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2003-2008 Toyota Corolla Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • cooljwcooljw Posts: 47
    Can someone help me make sense out of this?

    I am shopping for a Corolla S 5-spd. Edmunds and many other sources say the invoice on the base S is $13,325. 2 dealers have told me that Edmunds is out-of-date, and that Carsdirect has the correct invoice price, Carsdirect shows $14,041 - that's a whopping $700 higher. Could it be that Toyota recently raised prices on the Corolla by so much?

    Obviously the $700 makes a big difference here in negotiations. Anyone have any guidance?

    Also, FYI: Was quoted on a Corolla S, 5spd, w/Moonroof, 6 disc in-dash, Extra Value Package, and Preferred Accessory Package for $15,422 from a local dealer (includes destination charge, does NOT include the $500 rebate). This is a GREAT price using the higher invoice price, and a MIND BOGGLING deal using the higher invoice price.
  • macedonmacedon Posts: 27
    Both carsdirect and have the MSRP of the Corolla S of $15240 so the price most likely was increased in 2005. Edmunds shows a lower msrp price.

    The price I got on carsdirect for your configuration was $15933. Are you sure that the dealer did not take the $500 into account? I don't know how to explain it.
  • cooljwcooljw Posts: 47
    I talked to the dealer again. Yes I'm positive the price quoted does not take the $500 into account. He said they are actually selling the car for a loss. He said something about being a very high volume Toyota dealership, with an Internet sales department which sells cars at a loss in order to keep sales volume up and keep Toyota happy. Does that sound possible? I don't see why any dealer would ever sell cars at a loss. Even taking their 2% holdback into account, at that price they are losing $400 on the sale. The dealer said this was routine for their Internet sales department, and that they don't change the price on people after they come down and waste their time...etc etc. Sounded pretty sincere.

    The price I saw on was $15,974, pretty much the same as you saw.

    Well, $15,422 less $500 rebate = $14,922 and just add tax/tags/license and this sounds like a phenomenal deal. I just might be the owner of a new Corolla S after tomorrow. Will post any updates.
  • macedonmacedon Posts: 27
    Cooljw, What state are you located in? I'm in NY and having a heck of a time finding the Corolla without extra options that I don't need. Your deal sounds great; you are getting extras without paying for it.

    I really want the Corolla LE (now I'm considering the S model). But may have to go with 2004 Civic LX that I got quoted for $13,694 with tax and title to be added.

    Or I can go with a certified 2004 LE w/o ABS for an internet price of $12,995 which I would think is negotiable. Figured I could offer $11,000 then $11,500. (about 12k miles or less, I am going blind researching). Guess I don't really need ABS. When beginning my car search, I honestly thought it was standard on all model now. Ugh! Have a perfect driving record w/o ABS all these years so...

    Please everyone, give me your suggestions.
  • cooljwcooljw Posts: 47
    macedon: I'm in San Diego. I actually am having trouble finding a Corolla with all the fancy options I want (really I only want a sunroof in a 5spd - a rare combo). I looked at used car ads online for slightly used Corollas and the prices are nuts, I just don't get it. I even contacted a dealer about a used Corolla he was selling, who then quoted me a lower price on a brand new Corolla. I always thought you should be able to buy a slightly used car for a nice discount compared to buying new - I totally did not find that to be the case. Of course, I was only looking at online ads.
  • cooljwcooljw Posts: 47
    Woohoo! I thought it was too good to be true, but it wasn't!

    I just came back from the dealership - El Cajon Toyota in San Diego. I'm the proud new owner of a silver streak mica Corrolla S 5 spd 4dr w/ VP (Extra Value Package), SR (Moonroof), EV (6-disc in dash), and PA (Pfd. Accessory Package). Price was as they said over the phone, $15,422 + tax/tags/title, which came out to $16,853. Less the $500 Toyota rebate (expires 10/4) and I paid $16,353 cash for this car out the door. It was a brand new car, had 13 miles on it. Totally legit, they took a loss, and didn't even try to hard sell me on alarm, accessories, etc. The financing guy called it a "$600 loser" when speaking with his colleagues (e.g. they took a $600 loss on it).

    I talked to 2 other dealers about the offer price before going over to El Cajon, both said they would not touch that price and forewarned me that El Cajon would scam me and probably didn't even have the car they promised (especially since 5spd w/moonroof in a Corolla S is rare, and you can easily make a profit on this car). Well, they were totally wrong. In fact we went to Kearny Mesa Toyota first to test drive a white version - the only one they had, and it literally got test driven and sold as we arrived, so we didn't even get to test drive it.

    El Cajon said they routinely sell cars at a loss through their Internet Sales group to keep volume up, so that they get a better allocation from Toyota. In other words, they will make it up elsewhere. No other dealership was willing to do that when they could just as easily made a profit on the car.

