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  • Good fuel economy; fluid six-speed manual; capable performance
  • Obstructive C-pillar visibility; weak headlamps; slight road noise

6 / 10

2009 Toyota Corolla Seca Review & Road Test
2009 Toyota Corolla Seca Review & Road Test
by Matt Brogan

2009 Toyota Corolla Seca Ascent Review & Road Test

The Corolla Ascent proves what they say about assumptions

Model Tested:

  • 2009 Toyota ZRE152R Corolla Seca Ascent, 1.8-litre, four-cylinder, six-speed manual, hatch – $21,490 (RRP)


  • Metallic Paint $350 (Fitted – Sterling Silver); Cruise Pack $750; Enhanced Safety Pack $1500; Cruise & Enhanced Safety Pack $2250 (Fitted); Satellite Navigation $3740; Six-CD Tuner $850

CarAdvice Rating:

– by Matt Brogan

Last week I drove Toyota’s top-shelf Corolla Ultima, and although the car was not without its merits, my summation was that for the price I considered it to be good, almost average, middle-of-the-road, but certainly nothing to write home about.

That said you would assume that by jumping in to a lower-spec model this week that my impressions would be even less enthusiastic, somewhat cheapened, and that the base model sibling of the Corolla range would pale into insignificance against its more well equipped brother.

2009 Toyota Corolla Seca Review & Road Test
2009 Toyota Corolla Seca Review & Road Test
2009 Toyota Corolla Seca Review & Road Test
2009 Toyota Corolla Seca Review & Road Test

I guess then the Corolla Ascent proves what they say about assumptions.

My first, and perhaps most obvious reason for liking the Ascent is, quite simply, price. It’s considerably cheaper than the Ultima – even when optioned up – making the Ascent a far more reasonable prospect when shopping in this category.

That’s not to say you’re missing out by purchasing the cheaper version, far from it. In fact all things considered the Ascent offers a very good standard level of equipment that can be tailored, rather cheaply, to suit your own needs.

In this instance, the Ascent tested was optioned with metallic paint and Toyota’s Cruise & Enhanced Safety Pack that, as the same suggests, features cruise control and additional safety equipment (seven airbags and ESP), as well as a sassy little leather steering wheel with audio and cruise controls.

Similarly to the Ultima tested last week our Ascent also features the optional Optitron Combimetre instrumentation panel that in my opinion really lifts the car’s appeal from a driver’s viewpoint offering crisp, clear and easy-on-the-eyes information, especially at night.

Add to that appeal a decent stereo, air-conditioning, front power windows and mirrors, remote central locking, adequate storage and a simple user-friendliness that all lend the Ascent a baseline of value that has been synonymous with the Corolla nameplate for more than 40 years.

On the downside though the “C” pillar is rather large and obstructive when reversing from a 45 degree park and can make lane changing slightly perilous.

Road noise too is a touch loud at highway speeds and I found the low-beam lights to be practically useless on country roads, so-much-so that I found myself forgetting I’d selected high beam.

The Gemini-esque gear shift position can hinder access to the air-conditioning controls when in first, third or fifth, more so for the passenger, but you’re unlikely to care given the sporty feel it offers the driver.

The cabin is roomy given the proportions availed, and quite comfortable too. Four adults fit comfortably (though seating is for five) with rear passengers afforded more than adequate leg and headroom.

Unfortunately the same can’t be said for cargo space which is a little limited compared to some rivals at 283-litres. If this is of concern, the more generous sedan may be of interest, though it’s not nearly as versatile as the hatch, where the 60:40 split fold seats offer a large area for oversized items, perfect for those weekend projects.

As for what’s up front, I’m pleased to say the six-speed manual really does make the most of the 1.8-litre engine’s 100kw/175Nm offering, feeling much more alive than the auto model we tested last week.

Better fuel economy, increased performance (just compare the 0-100 figures) and a gearbox that feels incredibly well suited to the engine in terms of ratio spread means that unless you really take issue with using a clutch, the manual variant is a far better option for extracting the most from your Corolla – and your wallet!

The clutch is spot on in terms of weighting – something I have noticed can be far too light and devoid of feel in many of Corolla’s direct rivals – while the ESP system is very well calibrated, not too sustained or intrusive. ABS braking with EBA and EBD is both confident and progressive.

While it may be built for a price the Corolla feels solid, drives well and offers very good value for money, and with all of us driving our dollar even harder at the moment (no pun intended), it’s not difficult to see why the humble Ascent is so popular.

With the seven airbag enhanced safety pack available from just $1500 – and let’s face it you’d be mad not to tick this box – a basic, white, manual Corolla can be driven away from less than $24,000 – and what ever way you look at it, that’s not a bad deal.


CarAdvice Overall Rating:
How does it Drive:
How does it Look:
How does it Go:


  • Engine: 1798cc DOHC four-cylinder (16 valve)
  • Power: 100kW @ 6000rpm
  • Torque: 175Nm @ 4400rpm
  • Induction: Multi-Point
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual
  • Driven Wheels: Front
  • Brakes: Discs with ABS, EBA & EBD
  • Top Speed: 200km/h
  • 0-100km/h: 9.7 seconds
  • CO2 Emissions: 174 grams per kilometre
  • Fuel Consumption: 7.4 litres per 100km (ADR)
  • Fuel Consumption: 7.9 litres per 100km (As Tested)
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 55 litres
  • Fuel Type: 91RON petrol
  • ANCAP Rating: New model TBC (previously five-stars)
  • Airbags: Front, Side, curtain & driver’s knee
  • Safety: ESP with Traction Control
  • Spare Wheel: 15-inch steel (Full Size)
  • Suspension: Strut (F) / Torsion Beam (R)
  • Cargo Capacity: 283 litres (Seats Up)
  • Tow Capacity: 1300kg (Braked)
  • Turning Circle: 10.4 metres
  • Warranty: Three year/100,000 kilometre
  • Weight: 1275kg (Tare)
  • Wheels: Steel 15 x 6.0-inch

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2009 Toyota Corolla Seca Review & Road Test
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  • crouchy

    and it begins………………………………………

  • HAL

    ^ we can only keep our fingers crossed crouchy :-)

    On topic, I actually don’t mind the Corolla. Would never buy one myself but I can see it would serve the purpose for which it is intended very well. It’s never going to set hearts raciong but in this category it is a solid performer.

  • OH

    Satellite Navigation $3740? Ha Ha Ha…Wake up Toyota..!! You are not BMW…

  • Adam

    Good car, but it lacks a lot of standard kit that it’s competitors have.

    Also, that interior looks and feels nice but the ‘bridge’ in the dash is just a massive pain.

    The centre console is also too low and hard to double as a suitable armrest.

    Get a Mazda 3 Neo if you are after something in this category on a budget.

  • crouchy

    I think ill go down the jb hifi and buy a satnav for $200 thankyou very much!

  • Golfschwein

    The sedan’s a modern day Corona, a Vern and Shirley car. Camry Lite. Vern and Shirley pronounce it Camray, funnily. At least the hatch has a modicum of street cred.

  • http://skyline The Salesman

    The ever popular and reliable Corolla. A sure investment for safe motoring. The worlds number one selling mid sized car. Corolla has a well deserved reparation built over many, many years that should ensure many more years of strong sales. Or will it? How long can Toyota get away with charging a premium for a name? Look at what they offer, a 1.8 litre six speed manual pumping out a miserable 100kw wrapped up in a small cabin with enough boot space for a walking frame and packed lunch, not really better or worse than anything else on offer. The warranty would be considered a minimum by today’s standards it seems Toyota just don’t need to try any harder, and why should they? If you are already number one ( I guess that’s what Holden and Ford executives first thought when Toyota entered the Australian market). Well if Toyota is going to continue on the current attitude of we don’t need to offer more because it is a Toyota I believe they will start to loose ground to other makes. The problem for Toyota’s future sales is exactly what put them on the roller coaster to the top in the first place, they offered a cheap alternative 40 (or so) years ago that ensured they were more attractive to young buyers, the cars also proved to be reliable and that ensured repeat and referral customers for the years to come. Traditionally people buy from the same brand again and again throughout their life time (we are creachers of habit after all). Enter the competition, Korea (amongst others) are repeating the exact same process. Cheaper price, more options, better warranty and more dynamic and fun to drive, the proven formula, written by Toyota will eventually be their demise. Now is the time that Toyota needs to work even harder if they want to stop the next generation of buyers from wondering into Korean show rooms. Those first customers Toyota built a relationship with wont live forever.

