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2003-2008 Toyota Corolla Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • bsum70bsum70 Posts: 37
    $20000 is how much I paid... the MSRP of my car (with all the options) is $20,358 (with TTL is about $21,716). So my 'saving' will be $1,716 minus my trade in (a bang up 92 Civic Si.... which I don't think I could sell it over $600 if tried to sell that in private)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    packages here...I am so glad I never have had to deal with southeastern states Toyota - they sound like a bad outfit.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • I recently purchased my baby, the '03 Corolla S 5 spd, and if there is anything that will help totally in the long run, be sure to do your homework first. A good suggestion would be to chceck with Consumer Reports (a full report on the car is about $20 and $10 for each additional car if you are weighing your options). Though this may seem like a lot, it is indeed a big help. When you do that, always aim for invoice, even though you won't necessarily get the car at that price, because by aiming for invoice, you show the sales person that you are serious and that you did the right research. If there are additional options, compare them with the invoice and add up the invoice total of the options included therein. Then talk to the sales person about this....try to get them to show you their invoice if you can, and then work from there. The key is: be in control. Do NOT under any circumstances, let the sales person push you in any direction. Cars are durable goods and you are entitled to the BEST product for you at the BEST price for you; keep in mind that the sales person is only pushing for his commission. With that said, you must dictate what you want and articulate your concerns. Don't be afraid to voice your concern about questionable fees (at the same time, try not to be too pushy; just maintain control in a manner that will best get the sales person to give in to you). Anyhow, if you were wondering, the invoice price for the '03 Corolla S is $13135 plus apropriate destination, which is $485 give or take. Smart shopping means doing your homework and being assertive. With that, you can do as I did and get the car for $200 over invoice. Best of luck and happy shopping!
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,776
    But why pay CR when a myriad of websites, including this one, offer the same information for free?
  • Granted, they do offer this information for free. And it IS a great thing that they do. The tactical advantage of the CR report, however, is that every single option and the invoice price of that INDIVIDUAL option are listed and categorized into one comprehensive report that is about 10 pages or so long. Also, in the case that you get a sales person who tends not to give credence to on-line scouting (as I have), you can cite CR, whose reputation precedes it far beyond its internet services.
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,776
    Uh-huh. And that's worth the extra money? You can pay for it if you like, I'll stick to other services.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    kind of convenient - for $3.95 you can get the whole buyer's guide, and have all the invoice prices in one place to show the salesman, as well as individual option prices and package prices.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Salesmen already know that Edmunds, Kelly, and myriad other sites have correct online information on all of the options. They also subscribe to CR, etc.

    When they argue with your prices and your research, leave.

    Leaving is free.
  • My mother is shopping for a Matrix. I sent her to a local dealer to test drive one, and the dealer gave her a sheet on the car she drove that listed the MSRP and Invoice prices of the car along with each individual option (it matched KBB to the $). It also pointed out that dealer's true cost would be lower due to holdback and incentives AND listed the exact $ amount of the holdbacks.

    I was pretty impressed a dealer would offer this information, especially to a "little old lady". Is this typical or unusual?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    actually true and correct for the vehicle she drove! That is a little trick some salesmen try - the switch-er-oo...

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • LuzerLuzer Posts: 118
    I had this in the Pontiac Vibe section...

    The dealer also showed me the invoice sheet which had the "edmunds" invoice then added 1% advertising and about another 1% for finance or something...then the bottom listed the 3% holdback along with some finance stuff.

    I am guessing that the dealership's Gross Margin on my deal was about $800.

    Here's my other post, copied and pasted...

    I wanted a cheap afford able car for commuting.

    I am a Toyota Fan, means Corolla was the choice.

    I like the Matrix for the usability of fold down etc - but this was too steep at an extra $2000+

    Things that changed my mind -

    1) $2000 from GM.

    2) $1050 off the MSRP (about $350 over Edmunds invoice of $18602, but about $50 over the dealer invoice at the place, which included advertising cost and some other BS which total about $300)

    3) $700 discount on options pkg, listed on sticker.

    MSRP was $20005.

    I will pay $18550.

    Base Vibe with:

    Auto Tranny

    Moons and Tunes

    Power pkg

    6 CD changer

    Aluminum wheels

    Side Air Bags

    They're adding in wheel locks and cargo net gratis.

