Update 1/13/14 : Car now has 102,534 miles. I still have had no repairs, not even recalled ones. Car remains tight, no rattles, brakes pads now need replacing ( this will be 3rd set), paint and finish are still excellent, AC still cold. I did replace the oil filter canister cover but that was my fault ( buy the tool).
Over all still very pleased. MPG actually went up when switched to Michelien Energy tires 36-37.
Update 12/12: The car now has 66,000 miles on it. I have only replaced the tires. We have had no other mechanical problems at all. Still very pleased with the vehicle. MPG is still between 35-36 miles.
I recently bought a new Toyota to replace my worn out old Honda Accord. After shopping for months I decided on the Toyota basically because they gave me the best price. I had narrowed down to a Mazda 6 or the Corolla. I bought the 1.8L Corolla LE and thus far I'm am very pleased so this will be a positive review overall. My other reason was for fuel effeciency, I average about 35.3 miles per gallon. I bought the classic silver with the grey interior, and decided not to buy the Sport upgrade to an S. I regrett this now and in hindsight sould have upgraded. The upgrade gets the rear spoiler, fog lights, and on steering audio controls, and 16" alloy wheels and body effects. The package was priced to me about 1200.00 more and at the time I couldn't afford it but would recommend others to do it. One significant draw back on the Corolla S is it only comes with one interior color - Black.
Pros: This car is fun to drive, it handles well. It is comfortable, even on long drives, I just drove mine on a 16 hour trip and it was comfortable the full trip. This really surprised me for a small car. Visibility in the car is excellent, from all windows, tremendously more so than the Honda Civic. The gauges are well placed, the center console has a phone charger and storage pocket, it has an MP3 player connection. The radio is ok, not great, but adequate. The information center will give you the following: MPG, AVG MPG, Fuel Range, Elapsed Time, Outside Temp, Inst. MPG, and Clock (Con). Incorporated in the hazard systems is the tire pressure sensors and oil change notification, as well as the standard stuff coolant temp, etc. When you reach 5000 miles since the last oil change you will get a "service engine" light.
Trunk capacity is great, really amazing considering such a small car, the back seat will lay flat making it into sort of a wagon. The car is very quite, smooth ride most of the time. It has a very nice tight turning radius.
Cons: I really haven't found any major ones but some pretty annoying little ones. Here they are : the clock needs to be separate from the instrument panel. A remote trunk opener button should be standard, it was hard to believe that the LE did not have this feature (optional). The manual seat adjuster is a very poor design, particularly for heavy people. To change the oil filter you need a special wrench and have to buy the filters from Toyota, since they are not canister type, filter only with reusable cap. I also have noticed that the Sport edition with the bigger tires drives better and handles better. The Air Conditioner on high is sort of loud, it has great capacity to cool though.
Overall, very pleased with the car and have no regrets. I have about 12,000 miles on it so far. It is adequately powered most of the time, passing will rev it up pretty good, maybe overall slightly underpowered but those MPG aren't free. I think Toyota balanced it pretty well.
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