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Toyota Corolla Electric-Assist Power Steering (EPS)

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Comments

  • gerryagerrya Posts: 9
    Yikes. Didn't mean to crank anyone up with my initial post. Relax, folks!

    To clarify: I find my 09 to be effortless to steer around town, a little vague maybe but not too bad. Definitely less effort than my previous 2 corollas. The issue I have could be described as a floating, wandering, aimless sensation when running at real-world expressway speeds - sorta like my long-ago Ford Torino with bald tires and bad shocks. Problem is I commute an hour each way daily at those speeds so it gets tiresome, and I'm not sure I will be able to live with it for hundreds of thousands of kilometers. I'm not saying I expect superb, crisp, agile handling - if that was the case, I'd have bought an Acura....

    What I'm looking for is, has anyone had success getting this corrected?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I would suggest you read the posts in this topic and also in the other 2009 Corolla discussions to see what members have reported about the steering. I would also strongly recommend a comprehensive test drive so you can judge for yourself how it feels to you. And don't miss the review I linked in the post just above yours; that may also be helpful to you.

    For pricing assistance, try the Corolla Prices Paid and Buying Experience discussion.

    Good luck to you!
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    That reply was not directed to you as far as I can tell.

    Let's ALL relax and just deal with the topic at hand, which does not include each other.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    I'm sorry you misunderstood me. My response was a direct answer to a question posed to me by "the graduate". Please do not try to guess my occupation as I do not, and never did work for Toyota. I just want to express my personal oppinion of how much I DO LIKE the new 2009 Toyota Corolla Electronic Power Steering and the car in general.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    I highly recommend the new 2009 Toyota Corolla. The quietness is comforting, the ride is smooth, the larger design makes it so close to the all time best seller the Camry. The engine is more than adequate, gas mileage is awesome on the highway(40mpg plus), but less then I expected in the city(25mpg). The steering in my opinion is a great innovation and works wonderfully easy and controlling in my XLE. However, I do second the suggestion my the host Pat, that suggests you do a thorough test drive of not only the Corolla but all vehicles you are considering for purchase. I'm certain you will love it as much as I do.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,726
    Interesting that you own the XLE, in light of the Edmunds' review that Pat posted. It appears that the steering on the XLE is tuned differently than on lesser Corolla trims. Perhaps that accounts for your positive experience with the Corolla's EPS while others have complaints?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    Just to clarify, Edmunds is taking about an XRS (doesn't have EPS). Terceltom has an XLE with EPS.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    You know with all of the negatives I have read about the EPS I often thought exactly that, why are all of these people having these problems and I'm not ? The thought has often crossed my mined that my car might be tuned differently then some of the other trim lines. The article does refer to the XRS but who knows perhaps mine is also different. During test drives I only test drove XLE's so that wouldn't help me identify the problem lines.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,726
    Oh right, got my letters mixed up. Thanks.
  • bubarubbubarub Posts: 1
    I might be repeating whats been said by some on here, but I was like some of the people who think the EPS is faulty. I previously drove a '01 chevy silverado lifted 6" 4x4 and the ride was really crappy on highways a.k.a the problem known as "bed bounce." Anyways, i bought a '09 corolla about a month ago and first ride on highway during test drive was a dream. A couple days past and i took it on a different freeway in my town and thats when i discovered this scary phenomenon with the steering. This freeway is much older and has grooves from semi's, cars, etc and the wheel base of the corolla is exactly the width of the ruts in the road. Its comparable to dirt bike ruts, or snowboarding ruts, etc. It really sucks and I thought my car was messed up like some people on here. To those having problems just take it on a different freeway and you'll see its just certain stretches of highway that are crappy and cause this weird problem.

    I agree that it can be fatiguing keeping the corolla on the road during extended drives the steering has no "dead zone" like hydraulic, (i have no idea im just guessing lol.) if its really that tiring you should try driving a lifted truck with 35's.... just change ur hand position on the wheel often on extended trips and it will help a lot.