    Basically I'm floored, and the very happy owner of the car I wanted. A really great new car buying experience!
  • sqismesqisme Posts: 2
    I'm near Boston. Looked at some 2004 Corolla LE's at a Toyota dealership yesterday, one with mileage less than 11,000.

    Their sticker price was about $15,950. That's more than people are paying for 2005 Corollas. I'm trying to figure out what I should be willing to pay for this car -- any suggestions?

    (I wish I could find one with ABS and 5 speed manual, but haven't been able to yet).
  • cooljwcooljw Posts: 47
    The Toyota dealer I went to said the certified used car lot is for suckers who think they can buy a slightly used car for a good price - and don't do their research. You'll find dealer used car prices consistently priced above new car prices.

    I've not tried, but I wonder how much haggling you can do on the used cars.
  • sqismesqisme Posts: 2
    I tried haggling. He went down from sticker ($15950) to $13,960. Still not low enough for me to buy a car that I really wasn't crazy about, when I could get pretty much the exact car I wanted, new, for 15-20% more.
  • macedonmacedon Posts: 27
    I know how you feel about the prices of recent model used cars. Supposedly, the minute you drive the car off the lot it depreciates a lot. Well why don't the salespeople price that way??

    I also find no sense in buying a 2004 when it is not much cheaper than a 2005.
  • Hello Prism3,

     The only options I have on my Corolla LE are all weather package, floor mats, engine immobilizer,and audio value package which includes cruise control came standard with all the LE's from my dealership. I didn't get the ABS because it only came packaged with leather interior,moonroof,and side air bags and was way out of my budget. The only option that I purchased al la carte was the Indentity security system. It prevents the engine from starting even if someone does have your master key they must also have the indentity key fob. The indentity key fob is automatically detected by your car as you approach it and enables the start up of your vehicle.

    Hope this helps
  • macedonmacedon Posts: 27
    I'm in NY and have a hold for a 2005 Toyota Corolla LE with
    -Side Airbags...
    -All Weather Guard
    -VV Audio Value PKG
    -Carpet Mats

    for $15,700 to be completed in two days.

    I was very happy with this but now see that Consumer Reports offers a 'Wholesale Report price'.

    Should I get the report hoping to get it lower or is my deal good. I've been reading the forum while pricing my car and really thought it was great....If I see the report, I know I'll feel lousy...

    Answer asap since it's almost a done deal...Thanks

    What should I do???
  • Can some of you Corolla experts give me some guidance? Helping my daughter shop for a car and she really likes a 2002 Corolla S we saw at a Toyota dealer in CT. Has 36,500 miles and they want $12,995. It's a 5 spd, sun roof, a/c, pwr windows, alloy wheels, gold lettering (for whatever that's worth), CD, dual air bags, cruise. Comes with remainder of 6 yr/100,000 power train warranty. Dealer isn't willing to budge. Kelly BB tells me it should be about $11,700. Which price is more realistic, dealer or KBB? Please advice. Thanks.
  • cooljwcooljw Posts: 47
    Carsdirect says the Invoice Price on that car is $16,107 ($17,607 MSRP). So $15,700 is $400 under invoice, which is a GOOD deal (including holdback, the dealer will still lose about $50 on the deal). Is the dealer still offering the $500 rebate from Toyota? (supposed to have expired 10/4, but may be continued). If so, that will bring the price to $900 under invoice, which is a GREAT deal. Never tried the ConsumerReports thing, but I don't think it's very valuable. Just use the invoice pricing - holdback as a benchmark. There are no dealer incentives at this time that I'm aware of.
  • gasmangasman Posts: 16
    I'm shopping the same car in NY. This looks like a good price. The dealers I've spoken with so far are quoting 400-500 above invoice. Your price is about 250 below invoice.

    What dealer is it?
  • Post the car info in the Real-World Trade-In Values topic and see if Terry or one of the other guys can give you a good estimate on the price.
  • macedonmacedon Posts: 27
    I have not seen anything about a $500 rebate. That'd be great but think it may be over.

    They have reinstituted the low apr so that probably replaced the rebate.

    If anyone has word on the rebate, I would appreciate the information.

    Thanks for everybody's input. I thought it was good but got second thoughts...Never bought a new car before...
  • Thanks Bobo. I'll try that.
  • prism3prism3 Posts: 4
    Bought a 2005 silver streak mica Corolla LE , AT , with ABS brakes, cruise control, front airbags, side curtain airbags, 6 -CD player, All weather guard, Floor mats.
    77.48 B&O Tax
    1437.89 Sales tax
    68.25 license
    35.00 documentation fee
    Total out the door
    I am not a strong haggler but I started at invoice and held firm when I got to my "goal"
  • macedonmacedon Posts: 27
    Okay, the salesperson was full of it and did not honor his oral agreement for $15,7 as reported earlier.

    Bought car today, from another dealer for $16,000 (plus tax, title)

    2005 Corolla LE
    Audio Value Pkg (VV)
    Side curtain (BE)
    All weather Guard
    Carpet Mats
    (same as above but may have left something out).