  • Cupid Stunt

    And Salesman those buyers 40yrs ago are still buying today, sadly for Ford, Holden and others. By the way the Corrolla name was canned in Europe for the new name the Auris. So cool.

  • HAL

    Salesman, the car is far from being a dud, or poor value for money if you consider the market for which it is intended. Most Corolla buyers simply couldn’t give a rat’s tossbag about perceived lack of power or torque – they simply want to feel comfortable in buying what is perceived to be a good, reliable car, that will get them from A to B with a minimum of fuss, and will hold it’s value reasonably well. Oh, and of course whether it’s available in what colour they want or if it’s attractive (to them). My point is that it is a totally different set of selection criteria to that which most readers of this website will be considering when we purchase a car. Regardless of whether you, I or any number of commenters on this site think it deserves it’s safe and reliable reputation, that is what the majority of people know it for. And that’s what Toyota bank on.

    Rightly or wrongly, most 2nd hand car buyers looking for this type of car will likely feel ‘safer’ in going for a Corolla over a Cerato. It doesn’t matter what we think, that’s the way it is unfortunately.

  • OH

    I totally agree with The salesman’s opinion..

    Hyundai is now better than Toyota in terms of quality and reliability..In fact, Hyundai ranked third in the 2006 USA JD Power survey behind Porsche and Lexus.

  • HAL

    But just because Hyundai is getting better doesn’t necessarily mean Toyota is getting ‘worse’, does it?

  • Bavarian Missile (.)(.)

    Hal what the Salesman says makes good sence but so do you.

    Quote “Rightly or wrongly, most 2nd hand car buyers looking for this type of car will likely feel ’safer’ in going for a Corolla over a Cerato. It doesn’t matter what we think, that’s the way it is unfortunately.

    Yeah I have to agree with you currently Hal,I mean I bought my son a Seca as his first car due to the fact they had such a good reputation from when we were younger,they were almost bullet proof !

    However after several months of my sons driving his Seca it died several times on him . It wasnt up to the treatment he gave it ,so he went over to Nissan and VWs .

    I honestly think when it comes to our kids buying their kids cars in the future the Corolla wont be the number one consideration when it comes to small cars.

    I know in another 7 years when my daughter wants her first car I wont be considering a Toyota again.She already says she wants a Mazda 6 ,for a 9 year old she has great taste I think 😉 Ill be considering Korean as well though ,hell look at how far they have come in the last 5 years another 7 years they maybe sitting on top !

    My opinion and experiences ………….

  • Mark B

    Amazing the difference a transmission can make to a car – my experience matched the author’s. A few years ago I rented an auto previous-model ‘rolla to drive around Tassie, and I got so bored with the thing I nearly rolled it on a hairpin in an effort to find some excitement!

    Fast forward to 2007 and I drove another rented prior-model ‘rolla round my home town, this time with the (5sp) manual box… and it was a whole other kettle o’ fish. Performance was that much more perky and the top-end was actually accessible; how I wished I had a manual-model on the targa stages down in Tassie!

    Though if I were buying in the segment, I’d likely go with a Mazda3 or Focus, or a Golf if I could find a sweet run-out deal on a Mark V. Would prefer a diesel too… but that’s just me.

  • OH

    Audi finished 18th,Volvo 21st, Mercedes-Benz 25th, BMW 27th, Mini 30th, Saab 32nd and Volkswagen 35th….

    What a shock…!! Do not buy European cars !! They are craps..

  • OH

    Volkswagen 35th….What a rubbish..!

  • HAL

    Oh God, BM. You should never have admitted out loud that you bought a Toyota! I def would have kept that one under my hat for this website. You should brace yourself for the inevitable onslaught from you know who now :-)

    But back to your comment – fair enough re your experience with your son’s car. But I wonder how many 2nd hand cars could put up with a young boy’s treatment of it. And yes, your daughter does have impeccable taste with the Mazda 6 :-)

  • OH

    Most of Australian have a misconception that European Brands are generally more reliable than Korean and Japanese brands…As I proved above, it is simply a myth..

  • SteveH

    Agree with BM. The choice for a small 2nd hand car by default was always a Corolla. I had a twin cam model for my second car and it never missed a beat in the three years I had it.

    Would be interesting to see how the newer Korean cars hold up in 5 to 7 years time when people will be looking at them as first or second cars.

    I had a Corolla like this as a rental a year ago and I actually liked it as a runabout. I liked the position of the gear shift and the general layout, but road noise was a bit intrusive.

  • Lukaas


    I just want to clarify that the JD Power rankings change more often than a girl on her pubertescent period.

    Toyota no.1 one week no.4 the next. Ford no.1 one week, no.100 the next you get the drift.

    Hyundai has improved a lot. But YOU… yup YOU… saying quality and reliability is better than Toyota MEANS crap all. Because many many articles and expert opinions and facts will show other wise. I’m the greatest lover in the world… but hey thats just my opinion, an outrageous claim nonetheless.

    I agree 100% that for the price, Corolla is “good” but Mazda 3 has it beat.
    Not saying that Toyota is bad… they are good for that price (ascent base) but Mazda just willing to make less profit and sell their 3 at a better price.. hence better value since features and quality are equal if not better in some aspects.

    However I have to say, BUT HAL pretty much said it 100% to the T.
    I work in the industry not sales btw, but before sales. More like “planning” stages. Pretty much, the Corolla market is exactly what the car is built for. They do not care about power…. nor 0-100 time. Its about a car you drive A to B every day cheaply, with good enough features to keep you content. Performance is sacrificed for reliability in the long run and cheapness of maintenance.

    Here’s a “myth” or fact for you guys.
    The more power or performance oriented a car is… the less friendlier it is in terms of reliability/ daily transport. Chew on that for a second or 2.

    100kW for a vehicle you drive approx 30-50 THOUSAND KMs a year is “fine”.

    But try driving a performance car with that much driving and see its durability without extensive servicing… cars with high performing engines and or features require expensive maintenance procedures and/or servicing.

    Example: Skyline GTR R34, I know a “someone” who spent $1500 bi-monthly to keep it “high Performing” of course he drove it on a regular basis.

    Another, how about a euro… BMW 335i (current), great everyday car no doubt, but servicing cost double that of a car that has less “performance” features even sometimes 3 times more. The name? yes but also the type of oils and servicing required.

    Kia and Hyundai is cheaper in a way but still not equal to that of the japanese. Although the last 3 years Hyundai has dramatically improved quality, mainly because of recruiting ex-toyota employees or so I heard.

  • Pious

    My wife and I had 3 corollas, an older boxy one (maybe mid 80’s?), a early 90’s seca and a late 90’s seca levin. We never had a problem with any, they were great, trouble free cars and good to drive (in fact, IMO far better than the new mondeo I drove last week). In about 1998 I had the misfortune to buy a new daewoo leganza, though – what a horrible horrible experience that was! Poor quality, problems, rubbish drive, sold it 12 months from new and was glad to get 40% of my money back. I’d be very leery of buying korean again, though Hyundai is probably better than daewoo. My choice is Mazda – had an astina for a few years before the daewoo – great drive, sweet box, great quality.

  • Dan

    I prefer this over the sedan. The interior looks a lot more interesting. The centre console etc. Quality car. Quality fit and finish. Will hold up very well over time like all other corollas in the past, and that’s a given.

    SteveH – “Would be interesting to see how the newer Korean cars hold up in 5 to 7 years time when people will be looking at them as first or second cars.”

    Yep. So far they have absolutely ZERO track record in terms of them holding up well after so many years. I’d rather take a 7 year old Toyota than a 7 year old Kia or Hyundai.

  • Ravith

    Listen from me, who is just from test driving corolla seca
    (And Hyundai i30).

    OMG, Hyundai beats Corolla hands down, in ALL aspects. I am not a car expert or even enthusiast other than wanting a good, reliable, safe, comfortable, affordable car.

