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2003-2008 Toyota Corolla Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • Wow, now I see you have a reason to hate civics. Civic looks very cheap to me. I just wondering how they can hold value so well? I ask dealler about used civic 1-2 years old. He said it's going to be cheaper to get a new one than buy used and he showed me the price list. They want 13.9K for 2000 LX. How they do that?
    Tomorrow I'm going to dealership to order my Corolla LE. Dealler said they can get any color now. Seems like production is picking up. But ABS is still impossible to get in Texas. Wish you will enjoy your Corolla for a long time.
  • I too can understand why you are not a Civic fan - I drove a '86 Civic hatchback for almost 15 yrs and it did not have any major problems - before that I had a 1980 Toyota Corolla hatchback - after selling my Civic last year I purchased a new '01 Corolla LE and I love it - no problems or recalls or anything to complain about - hope you enjoy your Corolla for a long time -
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Hi, Nikolaikin

    There are two LE's with Automatic and ABS sitting in invenotry at Seeger Toyota in St. Louis.

    Try to get out of buying a Toyota in Texas from Gulf States Toyota's distribution organization.

    It's only 950 miles and by the time you got home, it'd be all broke in and ready to go!

    Good luck!
  • Just got my corolla LE today. Paid $15500 without taxes and fees. As I know paid $300 over invoice. Unfortunately, invoice here in Texas bigger than Edmund's. I was shopping for about a month and before could not find anything cheaper than $15.9. Did not get ABS, but it's OK.
    Thanks to everyone and good luck.
  • Absoulute Red XRS
    CD w Changer
    Carpet & Cargo mat
    18 in TRD 5 spoke wheels w Good year Tires
    This has been the best I could find so far in Oklahoma. I think their about $1000 high but they won't budge.
    Any Thoughts?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    OK, OK, I didn't bargain much here, so all of you out there can have a hoot and a holler at the price I paid!

    $19,040 for Matrix XR automatic with:

    sport package

    sport upgrade package

    cargo mat, floor mats, and rear bumper rubber thingy

    lunar mist metallic

    Toyota VIP alarm

    (it has cruise and moonroof and fog lamps and alloy wheels, I think all that stuff was part of one of those two packages above)

    So far, I discovered it does not have retained-power windows for after key is shut off, even though Toyota website says it does. Also, the twilight sensor is a joke, being hidden in the shadow of the A-pillar as it is, so I just leave the lights on all the time, so that they do not flick on and off - I was told by service rep that if it is disconnected, lights will not work any more. Only other issue: RH front door rattles like a can of loose bolts over rough pavement, they were unable to fix this, maybe I will have to pursue this further.

    Apart from that, love driving it - easy to drive, I am getting 33 mpg in mixed city driving, A/C is much better than my last car, stereo is good if a little quirky, and I am sitting high enough to see down the road several cars ahead, which I like A LOT. Love the looks too! I am getting lots of comments and compliments from people.

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

  • Here is how much I paid.
    Matrix XR Super White auto for $17,600
    I think I got a great deal! You just need to shop around. I talk and visted over 10 dealers before I got this. The difference can be about 1 to 2 thousands. Another suggestion is that, wait for Friday newspaper. Some dealers have advertise some Matrix as their "loss leader". I saw one XRS for $18K. They are selling a loss to attract more customers. :) Hunt for those deals!!

    I have everything sport package, floor mat, power package! Everything except moon roof!
  • I go to pick my daughter's Corolla tomorrow. Basic CE model with Deluxe CD/Cass and mats. The price $14,211 plus tax (3% in NC), tag and $94.50 doc fee at Toyota of Henderson, NC. I've seen better prices in Town Hall, but this wasn't an ad car and it has that Southeast Toyota Administration fee of $525 (requested in NC, SC, FL, GA, AL maybe more). I would have held out longer but I daughter needed a car and this is the one she wanted. You also need to watch out for those dealers that tack on a $300 doc fee, go to a small dealer, they're usually less.
  • I got my Corolla LE on 9/2/02 for $15,125. I refuse to pay freight charges of approx. $500.00 and got the floor mats for free. They initially quoted the car at 15.5. I decided to walk away from the deal at the last minute and they brought the price down.

