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Toyota Corolla



  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I'm guessing you'll see an 04 Corolla around September. The redesign has been a huge success, both increasing sales of the vehicle line and drawing praise from critics. I doubt you will see any significant changes. Perhaps a few new colors, minor equipment changes, slight price increase.

    Personally, I am really curious to see if the Corolla will get side curtains as an option with this model run- I dont see the point of adding side airbags to a car if those airbags dont offer head protection. Hell, though it isnt a curtain setup, even the Hyundai Accent now even offers side airbags with head protection for the front passengers- standard!

  • jacknimblejacknimble Posts: 171
    Turned over 1500 miles this week, and mixed city/highway driving was over 32 MPG on the last tank.

    I don't drive it daily like my wife, but use it for running errands on the weekends. I agree with others with the comments about the seats and driving position, but I'm getting used to it. I would also like to mention that the steering is too light - I wonder if there is anything that can be done about this? Otherwise, what a lot of car for the money.
  • terceltom1terceltom1 Posts: 150
    I am sorry if I mislead you both. The paint bulletin I saw was apparently for the 2001 model(my year). I did some more research when I found out about my belt and tensioner bulletin on my 2001. A list of some of these bulletins appears on
  • jas9297jas9297 Posts: 26
    I'm looking at buying a '98-'00 Corolla (and also Saturn or Sentra) with under 50,000 miles and am concerned about the quality of the engines. I've read about a few engine failures on this board (about 65k miles) and seems like the engine quality is suspect.

    Can anyone shed some advice about the quality of these cars?

  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    You will not find a higher quality more durable engine.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    The Corolla is the most reliable of all the cars in it's class. Look at Consumer Reports, JD Power, etc. Definitely much better than Saturn or Nissan Sentra. You'll have no problems if the previous owner was good to it.
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,650
    We finally did it. We pulled the trigger on a car. We have been looking for about a month and today ordered a 2003 Toyota Corolla S, 5-speed, fully loaded, Lunar Mist Metallic/black. I've never driven one and hope that we are happy with this car. It fit everything we were looking for. We tend to test drive and then overanalyze, so decided we'd go for it. We hadn't found any other small car that fit the bill as well as the '03 Corolla.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    While this is just an incidental event, my fiance's 2000 Corolla with 59,500 miles is currently in the shop getting the engine rebuilt. The engine started sounding very noisy when cold, I thought it sounded like the valves were bad, and she always kept up on her oil changes.

    I finally convinced her to take it in and get it checked before the powertrain warranty expired. After checking it once, adjusting the drive belts, and checking it again, the dealer said one or two of the pistons are bad, and the engine needs rebuilt. It will take a week, but Toyota does give a free loaner car for powertrain repairs. The problem there is it is a 2003 Camry LE, and now she wants to buy one of those.

    Her 1990 Corolla went 140,000 miles before being totaled, so she paid the extra money to get a Corolla again over other vehicles. However, I'm not convinced Toyotas are built like they used to be 10 years ago. I do not have any complaints about the dealer, and the free loaner car is a nice touch.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I assume that your finace performed all the recommended maintenance (meaning more than just oil changes at 15,000mi, 30,000mi, and 45,000mi), so that situation is unfortunate. I am curious to know where that particular Corolla was built? Nice job catching it before warranty expiration. Also, are you from the Pittsburgh/western Pa. area (just curious).

    akangl- Congratulations!!
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Congrats akangl -- what happened with your Jetta?

    My parents bought an 03 Corolla (Lunar Mist, very nice color) in January and they are very happy with it.
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,650
    The Jetta was traded in on a Jeep Grand Cherokee back in November of 01, we had leased the Jetta for 48 months and were 8 months into the lease....had 20k on the car already, were only allowed 10k a year.

    The Jeep was repoed November of last year (during a bk). I did have a 1990 Suburban, but since hubby lost his 02 Ram and we needed a pickup truck, we used the Suburban as a down payment on a 1994 Chevy. I was driving a 94 Escort, sold it about a week ago, it was starting to have problems and I didn't want to put money into it.

    Anyway, that's the reader's digest version, its really a long story.

    I'm just excited about the new car, I haven't had a brand new car since 2001 when we leased the Jetta.....I miss that car, but couldn't justify another one, too pricey and not reliable enough.

    Glad to hear your parents are happy with their Corolla, I'm sure I will be happy with mine too.

    Hurry up May 28!!!!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Glad to see that finally got around to doing a full road test of the '03 Corolla, just a little over one year after its debut. I noticed while it was a positive review overall, they mentioned the driver-position problem noted by some posters here and in other reviews, but also a lack of power (c'mon people, get a 5-speed if you want some pep in a compact car!) and some quality lapses. That is surprising since Toyota has had over a year to work the kinks out.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I was surprised by the "quality lapses" reference as well. I don't put much faith in Edmunds' reviews, but something objective such as a rattle is no doubt an issue. With regard to their reference "not much power", the Corolla that Car and Driver tested 11/02 was the quickest of the 10 $16,000 compact cars tested for that issue. I award Edmunds no points. They are typically off the mark- did you read their first test of the redesigned Accord? They stated that the Camry handled slightly better. Clearly, this is contrary to universal opinion, and makes little sense.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Weren't the cars in the C/D comparo 5-speeds?
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    but I dont see how that makes a difference- as long as all the cars in the test were 5 speeds (they were), then it still seems fair to say that the Corolla is one of the quicker models in the segment. (Times would be slower for the auto Corolla, but also, slower for all the models tested).

