2011 Toyota Corolla LE 1.8L from North America

Summary:

A good car that makes me nervous

General Comments:

I rent cars all the time, and Corolla is the one that I get most frequently. It is just such a bland car that I never thought I should write a review for it. But there may be a thing or two I noticed, that others may benefit from...

The Corolla has some decent features: it works, it was always reliable for me, and overall it is a good appliance. Its acceleration is non-existent, its engine is whiny as soon as the gas pedal is pressed, and it is as boring as hell. But it does its job, and has plenty of space, even in the trunk, for such a small car. All controls are where they should be, and I never had to reach for the user manual to figure something out. Cabin comfort is superb, except for some noise from the engine, and terrible noise with the windows down; this car was not tested with any of the windows open. I could also swear that I used to get better mileage with previous Corolla models than with the latest one... but that's not the key issue here.

The thing that bothers me the most with Corolla, and from others, I can see that it is applicable to (almost?) all N. American Toyotas, is its engine chip and/or mapping software. Basically, the software seems to simulate a disengaged clutch when just cruising without one's foot on the pedal. If one drives on the highway at 65mph or so, and then takes the foot off the gas pedal, the car will continue to SIMULATE to coast. Now, the most important part: that simulation is far from perfect, and under certain conditions, the car will actually keep the original speed AS IF THE CRUISE CONTROL WAS ON, when it is clearly NOT. I demonstrated this to my wife many times, and she was a little freaked out by it. You drive, say 80mph, and you notice you are speeding, so you move your foot off the gas pedal, and the car continues to do 80mph for miles, with nothing to hold the pedal down. Then it may start to decelerate slowly, but very slowly.

This tells me that Toyota has an issue with their chip programming, and it is also quite possible that the chip programming is what contributed to the "stuck gas pedal" problem of few years ago. To be honest, after reading about some other people's experiences who also claim that Toyota's can behave sometimes as if the cruise control was engaged, I find that problem disturbing enough that I would NEVER buy a Toyota until I see that they have truly figured it out. As it stands right now, they haven't. Either they don't truly care, or don't even know they have a problem of that kind. Once I figured out that the engine software has "held" the accelerator on its own, even with the driver's foot off the pedal completely, it did not take me too long to assume that the same software is quite possibly the true cause of all those "stuck gas pedal" accidents with Toyotas. I even know of someone who saw his Camry go into high revs, all the way in the red, when the car was parked and idling, and no one was in it. Again - the engine software gone berserk.

When I drive a Corolla, I am always aware that if anything seems even a little strange to me, I am going for "N", which is "NEUTRAL" on the A/T, and I am also ready to shut the engine off, in the worst case.

Since I have been driving for decades, and am a bit of a car enthusiast, and have gone through more than my fair share of road emergencies of similar kind, I can (sort of) live with that for a few days or weeks at the time when I rent a Toyota, but I would not want my family to drive it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th May, 2012

29th May 2012, 23:56

Pretty much all cars made nowadays have "throttle-by-wire" instead of a linkage.

30th May 2012, 18:17

Buying a car from a car maker that has the dubious distinction of recalling the most cars in history is definitely risky. Be glad you are one of those who reads and keeps up with such things.

Most car buyers are totally clueless, and buy solely on ad hype or internet myths. I will never buy a Toyota.

2011 Toyota Corolla LE from North America

Summary:

The worst car I have ever driven!

Faults:

It just died on the road on the 6th day!

General Comments:

I am not sure if I'm eligible for a review, as I did not own this car. I was on 2-week job trip, and the Corolla was rented from Hertz by my employer.

From the 1st minute I picked the car, I was trying to set the seat in a comfortable position! Also, I had lots of trouble with control of the car at any speed more than a walking man. I am not biased to any brand, and for sure am not comparing a Corolla with my S60, which is in another class. This car was like a huge truck - with broken wooden stools installed for seats - running on 4 flat tires all the time!

Finally on a Saturday noon, the car just died on the road and I had to call Hertz when I could not start it again; they said a driver would bring me another car, and I just begged them "anything but a Corolla please". I got a Mazda 3, which was really a nice car instead.

On the last day I asked the lady at the counter about the problem with that Corolla; she was not sure, but she mentioned it was the first time she had heard of a Corolla dying on the road. She however added many of the renters complain about the handling of new Corollas.

My take is that if you are not a Toyota fan, there are lots of better choices out there. Personally I am thinking about the Mazda, or an Elantra for my wife this summer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th March, 2012

8th Mar 2012, 08:45

You can put a review of a rented car on here. I have done that.

8th Mar 2012, 12:04

The over-rated Corolla has been panned (and rated dead last) by every car magazine doing a comparison test of small cars. These cars sell only due to millions in ad hype and a clueless buying public. The highest ratings by Car and Driver and Motor Trend go to the Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Focus. My friends who own late model Corollas are not happy with them, and won't be buying another one.

8th Mar 2012, 14:45

Maybe I got a good one! '09 LE, bought new in '08, traded at 128K = not a problem, lots of passengers who commented on its comfort, etc. Nothing of the sort noted here. Traded for more of the same... and I'm NOT into S&M!

9th Mar 2012, 09:06

... and here we go again with the exact same "overated" comments...

10th Mar 2012, 11:16

My family has owned Toyotas. To say they are in any way better than a domestic would be an exaggeration. Although the Toyotas were good cars, they certainly were no better than any of our domestics.

2011 Toyota Corolla 1.8 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

Don't buy one

Faults:

Speed sensitive stereo broken.

Around the 40km/h mark, the stereo will go very loud and then reduce the level for no apparent reason. If you adjust the stereo to a decent volume as you go faster, it gets louder, to the point where it is painful, you then adjust the volume to a normal level, and then if you happen to slow down or stop, it resets itself to a very low level, and you have to turn it up to continue to hear, so when you take off, you are deafened again.

General Comments:

Transmission is awful. If you put your foot down, there is a marked pause before the engine revs, and then after a few seconds, the gearbox will drop a gear and you will accelerate all the time with the engine revving very high.

Seating position is bad, not enough adjustments on the seat to get comfortable.

Leg room for your left leg is woeful.

Cabin - plastic death - so much plastic, and a cheap, cheap feel to everything.

Uses a lot of fuel for what should be quite an economical car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th September, 2011

27th Sep 2011, 12:32

I think Toyota quality has slipped from what it used to be. I have a 2005 Corolla that I am very unhappy with. Only 90K miles, and the automatic transmission is going out. This is UNACCEPTABLE. Maybe I got a bad one, but I am soured on Toyota at this point.