    The best time to go is at the end of the month because they have a quota to fill. I think I got a good deal because they were closing for their previous month and it was labor day. At the time I got my car, Edmund's TMV was 15.2+, it's dropped a little since then.

    The only problem I'm currently having is that the steering seems stiff. It's not that it's impossible to drive. It's just that it's not as soft as it was when I drove it off the lot. I took it back to the dealer and they had no idea what I was talking about. Has anyone experienced this with their corolla?
  • I test drove a Corolla CE and my first impression of the steering was that it was a little stiff. I mentioned to the salesguy and he said that it was not unusual for a compact sedan. Anybody else know about the Corolla steering?
    Also, Does anybody know if there are still new Corolla CE 2002's in stock in LA?
    My wife has a 2000 toyota celica GT. The car initially had a soft steering wheel but after a while it seemed to get stiffer also. The last year, it has been making a squeaky noise when turning. It seems to be coming from the steering wheel column Numerous toyota dealers have looked and found nothing wrong. I believe that the corolla and celica have similar columns. The steering wheels look identical. I would not be surprised if this is a issue that will end up becoming a recall later.

    I was looking at the corolla but seem to be leaning more towards the civic. The corolla seems to have some issues. The corolla also has a recall I think do to some firestone tire issues.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    has tire recall for certain cars with the Firestone tires - they have a place at where you can plug in your VIN to see if your car is affected - there are only a very small number of CE's that are.

    RAV, Camry, celica, corolla, matrix...all have the same steering wheel - they way the wheel looks does not indicate that the column is the same. If I were you, though, I would not accept a squeaky wheel - I would pester the dealer until they fixed it.

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

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,024
    It reads: Toyota Matrix drivers, are you out there? If you are interested in sharing your thoughts on your vehicle with a national audience, please contact the reporter of a MAJOR daily at with your name, daytime contact information, line of work and city/state of residence by October 14, 2002.

    Thank you!


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • I am shopping for a base Model Matrix with auto trans in the Sacramento, CA area. Invoice with destination is 15,955. What would be a reasonable price to pay for this car?

  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    First, go to and bring up the vehicle. Use the "Build Your Own" feature to make sure the car is available the way you want it.

    Try for $300 over invoice, there are dealers in Cal who will do that.
  • bsum70bsum70 Posts: 37
    Just got my Matrix XRS: 6 speed, sunroof, weather package, floor mats, trunk mat, cd changer, rear bumper guard. Paid $20000 plus trade in my 1992 Civic SI (200k miles, both fenders bended) TTL is $1358.....
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Hi bsum70

    Your XRS sounds very well equipped. Is the 20,000 the MSRP? An XRS like that here in Boston MSRP's around $20,345 for the same configuration as yours.

    Was the TTL included in the 20K or additional?

  • Saw one we liked with everything except the roofrack and CD Changer - had single CD and Cass.
    Calculated the Invoice prices. Edmunds didn't have all the options listed, at least, I couldn't find them. Went to Yahoo Autos to get the prices for the options. Invoice with options came up to $18378. Offered 3% over. He actually came back with something less but had a $388 "Fees and Services" added. Out The Door came to $20390. We let him sweat for a week (ha ha) meanwhile we checked other dealers. Two commented that they didn't know how the first dealer could offer such a low price with those options so we closed the deal - and had the cargo mat thrown in together with a set of clear plastic mats for inside.

    This Matrix even has SIDE airbags for driver and passenger, full security, Toyoguard package, 16" Alloy wheels. The only things not on it as far as I can tell are the roofrack and cd changer (oh, no window tint).

    How did we do?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    you must be in the South? Toyoguard package sounds like southeastern states Toyota.

    Mine was a few 100 $$ less, but does not have side airbags. It has carpeted mats tho.

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

  • Yep, the Tampa, FL area. You don't have that "get more profit" package where you are?
    BTW, does your cruise forget the setting after about 2 or 3 minutes from tapping the brake then trying to resume? Let me know over in "Problems & Solutions".
  • 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: 12,726
    packages here...I am so glad I never have had to deal with southeastern states Toyota - they sound like a bad outfit.

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

  • 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: 1,795
    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: 1,795
    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: 12,726
    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.

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

  • 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: 12,726
    actually true and correct for the vehicle she drove! That is a little trick some salesmen try - the switch-er-oo...

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

This discussion has been closed.