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2003-2008 Toyota Corolla Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • LuzerLuzer Posts: 119
    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: 119
    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_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Perhaps this article will help:

    Making Sense of Your Vin

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • fgf001fgf001 Posts: 98
    That was informative, thanks.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    What will be the model year designator if 02 was Z?
  • I just took delivery of my 03 Corolla on Thursday, Dec. 26. I used the "Fax Attack" from Here's my car:

    FE 50 State Emissions
    BE Driver and Passenger Side Aribags
    CL Cruise Control
    EJ AM/FM/CASS/CD COMBO W/ 6 Speakers
    SR Tilt & Slide Moon roof w/day & night inner Mirrors
    AW Aluminum Wheels

    Invoice + tax (8.25%) = $17,238
    MSRP + tax (8.25%) = $19,209
    I paid (out-the door with tax, title, license doc fees, etc.) = $17,604

    Highest offer was $18,079 out-the door.

    Started a bidding war, the winning dealership picked me up at my home in the Corolla and let me drive it back to the dealership. They also threw in some free items which were already on the car; pin striping (looks really cool & distinctive), window etching, pain sealant and some kind special coating in the wheel wells. I spent about 45 mins. to an hour filling out the paper work then I was gone. seven and a half hours after I started faxing, I had my car.

    Note: This car was built on 10-01-02. I think it was starting to bite into their holdback and they really wanted to get rid of it.

  • LuzerLuzer Posts: 119
    Differences from Brian (post 163)
    est are my est leaning towards Toyota MSRP's, which are lower than Pontiac's invoices. (ripoffs)

    With the Vibe, I got roof rack (est $150), 6 CD changer ($250), side aribags (est $250)

    He's got spoilers, seatback storage (est $90), rear bumper protector (est $60), 50,000 powertrain warranty (est $200)

    My post 156 list everything.

    I paid $16,900 before tax, but includes eveything else you have for $17,799 (plus doc fees?)

    $20500 (out the door - I got a check for ~$60 for unused registration fees)
    -$2000 (rebate)
    - $xxx some GM Card rebate (important for GM Card peeps)

    Walked away with car, and less Cash of about $18500 minus GMCard savings - below $18,000.

    Vibe would have cost more if it wasn't for $2000 rebate.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    One thing to consider is how long you plan on keeping your car. All of these rebates are having a MAJOR effect on the used car market as well as resale values. If you're planning on trading in or selling your car anytime within the next 3-4 yrs, you very well lose part or all of that initial savings at that time.

    I know for one example someone that is a close friend of mine that was looking at a Highlander or an Explorer. The Explorer had an MSRP of $35,000 or thereabouts. The Highlander had an MSRP of $31,000. The average selling price of similarly equipped highlanders and explorers at the largest auction near here, 2001 models, 20,000-26,000 miles had a huge discrepency. He could have bought the explorer for about $26,000 after rebates, discounts, etc. The highlander was about $29,500. The average price of the 2yr old explorers was about $12,000 vs. $21,000 for the highlanders. These were all vehicles with similar miles and equipment.

    I'm not saying that all vehicles are the same in the change in value, but keep it in mind.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    tend to drop sharply in resale value for the first year or two because the roads are flooded with them, but then they flatten out considerably, so that by five years they are well ahead of any of their peers in value, and way down the line when other cars have to be donated, the Toyotas are still running generally and still worth something.

    I am wondering if the same will be for true for Matrix, which is a much lower-volume car, but is still an econowagon at heart.

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

  • LuzerLuzer Posts: 119
    Explorer and Highlander are not a good comparo.

    Rather the Prism and the Corolla of yore illustrate the case in point.

    Prism's were always a little more at MSRP, but then you kick in the rebate thing and Prism's seemed cheaper.

    Anedotally, I believe the used Corolla's had a little higher resale then the Chevy/Geo.

    The grandfather is the mid-late 80's Corolla/Nova twin.

    The Vibe and Matrix may differ enough to warrant a little +/- based on styling, but I doubt much.

    Toyota has a better reliability rep than Chevy/Pontiac - that alone had been the extra 5% in resale - Image - Coke/Pepsi vs RC vs Shasta.

    Anyway, for me, resale was not a consideration.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    resale values were so different between these two models that numerous times I have seen "Toyota Prisms" advertised in the local paper...the ad goes on to make a great deal of the fact that even though the car has a Chevy/Geo badge, it is "really" a Toyota corolla! They don't even put the ad in the Chevy section - it goes in with the other Toyotas!

    And these two really were identical...

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

  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    I just used KBB as a guide. 1998 Corolla CE with 60,000 miles equiped exactly the same as Prism with same miles and condition. Corolla had trade-in value at $4,375, Prism had value of $3,405. Just one example and it is even more true when time comes to actually trade.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    it can actually be hard to sell the Prism, whereas the corolla pretty much sells itself.

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

  • LuzerLuzer Posts: 119
    I alluded to a 5% difference.
    I was thinking of 5% of MSRP, about $800 to $1000.

    In reports, you'll see a 4 yr old car going for 40% to 45% of original sticker - that was my 5% difference.

