Toyota Corolla Years To Avoid & Best Corolla Years: A Complete Guide

Whenever you buy cars, it is always important that you are well-prepared with the right kind of information and facts to help you make better choices. There are some models and years that are not up to standards and as such, do not cater to your needs fully.

When you know the kind of vehicle years to avoid, you will be much safer and more capable of buying the best vehicle that will serve you for many years and render the best performance on the road.

Toyota has proven to be the brand of vehicle that people need in their lives due to its better fuel efficiency, compact build, and overall performance reliability. Following are some of the Toyota Corolla years you should avoid.

Signs of a Vehicle That is About to Break Down

Here are a few features common in cars that break down quicker than others. The components listed below are known to break down faster in the models of Toyota Corolla that came from bad years.

They also call for more maintenance, and the drivers’ overall experience of using them is unpleasant. It also reduces the vehicle’s service life, which can be a bad thing for an investment you had expended your money towards.

  • Battery
  • Alternator
  • Starter motor
  • Major disaster warning -Spark plugs
  • Electrical system -Transmission
Frustrated man trying to fix problems on his car.

If the vehicle you purchase has faults in any of the components listed above, it will be more likely to break down quickly.

Toyota Corolla Overview

The Toyota Corolla is a series of subcompact cars manufactured by the Toyota Motor Corporation. It has been the best-selling car in the world for many years since its introduction in 1966.

By 1974, it had grown significantly and was among the first companies to introduce rear-wheel drive vehicles. After several redesigns, four-wheel drive versions were introduced, and the competitors were also keen to introduce their versions of the same car concept.

The vehicles are manufactured at the original Takaoka plant, which was built in 1966. There are also other production facilities worldwide, and new generations are being launched each season.

Over the years, the design and re-innovation of the Toyota Corolla have seen many changes being introduced with good and negative effects or outcomes. Some designs and upgrades were so bad the entire year and were considered a failure for the company.

Buying vehicles from these years is not recommended as you might get a vehicle with inefficiencies and many other challenges you will need help managing. It is better to have the right information than none at all, and whenever you have the truth to help you decide, choosing a good Toyota Corolla will be easy for you.

There are some really good models from the car manufacturer, and you must take advantage of the chance merely due to the company being known for some bad morels and years where the new releases were simply terrible and did not provide a good experience for their owners.

Knowing the years to avoid also means you’ll know the good years and spend your money on the correct investments.

6 Toyota Corolla Years To Avoid And Why

As you keep using a Toyota Corolla, there are many instances where you will notice excessive oil usage in the engine. This is common for the following years:

  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2009
  • 2014
  • 2003
2000 Toyota Corolla.

Buying a Toyota Corolla from that year will give you lots of problems, such as the water pump failing, which has been known to lead to loads of cooling problems. There have also been vehicles that had transmission problems, and as a vehicle owner, you would find it more costly to maintain a vehicle in bad shape than get a decent one that does not have as many problems.

For instance, the 2003 and 2009 models were known to have really bad transmissions, which plagued the owners with too many problems, and most of them had to either sell off or stop using their vehicles altogether. The 2009 model also had problems with the cooling system due to the water pump failing consistently.

3 Best Toyota Corolla Years And Why

Even though Toyota Corolla is a name that can easily stand to its reputation, the model has flaws, and we should all be willing to accept them. They have also been on the good side of customers with some really good years where the design and innovation were simply at their best.

These are three of the best Toyota Corollas and some of the reasons these were good times for the vehicle manufacturer.


Powertrain changes and a few style changes make this a good year for the brand.


Driver assists, stylistic styling, and a higher safety rating.


Comfortable driving with plenty of space in the back. Great performance.

Featuring Toyota’s safety sense technology to ensure safe driving.

These have been good years for Toyota Corolla, and their focus on the driver has been one of the major reasons for this.

Drivers now get better driving experiences with interior features that aid in navigation and getting through tricky routes. Using location-based apps and Al features is also making it easier to have smart, assisted driving that makes life safer on the roads.

In recent times, there has also been more innovation which has made it easier to include new features in the models under production. These features are making driving easier and safer for everyone while improving the efficiency and performance of vehicles by quite some factor.

The new models are also more spacious, comfortable, and fuel-efficient, which is good for you and the environment.

The new designs are also more stylish and appealing, with recent vehicle models getting even more functional features to their exteriors and other places. During the good Toyota Corolla years, many changes and improvements were constantly made to the designs and functional aspects of the vehicles, making it easier for them to be at peak performance all the time.