    I think toyota should look at implementing a little leeway in the straight position( maybe the electric motor has a arresting device/less sensitive when in straight driving position give or take 2-3 degrees or so from middle position above 60 mph or highway speeds?!) Im just worried ill get pulled over for swerving and a cop thinkin im drunk or something. It isnt faulty imo it is just a real hassle, this car is perfect other than this little hiccup. It's almost better to just rest ur hands on the steering wheel, for example, (in my experience, like resting arms on lap and just holding on with index finger and thumb) and just fix your position in the lane rather than steer it like normal, if that makes any sense lol.

    I would be willing to pay like maximum 100-200 bucks if they could come up with a good fix for it. but free would be awesome too!
    if anyone has a link to a statement from toyota about this subhect or anything link it for me plz. Also has anyone peeled out in some water or whatever and controlled this thing? LOL the steering gets so stiff like old cars w/o power steering. im scared to fully fish tail this [non-permissible content removed] full throttle cuz i dunna if this AI alien steering will let me control my car lol. dont flame me if yall think there no problem plz.

    Eric
  • mnfmnf Posts: 404
    Interesting two weeks ago two co workers flew across state for a local sporting event. They came over early so they could spend a three days and see the sites. When I met them at the hotel the first night they had toyota Corolla LE rental car. We joked that we both were driving the same car just different color. When the were done with the trip i asked them what they thought of the car and how it handled.

    There response ( they both drove it) was great fun to drive and after three days of going all over the gas gauge was slow to move. I then asked if they noticed anything differant about the steering the one said it felt tight but no complaints that nothing jumped out. He asked why so i explained on what some have noticed he said he didn't notice any thing that would make him take notice. He owns a 2007 Subaru WRX STI and scares me when i ride with him and she owns a 2007 Honda Accord. This not to discredit other posts but to show that everyone has a differant experience when driving the Corolla.

    MNF
  • denvecsrdenvecsr Posts: 40
    Corolla LE, 15,000 miles. Own it 13 months. Second round trip from NY to Southwest Florida. 1350 miles split 2 days. Car is all over the road. Too sensitive. Very tedious to hold car straight. I hope Toyota comes up with some sought of fix. Otherwise I'll be looking for something else. I bought Corolla specially for my long trips. Comfort and gas mileage sold me. It's a shame because I like the car. My daughter still owns my 94' Camry. Maybe Camry has a different EPS system.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    When did the Camry start using EPS?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    The 07-09 Camry has hydraulic - I think the 2010 has EPS.
  • brulebrule Posts: 22
    The Camry 2009 has EPS. :lemon:
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    For 2009, the 4 cylinder does not have EPS, maybe the V6 does?
  • gerryagerrya Posts: 9
    Sounds exactly like my experience. City driving no problem. 110 km/h and above the car wanders and I find myself correcting left/right/left constantly, like as if every day is a windy day. 2 dealers told me that I'm the first person ever to have any complaint about it. I'm going to have my dealer check alignment and road test it. Can't think of anything else to do.

    On the brighter side.... Yesterday, 120 km highway run at 115 km/hr, nice warm 25 Celsius day, the dash readout says I averaged 5.5 l/100 km = 51 mpg Canadian = 43 mpg US!! Bought the car in January, was quite disappointed at mileage in the winter months. It would appear that this car likes to run hot and not too far above the speed limit.
  • coffeemlkcoffeemlk Posts: 20
    Any feedback on the 2010 Corolla EPS? Is it any better?
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    Haven't drove a 2010 yet but they gonna have a long way to go to beat the steering on the 2009 ! The ease of this steering is just so relaxing to drive. Hope they didn't change it for the worse.
  • mnfmnf Posts: 404
    I agree i am on vacation just drove from Spokane to Seattle to Portland and now the oregon coast. Driving from 45mph to 75-80 with no issues what so ever.

    MNF
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    2010...

    Considering there was never any feedback (or any feel at all) on the steering in the 2009 Corolla, lets sure hope so. :shades: My granddad's 10 year old Frontier offers more steering feel and precision than this gen Corolla.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    In most reviews, the steering system in the Corolla does not get a good rating. For example:

    Consumer Guide Auto:

    "...Corolla has electric power steering assist that's designed to save fuel. The system has slightly different calibrations depending on model, and it feels unnatural in all of them. XRS has sporting pretensions, but it isn't likely to excite enthusiast drivers. It has decent grip in turns and is reasonably quick to respond to steering inputs. Among versions tested, steering feel is poorest in the S, where gentle turns of the wheel can result in exaggerated motions..."