    Corolla: Looks worse (that’s subjective), feels cramped, seats uncomfratble (the contour of driver seat is bad – may be I am smaller than most other drivers?? :( Drives OK, but lacks the pick up, steering feel better than i30 (that’s the ONLY advantage – that too, subjective). The one that I drove did not have ESP or cruise etc. The noise is MORE than i30, and I was annoyed by a rattle as if the boot wasn’t closed properly. The salesman said that is nothing significant. He would say that! The interior – cheaper looking, and instrumentation – all right. And the price for driveaway auto – wuh, 27500, that with bare 2 air bag and ABS. Add ESP, air bags etc: >30000. For five year warranty – available, yes, extra 2000.

    i30: Shocked (positively) that it had decent interior – my only worry was that it looked and felt good, but how long before they start to come off?? Drives very good, absolutely strong pick up and overtaking is a breeze, not much noise, nice intsrumentation, LACKED cruise control. I was trying hard to find blemish. It only had one: The name Hyundai. Price: with protectz pack (extra airbags) and cruise control )aftermarket): 23000. Five year warranty included.

    I am convinced that Hyundai is the one I was looking for, but my main concern is that how ‘durable’ they are now a days. To me, Corolla Seca didn’t look like lasting as much as this i30 SX.

    Still undecided, but you know where I am leaning to.

  • Bavarian Missile (.)(.)

    hahaha Hal,I have never said I dont like Toyotas its there owners that I seem to have problems with 😉 I have also owned 2 Landcruisers ,always believed they were brilliant vehicles but reading the problems some of the current 200 series owners have Im not so sure it would be my choice as tow vehicle for the future.

    The Seca was chosen for him because I had one as a hack ,I have always been a rev head and drove it just as hard as what any young male hoon would so thought it would hold up . Driveshaft replacements seemed to be a monthly event and even when he opted for a Jap Import, a more performance orientated model {Supercharged Levin} it too went through parts including drive shafts . He is still a hoon {like his mother} but when he has kids {hell that will make me a gran ,gulp} he wont be looking at Toyota ,I guess thats what Im trying to say.

    SteveH, exactly the old ones were bullet proof, and as I come from a workshop back ground I had also based it on what we saw come through the workshop .

    Toyotas were always good cars and we recommended them to most fleet buyers that we had ,but things are a changing and Toyota doesnt seemed to have moved ahead with design aspects and retaining that bullet proof reliability , they seemed to have rested on their laurels and counted on the surveys and previous history to keep them as number one. However people are bored with Toyota ,maybe cause they are so sick of hearing the same old spruks on the same old stuff and love to see fault in those that are persevered as perfect,human nature perhaps!

    I still think Toyota make good cars just not great like they did. :) and the choices are so much greater and getting better thanks to the Koreans ………..

  • Sam

    I would consider one if they were $19990 drive away again. No hurry though, I’m broke at the moment an my current Corolla is going just fine. Regular readers might remember that my car was towed the other day after not starting….panic….first time ever it has let me down. Turns out the aftermarket touch-key immobiliser had fizzled. It has been removed and its all good again now. The car is only 11 years old, with 170k on the clock and doesn’t feel old, or run down, so I may as well keep it for a while longer.

  • Ravith

    Sam – Keep the car a while longer anyway coz I have heard they are bringing the ‘crap rule’ or something similar when they will buy back your old car for decent price IF you buy a new car (which will help economy as well as environment, apparently). But my Nissan Pintara is already ready to go to a junk yard, and they better bring this rule soon!!

  • Sam

    Ravith, that sounds cool! It also sounds only half thought through too, like most of Kevin Rudd’s new rules.

  • VW Freak

    Matt Brogan writes:

    “Similarly to the Ultima tested last week our Ascent also features the optional Optitron Combimetre instrumentation”

    Matt, the Optitron instrument cluster is not an option. By default, it’s fitted as standard if you order an Ascent or Levin SX with VSC, because Toyota were too lazy to add the VSC/TC diagrams in the povo instrument cluster. An unusual step for Toyota, who are normally renowned for cost-cutting. And you’ve spelt “Combimeter” wrong yet again!

  • http://skyline The Salesman

    Yep. So far they have absolutely ZERO track record in terms of them holding up well after so many years. I’d rather take a 7 year old Toyota than a 7 year old Kia or Hyundai.

    Please explain exactly what makes a 7 year old Toyota better.

  • RoFlmaTiC

    The paint hasn’t faded, the door seals haven’t cracked and dried, and the drum brakes are not deformed and thus needing a total overhaul.

    These are all problems that my friends 2001 hyundai ascent with a touch over 110000kms is experiencing :(

  • Dan

    Certainly Salesman. Simply looking on the street, and seeing Hyundais and Kias from 7 years ago very much fallen apart, and some even with rust in some places. Then seeing in contrast a 7 year old toyota still in like-new condition, is proof enough for me to say that Koreans have zero track record in terms of longetivity. My stingy workmate still drives a 1988 Seca, that thing never misses a beat, and has 280K kays on it. All panels are still properly aligned and no rust. Looks heaps better than a Korean 12 years younger…

    Of course, knowing you are a biased Kia salesman, you will dispute the truth.

  • Curious

    This 7 years old Toyota…Japanese or Australian build?

    I think that’s one detail we need to clarify :)

  • Bavarian Missile (.)(.)

    Hey Lukaas………surveys stats always remind of one in particular.Motor Insurance companies did a survey in Australia a few years back.Proved that Women drivers are better . Is this the case ? I doubt you will get many guys agreeing with that due to underlining issues that come with the result!

    Apparently Buick and Jag are on the top of the JD Power one at the moment ………..we all remember Jags reputation over the years ,see times do change but do we believe Surveys ? They do have a great impact on sales for the average pleb that knows nothing of cars and relies on stats to help them with a choice .

  • http://skyline The Salesman

    I don’t agree. I trade in 67% of the cars i value. I have seen two year old cars that are falling apart and 10 year old cars that still look new. The materials and manufacturing process are not to blame because they are the same. Like anything else you own, if you look after it then it will last longer. The badge wont make a difference to how the car wears out.

  • Dan

    Well Salesman. First of all, materials and manufacturing processes ARE NOT the same, between companies. But let’s just give you the benefit of the doubt (even though it is BS) and assume they are the same. For some reason it must be the Korean car driving demographic who just don’t take care of their cars at all, if mostly all are so ruined after 7 years.

    Please don’t deny the truth.

  • HAL

    come on guys, let’s not start the same arguments all over again. You’ve got differing opinions, that’s great. let’s move on.

  • Curious

    I take it that the still-in-like-new-condition 7 years old Toyota is Japanese?

    Let’s not confuse or equate Japanese Toyotas with Australian Toyotas :)

  • OH

    Dan/ I own 1998 Hyundai Excel which has done over 200,000K ….Besides the routine maintenance, I have never had issue and still drives like new (no rattle no squeak etc)..and STILL LOOKS LIKE BRAND NEW INSDE AND OUTSIDE..If you cannot believe me, I can send you a picture showing my car. Please let me know your e-mail address, if you wish to get it..

  • Dan

    Ah I see. So when people are dishing out wild claims about the koreans being better than toyota, they really only mean australian made toyotas. Fair enough, koreans have got nothing on the japanese. But yes, they are coming close to australians (which also includes holden and ford mind you, well, they are equal to holden and ford by now). Cool, sorted. We can all agree now :)

  • Dan

    OH, some of my uni friends who have owned Xcels from the same era, will very much disagree with you haha.

    I bet you have the usual fault in the instrument cluster where the lighbulbs fail to illuminate the whole dial? Come on, own up mate 😉 I could name a whole list of crap that was going wrong with their cars. Either you are full of it, or you are the 1 lucky owner per 1000 not so lucky ones.

  • OH

    I forget to tell that I had to replace the ignition lead approx at 60,000 K..Besides that, I never have issue..Even no single light bulb has been blown out and the muffler is original.,,,Excel is extremely reliable car,,,,

  • Dan

    OH said – “I own 1998 Hyundai Excel which has done over 200,000K. I never have issue..Even no single light bulb has been blown out”

    Now here is where I believe even more that you are telling porkies. :)

  • SteveH

    My parents still have a 97 Excel which they bought new. Still looks and drives like new. Only problem is that the gearbox feels loose from new, the interior looks flimsy from new, etc, etc.

    I don’t think there is any way you can compare a 7 year old Japanese and Korean car at the moment. The Japanese cars had far better build quality as the Koreans were just making to a price. In seven years time, it will be interesting to see how a current Corolla and i30 or Cerato are holding up. I would still put my money on the Corolla being the better of the three.