Drivers get more functionality in a simple, efficient, and compact vehicle that is affordable and convenient.

Common Toyota Corolla Problems and Repair Costs

Even though the Toyota Corolla is a reliable vehicle with consistently good performance, it also has its fair share of problems. It has good fuel economy, which makes it a good choice of car for anyone that is economically conscious of their spending.

It also has good acceleration giving you the performance you need while on the road. It is also easy to handle and does not affect the overall quality of your experience. It also has good resale value and will only reduce in value by 21 % after five years.

According to RepairPal, Toyota Corolla has a 4/5 reliability rating which a driver can consider to be above average. It has the kind of performance that will hold up excellent to years of use, and for used car buyers or first-time car owners, this is the ideal choice of vehicle for you.

With proper care and maintenance, your Toyota Corolla is expected to last you many years and remain in good shape for much longer. With regular servicing, you will be sure of getting more than ten years out of your Corolla or even 300,000 miles on the road.

Regardless of the reliability, you can obtain from the vehicle, the Toyota Corolla has several problems. This usually depends on the model year. As we have listed above, there were several years when components of Toyota Corolla vehicles had defects and were incapable of delivering the kind of experience of service the customers needed from them.

1.     Excessive Oil Use

Filling up engine oil.

The 2002 and 2009 Toyota Corolla models have been reported engines were using too much oil. Some owners had only been driving their Corollas for less than a month. Typical solutions for excessive oil consumption include:

  • Using a thicker variant of oil.

Replacing the engine entirely when these options do not fix your problem.

2.     Transmission Failure

This is a problem common with the 2003 Toyota Corolla, and even with a lot of regular maintenance, some owners still reported cases of their transmissions giving up while they were still in the middle of the road.

This is usually after some clunking and grinding noises from your car, and it can quickly escalate and turn into something even more dangerous for your vehicle.

To prevent collisions and crashes, it is important to solve this as fast as possible to keep your vehicle in working condition. One of the more feasible solutions to the problem is replacing or rebuilding the transmission, which will cost you between $1,200 and $2,500, depending on the price of the components and what you will get charged for labor.

3.     Engine Slow to Start Up

This is another common problem for Toyota Corolla vehicles, with some owners reporting their vehicles will not crank up. Usually, this happens once you have been on the road for about 100,000 to 125,000 miles.

The solenoid within the starter might need replacing, and in most cases, you might even be required to replace the whole starter if the solenoid replacement fails to work. The best recommendation on this matter would be to consult a qualified and certified mechanic to give you the best insight and advice.

An engine might also be slow to start up due to a clogged fuel filter or weak battery, and usually, your car will not start up as normally as you’d expect it to. It is common in the 2015 model but can also be experienced with the other models, such as the ones between 1990 and 2014.

4.     Evaporative Emissions System Problems

This is a common issue for Toyota Corolla models between the years 1998 to 2016, and it tends to trigger the check engine light whenever it occurs. It can be quite a difficult problem to diagnose, and some of the causes include the:

  • Charcoal canister failure
  • Faulty gas caps
Car exhaust system having an emission test.

Whenever you notice this problem in your vehicle, it is best to contact a certified mechanic who will officially and professionally confirm if your vehicle has any faulty parts and other damaged areas that need repairs.

A professional can also do the necessary repairs to ensure that your faulty emission system does not spread even more damage than you would have anticipated. Early repairs are best, which is why getting the opinion of an expert on the matter is recommended before deciding to take any other action.

5.     Faulty Airbags

Airbag recalls have not been few in the existence of Toyota Corolla, and there were even reported cases of airbag inflator explosions which led to massive recalls in 2019 for models from 2011 -2019 that had that problem. The explosions were deadly and could often shoot pieces of metal at the car occupants, leading to serious bodily harm or injuries.

There were even cases where the airbags could stop functioning altogether due to the Flexible Flat Cable(FFC) being placed in the wrong or improper alignment. The driver’s airbag would then be rendered unable to activate, and as such, it would be unable to function or deliver any service to the driver when such aid is needed.

Some of these malfunctions were due to a lack of serious testing at the factory for some of the units, which led to these errors, and the problems led to recalls on a massively large scale.

Some of the bugs with the airbags were so annoying, with the airbags being triggered unnecessarily and being an obstruction to the occupants of the car. This would be a bad experience for the car occupants, and the surprises would not be pleasant or happy.

