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Old 05-12-08, 11:17 AM   #1
frail1
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? Corolla Owners, Or Similar Vehicles.

Hello.

Just was looking for some opinions on buying a '02-'06 Corolla, or similar vehicle. I've searched the threads and other sites. There's lots of good reasons to buy, but anyone have any reason not to get this vehicle?

It would be used mostly for 2-4 people on highway trips, with gear.

Also, would you pay the extra to get a used vehicle from a dealer?

Thanks.
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Old 05-12-08, 11:21 AM   #2
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The Corolla is the best car ever built. Period. Buying from a dealer can give some recourse in the event that something goes wrong. The cars are usually inspected.

Prices have risen on econmy cars. Don't be shocked.
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Old 05-12-08, 11:29 AM   #3
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I think they're dreadfully boring, uninteresting vehicles, but for a lot of people, that's a plus (or at least isn't a minus). Especially people who see cars as "just transportation," and there's nothing wrong with that.

Aside from that, they're simple, affordable, reliable cars. Probably made in the United States, as well, if that's important to you.
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Old 05-12-08, 01:18 PM   #4
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I'd go for a newer model that has side impact airbags, if possible.

They are boring, but they are decently reliable.
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Old 05-12-08, 01:36 PM   #5
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Try this:
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/f16
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Old 05-12-08, 02:13 PM   #6
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We've got an '02 Corolla S that we bought used. Great car, we've had it for I guess almost 4 years and have never had a problem with it. Trunk space is good, back seat space not so much for an adult. I get right at 30 MPG and it's fine for road trips for 2 people or even 2 with 2 kids, but I don't take it on long trip with my teenagers.
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Old 05-12-08, 08:24 PM   #7
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Mine was pretty much the love of my life. Car accident, though, so it died a slow, painful death. The lack of curtain side airbags sucked, so the parents opted for something with a few more safety features.
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Old 05-12-08, 08:51 PM   #8
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+ a billion on all of the above!
If you want excitement, go buy a Pontiac. If you want drop-dead reliability, get a Corolla! I bought my 2000 back in 2005 and I haven't had any problems with it. You won't be sorry.
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Old 05-12-08, 09:16 PM   #9
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The most boring car on the planet. Just seeing one on the freeway (or thinking about one now) depresses me. Like the previous generation Accord, only 10x more boring.
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Old 05-12-08, 10:56 PM   #10
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I spent 20 years in the auto industry. No car is really interesting. A car is a box to put yer stuff in & haul it around. A Corolla is one of the best boxes on wheels. Pick up the best one you can afford and live happily ever after.
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Old 05-12-08, 11:13 PM   #11
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It will also help your confidence to watch as much Initial D as possible.
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Old 05-12-08, 11:53 PM   #12
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The most boring car on the planet. Just seeing one on the freeway (or thinking about one now) depresses me. Like the previous generation Accord, only 10x more boring.
Yeah get a Rav 4.
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Old 05-12-08, 11:56 PM   #13
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I've got a Scion that's about the same as the corolla but takes
some getting used to looks wise. I think it's cool though. It's a
2006 and gets about 30 mpg (except for the way I drive).
I am getting a Yakima cargo box for the times when I need to
have extra room for stuff. I had a Suburban before (I traded it in)
Am I ever glad I did before gas prices went up.
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Old 05-13-08, 12:09 AM   #14
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Meh, I hate boring cars. Life is too short to drive yet another Civic, Accord, Prius, Jetta, or other boring car that requires brake-torquing to 5k RPM just to get over lanes, past a city bus.

With gas going up, I am going to hold off on buying a vehicle for a year or two, see if Chevy and Aptera can deliver on their electric cars.

Even though technically pickups sell more models than cars, I don't get bored with them. Even an Element, though common (and fugly) doesn't just bore me to tears.
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Old 05-13-08, 01:43 PM   #15
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Dodge Magnum, BABY!!!!
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Old 05-13-08, 02:22 PM   #16
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I had a new 2003 Corolla and it was by far the best small car I ever owned. Zero problems with it, zero complaints. I let the wife have it in the divorce. My next vehicle will be another Toyota. I've owned several of them and they were all great cars.
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Old 05-13-08, 11:47 PM   #17
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I can't speak for the newer models, but my '96 (actually a Geo Prizm, but the only difference is the daytime running lights) never had a mechanical problem and got great mileage. Some old lady totaled it at a little over 100,000 miles though, so it never had a chance outlive anything other than an Detroit-built car. Despite being kind of wimpy, I actually missed it when it was gone.

*EDIT* Just notice you also asked about similar vehicles. Now I'm driving an '02 Honda Civic with the VTech 1.7 L. So far (85,000 miles, 40k are mine) it appears equally reliable. Fit and finish is a little nicer. Ride quality is a little stiffer but the handling is consequently better. It gets about 2 mpg less than my Prizm. There's a couple squeaks and rattles, but nothing concerning.

My only major complaint about the Civic is that my girlfriend thinks it's cute. Bleh!

Backseat in both vehicles is kind of short, but shoulder room is good and trunk space is decent for a compact. Road noise is undesirably loud in both.

I'd only pay extra to buy from a dealer if he added some value to the transaction, either in the form of a thorough inspection and servicing or a limited warranty. That assumes a private sale option and the dealer option are genuinely comparable, which is seldom true.
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Old 05-14-08, 12:28 AM   #18
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I have an '05 S model. I love it. Only thing I wish it had, was a telescoping steering wheel, since I have long legs. Other than that, I have 80,000mi on it, and it is freakishly reliable. Only thing out there comparable in price, mileage, and quality, is a Civic.
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Old 05-14-08, 05:25 PM   #19
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Thanks to all for the replies.

Boring is ok for me. I get enough sugar from the kids, snow, wind, surf, and of course my bikes. I'll be dust in 40-50 yrs. or so, hence no time to worry about what the car looks like...now my new steel roadie, well, that's a different matter.

I noted at the Toyotanation site, a dispute in the thread between 2 posters. One said avoid 98-99, and another 00-02, because of oil burning issues. Apparently the older model had larger pistons and was more solid? Anyone know about this? Maybe too fine a line to worry about!

Looking at the Corolla and Civics. Thank-you.
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Old 05-14-08, 05:32 PM   #20
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Don't overlook a Camry either if you find a good deal on one.

Up until last year I had a 2000 and loved it. Roomy enough for a 6'-4" guy (me), drove very nicely and got 36MPG on the highway. It was silver and boring as all getout, but I really enjoyed it...until it was totaled by hitting a deer. I'd love to find another one like it...or a Corolla.
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