I've now done 65,000km in this car in just 18 months!! It's been faultless. Servicing is really cheap - about 100euros each time. My only complaint is that it's a little boring. It's very quick (for a 1.4) and very comfortable. I intend to change it within the next 6 months before the miles pile too high, but if you want a saloon in this price range and can sacrifice a little driver involvement - buy one. A friend just bought a Focus and it is terrible - noises and very uncomfortable. You can feel a huge quality difference. I was thinking of getting the Auris, but it looks so much like the corolla... I just bought a new RAV4 which is amazing, but the work-horse will be a Saab 9-3. Sorry Toyota! The Auris just doesn't do it for me.
We just hit 75,000km in it and the gearbox disintegrated! The car started making terrible noises then the front wheels locked!! It was towed away and we now have to wait a week as it's a holiday here. Needless to say, we will sell it and buy something else. It still has 3 years' warranty left so we're happy we're not paying for such a catastrophic mechanical failure.
***UPDATE*** we got the car back after 36 days which we thought was unacceptable - no loan car.
A new gearbox was fitted at a cost of 2,600euros! We didn't pay, it was under warranty. Speaking to another mechanic recently whom said it's fairly certain it was the fault of the Toyota garage that did the service. One month before, it had its first major service; all the oils. They must have emptied the gearbox (they never bother to let it drain completely) and forgot to refill it! Toyota said it was probably my driving; I disagree and won't be buying Toyota again. The service wasn't good. I have problems with my new RAV4 also. The front brake discs were bad from the start. They told me they had fitted new ones, but it was a lie. The mechanic told me I was lying (he had said they were reconditioned discs) which was not true. I never would have accepted reconditioned discs on a brand new 30-grand car. Toyota have agreed to change them again, but I'm really not happy; they should have admitted the fault in the first place and gotten it done.
NO MORE TOYOTA FOR ME. I was going to buy a Yaris as a replacement for the Corolla, but tomorrow I pick up the new FIAT 500. I'll expect bad build, but style fun and a Hell of a lot cheaper. The Corolla has now gone.
I just read your RAV4 review as well. That seems to be very telling -- you had such high initial hopes for both of your Toyotas, and they have gone 0-2 for reliability. For two different Toyota models to die such early deaths seems to be indicative of plunging quality.
For sure quality isn't as good as we like to believe. We sold the Corolla and are very happy with the Rav4 despite not getting the brakes done yet.. We intend keeping it until finances dictate we have to sell instead of paying tax to Mr. Prodi. I guess no car is perfect it may be better to not believe the hype and expect a few problems. We could have paid nearly twice as much for a Merc and had more problems. Nothing new has come up so all good at the moment. We've done 25,000km and on the motorways it cruises beautifully, even at 200km/h. In the snow it was great.
I just replaced the Corolla with the new Fiat 500 and we love it! It's faster than the Toyota, cheaper to run and looks wonderful.