  • http://skyline The Salesman

    Well Salesman. First of all, materials and manufacturing processes ARE NOT the same, between companies

    How are they different? Do they use different metal? Different rubber? Different fabric? Do they weld or stamp the panels in a special way different to everybody else?

  • Ravith

    Well the context is that the new Hyundais (especially the i30) are coming on par with Japanese cars. Having driven i30 and Corolla ascent seca I am surprised i30 wins the CURRENT game. No argument about that!!

    The question is how the furure holds – as depreciation is one of the biggest cost factors. I want to believe that i30 should hold as much as Corolla – coz it looks and feels solid (more than Corolla). But it is hard to study the material, their tensile strength, fatigue and rust resistive characterists etc by looking at them now. However, i30 has been 2 year old — (??) and the used people’s reviews are encouraging.

    The temptation is the price. There is a difference of about 8000 – 9000 dollars between similarly specced i30 and corolla.

  • Jase

    What sells more, the sedan or the hatch?

  • OH

    Ravith/ Considering my car’s (1998 Excel, done more than 200,000k) muffler is still original one, Hyundai car’s longevity should be excellent……

  • Andrew M

    even the old hyundais were surprisingly reliable.

    Sure they certainly are cheap cars and its evidented by the cheap plastics and thin body panels, but they certainly arent reliable.

    As “OH” says, just change the leads every 60k or so and there aint much more to go wrong. I even had a mechanic tell me the same when i brought it up in general conversation.

    sure they have poor dynamics, cheap interiors etc, but they are surprisingly reliable. I actually had the pants shocked off me to sight many examples first hand

    I still wouldnt buy one though because me and cheap interiors dont stick

  • http://skyline The Salesman

    Dan said.
    “I’d rather take a 7 year old Toyota” and “a 7 year old toyota still in like-new condition”

    Lets assume what you say is true. Wouldn’t you rather have the latest safety like air bags, seat belts with load limiters, crumple zones, side intrusion bars, collapsible steering columns. New cars today are much safer than those of even three years ago. But hay; if you have an accident in a seven year old Corolla you might die, but at least the seats still look good.

  • Andrew M

    ooops should have read…..

    Sure they certainly are cheap cars and its evidented by the cheap plastics and thin body panels, but they certainly arent *UN*reliable.

  • Tyson

    In regards to the headlights being not up to scratch…

    there is an adjustable hieght feature from within the cabin for the Projector beam low beam headlights right next to the mirror udjustment. I think you’ll find they where set to there lowest position. Its just a matter of turning the Dial and it will bring the hieght of the lights up.

  • Camski

    On the topic of the headlights, I was just wondering, from the pictures I see a projector lens, would that happen to be the low beam or the driving light?

    I don’t know other peoples experiences with night driving but these projectors are a god send when you’re the one looking into them. Because the light is focused and unlike the standard reflector setup, there’s no stray light sent off into the sky. As a result of this, the on coming driver gets minimal (and in some cases) practically no glare at all.

    I thank car manufacturers who are fitting these bad boys as standard (Although Corolla sedan doesn’t have them? What’s going on =P) ‘Cause I think they’re safer and they sure take a lot of strain off of my eyes.

    (Drawbacks…. why must all actions have a reaction =( They tend not to shine as “far” per say because of the sharp cutoff line due to the lens + they don’t light up reflectors 100m down the country road, again, due to all the light being projected within a certain range [you may remember reading complaints about this from Wheels/Motor mags with Re. to xenon headies, that’s purely because most xenon’s use a projector lens, has nothing to do with the colour/lumens etc. of the xenon bulbs themselves])

  • Dan

    Salesman said – “How are they different? Do they use different metal? Different rubber? Different fabric? Do they weld or stamp the panels in a special way different to everybody else?”

    You cannot be serious? Have you actually sat in any car other than your $13,990 driveaway econobox Kias?? Do yourself a favour and get enlightened! You will find that plastics used between cars vary LOTS! To a point where some look and feel cheap, and some are the exact opposite. Get a clue :)

    OH said – “Considering my car’s (1998 Excel, done more than 200,000k) muffler is still original one, Hyundai car’s longevity should be excellent……”

    LOL! Judging a car by its muffler… how many of your panels are misaligned? How many rusty spots do you have already? Bits fallen off etc. That’s the sort of older Hyundais I see on the road EVERY day. Every third Hyundai I see, especially Excels, have their reverse lights on permanently. What’s with that? Dodgy reliability that’s what. I also see plenty with blue smoke comign out of the tail pipe. I can sit here and mention all those wrong things I see with older Hyundais on a daily basis, bt I don’t feel like writing an essay on a friday arvo.

    Salesman – “Lets assume what you say is true. Wouldn’t you rather have the latest safety like air bags, seat belts with load limiters, crumple zones, side intrusion bars, collapsible steering columns. New cars today are much safer than those of even three years ago. But hay; if you have an accident in a seven year old Corolla you might die, but at least the seats still look good”

    Again. I’d rather have a crash in a 7 year old Toyota than a 7 year old Kia or Hyundai. More chances of death in the Korean! Of course I’d rather have those features though, plus more, hence I don’t drive a cheap and old econobox. I value my life and safety (as well as image) way more than others :)

  • realcars

    Salesman don’t bother arguing with Dan as he is a tool.

  • Dan

    Realcars – “Salesman don’t bother arguing with Dan as he is a tool.”

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the muppet ^^^ of the day has just come out. Do you always have to insult people who you do not agree with? I take it intelligent discussion is beyond your mental capacity, so you need to resort to personal insults and name calling instead! I understand your below average IQ is responsible for that, so I won’t take it personally.

  • Wheelnut

    Dan Says: “Do you always have to isnult people who you don’t agree with? I take it intelligent discussion is beyond your mental capacity. so you need to resort to personal insults and name calling instead. I understand your below average IQ is responsible for that. so I won’t take it personally.

    Having fun it that Glass-house of yours Dan?.

    The fact that you replied to it shows that you did take it personally.. and the fact your reply referred to realcars as a muppet shows that you are just as bad if not worse with the personal insults as you are implying that he is unable to think for himself etc.
    However; that’s just another of your assumptions that you make about people on this site [who you don’t agree with or who don’t agree with you] – inorder to make yourself feel better.

    BTW: I just heard “Short Memory” by Midnight Oil on the radio… What do you know they wrote a song about you Dan

  • http://. Naughtyius Maximus

    Some things never change….same BS and ego driven do gooders who are stuck on a certain car maker and then go on with a twisted mindset to attack others. Get over yourselves and get jiggy real with it

  • Dan

    Wheelnut, I’m in my 20s, not my 50s. I don’t listen to Midnight Oil, Elvis Presley, or the Beatles, hence no idea what you’re on about.

    Just pointing out, there’s always a muppet out of your usual suspects who start off ruining a thread, ALL the time.

    And no, nothing taken personally. I don’t care what some ‘tool’ thinks behing his side of the keyboard. Over the last few months, I have NEVER seen, one half intelligent post coming from Realcars. Not one. The post above is a prime example of his typical posts.

  • Falcodore

    That centre console looks horrible, too ‘try hard’. Having checked out both sedan and hatch myself i found the sedan to have the better centre console layout, more practical as well.

    And Mazda dont charge extra for metallic paint but Toyota want an extra $350 for it! Not good value at all.

  • realcars

    Just thought I’d get in first Dan.LOL.

    The Corolla is ok but just sick of reading your anti everthing but Toyota dribble.

    Plenty of Excels and Lantras with several hundred thousand klms on the Odo. I’ve seen plenty of older Corollas blowing smoke too.

    Compare the interior and quality of materials with the i30,Cerato etc and I think u will find that these Koreans have improved over what Corolla is offering.

    Main reason the Corolla appears bland is that it hasn’t got the “finish” of it’s Japanese rivals and even the latest Koreans.

    If people are still wary of the Koreans they can make a wiser buy with the Lancer,Mazda or Honda. All better cars.

  • Wheelnut

    Dan Realcars has made a number of insightful intelligent comments on a number of Topics on this site
    I;d say its your lack of comprehension and understanding which makes his comments seem to be lacking in substance
    Mind you that most likely comes as a result of your inability to think laterally or think outside the square like the rest of us

    I know it’s hard to believe but there’s always more than one way of looking at things – apart from yours.

