Contact your dealership!

General Comments:

The car is just great.

Roomy inside, lots of storage and comfortable for rear passengers, with a good sized boot (it could be larger) and not huge outside dimensions. Visibility when parking is not perfect, but it's easy to parallel park (my 02 Polo, despite being smaller, had worse visibility).

The engine is great, solid and die hard. Despite the turbo lag in first gear, it has a sporty attitude and it responds immediately to whatever you want it to do. It even has a Sport mode button (ES - Easy Sport).

The M-MT gearbox is a delight to use. It basically is a 5 speed manual gearbox with a robotic clutch. There is Neutral, Reverse, Easy (same as Drive) and Manual which you change by selecting plus and minus without a clutch. On E, you drive it as an automatic, it even has kickdown (I wrote a more analytic review on the M-MT). But when you switch to manual it drives like a sports car. It also drives sporty in Easy mode if you press the ES button. It's just a delight to drive. Civilized and comfortable, or sporty when you want it. You wouldn't expect a heavy diesel Corolla to act like this.

Takes some time to heat up in winter, and takes forever if only idling. So idle for a few minutes and then drive it slowly and gently until it reaches temperature.

Fuel consumption could be a bit better. I am now doing 5.7km/L mixed, but I've had it doing 5.2km/L on long trip on the open road.

It needs to be taken care of though if you want it to last forever (and its design has the old school approach, where it will last you forever).

Pay attention to the fuel you feed it. It has to be clean or it can clog it up. Add fuel additives from time to time and antibacterial, service it regularly and it will always be happy to serve you.

I'm in love with my Corolla and intend to keep it forever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th December, 2016

2006 Toyota Corolla LE 1.8 1ZZ from North America

Summary:

The kind of car that's a first car for a teen: Hated, then looked back upon as your favorite

Faults:

Transmission failure at 101K soon after moving to the valley from the mountains.

Exhaust leak at downpipe/manifold interface.

Piston slap, and valve noise when cold at about 100K for the piston, and about 50K for valves.

This isn't really a problem, but the suspension is washy, and feels like it has blown dampers at 50K. Makes for some... interesting mountain road experiences!

General Comments:

It handles like a road legal go kart. 75mph in the corners in the mountains!!! Never felt like it was TOO bad as far as handling.

SLOWish!!! In order to keep a steady 75-80 on the freeway, it's almost floored, and kicking down a gear a lot. Then as soon as you slow down for someone in front of you, the fun's over, start in gear 2 until you're at 6000 RPM, then pop it in drive. It accelerates out of the hole pretty well though. 0-maybe 35 is relatively quick.

Loud engine. Buzzy and harsh in hard driving conditions. My 00 Xterra is less harsh, and I'm running a top mount filter no AB, and 248-248 cams in the KA24DE. Kinda fools you into thinking that you're moving REALLY fast. This could be partially because of the exhaust leak. No... it is because of the exhaust leak. I tightened the bolts, bought new gaskets, new manifold, new downpipe, and it keeps COMING BACK!!!

The transmission when new was really smooth. Then it got really jerky, and then one day driving in town going like 35, the engine revved out to 4000 slowly, and the car slowed to a crawl. Made a nice smoke show, smelled like a science experiment, and the tranny was DEAD! Now that it's replaced, we beat the crap out of this car. Smart I know.

Interior is AWESOME!!! If you are normal sized. I'm 6'3". I have the seat pegged back, and resting on the floor pretty much. I like how the seats fold, I literally put a semi disassembled 91 RM125 in the back!!! Now if you're normal, my skis also fit very well, bags galore, and downhill mountain bikes. This car took me to Iowa and back many times.

This car got pretty good mileage too. Not quite 45 MPG at one point in Kansas on a flat country road going 55!!! It's fun to see what kind of mileage you get, so I got a computer. When we drove like a bat outta hell, we got about 15 MPG, which still, for how much we were beating this car, isn't THAT bad!!!

Now some odd things. Starts really good 9-10 times. 1-10, it takes about 20 minutes to start. I don't understand. I seafoamed it, new injectors, fuel pump is running great, new plugs, blah blah blah. And when it decides to start, it jumps to life VERY suddenly and revs to about 3K for a sec. The brakes are ABS, but lock up sometimes. Shifts really weird on slick surfaces like gravel/slush. Give it all you can in drive from a stop and it hesitates, burps, then accelerates. I'm intrigued.

Other than that, and the fact that it's as exciting to look at as a drying picket fence in a suburban neighborhood, it's pretty sweet.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th June, 2012