    You can also try Edmunds resale value.
  • XRS, 6 manual with side impact air bags, cold wx package, prem radio (CD 6 changer), sunroof, floor mat, rear bumper protector, wind deflector, and cargo mat. Cost = $18,935. With TTL (out the door) $19,699. First dealer would not go lower that 20,111. So I called the dealer 38 miles north, told him what I wanted and my price of 18,935. Of course, the salesman had to "talk to the manager" (do any of the salesmen have the authority to close a deal?). Picked my car up the next day at my price. Total haggling ~18 minutes. Guess what - the northern dealer got the car from my first dealer. Basic capitalism, love it. May have been able to shave another $200 off the price, but didn't want to spend the time. After bigger percentage savings with Avalon later this year.
  • I bought this using

    Year: 2003
    Make: Toyota
    Model: Corolla
    Trim: LE 4dr Sedan
    Exterior Color: Lunar Mist
    Interior Color: Light Gray

    Factory-installed Options:
         Engine: 1.8L DOHC MPI
         Tires: P195/65R15 AS BSW
         Front Bucket Seats
         Monotone Paint Application
         Transmission: Electronic 4-Speed Automatic w/Overdrive $724.00
         Aluminium Wheels $312.00
         Sunroof $600.00
         Cruise Control $200.00
         Radio: AM/FM CD/Cassette Combo w/6 Speakers $105.00
         Driver & Passenger Side Airbags $215.00
         Carpet Floor Mats (4-Piece Set) $54.00
         Trunk Mat $35.00
    Dealer-installed options:
    Vehicle Pricing
              8.25% Sales Tax Rate
        $ 16,455.00 Motor Vehicle, accessories & equipment
               0.00 Rebate
           1,361.25 Sales tax
               0.00 Luxury Tax
              45.00 Documentation fee(s) (taxable)
             160.00 Registration (title) and license fees (estimated)
               5.00 Additional official fees (CA Tire Tax)
        $ 18,026.25 Total
  • Hi, I need help. I live in Los Angeles area and after much shopping around and requesting price quotes from at least 7 places, tonight I just purchased a 2003 Toyota Corrola S-Type with Sports Package option, Power Package, Cruise Control, Deluxe CD/Radio, and some additional dealer add-ons that were already tacked on it. I bargained for four hours and managed to challenge the dealer add-ons. Now, to make the story short, I ended up with the price tag $17,500 flat out the door (tax and fees included). The salesman and I were stalled at $17,200 and that was the reason I increased my final offer to $17,500 out the door price. I thought that this was a good deal, but after much thinking I was starting to doubt myself. Can somebody please tell me if this is a good price or if I was ripped off? I really need to find out because I'm so bothered by it so much right now. I'm so afraid that I paid too much. Please respond as soon as possible. Thanks.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Did you check Edmunds TMV pricing for the 2003 Corolla with those options included? You will need to input your zip code for your area. Also, the TMV price does not include tax, title, and any dealer add on fees.

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • Hi KarenS, thanks for your reply.
    To answer your question, yes, I did. I did my homework before I came to the dealer. With the options that I wanted plus tax and fees, the TMV price would be $16200 for my area (my area code is 91107) before tax and fees. So after tax and fees, it should come up to about $18144 (the current california tax rate is 8.25%, and I don't know what the rate of the license and registration fee is. I'm guessing the tax and fees rates totaled up to about 12%. Am I even right on this one?). I also called 7 other dealers to request a quote for those specific options with the car, and most gave me higher prices over the phone. Some dealers were reluctant to bargain or tell me the best price over the phone; they insisted on having me come in to the dealership instead. I was just wondering if I should have bargained for a better price at other dealers or if most people have bargained better than I did. I need to know if my price is considered a good deal. I don't know how much the dealer has marked up previously before giving away the car to me for that kind of price. How much out the door price do most people get for the car with my options? And also, how accurate/reliable is Edmund's TMV price?
  • LuzerLuzer Posts: 119
    No matter what price you paid - it's always too high.

    Here's what I would do if I was you - disclaimer - I am not you.

    If I was driving the car - too bad, too late, enjoy, moving on.

    If I have not picked up the car - I'll call the dealer and call off the deal as it's causing me too much pain. Follow through and see if he'll come down to $17,200 or $17,300. I will not offer "meet at the halfway" as the first counter to his "well, what can we do?".

    If he says okay, no problem, I leave it at that, then I try again at the end of the next month.

    Is this effort worth $300.
    If yes, then make the next target at $17,000 to pay yourself $200 for the extra work.

    Make sure the out the door is really "out the door". Watch out for the finance guy or the manager putting in destination charges, or some other fees, and "everyone must pay" fees etc.
  • Out the door now is 18,936 - 1150 rebates = 17,786


    Here is the list of options = 1,914
    CD w/6speakers
    UP sports w/moonroof
    SP sports w/driving lamps
    Carpets, cargo, rear bumper, seat storage/first-aid
  • Dealers around boston are currently advertising a

    Corolla CE for 11,749

    + taxes, tags, docs, and registration fees. Is this a good deal? Do you think it is a bait and switch?
  • jacknimblejacknimble Posts: 171
    Okay, here is my purchase:

    2003 Corolla LE
    Combo CD/Tape
    Etched windows (VIN)
    Tape stripes
    Tinted glass

    I think thats all. Stickered for $17,300, paid $15,033 after $1000 rebate (I think that may be a Gulf States Toyota deal only, but not sure). It came in a $500 below sticker. After making the deal, I asked him how much I left on the table, and he said about $350, but they did not figure in the tinted windows, and they gave me 100 free oil changes to boot, so I am very satisfied with the deal.
  • jacknimblejacknimble Posts: 171
    It came in about $500 ABOVE INVOICE, not sticker.
This discussion has been closed.