    The car had 156 miles so figure that was worth getting it under invoice. Though my sister is really digging into me for buying a new car w/156 miles.

    What is your opinion of 156 miles vs. 300-400 dollars saved...? It is my first new car purchase and the first dealer really knocked me for a loop...I was just so happy to get it under invoice...(Forgot that I had an offer of $16,1 but don't know the mileage on that one so who knows...)

    Thanks, this forum has been very helpful to me even though I may have made a gigantic goof.
  • gasmangasman Posts: 16
    For the record, I got exactly the same deal from another dealer on Long Island.

    Most dealers were quoting 3-400 over invoice. I got a price quoted to me from Fitzgerald in MD ( which was about 700 under invoice, but included a $500 rebate. I used that to start the negotiating by saying make it worth my while not to go to Maryland to get the car! The dealer closest to my home bit and I took the deal.

    This whole process makes me sick. I hope it's a long time before I have to do it again.
  • Bought the car today from a dealer in Deerfield Beach, Florida

    Corolla S (MSRP: $16,817.41 Invoice $15,239(from KBB))

    I paid $14,900 but I almost had to drive away twice from the dealership. I went in 2hrs before they closed on a SLOW Sunday, which probably helped me.

    My car only had two options:
         - 6 disc changer
         - Enhanced Power Package (power windows and cruise control

    I also own a Lexus IS300. This Toyota S is an incredible car. Good Luck!!
  • lee_wlee_w Posts: 239
    COngrats on your purchase. Glad the board was helpful. Just having information and tips from other people is a tremendous advantage when shopping. Congrats again!
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Have bought a Camry from the same dealership back in '95. Not a pleasant experience, but I did hit my price goal, so took the deal. Also bought on a sunday. The paperwork took like forever, and they didn't quite understand the word "NO" when they kept pressuring me for add-ons.
    Did love the '96 Camry though! Since I live out west, was a far trek, but the Coconut Creek dealer was even worse!

    The Sandman :-)
  • basubasu Posts: 1
    I am from NY, long island and thinking about shopping for the same car you just bought. Could you give the dealar's name you shopped for and your suggesstion about which one to go with.
  • macedonmacedon Posts: 27
    Send me an email and I'll be happy to tell you.

    This car better last forever. I had a nightmare of a time with Toyota dealers. The $15,7 guy was so unconscionable that I was compelled to file complaints with everybody and anybody, as well as friends. Word of mouth. Though I was warned about that dealership previously, as long as they honored the price I had no problem with them. But due to the warnings, I continued to shop for a back-up plan. Thank goodness.

    This new car is replacing a 1990 Toyota Celica ST with over 224,000 miles. But I doubt I'll get that kind performance from the Corolla. The Celica will be donated somewhere later this week. Probably 'songsforlove'; their ad said they were in Good Housekeeping, on Rosie O'D's show and others so they seem more legit than the other ads.
  • macedonmacedon Posts: 27
    Good luck basu. I don't envy your shopping experience. Mine was a nightmare!!!

    I am advising sister and brother to go to MD to visit . I am so intrigued to find out if they are too good to be true. It is a hassle to go out of state but if I never had to deal w/another buying nightmare, it would be worth it.

    I am dedicated to Toyota-- and I'd have to be to endure the hell of the Long Island dealerships. It would be nice to know that my next purchase, years from now, will be trouble free.

    fitzmall stated that they are the ONLY dealer to receive the ISO for the way they do business. Not sure if that is just for the region or not but it reads as if for all regions. Not sure what ISO is but it must be very special.

    If anyone has purchased from them, either on the internet or in perons, please let me know how it went. (I'd want to go in person).
  • macedonmacedon Posts: 27
    Unable to edit my post above. But reading more about the waste tire fee, the dealer is exempt but the purchaser pays unless they are exempt.

    The link I had above was just a form for the dealer. There is an explanatory bulletin explaining it further.

    I guess this shows how much I hate my car dealership!!!

    Sorry for the useless post above. Perhpas the host can get it deleted.
  • lee_wlee_w Posts: 239
    I took it out per your request. Have a good weekend!
  • teddy1teddy1 Posts: 1
    I wonder if Edmunds TMV pricing is accurate.
    I paid $13,000+195(document fee) for an 05 corolla ce, 5spd, +mats, +weather guard.
    The document fee of ~200 seems standard at all dealers I went to.
    Edmunds says the invoice on this is $13305 and the TMV is $13863. I am not sure if this includes the ~200$ dealer document fee.
    How did I do so well? I worked a couple dealers off each other but did not try too hard. Anybody else finding TMV too high?

    By the way, I just noticed that if I go to the dealers web site and kill the window a $100 coupon (in addition to final negotiation) pops up. Wish I had seen this before. Give it a try for your dealer.
This discussion has been closed.