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Toyota Corolla

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  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Wow, Coolguy! Congratulations!

    johnclineii who well remembers the exhilaration and freedom of a license (but then it took him over a dozen times to pass--don't even ask! :)
  • I'm looking to buy a 2003 Corolla S, but I'm not sure if I should consider the manual. Has anyone driven or purchased a manual? I was specifically wondering: Is the clutch annoying heavy or tiring on the foot/leg, is the pedal farther up than one would like (it is not adjustable according to Toyota), is the stick throw long or short, is it a smooth shifter, etc.? According to the dealer I am using, finding a manual S with side air bags and 4 wheel ABS is extremely unlikely. I was told it'd be about 4 months! So I may just opt for the automatic. Any thoughts?
  • torchgrltorchgrl Posts: 1
    I just got my Impulse Red '03 S with manual transmission on Saturday, and I did have to wait a couple of months, but I think some of that was due to my having some specific opinions as to color. I've always driven stick-shifts, and just couldn't bring myself to get an automatic this time around, so had no problem waiting. I'm really enjoying it so far--no issues with the clutch being difficult, and I haven't noticed anything annoying about the shifting action. I don't think it's quite as smooth as the Civic I test-drove awhile back, but it's certainly better than that of the '88 Corolla FX I've been driving for the last 14 years ;) Don't know how helpful that is, but thought I'd put in my $.02 just in case. I think the side airbags and ABS would be your main issue, at least here in CA--the impression I got was not to bother asking.

    Having driven it around for a few days now, I can see where taller people might have problems with the seating position; fortunately,I'm 5' 2", so it's perfect for me. The only possible problem I've encountered is occasional dash creaking-- I'm assuming this is the infamous "dash rattle" mentioned elsewhere, though I don't hear it all the time, so haven't decided if it's actually a problem or not. Other than that, once I've learned to properly park the thing (it's quite a bit larger than the FX!), I will be able to move from very, very happy to absolutely thrilled to own this car :)
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...on the observations in the post above. The manual is a good choice, but be aware that your chances of finding one with a full safety package are somewhere between slim and none.

    Also, the gearing on the manual is a bit tighter in final gear, so your highway engine speed will be a little bit higher with the manual - not a big issue for most people, but still true.

    For us, the automatic was the only choice because my spouse will only drive an auto - but there is nothing wrong with either the linkage, general clutch feel, or anything else about this car's manual. My first test drive was in a manual S, because that's all the dealer had in February, and it was this car that sold me, notwithstanding that we bought an automatic LE.
  • 914914 Posts: 15
    My 2003 manual transmission Corolla S is a month old with about 1700 miles. My previous car was a 1992 Honda Civic (Also manual trans) with 156000 miles on the original clutch. To answer your questions, the clutch on the Corolla is slightly heavier that that on my old Civic. However, it is very manageable, and only half as heavy as that on my 1981 Jetta. The clutch pedal is certainly not to high - I find it actually too low, and sometimes find I am mashing my toes in the lever above the pedal. I just need to get used to the pedal position. The throw of the shifter is a little long, but I don't think it is worth installing a short shift kit (If there is one yet available). The feel is smooth, although a little "Notchy" when ending the throw at each gear. . Overall, I am very happy with the car, and am glad I made it's purchase.
  • I've had my 2003 Corolla for a little over
    a month, and all my cars have been stick
    for about 20 yrs. I like the way this
    car shifts..the clutch isn't too high..
    seems just right to me. In my last
    car..I got a little anxious when downshifting
    from 5th to 4th gear..thinking it might go
    into reverse. In the Corolla it's easy to
    find 4th.
  • daveghhdaveghh Posts: 495
    I am thinking about getting the 1994 Corrolla and it seems to run really good except for two things....

    1) Gas pedal is sticky when accelerating from 0 mph.
    2) One of the rotors might be slightly bent because their is a very slight pulsing when braking. Brakes feel strong though.