    Working backwards:

    $20550 - $2000 cash rebate= $18550.

    Starting from $20550 -

    - $299 doc fee (here's their profit!!)

    - $159 tags, reg etc (I get back balance)

    $20092 - 6% tax = $18954.71

    Use $18954 for reference as to my price paid before Tax, Title Doc etc.

    Tax in my state is calculated on the $2000 cash as well.

    A previous deal was $900 under MSRP of $19100.

    (no al wheels and CD changer) But that car had 150 miles. We checked after the price was set.

    Note also GM increase prices recently. Base is up $25, option pkgs up $25 each; Al wheels $40 increase. Edmunds reflects new pricing. Older priced cars are still around - not sure when increase happened.

    If you've read this far, try this site -

    Test drive for yourself.

    Car and Driver comparo rated this 5th out of 6, not too good, in April(?), 2002 issue.

    Seats were an issue to them.

    My thoughts - a little under power, but so what.

    Good overall for the next 15 years.

    Also, note the $2000 off the reference $18954 above.

  • After haggling at 2 dealerships, walked into the third at 9 PM on an August Saturday night. I settled on a white LE with a pebble beige interior, alloys, no mats or cargo net, for $15,400. Then came the "finance guy". By this time it was nearly 11PM. Already knowing the alarm was a "set" price at 500.00, I offered 400 and he took it. Out the door, I paid $17,500, 200.00 less than the previous dealer's best price.
  • LuzerLuzer Posts: 118
    Must be a good alarm system for $400.
  • XR 4AT 2WD
    Cosmic Blue Metallic
    All Weather Guard Pkg
    Cruise Control
    6 Disc CD
    17" Al wheels
    Sport Plus Pkg
    Carpet Floor mats
    Cargo mat
    Rear Bumper protector

    MSRP $19358
    Paid cash $17200 (VA)
  • dj5dj5 Posts: 42
    I helped my sister purchase a Matrix XRS from a dealer in Atlanta. Options are automatic, capeted mats, cargo mat, wheel locks and am/fm 6 disk in dask cd player. The XRS comes pretty well equiped.

    Price $18,500 (including doc fees) plus tax & title.
  • $15,200 (less tax and tags) for an '03 Corolla LE (Japan made with "J" VIN number),
    purchased at C. F. Schwartz Toyota, Dover, Delaware, Oct 28. 2002. I traded in an
    '01 Corolla LE 5-speed with just over 20,000 miles on it, getting about a 9,275 trade-in
    allowance. I traded because I wanted the 03's bigger interior, 15" wheels, more
    horsepower, and I wanted an automatic this time (got tired of shifting since 95% of
    my driving is in city traffic).

    Larry Roll
    Dover, DE
  • I just bought Matrix XR FWD Lunar Mist Metalic 3 days ago.

    Options are:

    All weather Guard Package
    Cruise Control
    Sport Package
    Sport Plus Package
    Carpet Floor Mats
    Cargo Mat
    Rear Bumber Protector
    Seat Back Storeage/First Aidkit

    MSRP was $19,533 and invoice was about $17,700.
    I paid $17,799 and Out the door was about $19,500.

    Is this good deal??? Please let me know.

    The Matrix is awesome car and I love both exterior and interior.

    I bought it at Toyota of Seattle and their
    their customer service and price was very nice.
    Robert Hurlock was the person who helped me out and he was very good gentleman. Recommend Toyota of Seattle.

    Don't goto Rodland Toyota in Everret.
    When I talked to them about Matrix, they didn't know what they were talking about. The first sales associate asked me what is the difference between XR and Basic model.
    Then, manager came out and I told him that I want the XR, which has standerd feature of power mirror,power window and lock, but he told me that there are XR that doesn't have those features. I was like "what???" and I asked him if he was sure and he said "Not sure...".
    What kinda idiotic car dealer is this? Can't believe. Rodland Toyota sucks. Don't buy from them. Bunch of idiots. Really.

    Anyways, give me some response.

  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    How do you tell J VIN numbers from US VIN numbers? What do US ones start with?

  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,020
    Perhaps this article will help:

    Making Sense of Your Vin

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email,, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • fgf001fgf001 Posts: 98
    That was informative, thanks.
This discussion has been closed.