    The more you comment on this site the more you verify my arguement: that if you didn’t know about it; hear about it; read about it; see it; then it couldnt; wouldnt; didn’t; or won’t can’t happen.

    They say travel broadens the mind – you appear to be an exception!

  • Tim

    Salesman…it is pointless saying that a 7 year old Hyundai is better than a 7 year old Toyota – its just laughable. Hyundai/Kia have only got their game up in the last 1-2 years.

    A 2001 Elantra is no match for any 2001 Toyota.

  • realcars

    Tim the 2001 Corolla wasn’t the bees knees either buy any stretch of the imagination.Didn’t they have the generic blue Toyota look interior and the 1.6 and 1.8 auto couldn’t pull the skin off your custard?

    Corolla is an ok car but I am afraid an unbiased observer would have to conclude there are far better buys out there.

    If Toyota didn’t have such a “reputation” I doubt most buyers would give it a second look considering what is on offer.

  • Tim

    I didnt say it was the bees knees in 2001. I just said it was better than a 2001 Elantra.

  • realcars

    In what respect Tim?

    Dynamically there wouldn’t be that much in it.

    Interior well the 2001 Corolla would win out if u have a preference for Toyota blue plastic.

    From memory the 2001 Lantra had a larger engine and went better.

    Styling well didn’t like either especially at the time.

    Reliabilty, well I know two people with the earlier model rounded Lantra with one approaching 200,000klms and the other sports wagon with over 350,000klms on it with no major issues.

    Perception, well one is a Toyota and the other Korean so everybody knows that if u can’t afford a Merc u buy a Toyota{or Lexus).LOL

  • Dan

    Whatever you reckon Wheelnut. With you, it is always your way, or no way. Because you are ALWAYS right Wheelnut. Your opinion is the most valuable and most knowledgeable on this site, and whatever it is you say should be taken as gospel.

    Yeah right… I disagree with you. You disagree with me. You may think whatever of me. I think whatever of you. Let’s leave it at that.

    2001 Corolla is much better than 2001 Elantra. Let’s see if the same rule/fact/truth applies to the current models in 7 years time. Smart man will put their money on toyota.

  • Dan

    LOL. I know of ten people who’s Hyundais are falling apart. And it wouldn’t be hard to find more. I’ll just pull any random ones over on the road, and they will say the same. How about that Wheelnut?

  • http://integra axel

    Dan i find it quite disturbing considering your higher education that you stoop to gutter responses to any one who opposes your opinions , maybe your youth is part of the problem .

    As one grows older and wiser you have time to reflect on others opinions and to take on board this great smorgasboard of motoring feasts .

    There are so many different vehicles to drive in this world , dont become obsessed in one brand , go out and try them all .

    The world does not begin and end with toxus , enjoy them all .

    What we are talking about here is a car for the masses , it is not a perfect car nor are its competitors , simple transport from A to B for the average joe .

    In 20 years time you will probably own an aston martin and have no time to even think about a toyota or a lexus .

  • Dan

    Axel – “There are so many different vehicles to drive in this world , dont become obsessed in one brand , go out and try them all”

    Of course. I’ve owned about 10 different brands mate. I am not in any way biased. All my comments are factual.

    Axel – “The world does not begin and end with toxus”

    Do you speak english? I’ve no idea what you’ve just said…

    Axel – “you stoop to gutter responses”

    If I was to call you a “tool”, would you consider that to be a gutter response?

  • http://integra axel

    Dan do tell us about the 10 brands you have owned in this short life of yours , no matchbox toys now only big cars please sonny .

    You can call me a tool i dont mind , spanner.

    And yes toxus ,if you can work it out is toyota/lexus ,its easy than using the two words because they are basically the same car .

  • Wheelnut

    Dan your comments are about as Factual as George Michael is Straight

  • Cupid Stunt

    Come on Dan now one is out to get you.

    What the simliarity between George Michael and Wellington Boots…..They both get sucked off in Bogs!!!

    As for the Toyota thing I don;t really think 24K is too much to pay for soemthing with great customer service and reliability. Not forgetting they are cheap to fix when you hit the bollards at Coles.

  • Tim

    Realcars, the Toyota was better than the 01 Hyundai in all/most ways..doesn’t take alot to figure it out really. I’ve driven both and the Hyundai with its coarse engine, HORRIBLE gearbox, bucket of plastic interior had NOTHING going for it except pricing/warrenty.

    Mind you, I’m not saying the ‘Rolla was a great car, but atleast it was reliable and drove like a car…and the depriciation would have been 1000% better than the equivalent Hyundai.

    Seriously, to compare a s**t box like the ’01 Elantra to a Corolla of the same year is laughable. Currently though, the i30 craps all over this thing.

  • Mechanic

    Having read caradvice for a couple of months now, I have noticed that Korean cars are often portrayed in a bad light by always being compared to Toyotas and other Japanese car manufacturers. As an experienced and aged mechanic in my 50’s I do agree that Toyota is one of the most reliable car manufacturers. I drive a 96 Camry that has done 300Ks and I also recommend my customers to buy Toyotas.
    However, I don’t believe Hyundai cars are so bad as they are claimed to be.

    Dan- “Again. I’d rather have a crash in a 7 year old Toyota than a 7 year old Kia or Hyundai. More chances of death in the Korean! Of course I’d rather have those features though, plus more, hence I don’t drive a cheap and old econobox. I value my life and safety (as well as image) way more than others :)”

    Tim- “Seriously, to compare a s**t box like the ‘01 Elantra to a Corolla of the same year is laughable.”

    Upon close inspection the new Hyundai models like the i30 and Elantra are well built and have come a long way in terms of build quality. There are so many more unreliable car brands out there than Hyundai. Most of the mainstream Euro brands such as Peugeot, Citroen, Volkswagon and European built Holdens like the Vectra have far more issues than Hyundais, despite the general mindset that euro cars are superior. I have more European built cars coming in for repairs than Hyundais. The parts in euro cars start to gradually break down after 2-3 years, most of the time after the warranty expires. It doesn’t help the fact that Euro car parts are so much more expensive. After being stung once by euro cars, most of my customers end up changing their cars to Toyotas and even Hyundais.
    As a mechanic I would prefer a Toyota over a Hyundai at the moment. But after observing Hyundai’s continuous developments in quality and reliability, I think one day it will be on par with the Japanese or maybe even exceed them, and perhaps then I would choose a Hyundai. But if I was to choose between a new Hyundai, Citroen or Volkswagen, in the long run I’d choose the Hyundai.

  • Cupid Stunt

    Well said Mechanic – its good to hear from the man who mends what we break. Guess the Euros will naturally cost more to repair being a long way from their homes.
    I notice also the cheaper Euros (Ford, GM, PSA and renault) being to wear badly after 100,000K’s. The german marques do stand up a bit longer. I had an 3 yr old A6 with 150K’s on it no creaks or groans but it had been fixed a few times. new disc and pads, a compressor, belts etc.
    Carry on commenting I and I’m sure other appreciate your views.

  • Dan

    Wheelnut, you are as correct in your opinions as Dubya was with his weapons of mass destruction wild claims.

  • OH

    I totally agree with mechanic


    “European and Australian cars consistently lag behind their Asian competitors in quality, according to confidential industry figures obtained by the Herald.

    The figures confirm similar surveys overseas, which have shown that US- and European-built cars largely lag behind Korean and Japanese cars on quality.”

    Extracted from Sydney Morning Herald


  • OH

    As I mentioned several times, do not buy European car, they are craps!! They are even worse than Daewoo in terms of quality

  • http://skyline The Salesman

    it is pointless saying that a 7 year old Hyundai is better than a 7 year old Toyota – its just laughable. Hyundai/Kia have only got their game up in the last 1-2 years.

    A 2001 Elantra is no match for any 2001 Toyota.

    I did not say it is better to buy a 7 year old Korean car. I said it is no different. Many here have said they have enjoyed many years of trouble free motoring in a Korean car. Last one or two years, you are kidding right? I won’t even waste time on that one. Do some research Tim, and come back when you are better educated.

  • Dan

    Salesman said – “it is pointless saying that a 7 year old Hyundai is better than a 7 year old Toyota – its just laughable. Hyundai/Kia have only got their game up in the last 1-2 years.”