    How much below Kelly blue book do you think I should go? Are ether of these common problems for the 1994?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Well, wobbly rotors are a common potential problem with any car with some miles on it - when you have them turned or replaced, be sure the wheel bolts are torqued to spec by a good torque wrench [NOT an air gun]. Uneven or overtightening is a common reason for warped rotors. Probable cost:$250-450, depending on who does the work and whether or not the old rotors can be turned.

    The sticky accel pedal is probably nothing more than the linkage needing a bit of lube. Cost $0-$25, again depending on who does the work.

    These are common problems with any 8 year old car - nothing specific to the '94 Corolla, which is always a good choice if there are documented maintenance records, and/or a warranty you can count on for at least a year.
  • shamgottishamgotti Posts: 10
    I recently bought a 2003 corolla le, and i just love my car. Recently I have noticed a loud clicking noise when shifting from park to reverse. The noise is also heard sometimes during low speed acceleration,i.e. 10-25mph. Does anyone else have this problem ? Thanks for any help.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Nope. All Hondas click when moving out of park, and if that were all you were hearing, I wouldn't worry, even though we have heard nothing comparable on our '03 Corolla. However, noises on acceleration should always be investigated...off to the dealer with you...
  • yiceteayicetea Posts: 2
    I got similar problem, plus rattles from dashboard (see message 1852). I went to dealer several times. First time, they heard the noise and ask me to come back because they thought I need a loaner car. So I went back, then they couldn't hear the noise! But the noise really bothers me, so I went back again a few days later, and took the test drive with their technician. Fortunately, he heard the noise again and said it would long long time to find out why. They put me on loaner car waiting list. Three weeks passed, I heard nothing from them yet!

    I am thinking go to another dealer when I need to change oil next time.
  • mtyfmtyf Posts: 19
    I apologize if this topic has been covered at an earlier time, I just didn't want to go through all 1943 messages!

    I am really trying to decide between the 2002 Civic LX and the 2003 Corolla LE. They seem fairly equally priced, and basically it seems to come down to the CD player on the Corolla, or cruise control on the Civic. Any opinions either way? To be fair I haven't test driven the Corolla but I enjoyed driving the Civic.

    Bear in mind I'm a barely-surviving grad student so if you have any info about cost advantages I'm all ears. Thanks!
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    Corolla LE has 15 more horsepower than Civic LX. Yet, it has the same or better mileage. Take that for whatever it's worth in your decision.
    city/highway
    Corolla Civic
    Manual 32/40 33/39
    Automatic 30/39 30/38

    Corolla also has a longer drivetrain warranty..by 2 years and 24,000 miles.
  • mtyfmtyf Posts: 19
    Thanks! When I was considering older, used models (2000s) I was able to feel the difference in horsepower, the civic seeming to have a little less punch accelerating onto the freeway.
    What about safety ratings? are they pretty much equal?
    And one more question for now - does either come with an anti-theft system, or do you know how much it costs to have a dealer-installed alarm system?