    Edmunds review:

    "...Handling is uninspiring, however. Body roll is decently controlled, but the electric steering on non-XRS models provides so little feedback, you may find yourself making corrections simply to keep the car traveling in a straight line..."

    The truth about cars:

    "...Even in those first five meters, the Corolla’s new electrically-assisted steering made a powerful impression. Mother will love its over-boosted lightness in the Costco parking lot, but not me. It’s a necessary trade-off to keep the EPA numbers up (what with that extra body weight), but its synthetic feel and unpredictable weighting are a let down from the predecessor’s perfectly adequate hydraulic tiller..."

    Motor Trend (comparison):

    "...The Corolla's like an xB sedan, yet it's not as fun to drive," says Loh, inserting, "This thing needs thicker anti-roll bars and more damping." As it is, the XRS rides rather rough, exhibits prevalent body roll, and houses a zealous electronic nanny. "The stability control's warning bells ring as if you've just broken into Fort Knox. Why?" queries St. Antoine. Not helping is the new electric power steering, which, according to Vance, "Doesn't find dead-center, is slow to react to input, and feels as organic as Sweet'N Low." Add in a transmission that incessantly hunts for gears and shifts as it sees fit when in manual mode, and the Corolla comes across half-baked..."

    There are many more, just search anywhere and you'll find more that enough. It's even worse than other Toyota's, like the Camry. Even though the Camry also have numb steering, it's much better designed that the electric one in Corolla.
  • denvecsrdenvecsr Posts: 40
    NHTSA ODI - Complaints

    So many there. If you haven't put up a complaint please do so. Maybe the government will have Toyota correct our problems.
  • mnfmnf Posts: 404
    They have there hands full right now bailing out American Car company and making sure we all have government required health insurance. Give them time they will get to it.

    MNF
  • mnfmnf Posts: 404
    You forgot CR Review.....

    Toyota Corolla
    RECOMMENDED

    Road Test At 32 mpg overall, the redesigned Toyota Corolla's fuel economy is among the best we've recently measured in any car with an automatic transmission that isn't a hybrid or a diesel. The manual transmission model gets the same fuel economy as the automatic. The pleasant and refined Corolla provides a comfortable ride, an improved driving position, and a roomier rear seat, compared with the previous model. But the interior fit and finish isn't quite as good. Aided by electronic stability control, handling is responsive and secure if not sporty.
    THE DRIVING EXPERIENCE
    The Corolla is one of the best riding small cars, and it soaks up bumps well. Its cabin is quiet, except for relatively mild road and wind noise, and a smooth engine hum. Handling is sound, but not particularly agile. The steering is a bit light and rather vague on center. Body lean is not excessive, but the car isn't engaging to drive. The Corolla was secure at its handling limits thanks to its optional ESC, but it posted just a modest speed in our avoidance maneuver. Beginning with the 2010 models, ESC will be standard across the line. Its 132-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine accelerates reasonably and gets an excellent 32 mpg overall. The four-speed automatic transmission is smooth and responsive, but its gated shifter can be awkward. Acceleration is faster with the manual than in the automatic, but the driving experience is no more engaging and the shifter has little feedback and long throws. Braking performance was very good, and produced fairly short stops in wet or dry conditions. The headlight's low beams provide very good distance and intensity ahead and to the sides.

    MNF
  • Hi, everyone. I'm seriously considering purchasing a 2010 Corolla S (automatic), but some of the comments here and on other forums are downright scary w.r.t. the new power steering.

    Living in an urban area, I think it might be difficult to test drive this thing at highway speed (if it is, I'm going to have to pass it up as I'm not taking a chance on a $20K-purchase). But before I do, I wanted to know whether anyone has figured out why there's such a wide variety of opinions on this issue?

    Is this wandering problem in EVERY car and that some are just adapting to it faster than others? Is it randomly in some cars and not others? Maybe only in certain trims? I'd like to know.