6.     Steering Drift

A number of the 2010 and 2009 Toyota Corolla problems involved steering drift which even spurred an investigation to be carried out. Many car owners have been complaining about the inadequacy of their on-center steering. This meant it took a lot more effort for the drivers to handle their Corollas properly.

This often resulted in a bad driving experience for the driver since they had to put a lot more effort into the driving, making their days tired and stressful on the road and to the different places they went. It would also be hectic reacting in time, and for the driver, this often meant more stressful driving and a nightmarish experience while on the road.

According to the investigation, it was determined that it was all a result of the stock calibration that impacted on-center steering. There were no recalls in this case, but Toyota did release a technical report for an improved EPS unit that improved the feel and touch of the on-center steering.

A person driving a Toyota car.

This was claimed to have helped solve the issue, but it was a hard time for the drivers. Most had to make an upgrade they had not planned for, which meant they had to spend more money for an upgrade that made their vehicle steerings easier to control.

7.     Bad Mass Air Flow Sensor

A faulty airflow sensor in 1998-2010 Toyota Corollas often calls for cleaning or even outright replacement to maintain acceleration. Without this, acceleration will drag heavily, and this will harm the general performance of your vehicle. A typical replacement will cost you about $200-$290, depending on the price that needs replacing and the labor cost.

They will easily get your vehicle back to working condition and ensure that the problems you have been experiencing do not recur. They will also determine if the sensor needs cleaning or should be immediately replaced to improve its overall performance and the efficiency it can operate.

Expert Tip: However, it is always best to seek the advice and opinion of a certified technician to ensure that you have the best solution to your Toyota Corolla problems. They are more experienced with the vehicles and are more capable of delivering the best kind of repairs to your vehicle.

How Much is a Toyota Corolla?

The Toyota Corolla has a well-established reputation for providing excellent value among compact automobiles. It has remarkably consistent scores for both safety and dependability, as well as outstanding fuel efficiency, making it a sensible automobile.

But have you ever wondered how much a Toyota Corolla is? The standard variant of the 2023 Toyota Corolla car, the LE, can be purchased for $21,550. The SE version can be purchased for $23,950, and even the XSE trim can be purchased for $26,700. A $1,095 delivery fee will be charged to all Corolla versions.

The pricing of the upcoming 2023 Toyota Corolla is expected to be like that of other popular compact vehicles on the market, such as the Honda Civic, Mazda3, and Hyundai Elantra. There has been a consistent pattern of strong selling prices for the Corolla.

Please be reminded that you should check the price whenever you acquire any automobile to see what other people in your region have paid for a Toyota of the same model. Having an idea of the price is best not to be victimized by scams and other schemes.

How Long Does Toyota Corolla Last?

A Toyota Corolla is one of the most popular cars on the road. It’s one of those vehicles you come to appreciate more and more in time as you learn about its strengths and weaknesses. Toyota Corollas are known for being reliable, affordable, and spacious. But that doesn’t mean anything if it has a short lifespan.

A Toyota Corolla can last a very long, but it depends on the owner’s habits. The average Toyota Corolla’s life is around 300,000 miles with proper maintenance. This might be ten years or longer, depending on the owner. That might sound like a lot, but some cars have surpassed that mark.

But like any other car, your Toyota Corolla can only go as far as you let it go. That’s why it’s essential for you to be able to identify problems — and take care of them before they have a chance to get worse.


Toyota Corolla is a name that reflects performance, reliability, and efficiency all at the same time. It has proven to be the brand of vehicle people need in their lives thanks to better fuel efficiency, a compact build, and overall performance reliability that you will be sure to love as a driver.

On the road, you will see lots of Toyota Corollas, which means that they are a popular choice of car with the kind of performance most users on the road would be expecting or anticipating.

Like any other company, Toyota has had its share of good and bad years. There were years when the models did not meet the drivers’ expectations, and some components needed to be fixed and capable of performing at the same efficiency as other models.

There are also good years, and this is where the strengths of Toyota become evident. Guided driving, Al, better navigation, and location services enable you to get to any place you need to be in the least time possible.

Additionally, the good years have brought out the innovation in Toyota Corolla and shown the world what is possible with vehicles and the driving experience.

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About Brock Rangel

Hi, I am Brock, and I am the lead editor/photographer for TheCarColony. I have been a mechanic for over 14 years now, and I am here to spread my car knowledge across the web!

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