Last post on Nov 01, 2012 at 9:05 PM
You are in the Toyota Corolla
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Toyota Corolla, Sedan
#1658 of 4027 2003 Corolla is much improved
Mar 28, 2002 (1:01 pm)
I am sorry if some of you are having teething pains with your 2003 Corollas, but you are certainly in the minority if you believe that the 2003 Corolla is not a vast improvement over the older model. I owned a 1998 LE model and recently rented a 2003 LE model (with 1200 miles on the odometer) and immediately noticed the firmer steering and more stable and comfortable ride (although the Corolla's ride was alreay rather comfortable for its size); the interior styling is particularly more elegant, the exterior more stylish (everyone that I have spoken to about the car likes the styling and I had 2 guys stop me at a gas station and ask me the make, model, and price of the car - [Sandrift Metallic with freshly polished alloy wheels]), and the car is quieter at all times except near full-throttle acceleration (where the older Corolla oddly has a noticeable advantage). You all must remember that the car has only been out for 2 months - even some Lexus models have had initial teething pains, but that does not mean that Toyota has reduced the quality of construction in the new generation. I am fully confident that in 6 more months to a year these various squeaks and rattles will be addressed; also, just because your car has squeaks and rattles does not mean that everyone else's does as well; my rental, which is driven over terrible Dallas roads, did not have even one squeak or rattle. The new Corolla is just so fantastic that instead of me opting for a 1-year old 2002 Camry LE this fall, I will be opting for a new, demo, or gently used loaded Corolla instead. This is especially surprising because I never truly considered buying the Corolla again (I was happy with my '98, but it didn't have VVT-i[needed more low-end grunt] and I really wanted a Camry anyway). When they introduced the new Corolla, I was totally surprised and "had" to tell everyone that I was now getting a Corolla instead of another Camry this fall!
#1659 of 4027 Yes, well, that makes two of us who are happy....
Mar 28, 2002 (3:02 pm)
...every time we take our '03 out of the garage, I am even more pleased with our decision. Ours is "Lunar Mist", and also has already garnered compliments from others.
We have a longer trip planned for next week; I'll report back after that. Besides the really great ride quality, I would have to say the biggest surprise is the trunk space - we are able to get everything I carried in the Accord, and still have the same available space. What little was lost in theory I got back by reusing a [ almost new ] car cover that I had that was custom made for our '94 MB C220. It fits like a glove, and when folded, makes a smaller package [different materials] than the cover for our Accord - the result is the same, or maybe slightly more, actual usable space in the trunk than in our Honda. I couldn't be happier.
#1660 of 4027 Saw a '03 Corolla CE
Mar 29, 2002 (2:35 pm)
today in person - oh my gosh - what a stylish little car - I was leaving Wal-Mart and saw it up ahead - the lady who was driving it pulled in to a do-it-yourself car wash to vacuum - I asked her if I could look at her new car (it was indigo) and she was very nice and showed me the interior - I must say, I was very impressed, and hers was the base model which she told me she just loves - I still am very happy with my '01, but I have to say that Toyota has done an outstanding job in re-designing the Corolla - this car is sure to be a winner.
#1661 of 4027 OK car, but not "great"!
Mar 29, 2002 (4:08 pm)
I've owned the car for more than 2 months now. While I'm not particularly disappointed by the purchase, I'm not particularly thrilled either. To be honest, I think the new Corolla is over-hyped on boards like this one (who writes these "best car in the world" reviews? Toyota dealers?!). Still, I guess much of it depends on which car you had before buying the Corolla; If you're upgrading from a Hyundai or an old VW, you'll think the new Corolla is the best thing since sliced bread. However, if you're moving from a recent Civic/Protégé/Corolla, you wouldn't know what the fuss is all about!
I'm not crazy about the way the car looks, but I bought this car primarily for fuel consumption and reliability. Time will tell if it was a sound purchase in this regard (the rattles that are creeping up with less that 2000 miles on the odo aren't very reassuring, though).