    In either case, before this, I really wanted to get a new Corolla (metallic blue, please) despite the other criticisms it universally gets - it isn't "fun" to drive, it's slow, the interior is nothing to write home about, etc. I'm used to that stuff -- I've driven my family's '83, '88, '98, and '01 models and they are/were fine for me - reliable, affordable, great on gas, OK for shorter people. And driving in my area is a chore, so I actually like being detached from the experience. Constantly having to correct a wandering vehicle to stay in your lane requires way too much involvement than what a typical Corolla buyer like me should have to put up with. I'm afraid that this steering problem would be a deal-breaker, and that would be a shame. Yet, they're selling like hotcakes, so is this problem car-specific or only noticeable to sensitive enthusiasts (which I'm anything but)? What gives?
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    I've been defending the new EPS on this site for months. I have a 2009 and just love the new steering. My XLE does not wonder one bit. This is my third Corolla and my fifth Toyota, I wouldn't buy anything else. It's a shame your thinking about passing up on this great little car just because some others just can't adjust to the newer steering. I highly suggest you take this car out on the open highway, or where ever you can, and see for yourself how much of a pleasure this car is to drive. I do have one suggestion on a totally different subject. If you can, compare the difference in the upgraded JBL stereo sound system vs. the standard stereo sound system. The 400 watts of JBL power and speakers with bluetooth and satellite radio just blows away the standard stereo for sound.
  • See, that's the thing, Tom, I read all the back-and-forth on this issue around the forums. What I'm trying to figure out is whether there's any rhyme or reason why people feel so differently - and whether it's just a difference of perception or whether there is really an underlying problem.

    In my reading, it seems other cars are also changing over to EPS w/o such controversy. So although you've been the most positive about it, there have been others that have called it dangerous and were willing to take a depreciation hit by trading back a new car. I know they're in the minority, but still...

    I'm trying to get a sense of whether there's at least some pattern to why certain cars have delivered worse experience than others...if it varies car-to-car or person-to-person. And frankly, I'm not so sure I want to get used to driving so differently. The point of having a Corolla is to NOT have to worry about these things. And, I hate to admit it, but I tend to drive with one hand or just lightly holding the wheel with both at 4:00 and 8:00 -- unless I'm passing a truck around a curve at 60+ mph. Having to switch to holding it tightly like a driver's ed student for long trips just to stay in a straight line is not something I'd enjoy -- and something I don't have to do on my fiancee's Civic which was just a little extra.

    Since my preference is to indeed stay w/ the Corolla, despite competition catching up to it, I may go out of my way to do a test drive, since there's not many open roads around here.

    But if the consensus is that this EPS varies from car to car, this out-of-the-way place must have the blue S that I'd actually take home.
  • dantzdantz Posts: 49
    I previously test-drove several different 2009 Corollas and I found the same problem in all of them. "Tendency to lane-wander at highway speeds unless closely watched" pretty well describes it. I found it to be unacceptable, although many others have stated that they don't notice it or it doesn't bother them.

    I recently drove a 2009 Yaris (which also has EPS) and didn't experience the problem at all. Note that several other Toyota models also have EPS and we aren't hearing much in the way of steering complaints from the owners of those cars. My guess is that this issue is specific to the 2009 Corolla's steering geometry, and I'm still waiting to find out whether or not it has been carried over to the 2010 model year, as I'm a potential buyer.

    So far I've seen Post #18 by steven39 in the 2010 Toyota Corolla forum (link) which seems to imply that the issue still exists, but I don't consider a single post to provide sufficient evidence. Also see this thread on the ToyotaNation forums titled "2009 Vs. 2010 Eps":

    I recommend maintaining a healthy skepticism of anything that you read on the boards, as some posters undoubtedly have private agendas. Plus, you might be one of those people who quickly adapts to the "different" steering feel and thus you might not consider it to be a problem. I strongly recommend doing a test drive at highway speeds and finding out for yourself. Please post back here and let us know your results.

    PS: If possible make sure the tire pressures are set properly before your test drive, as this will affect the handling.
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