    And you have a crystal ball that tells you it will be better than toyota after 7 years? Recently you said you have no idea how to work out simple resale values, let alone now you claim you can work out their reliability after 7 years. Wait and see. Stop making wild claims. We can have a ‘I told you so’ discussion in seven years time. Smart man would put their money on toyota. They have excellent track history, and nothing has changed to indicate that they won’t perform as well in reliability stakes as the models in the past. All Koreans have going for themselves in that regard, is a Kia salesman’s talk, which is obviously biased. Only a fool would believe everything a car salesman tells them.

  • http://skyline The Salesman

    That’s what Tim said, scroll up and see for yourself. Anybody can guess what a car will be worth. But how many people put their money were their mouth is? Why do you think dealerships no longer do garneted buybacks? Like i said, a used car is worth what some one is willing to pay for it at the time it is offered for sale.

  • Dan

    And usually overall the average price paid for a car across the whole market, is what the average resale value is. Just because I am willing to pay a dollar for your used Kia, doesn’t mean you will sell it to me, does it?

  • Wheelnut

    Dan thats the difference – everyone is [supposedly] entitled to their opinion.. opinions don’t have to be correct as they are based mostly on personal experiences and understanding etc they don’t necessarily have to be backed up by anything.

    You should know that.. If you read throught half of your tripe and you will see that approx 75% have no substance to them nothing to support them – they are just your opinion

    Not only that but most logical well educated people are willing and able to change their opinions should enough substantial evidence be proviced which proves otherwise – that is they can admit or accept when they’re wrong.

    However; when you claim that what you’re saying is factual you should be prepared to back up your statements with evidence from a “respected” third party.

    A third party who has actually test driven the car and performed similar standardised tests on it to those that they have done on other cars inorder to allow car people to make relative comparisons etc

    And if you do actually use a respected third party to back up your claims – then don’t dismiss other peoples comments when they use the same third party yet what they said is different to what you believe; what you understand your opinion.

  • http://integra axel

    Gee dan we are still waitng to know about the 10 brands of car you have owned in your short 20 years of life .

    Cat get your tongue , we value your opinion so much

  • http://. Naughtyius Maximus

    Hmmm LOL….is it only 10?

  • Dan

    Wheelnut, when I see a falling apart Korean car that’s less than 10 years old, I have my own eyes, and I can see that the car is a heap of crap, and falling apart. I don’t need a third party to tell me this. The difference between me and you, is that I can make decisions and make up my own mind based on my own experiences, from what I see, and do myself. Unlike yourself, I am not a sheep, who will base my decisions on what other people (with their own agendas) say. I’m an independent thinking person who will not be swayed by BS salesman propaganda. When I see a falling apart car, that is factual. It’s falling apart. No ifs, no buts. No matter how you put it. Of course, it can also be subjective. You perhaps have lower standards than me, so to you blue smoke coming from a car’s exhaust pipe, or reverse lights being on all the time, or faded paint, or falling off trim, is a normal thing you would put up with. I obviously have higher standards/taste than you, hence to me, it is a sign of incompetence and junk, I call it as I see it. That’s fine, you disagree with me. We are obviously on much different levels.

    Axel, over the years I have owned/bought many cars in the past: Ford, Mazda, Toyota, Lexus, BMW, Nissan, Subaru, Vw, Audi. Happy?

  • Simon

    So many cars Dan, you must be pretty old. Owned/bought 9 different brands. Please do tell the makes/models/year/options.

  • Falcodore

    A reliability survey from 2yrs ago (2007) came up with these results


    Interesting to note that Toyota had almost double the incident rate of Mazda and Honda and it just gets worse from there.

    A satisfaction survey was done later that year in oz and the top 3 were Mazda, Honda, then Toyota. Very interesting to have the same top 3 in 2 different surveys.

  • http://integra axel

    J D POWER league table united kingdom

    Rating survey UK 2008

    1 LEXUS
    2 SKODA
    3 HONDA
    4 TOYOTA
    5 JAGUAR
    7 AUDI
    8 MINI
    9 MAZDA
    10 BMW
    11 subaru
    12 volvo
    13 nissan
    14 vw
    15 ford
    16 land rover
    17 hyundi
    18 vauxhall
    19 saab
    20 suzuki
    21 seat
    22 peugeot
    23 renault
    24 citroen
    25 kia
    26 chevy
    27 mitsubishi
    28 fiat

    Dan should be pleased with lexus , not so happy with toyota.

  • Wheelnut

    That may be so Dan but what I am saying is that your comments are by no means fact they are just your opinion – like the majotiy of other comments on this site,

    And to clain that what you say is fact without providing references or evidence to support them is ludicrous..

    Sure one of the 10 cars that you claim to have owned in the first 20 odd years of your life may have had a problem of some sort.
    However; that doesn’t make it Fact that the problem affects every other model car of that particular make.. and therefore they are all crap – just the one you happened to end up with.

    The Fact is your Comments are not Fact they are opinion! and as so many people have tried to tell you on this site everyone is entitled to their own opinion aren’t they?

  • Wheelnut

    Dan it seems to me that all you are after is some sort of recognition for the achievemnments you have made in your life so:

    You say your in your 20s… good on ya
    You say you went to uni…. good on ya
    You say you’re an Accountant …. good on ya
    You say that you earn a 6 figure salary.. good on ya
    You say you own a Lexus .. good on ya.

    Yet how does any of that make you any better [in any way]than anyone else on this site?
    For all you know there may be other people on here who happen to earn more than you.. have owned or do own better cars than you.
    People that because you don’t like what they say you assume are somehow less successful or less intelligent than you

    However; your retorts and replies which are often loaded with personal insults/attacks kind of contradicts your supposed superiority

  • Falcodore

    The survey i quoted was done by Warranty Direct. It was done in the U.S and U.K. and took in over 450,000 cars between 3 and 9 years old from 33 manufacturers.

    The article is on this site.Some of the poorest performers were a bit surprising to me.

  • Dan

    Wheelnut – “Yet how does any of that make you any better [in any way]than anyone else on this site?”

    Huh? Have I ever said that? Or do you somehow feel insecure about it or what? What does my education and other achievements have got to do with any of this?

    My point was, when you see a duck, it looks like a duck, it quacks like a duck, it semlls like a duck, it tastes like a duck; then it’s very obvious it is a duck! No longer an opinion, but a fact. If I see faded paint, it is not an opinin, but a FACT! If I see blue smoke out of tailpipe, or reverse lights on ALL the time even though the Excel is moving forward, that is NOT an opinion, but a FACT!

    See, each time I make a point which you can’t argue against, you attempt to somehow attack my character, and imply as if I’m some sort of stuck up prick.

    Simon, yes I’m turning 28 this year. If you’re so interested in cars I bought so far, Ford Fairmont (99), Mazda 2(08), Toyota Supra (95) and Soarer (93), Lexus IS250 (07), BMW 330ci (05), Nissan 180SX (93), Subaru Forrester GT (05), Vw Passat (98), Audi A4 (01). Some cars I own(ed) concurrently. And some of my missus cars I won’t bother including.

  • Bavarian Missile (.)(.)

    I think we all need to take what the writers more seriously other wise why read the reviews.

    We basically understand from what Matt says here thats the Corolla is basically a good car and Anthony Crawford {another CA writer and Motoring Jerno for years said back in 2007 on the i30

    “”the i30 is way better looking than a Mazda 3 and certainly the Corolla. It’s a better drive than the Toyota too and probably on par with the Mazda although I would suggest with a a more comfortable ride.

    Hyundai vehicles ARE reliable – hence the 5 year unlimited warranty. Anyone doubting what I’ve said in my First Steer should go to their nearest Hyundai dealership and tell them I said you should take one for drive. Then report back with your response. “”

    Now back then I wouldn’t have picked the i30 based on earlier Hyundai reports ,I thought they were crap,BUT after reading numerous reports on them seen and sat in them at motor shows I would DEFIANTLY consider one.

    Oi……… Simon by the time I was 29 I had 1x Nissan 2X GT Falcons , 1x Super-roo XA Coupe ,1x XC GXL Fairmont Coupe 1x XE Fairmont Ghia 1x Porsche 911 1x Merc 3 Toyotas, 5x BMWs 2x SS Comodores 1x Brock Director Comodore and a beautiful black 4 door A9X ……….so it is possible in your twenties but I dont think you can base a bad opinion based on owning one of each brand .

