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Toyota Corolla Owners: Meet the Members



  • lab63lab63 Posts: 6
    I have 1 1989 Corolla with 141,000 miles on it. The transmission has been giving me a problem for a good 1 1/2 years, but I never fixed it. Then the carb. went and my mechanic said $490 for the part and $100 for the labor, so I decided that it was time to get rid of the old Corolla, although am very sad and a little disappointed. I wanted to hit 200k miles! I figured I have gotten gotten my moneys worth so I am in the new car buyer market.
    Well now I am stuck between buying a 2003 Corolla or a 2002 Civic. One of the reasons I am leaning towards the Civic is because I have called 4 dealers around town and they say I have to wait 6-8 weeks for a Corolla and the Civic is more readily available. I am looking for anyones opinions on either car, good and bad to help me decide. Thanks for listening.
  • iwphilliwphill Posts: 48
    Sorry your '89 didn't last longer, but 141,000 + miles isn't bad at all! As for the new models, I think the Civic and the Corolla are both great cars, but I'll tell you my experience and maybe you'll find some of the info useful. I have had a '94 and a '96 Corolla, and I had absolutely no trouble with either one - no problems or defects whatsoever. I also had a '98 Civic DX hatchback that I owned for 2 years before trading it in. That hatchback was a nice car, but not trouble-free. At 11,000 miles, the alternator went and had to be replaced under warranty (along with some other parts, but I can't remember now what they were). I had some other issues with it, including brake problems, and I decided to get rid of it. Other than that, I thought it was a great car and fun to drive, but I was worried that the problems would only increase, so I traded it in.

    I just bought a Matrix (which is based on the Corolla), and I love it. It's a first-year model, which I usually shy away from, but it is so much fun to drive, I'm hoping that that "bullet-proof" reliabiltiy is still there in the Matrix. I don't know what the new Civic's are like to drive, but I did manage to check one out on a dealer lot after they closed, and I thought that the new Corolla had a better feel, including more comfortable seats, but you'll have to judge for yourself. And of course, if you have lots of Honda dealers in your area, you might be able to negotiate a pretty good price, which, if you need a car right now, seems better than going on a long waiting list for a Corolla. Where I live, it's the opposite - more Toyota dealers than Honda dealers, so they tend to have slightly better deals on Toyotas.

    Have you taken either vehicle for a test drive yet?
  • lab63lab63 Posts: 6
    Hey, thank you so much for your opinions. I really appreciate it. I have test driven both the Corolla and the Civic. I really like the Corolla, so different from my 89! When I test drove the Civic, I had my Mom in the car (bad idea!), so need to drive it again on my own. Now that you mentioned the Matrix, I think that I will give that a look too. The Corolla seems to offer more features that the Civic - I am looking at the LX and not the EX model in the Civic. Corolla is bigger and heavier, more h.p. and seems to have more luxury items standard than the Honda, but like I said, I have called four dealers in my area and they all say a 6-8 week wait and I am not driving my old Corolla (actually it is sitting in the parking lot at work!) I am using my Moms car, which is very nice of her but I have to run her around all over the place and the thought of waiting another 1 1/2 to 2 months for a new car, ugh!
    Will keep you posted. Tomorrow is Saturday so going to hit a couple of dealers. Thanks again for your response and your thoughts.
  • Definitely check out the Matrix. My wife and I where looking at both the Corolla and the Matrix and decided that the utility of the Matrix just made more sense. We went with an Cosmic Blue XR Auto and love it. Plenty of power in this little engine. If you can handle the extra $'s for the Matrix I would check it out. We liked the look of the ground effects and underbody spoilers but if you don't care for them the base model is pretty much the same as the XR, only less $'s. I hear the Corolla is hard to find right now on the East coast. Not sure if the Matrix is the same way. Good luck in your search.
  • iwphilliwphill Posts: 48
    ....that the new Corolla is so hard to find! Here in central NC, we seem to have a pretty good supply of them, but apparently that's not true everywhere. I bought my base Matrix for its hauling capabilities (rear seats fold completely flat), good gas mileage, etc, and it was about the same price as the Corolla I was looking at. I bought my Matrix for $15,600, and it has cruise, cassette/CD, automatic, so it has everything I need. It doesn't have power windows, power locks, keyless entry, so if you're looking for that, you'd have to step up to the XR (about $17,000-ish on sale). But I don't like the power options anyway, so it worked out perfectly for me.

