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1998 Corolla

Overall rating:  Product Rating: 4.0

Reviewed by 58 users

Build Quality
Seat Comfort:

About the Author

Reviews written: 33
View all reviews by janika

Second best economy car after the Civic.

by janika:      Nov 2, 2001 - Updated May 20, 2002

Product Rating: 4.0 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: Affordable, Nice looking, Good gas mileage, Comfortable suspention. Powerful engine for a 4 cyl.
Cons: No leg room at the back, cheap seats, no options.
The Bottom Line: If reliability is your number one concern, than the Corolla is for you.


The basics

For 1998 the Toyota Corolla was completely re-designed. Especially the engine. From 98 all Toyota Corollas have a 1.8 Liter, 125-hp all aluminum engine. The engine has double overhead Cams (DOHC) and four valves per cylinder.
It also has direct ignition, which means the car has no distributor cup. This will allow you to get a lot of miles out of the car without any major maintenances. The other nice thing in the new Corolla engine is the timing chain.
No timing belt change like in the older models.
The transmission is as smooth as in any Toyotas.
We had the 1998 VE model with electronically controlled automatic 4-speed transmission. This car is gone from our family. I have traded it in for a Toyota Camry.
You can also read about the Camry in my other "epinion",
if you look it up under my name. This is my second review on the Corolla. I have deleted the first one due to low ratings. That review was one of my first ones and I made it short, not realizing what are people expectations in this community. I apologize for that.

First impression

My first impression of the Corolla is it's styling.
The car looks very sleek and elegant. Some might call it sporty. This is from the outside. Once you are at the inside and look around, you'll see very stylish lines and good ergonomics. The controls are placed to reachable places. The VE model we owned had no tachometer, no cruise control, no over drive or power locks. At the back there is no legroom or very little at all. Only for children.
The VE had a basic AM/FM radio cassette with only two speakers in the two front doors. Sound was ok from these. No distortions.

We own another Corolla, which is a 1990 DX. Same basic model. Compared to that old clunker the newer VE has a lot less material inside and outside as well. For example.
The VE has no adjustor for the mirrors. You have to roll the window down and push the mirrors with your fingers manually. Our old Corolla at least has the adjustor from inside. The VE has no side moldings on the doors outside. Our old DX does. The material of the seats is rather cheap compared to the older model. All it shows how Toyota is cutting corners to save money. These little things disappear from the new models almost unnoticeably.

Driving the Corolla

This car is actually powerful. I can feel the difference between the 1.6 and the 1.8 L engines. An engine this size in a small body like this will give you the smile on your face at first if you expect less. This car accelerates.
At a certain RPM the engine made a weird buzzing noise.
I was told in the Toyota news group that it is normal with the new Corollas. The hand ling is mushy at first but one can get used to it in a few weeks. I had a slight shaking on the steering wheel when driving this car on the highway.
This car had the original Michelin tires on it when I bought it used. I figured it was the tires that make the steering shake. I had the car inspected and also had the tires electronically re-balanced. The shaking remained.
I purchased brand new four season tires and replaced the ones that came with the car. We had them professionally installed and balanced. The shaking remained but it wasn't as bad. I guess it's a Corolla thing.

Over all

We loved our 98 Corolla VE. We drove it every day and
owned it for over a year. I only gased it up every second week. It is a simple car to maintain and never had any major problems with it. There is no legroom at the back when "I" drive the car, not even for the kids! The car feels safe despite it's small size. The AC cools great.
I would highly recommend this car to anyone with no kids or maybe 1 child. Not for a bigger family! In one word: The Corolla is reliable and for a lot of people that is the number one priority.

PS: Please don't forget to rate this review at the bottom of the page. Thank you.

Amount Paid (US$): 8500
Condition: Used
Model Year: 1998
Model and Options: VE
Product Rating: 4.0
Recommended: Yes 
Build Quality  
Seat Comfort:  

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