  • Wheelnut

    Dan your education your occupation where you live or whever youve doen has absolutely nothing to do with anything on here its an automotive website for car enthsiasts to dicsuss their OPINIONS in a CIVILISED manner.

    Yet when you appeared on this site a couple of months ago you gave the answers to questions nobody asked.. that is you made several comments where you mentioned your job how much you earn and the cars you have owned

    Then there are times when you have challenged people who have an OPINION which is different to yours by saying “what would you know” and asking them questions like “what cars have you driven?” etc.

    Then when they reply to you by saying what they do or what they drive you make comments as if to say “Big F–kn Deal!”

    Thereby making out that because you are an accountant who drives a Lexus etc that you are somehow better than the rest of us.

    You might not think that – yet that is the way you convey yourself to others on this site.
    Maybe if you weren’t always on the offensive that image might change and people might actually start to agree with whatever it is you are trying to say on here.

  • JasonP

    Wheelnut, on the money Son.

    Scroll back to the first few comments.
    Perfectly reasoned opinions, expressed in a polite manner, even if the next comment completely disgrees with the previous one.

    Then one particular person hits the blog, & it’s on for young & old.

    Salesman, don’t bother mate. Dan won’t ever concede that you’re entitled to your opinion, even though you’re in the industry, & would obviously have some insight worth writing about.

    I’m reasonably confident I earn more than an Accountant who is an employee, ( and if I don’t, who cares?), the 2 cars I have cost at least as much as an the base model “Luxury Export to the US”, & I’m one of the ones who don’t care how the Europeans regard Golfs, Audis etc as just average bread & butter cars, & Aussies think they’re a cut above the Japanese dross.
    The base “Luxury Export to the US” seems to be just a mid-level salesmans car in the UK. Nothing special at all. Why then would you think the same model is anything special here?

    Recently someone was trying to justify paying $30000+ more for a “Luxury Export to the US”, solely on the basis of a loan car, & having their car detailed.

    I’m a busy guy; just service my car & give it back to me.
    My own car detailer does a better job anyway.

    There are certain comments worth reading, & there are those that are not.

  • Whellnut

    Thanks Jason – now I’m just waiting for the typically juvenile immature “no I’m not you are” response from Dan-ial
    he is so predictable.. Shouldn’t be long now..

  • the fact

    the japanese makes the best quality cars in the world.no more arguments.

  • MazMagic

    Although I agree with The Fact, a good majority of Japanese makes don’t make exciting cars. Corolla is one of them. They are good and very Reliable, but very boring to drive – like all Toyotas (I know, I used to drive one).

    The only two Japanese makes I think that would give the Europeans a good run for their money is Mazda and Honda – innovative, fun to drive and even good looking – EuroJaps. Even Nissan to some degree is OK. Although Lexus is full of technogical equipment, it doesn’t quite make the grade in driveability. Perhaps they should become separate from Toyota??

    The only reason you would buy European is you want to ‘show off’ to friends – the ‘snob’ factor. Otherwise, pretty inferior.

    PS: Isn’t it funny that Toyota threads have the most comments – followed by BMW threads.

  • Whellnut

    Quote “PS: Isn’t it funny that Toyota threads have the most comments – followed by BMW threads.”

    Um I think you will find most of the record posting thats been done on this site has been on Fords……….go looking for the BF Cobra stuff and anything on the Ford BG under cover shots and you will larger number than on the Toyotas sorry !Oh and its not a b i t c h fight either…..

    eg http://www.caradvice.com.au/6778/fpv-cobra-gt-falcon-confirmed/

  • Wheelnut

    The Fact says: the japanese makes the best quality cars in the world.no more arguments.

    Aahh we are no longer discussing whether or not Japanese make cars with the same levels of quality reliability safety technology perfromanceetc as the Germans.. we stopped talking about the actual car days ago.
    We are now discussing whether or not Dan is an arrogant ignorant narrow-minded stuck up prick

    Yet; by finishing your statement with an order such as \”NO MORE ARGUEMENTS!\” makes me think that you are in fact Dan using an alias just as a certain other Toyo-phile did inorder to support his case as no one else agreed with him [and has since been banned for his offensive behaviour etc]

  • Simon

    Japanese cars are great. I bought German – VW Passat 125KW TDI.
    It’s nearest Japanese competitor: Mazda 6 TDI.
    The Passat:
    1. Is faster
    2. Produces more power
    3. Uses less fuel
    4. Is bigger (more room)
    5. Has less emissions
    6. Has a better resale value %
    7. Has 15000K service intervals. Mazda 10000
    8. Has DSG, the 6 comes in manual only.
    9. Turns heads.
    The Japanese make great cars, the Germans just do it better. I have test driven the Mazda, it was a great car. I paid about 7G more for the privledge of the Passat, it is worth it.

    • Gilly

      In a few years when that famous ‘Euro’ built reliability kicks in you will be wishing you had gone with the Mazda!

  • Foxy

    I’m about to buy a corolla hatch auto 2009 model. I was offered 24,500 with safety pack. Is it a good price? Any opinion would be appreciated. Thanks!!!

    • http://dodge franz chong

      Not a bad price at all.At least unlike Nissan You don’t have to put up with a silly named Sex and the City Mobile which now is made in Thailand.

  • RoFlmaTiC

    Is that a drive away price Foxy?

  • http://integra axel

    Well stan for someone so opinionated in that lot theres only one interesting car the BMW 330I, the rest pretty average for a book keeper .

    spoofing again spanner

  • For Dan

    After reading the thread btw Dan/Wheelnut et al…

    A question for Dan, I have actually seen misaligned panels in a Mazda CX9, Holden Commodores, Toyota Camry and also Hyundai Excels and Sonatas. So with your factual arguments as you clearly described with a duck; this means I have every right to condemn Mazdas, Holdens and Toyotas as unreliable cars as well as the Hyundai?

  • Sam

    Foxy, do make sure you really are getting a 2009 and not a 2008 because of upgrades which include vehicle stability control. I have a corolla and have been thinking long and hard about doing what you are. The price sounds about right but a ‘great deal’ from Toyota should be treated with suspicion, especially if it was the first price they gave you. You should try another dealer, just on the phone, tell him/her what you are about to buy off someone else and see if s/he can beet it. My family have bought many toyota’s, and it can be like pulling teeth getting a real discount from these people. The Financial crisis is on your side though so go for it, notice the salespeople all have heaps of time and the showrooms are not crowded….

    Before I let you go, if you weren’t sold on a new corolla, (like a long time corolla driver like myself who isn’t completely chuffed with the current model), may I suggest a neat little car that has taken my interest, anyone should correct me if I am wrong, but I am told they are terrific cars. You would get one for about the same money, auto too. A new Suzuki SX4 hatch. They are all wheel drive. I reckon they are tops but I wont bang on about it. It might not be your cup of tea, just thought I would throw that up for you…..

  • Simon

    I now understand why Dan is so unhappy and has has so many different cars. He’s a perfectionist! It surely must only be a matter of time until he gives the Lexus the flick as alas, it was constructed with the hands of mortals. Sure enough it will start to wear, break and fall apart like every other car ever made.
    That brings me to another point. The original corolla came out in 1966. The first VW “Beetle” came out in 1938, but wasn’t officially called beetle until 1967 in the US.
    I think it’s fair to say there are currently many more early model Beetles around than Corollas. Partly because of their iconic design, partly because of good construction. The tables will most likely be turned in the next 50 years because of current volume of production.

  • Andrew M

    If you want quality that looks like it will last for years to come, go look at the Mazda3 end of story.

    I just did the small car shop around yesterday.

    A hit to seek out longevity is to stick your head in the used car division and see how they hold up with a few k’s on them

    I myself liked the Lancer because it seemed bigger and packed features well above of its competition, and offered them at a much better price too. surprisingly though the lancer felt very sluggish even though it spruked more power.

    The other half has a love affair with the mazda3.
    Even though 3 doesnt offer the same kit as the lancer on a $ to $ basis, its still a front runner because i have doubts about how the lancers interior will hold up over time. the mazdas just oozes quality.
    Also the Mazdas resale is mind blowing in a market where no car really has any. 2nd hand mazdas are selling for the same coin as new lancers!!!!!
    The mazda felt a little more zippy because of its traditional gearbox i suppose….