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    But didn't test several cars, like C/D did in their comparo; they tested the Corolla automatic. Maybe if they had tested it side-by-side with other automatic compacts they would have been more impressed by the acceleration.
  • have a '01 Corolla LE - automatic - just filled up today and checked mileage - 33 MPG/city!!!!!

    Great little car - no problems in 2 yrs -
  • rwgreenbergrwgreenberg Posts: 154
    What city is this? Please describe the driving experience in this city.
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,650
    Seems a bit strange to me that you can't get ABS in the Corolla S only the LE. Why not just make ABS standard, of course GM did that for a while, but now some of their vehicles no longer have ABS standard. Just seems weird that such an important safety option would be so hard to get. Just thinking outloud I guess, I still went with the Corolla S even with no ABS.

    My Corolla S is being built in 16 day.......should have it around the end of May I *hope*. This 83 Cherokee is for the birds.
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    I have a US brochure in front of me that states that ABS is available with CE S or LE Corollas. In Canada it's standard on the LE and not available on CE or S.
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,650
    I looked on Toyotas website and its not an option that can be chosen on the S. The dealer said it wasn't either. I know the one that's coming that I have my name on doesn't have it and it has the package with the moonroof and all.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...has always been the difference between what is "theoretically available" and the actual way they are choosing to build the cars at any given moment in history. We have gone through long periods when the brochure says one thing, but whole regions of the country are getting cars with certain option combinations that cannot be changed, and which differ considerably from what the brochure suggests is possible.

    Honda's approach has always made more sense to me, but there are people who don't like the idea of no options at all...take your pick...
  • I own a 2003 Toyota Corolla LE that I purchased in May 2002. About six weeks ago, I was on my way home from work when I braked to go around a corner and I heard this noise that can best be described as a metal-on-metal banging sound when I applied the brakes -- whether it was to go around a corner or to stop for a traffic light. I got the car home and let it sit for a couple of hours. I had not heard this sound before, so I thought I would take the car out for a drive after dinner to determine if the banging sound was still there. To my surprise, the sound was gone. Within a week, the sound returned. I took the car to the dealer and explained the problem. The dealer took it for a test drive, did not hear any sound when braking, and called me to tell me the car appeared to be okay. I insisted that they take it for another test drive, which they did. In addition, the dealer removed all four wheels, checked the brake linings, and could not find a problem with anything. I brought the car back from the dealer and continued to drive it with no problem. Two weeks ago the sound returned, lasted for about 20 minutes and then stopped. I did not take it to the dealer as I seemed to be the only one who could hear the sound. However, this morning on my way back home from the doctor's office, I braked for a traffic light and the banging sound returned and continued each time I applied the brakes.

    I plan to take the car back to the dealer, but would like to know if anyone has had this problem? I searched this discussion before posting my message, but did not find any problems similar to mine. Thanks in advance for whatever assistance you can provide.
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    If you don't use your car for a few days what probably happened is that the brake rotors rusted a bit in those days (surface rust). What you heard was a metallic grinding noise. This should go away after a few uses of the brake and is completely normal. If it doesn't go away after 2 or three times of heavy braking then you should take the car to a dealer to check for a possible malfunction of the ABS system (if so equipped, LE's are the only ones with ABS). I hope this helps.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...the rotors is rather like a soft grinding, and is barely audible to most people. It certainly doesn't match the description of what is happening in post #2890. A loud "banging"? Sounds more like an incipient failure of the front u-joint or axle bearing...extremely unusual in any Toyota, but not impossible. Otherwise, I can imagine no other possible source...trying to diagnose noises on the internet is practically impossible.

    You need to get very precise in your description of the noise, its duration, and conditions that cause it - a good dealership will try to take it from there. But I have to be frank with you: your description sounds like nothing I have ever heard before short of a wheel that is about to fall off, and it's obvious that isn't the case...

    Other possible candidates: a strut that is loose, a bad suspension bushing...but these things would be apparent not just on braking. I'm mystified...
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    The problem was a faulty timing chain tensioner.

    They replaced the chain, tensioner, gears, and also put in new valve seals and piston rings since they had to measure the pistons to make sure they were in spec - basically rebuilt the top end of the engine.

    All in all, very good service, and they went beyond what was necesary to fix the problem.
  • Thanks to pulgo and jrct9454 for their suggestions to the problem I attempted to describe in post #2890. I have made an appointment with the car dealer and will post the results in case anyone else experiences the same problem.
  • veetek99veetek99 Posts: 4
    I just rented an '03 Corolla for a few days and noticed when you first start the car in the morning it sounds loud and then after a few moments it progressively gets quieter. Is this a normal function? I own a late model Honda Civic and when you first start it in the morning it's a little louder, but doesn't seem quite as loud as the Corolla. Were previous Corolla's like this too or just this generation? Has it taken a little getting used to or is it just me?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...the Corolla has a really, really elevated idle at cold start in order to get the catalyst hot as quickly as possible. This sounds disconcerting at first, but is one of those things you don't think about once you've used the car for any length of time.
  • osum02osum02 Posts: 29
    You used the right words. Engine idle is louder at first start up. I appreciate your explanation. Thanks!
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