    lab63: please keep us updated on the results of your search!
  • lab63lab63 Posts: 6
    Hello all! Would you believe that I (lab63) still haven't decided on what kind of car to get! I had put a deposit down on a 2002 Honda Accord (selling prices of 16,995) but backed out at the last minute! I am probably the most indecisive person on the East Coast! Was thinking I could get a Camry, but that is too expensive. Think the Hyundai's or Saturns are worth a look? Value all opinions! Hope all is well with everyone.
  • britton2britton2 Posts: 305
    If I were in the market for a new car (which I'm not since I just bought my '01 Corolla LE 15 months ago) I would probably be considering the '03 Corolla, Honda Civic, Mazda Protege or the Hyundai Elantra - as you may have guessed I prefer small cars and want to get good gas mileage - there is certainly nothing wrong with the Accord as far as I know - do you want a mid-size or compact? What are your requirements concerning gas mileage? For me last year it came down to the Civic or Corolla - I got a better deal on the Corolla plus it had a better powertrain warranty (the gas mileage was practically identical) - if you really like the Camry perhaps you can find a used one with low miles from an individual in your area - good luck with your decision
  • importerimporter Posts: 3
    About the new Civic and Corolla. Recently I read some reviews of those two cars in a magazine (can't remember which one) where Focus and Lancer were also tested. Well, after all the tests, Corolla CE (5 spd) was first. Second was Civic. Focus third and Lancer was the last one. Corolla won almost everything - ride, accelerating, braking, etc. The only thing that was better on Civic was the shifter. Well, what can be better than a Honda's shifter?
    I hope this helps :-))
  • Hi everyone! I am Lorie Ann from Redlands, CA. I just bought a 2003 Corolla S. It is automatic, indigo ink blue with all the standard features plus cd player, cd changer, cruise control, floor mats, trunk mat, cargo net, sports package, power package, tinted windows, and sun/moon roof!

    It will be on the lot no later than Sat Spet 7th! Woohoo!

    My previous car was a honda civic dx '99 (Hated that piece of crap) and before that was an '89 camry limited edition with all the goodies. Had about 121,000 miles before the accident and not a single problem...hopefully the corolla is the same!
  • Well I finally broke down and bought a car that wasn't made by GM. A white 2003 Corolla manual trans. I love the car, possibly the best car in initial quality I've ever owned even though I consider it a low end vehicle. The break in period was a killer, 55 MPH or less for the first 1000 miles. I'm surprised I didn't get killed on the interstate (I live in Mass. where driving is like going into battle sometimes).

    I'll keep you posted as to how it's working out.

  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    got my 03' corolla 7 days ago today! it's a base CE 5 speed with no options at all. just needed a car to go from point A to B and back.
  • Well my new corolla S arrived early. I picked it up last nite. Have to go no higher than 65-70 mph for the first 2,000 miles for the break in period.

    Just as a questions do I have to have the toyota alarm installed since I have the toyota power package with keyless entry? Or can I install any alarm system? The dealer I talked to would give me the alarm system for 200 bucks...and I believe it retails for 300.

    I must say the car handles like a dream...smooth ride, great acceleration, handles the sharp turns great! Much better than my crappy honda!
  • jeproxjeprox Posts: 466
    no you dont have to install toyota OEM alarm. you can install aftermarket. only difference is that when you install aftermarket, your toyota OEM remotes would basically be useless! you can still use it but it won't arm your system (alarm).

    toyota OEM alarm for my car (in our area) sells for over C$600! i just installed an aftermarket alarm today for C$249. my car doesnt have power locks.

    if the price the dealer is offering you is only a small difference from aftermarket, then go for the OEM. if it's a big difference in price then tell him where to put it! :)

  • My name is Mike and I live in Pasadena, CA

    No complaints whatsoever about my 03 Corolla LE In white, I've been told its a favorite color for cops. Well, found that out the hard way due to its fast acceleration on the freeway as its very easy to go from 60 to 90 in moments. As far as gas mileage goes, I get the EPA rating (39) on the open road at steady speeds. Combined hwy/city, its 30-31 mpg. No sympathy for those suv owners when gas prices go up again!
  • Greetings to Karen and everyone on the group!