#1662 of 4027 Musings About '03 Rattles
Mar 29, 2002 (4:39 pm)
I have complained about rattles on my '03 Corolla in several posts also. The most offensive one was fixed at Toyota service this past week. The remaining problem is on my dash that occurs intermittently, particularly when there is a temperature difference between the dash and the ambient conditions, ex: when the car warms up during cold mornings. As the buzzing/rattle is rather muted and occurs only ~10% of the time, I will live with this as long as it doesn't get worst. I am guessing that the one piece hard plastic dash material has something to do with this.
Another thought is that the car is simply quiet and smooth; as compared to other compacts I have recently driven, '01 Corolla, '00 Protege; '01 Civic. So any buzzing or rattles are more prominent.
Finally, check your tire pressure and make sure it's no more than 30 psi.
Mar 29, 2002 (7:24 pm)
well, I just think the '03 looks very stylish and updated compared to my '01 - but looks are a subjective thing - I agree with lfan about checking your tire pressure - I checked mine the day after picking up my new '01 and found the pressure to be over 40 PSI when the correct pressure is 30 PSI...I have been very satisfied with my '01 so far - but the '03 is (IMO) a much more attractive car.
#1664 of 4027 2000 Corolla vs. the 2003 Corolla
Mar 29, 2002 (10:06 pm)
I currently owned a 2000 Corolla. I test drove the new 2003 Corolla the other day. The one thing I really notice is that the new 2003 Corolla had a boring type drive, more like a older American made car. The 2000 Corolla drove more like a European car, more fun to drive. Does anybody else have the same feeling as I did? I may go and test drive a Honda Civic. Are there and opinions on the Civic vs. the new Corolla?
Mar 29, 2002 (11:09 pm)
The 2000 felt European?! Are you kidding me? That's kind of absurd (And I'm not a Corolla basher... my dad has a 2002 pre-redesign, and likes it just fine). I haven't had the chance to drive any Bimmers lately, but when I do, if they feel like my dad's Corolla, I'm going to be VERY disappointed.
Mar 30, 2002 (6:33 am)
Driven with some enthusiasm on a winding road with some bad surfaces, there is simply no comparison: the '03 will just get up and walk away from the '98-'02 car, and will feel more comfortable and stable in the process. The old one "more Euro"? I've owned 51 cars in the past 40 years, half of them "premium" Euro brands, and I can tell you without equivocation that the new one is a whole lot closer to the Euro small car standard than the previous generation car. In fact, I mentioned that to the salesman on my first drive in this car - we had just come back from another EU vacation, and the car evoked our best driving experience from our many, many EU car rentals over the past 35 years, including some really good ones in the past 18 months.
To each their own...and I'm happy for anyone who is happy with their purchase or current car, as the case may be. But I think the comparison between the old and new car favors the new in every category that matters. If more refinement makes the car somehow more "American", I would suggest you haven't driven any good Euro sedans from this class recently. I have.
And you bet a BMW 3er will feel better - but this isn't much of an accomplishment at the price a 3er commands. A better comparison is with the small Peugeots and VWs and Renaults in this class, and I can tell you from experience that the North American Corolla has nothing to apologize about in that kind of company...and never mind the kind of reliability most of them can only dream about.
#1667 of 4027 Continental Corollas
Mar 30, 2002 (7:36 am)
I thought the Euro-like economy car standard bearer was/is the Protege, which even exceeds the "euro-ness" of the Jetta/Golf as far as handling/sportiness is concerned. Respectfully, the '98-02 Corolla does not engender Euro-like qualities in my experience.
As for whether the '03 or 98-02 is more Euro-like, well it depends what qualities one values in a Euro-compact car. Like John, I would value the refinement, handling composure and stability as good Euro qualities to emulate. In those areas, the '03 has improved over the previous generation. (I had a hands on comparision this past week as I drove a '01 loaner for 200 miles+.) If one interprets Euro qualities as more road feel and noise I guess the '03 is more isolated/quieter than the 98-02's, so in that sense maybe it's less Euro. No sorry, traditional American car qualities does not come to mind with the '03 Corolla.