    Again, thanks for any info!
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    but a Civic will still keep up with a Corolla even with the hp disadvantage. Civic also has a fully independent suspension and if you are taller the Civic will definitely be a better fit. In fact over 6 ft and you won't be fitting at all.
  • behhppbehhpp Posts: 51
    Just drove home my 2003 Corolla LE, and it is really a nice car. Why buy a Lexus when you can get equal quality, comfort, and luxury for half the price? This car is really a good car.
  • Does anyone know if there are Short Shifter/ Quickshifter Kits available for the 2003 Corolla?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    You run a risk with the 2003 Corolla because it has not yet been crash-tested by the NHTSA or IIHS. The Civic has been tested and has excellent ratings on both tests. One would hope that the '03 Corolla, being a brand-new design, would have excellent crash test scores, but it is possible for a new design to do worse than the previous design. Example: '02 Camry, which has only a 2-star front side impact rating on the NHTSA tests. If you're really concerned about safety and like the Corolla, you might want to wait until its crash test scores are released.
  • tagger18tagger18 Posts: 4
    I also have the rattling noise from the dashboard. I took it back to the dealership and the service department manager went for a ride. There was no dispute about the noise. It was constant and very annoying. They took the dashboard out hoping to find where the noise was coming from. After spending 6 hours, they could not find the source. So they put the dashboard (which was damaged while taking it out) back in place and told me that they have to call Toyota head office for more information. I have call them back and they said an engineer from
    Toyota went to their dealership and gather all the informations. The informations were taken back to Toyota for further investigation. I don't know what kind of informations he gathered (rattling noise from dashboard??) but the service department didn't even call me when the engineer was there. I would figure if the engineer wants to gather informations, he or she should at least take a ride in my car and listen to the rattling, and not just from a 2 line report the mechanics wrote!! Anyhow, I have a feeling that it could take a long time before they find out what the problem is. I HAVE told them about the crash panel insulation (discussed earlier) and they seemed to be not very interested. My first Toyota, a disappointment so far.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Actually the NHSTA has run its first round of test on the Corolla, Side Impact, non-airbag model.
    Driver: 4stars
    Rear Pass.: 4stars
    I, as many others, am wondering about the validity of the Camry test, for several reasons. I am interested to see a re-test next year, as well as one with side-airbags/head curtains.
    ~alpha
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    That's great that the '03 Corolla got good side-impact scores, but if a Corolla buyer wants to be really sure about crash safety he might want to wait for all the tests to come out. For example, the redesigned '01 Elantra got excellent NHTSA crash test scores but a Poor score on the IIHS frontal offset crash. I bought my Elantra in the fall of '00, before any crash test scores were available.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Well, I think if you examine the Elantra crash test, that you'll see it had a strong structure- by far the most important aspect IMO, and I would have no qualms about buying one. That particular rating is one of FEW from the IIHS that I disagree with completely. Its not fair that the Elantra is rated poor, which is the same category as disasters such as the GM minivans, Daewoo Leganaza and other poor performers. (and I realize those are different classes, but it serves as an example)
    ~alpha
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    As an Elantra owner, I take some solace from the fact that the Elantra has a solid body structure, and I agree that is very important. But it doesn't help me or other drivers much if the driver's air bag goes off too late or the driver's seat moves too far forward, as it did in some of the IIHS tests. What is puzzling to me is that Hyundai refuses to take any action on this issue, as other carmakers (Nissan, DC) have done recently when they had poor IIHS crash test scores due to late-deploying air bags. It's a fixable problem, but it's not being fixed. And it will hurt Hyundai because buyers who are safety conscious will shy away from the Elantra, and people who follow CR's advice will turn away also because the Elantra will not be "Recommended" as long as it has that "poor" crash test result on its record. It remains to be seen how the Camry's disappointing side-impact score will hurt its sales. Let's hope the Corolla fares better.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    You might have to browse around TRD Japan's stuff as they had a 3 year head start on the Corolla
  • mtyfmtyf Posts: 19
    thanks for the replies about safety...
    does anyone know if the 2003 LX has an engine immobilizer feature?
  • mtyfmtyf Posts: 19
    another question - does anyone have a recommendation for a dealer in the Los Angeles area? who do you recommend, and why?

    thank you!
  • I had to take my 26" mountain bike into the
    shop this week and with the front tire
    removed and the seats folded down, it fit
    in perfectly. Glad I didn't have to get
    a bike rack.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    A customer of mine got a new Corolla on monday. She said she paid $18k out the door. Is this really possible for a Corolla or did she get taken a bit?
    I only paid $16.9 for a 2001 Nissan Altima GXE Ltd. Ed. and I thought I paid a little to much. I did buy it in november of 2000, so it was towards the start of the 2001 model year.
    Just curious. Nice car though. She got the green color.

    The Sandman
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,695
    1. Yes, a Corolla could go out the door for $18k, with options and taxes.
    2. Yes, she got taken a bit IMO--must have paid near list price. In today's market, no one should have to pay list price for a compact car if they're willing to do a little research--too much competition. In my town, new Camrys are advertised for under $18k.
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