    My name is Larry and I'm the proud owner of a 2003 Toyota Corolla LE automatic, with cruise, AM/FM/CD/Cassette premium sound, color is Lunar Mist Opalescent -- very handsome car! Only thing I wish I could get are the alloy wheels and the fog (driving) lights. I just received a brochure from the dealer advertising the wheels, but nothing about the driving lights. Does anyone know if these can be ordered for an '03 Corolla? Are the ones used on the Corolla S interchangeable?

    I haven't read all the introductory messages yet, so I'll get cracking on that. So far, I love my new Corolla. BTW I traded a 2001 Corolla LE 5-speed for it; I wanted the new body design, and also got tired of shifting. Since the new 4-speed automatic has received good reviews, I went for it. I'd be interested to hear from owners of later-model Corollas with the 4-speed auto, to get an idea of any maintenance issues, problems, etc. My personal opinion of automatics is that I enjoy the convenience of them, but don't trust them from a reliability standpoint. However, that mostly comes out of my experience with Fords.

    All my best wishes to everyone in the forum!

    Larry Roll
    Dover, DE USA
  • luckykluckyk Posts: 11
    I'm also extremely pleased with mine. Almost 9K on the mileage and so far the only problem I had was with the fuel door ..... not opening.

    Had the dealer glue the little clip in place and that has solved the problem.

    What a fun little car. I have the 5 speed. I went from a Town Car (22mpg) to this. Man .... the corners are great and the mountain roads I take to work are a real pleasure to drive now that I made the switch.

    I got the S without the sports pkg. No "fin" on the trunk. But I wanted alloy wheels. Went to to get sizes of tires and wheels that would fit w/o interference. That turned out to be 205/55/16. These Michelins are quiet and really stick. Bought the 16" Z wheels from Sears.

    So, I have a complete set of new Goodyears with the factory wheels and hubcaps in my garage collecting dust. If someone here wants 'em, let me know and we can work something out.

    The stick is a little touchy. Especially from 5th to 4th. Got to move it left coming down or you'll grind the gears.

    Never paid any attention to the speed limits for the first few 1000 miles. Come on....get real. I live in SoCal. I'd be dead (SUV casualty) if I followed that recommendation.

    Only complaint is that I can't turn the driving lights off. I go through a military gate daily and it's a requirement to dim the lights. Well....I can't. Hasn't been a showstopper to date. Consistently get 34-35 mpg in mix driving. Bought on-line. What a great experience for close to 3% over invoice. Took delivery last July. Very nice car. Sorry for the lenght of this post.
  • After 5 Saturns, I decided to give Toyota another try after being totally disgusted by the sales techniques of Toyota dealers in the 80's along with the enormous amount of ripoff dealer/distributor options packed on every car.

    Got an 03 Corolla CE w/o one red cent of Southeast Toyota Distributor options by pre-ordering with my dealer. Even had them drop the $159 carpet mats from the order. Dealer gave me the Toyota rubber mats which I much prefer since they can be hosed off at the self-service car wash.

    Plenty of pep with the 5 speed. Had it since May, and only a few cosmetic issues that were corrected by the dealer promptly on warranty.

    Southeast Toyota still is trying to cram crap on the cars before passing them to the dealers. Adding an ashtray at $59 to some Corollas even if there is no need for them by the owner. Also, the $600 ToyoGard protection package is a pure ripoff IMHO.

    Good thing is that the distributor does release a few cars w/o add-ons. You can see them along with expected arrival dates on the dealer's web page, and can pre-order.

    The stripped 5 speeds never hit the lot in most cases.

    Very happy overall.

    I'm Bob & live in Raleigh, NC - Age 57.
  • hhomerhhomer Posts: 15
    Hi Everyone

    I got my Matrix XRS last week, and I am surprised at how much I love it!!! The main reason I looked at it was that it was cheap and it had Navigation....I get lost everywhere in PA!!! I have to say that the car buying experience was also one of the most comfortable that I have experienced in the last few years. I really hope that the Matrix holds up to the Toyota reputation of reliability. If it does, I will have this car for a long, long time.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • We have our '89 Corolla. Did our second "major" repair ever on it last week, a new starter. Honey of a car, but it is starting to rust. We are thinking about replacing it, but we will probably wait until it dies. I don't think there is a better car on the market, in any price range, then the Toyota Corolla.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    ...but I must say, that in "any price range" I would have a Lexus IS300 instead! :-)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Hi my name is Jierong, I currently own a 03 corolla and I love my car so far. Pretty good car for $17,200 out the door ....
  • Hi all,
    My name is Joe and I live in Pasadena, CA. Last night I finally purchased a charcoal metallic (moonshadow as they call it), '03 Corrola Type S after much researching, calling around dealers all over Southern California, and actual going to the dealerships. I've got the sports package (which gives you alloy wheels and spoiler), power package, cruise control, CD/AM-FM/cassette, and some dealer add-ons for about $17,500 out the door (tax and fees included). What do you all think about this price? Is it reasonable? This Corolla is my very first experience with Toyota, and a Japanese car altogether. Previous to this Corolla, I drove a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo well equipped with all of the nice options(Infiniti Gold Speakers, powered seats and lumbar supports for driver and front passenger, heated mirrors, etc) for 7 years up to yesterday. It really is a nice car, but the gas mileage on it is just too much to handle, especially with the recent increase in fuel prices. Up until yesterday, I easily spent $300 - 400 a month on gas (we're talking 87-regular unleaded grade, folks!), although I don't really do distance driving, except in the weekend. I didn't trade in the car because the dealers that I went to just gave me really low quotes, way below the Kelly Blue Book. I'm going to try to sell it on my own so that hopefully I can get more out of it. Previous to the Cherokee, I drove a Dodge Minivan for 2 years. So as you can see, I've only had experiences with big, American cars before. I chose the Corolla because based on my research, the car should give me excellent reliability (unlike typical American cars), the replacement parts are cheaper, and most importantly, it's very economical on the fuel. So far, I'm quite happy with the way the car handles and accelerates, although I'm still not used to it. This morning when I drove the car on the freeway, I got freaked out a little bit because the car just flew and felt really light, even when I stepped on the gas lightly. I mean, it got to the higher speed fast!! I guess I'm used to the heavy, massive feel, and slower but steady, powerful accelaration feel of an SUV. It's a different feel of driving altogether, but it's exciting and I think I can learn to like it. I feel more agile on the road, that's for sure. Anyway, if any of you have interesting experiences with the car, whether it be purchasing experience, driving experience, or even if you know of any potential problems that I need to be aware of with this car, please share the experience with me. It would make my first time experience with this car a bit less daunting. I would deeply appreciate any opinion, advice, and stories. What should I/should I not expect from this car?
    PS: Jierong, what trim and options did you get with $17,200 out the door? Did you get the CE, LE or S type? Sports, power, cruise control as well? Where did you get your Corolla? I bought mine from Wondries Toyota in Alhambra.
    Thank you all for your time.
  • jsu1jsu1 Posts: 4
    Hi, everybody, I just got my 03 Corolla LE two weeks ago, I paid the out the door price at $15824 (500 rebate, no interest special), the option is the CD/Cassette/6 speaker, mats. I am in Miami/FL, do you think the price is fair? I really love this car!
  • Hi, everybody. I am Wei from Norwalk CT. Does anyone know whether the Corolla engine is made in Japan or US?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    corolla engines in corollas sold here are also produced here. The same is true for the Matrix. The transmissions are from Japan.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Hi everyone. I purchased my Matrix about 2 months ago and am absolutely in love with it. I look forward to my morning commute every day. Thank you to everyone whose comments I've been reading for the last few months. It really helped me in my decision to go with the Matrix.
  • madmac17madmac17 Posts: 2
    Hey, everyone. My name is Larry and I live in Nova Scotia, Canada. Just brought home my first Toyota yesterday, and I am so proud of my new baby. It's an Impulse Red '03 Corolla CE with automatic transmission. Just the basic model, but it is a beautiful machine. Drove it to Halifax and back (90 km) last night and it is a sweet ride. I did have a bit of a problem finding the most comfortable position for the seat and steering wheel, i.e. seat back far enough for leg comfort puts steering wheel too far away for arm comfort. But, I'm sure I'll be able to adjust it to a position I can live with. One suggestion to Toyota is to move the brake pedal an inch or two to the left, so it isn't so close to the gas pedal. Other than that, it's all good!
  • borathborath Posts: 10
    What's the difference with the "LE" "CE" etc...That everyone is talking about anyway?
  • borathborath Posts: 10
    I recently found a link to a website on here. It was something like: or something like that.

    On the site it had all of Toyota's models like the camry, corolla, etc... with a history of each car.

    It listed the significant changes to the car year by year. Like what changed from 1996 to 1997. And talked about each new generation of all the models.

    Does anyone know the site I'm referring to?
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