    I was also surprised that after reading the specs, that the mazda is pretty much the same size as the lancer even though the mazda seemed easier to manouver/see around etc.

    I also checked out the other makes including the i30 and was surprised that in the flesh it seemed like far less to tout about. they mght be doing good deals on them (dunno didnt get that far) but after the encounter it seriously faded off my radar.

    Also for a laugh i checked out the Viva say no more……

    Lancer = best value for money
    Mazda = I can see why its the number 1 for private.

    Also to add further, the mazda show room was the only one that was buzzing

  • Andrew M


    Scary thing for competition = new Mazda3 coming in april

  • Andrew M

    your price seems nothing to write home about going by the prices i got on other makes yesterday.

    you will get into a mazda3 neo sport auto for 24,500d/away, and thats before you get your bargaining hat on.
    And i was told that i could be looking at under 28K for the maxx sport if i wanted to get serious.

    A funny story that came out of my travels yesterday was when I walked through a 2nd hand yard.
    I saw a 2nd hand mazda3 with no price on it just like the rest of their yard. I had a quick spuiz before i was approached by a sales man. He asked me what i wanted to spend so i spat him the first round figure that came into my head.
    I said “20K”
    I then asked how much he had on the mazda over there in the corner.
    he went inside to check, and in the mean time i said to the other half i bet he comes back and says 20K.

    sure enough he comes back out and says its 21K but you can have it for 20K ha ha ha ha ha ha
    I blantently said ive seen better examples with less k’s for that sort of coin
    that was my fun for the day…….
    he came out and said how much you looki

    I didnt go as far to get a price on the corolla because once you see a couple of its competitors, it quickly fades on you.

  • Andrew M

    buggers me how that bit got there

    “he came out and said how much you looki”

  • noname

    Mazda 3 is too noisy in that its NVH is far below average. If you want good refinement, I recommend you to buy I30…It is quieter than the current MB E class…

  • Bavarian Missile (.)(.)

    Andrew did you take the i30 for a run ?

  • noname

    Carsguide said: “In fact, it (Sonata) is one of the quietest mid-sized sedans on the market.

    Out on the highway, the road, wind and engine noise are as low as in cars 10 times more expensive”

    Actually, Sonata is as quite as any Lexus cars…

  • Foxy

    to Roflmatic….yep it’s driveaway.
    For me corolla HATCH is my ideal car…i think the depreciation is ok…not that bad. I like the safty pack which comes with 7 airbags and VSC. Eventhough the boot’s not that big. i would prefer a bigger ones but the budget is under limit.

  • Andrew M

    Just interested Foxy, have you looked at any others or are you just following the default road which is the Corolla??

  • ChineseDriver

    Be mature you guys, not everyone in this world consider them self are so PRO and keeps talk about performance etc.

    People buying Corollas aren’t idiots, they just simply CBF to waste their time and don’t care if someone else thinks they are ‘noob’.

    Is Hyundai a better car than Toyota? I don’t even care.

  • Falcodore

    Andrew M, have to agree with your comments about the 3 and the Lancer. I dont think the Lancer has the quality interior of the 3.

    Plus the Corolla still has that gutless 1.8 engine which you have to rev its guts out to get maximum power and torque out of it which negates any feul economy advantages.

  • Andrew M

    just to clarify, its not that the interior really feels “cheap” as such, its just that after i saw one in the used paddock with bugger all k’s on it i was amazed at how worn inside it looked.

    the plastics dont look crap, they just seem to scuff/wear a lot easier than the mazda.

    I still reckon both interior look good, but thats until you consider the wear factor

  • Falcodore

    Is that not a quality issue?:)

  • maximark

    The only thing I could think to critise the Corolla is that it doesn’t have ESP & TCS and 7 airbags as standard for all models.Toyota just being greedy and don’t put people ‘s safety as their priority. It’s 2009 and what are they thinking by have these safety features as an option.

  • Andrew M

    yes it is ha ha ha, but the point i was making is just because i expressed concern over quality issues, i didnt want people to assume i meant fit and finish quality issues as i found them to be acceptable

  • Andrew M

    Oh and I didnt mean that the plastics looked hard and ugly either.
    both examples are what people immediatly assume when you express concerns for interior quality

  • The Realist

    Toyota will charge what Aussie’s are willing to pay, just like any other company. Simple economics.

    Similar to Qantas – RTW in Business Class is $12K. Just use an overseas ticketing agent from American Airlines or Cathay Pacific, still on One World airlines so you get full status credits, and you can get the RTW Business Class ticket for $7K, with better service in the premium cabins than Qantas can provide.

    But Aussies will still stump up for Qantas fares, because they either don’t know any better or have some sense of patriotism which is funny, when Qantas couldn’t care less about Aussie travellers.

  • Boney Maroney

    Before typing I need to admit that I drive a Toyota Kluger CVX, and have done so for 5 years. Drove it around Oz towing a caravan for twelve months – did 47,000klms on that trip, ditched the caravan in places and drove into remote spots with a tent…..and it got us everywhere we wanted to go, and it got thrashed – and in 5 years, not one hassle, not one complaint, and still no squeaks or rattles. Man these cars are reliable.

    I also drive a V6 camry as a work car (bland, but gets the job done, and not one jiggle or hitch in the last two years)

    had a 2001 Subbie GT Forester, 1999 Subbie RX Impressa (which were both okay, but not robust, and were full of squeaks and rattles and little things constantly went wrong). Also had a Mitsubishi Colt and Holden Astra wagon in the mid nineties, with many, many failings.

    So when it came time to pick my next work car, I wanted something reliable, cheap to service (with the rolla, u cant argue with $130 services every 10,000k for 3 years/ $60,000ks) and something sub $28k driveaway.

    Anyway, test drove a Rolla Conquest today……..yes the engine lacks punch, and the six speed is probably wasted on an engine this small, but it is sturdy, sits nice and high for a car of it’s size, but the car is rigid, so cornering is great despite the higher seating position.

    I had to test an i30 as well….dealer didnt have a diesel, only a petrol. Must admit, it did have more punch in the engine, but she did rollmore on corners and was certainly less refined then the rolla. Sitting in the Toyota, it had a feel of quality, and a modern look on the inside, the hyundai looked dated and cheap. So I am leaning toward the rolla at the moment, more test drives tomorrow. Dealer is giving me the rolla to drive for the whole weeknd so I can back to back test everything against it…….I thought that was niceof him.

    Any way, for my purpose of driving to see clients, A to B, for business purposes, doing round 20,000 ks a year, the corolla so far suits to a T. It is easy to see why people who chase reliability, stick to toyota, even if the drive can be plain vanilla……it gets the job done again and again and again…………..Cheer, Adam

  • Boney Maroney

    Ok, today my wife and I drove a Lancer VR, KIA Cerrato, i30, and a Golf 90TSI……..must say, the rolla takes a back seat to the performance of the Golf, even though the Golf has only 90kw, t weighs less then the Rolla, and has much more torque starting way down the revs, it surprised me really. Wouldn’t consider a SA built Golf due to the many build issues I have heard of through this site, but now they are imported directly fromgermany, well, i just might head in that direction. Golf is worth a look for sure.

  • Boney Maroney

    Forgot to mention tha the driveaway price for the golf is $2k premium over the rolla, but i reackon it is well worth it!

  • Boney Maroney

    over the rolla conquest that is

    also on golf the 1.4L turbo engine is pulling just over 2000 revs at 100kph in 6th and can pull away in 6th, the rolla is turning 3000rpm at 100kph, and s gutless in 6th

  • vid_ghost

    The new mazda 3 is a great looking car in black, but the dealers want $28k for the neo auto no hangle can be done yet.. they said wait 90 days befor price drops some. plus blacktown lander toyota is selling this car in auto with free sat nav and other extras for $22990 drive away! :)

  • http://caradvice Ted

    We will have to wait until the end of this year (2009) for the 2 litre Corolla to be released – initally in the upspec models, the 2 litre will more than likely be pushed accross the range, I WOULD HOPE.

  • http://caradvice Ted

    Face lift Corolla will be available around mid / end Sep 09 and will be better.

  • http://CarAdvice Ted

    The 2 litre is coming Dec 09 / Jan 10 and it will only be in the Uiltma sedan. However I understand that the 2.4 will be available in the ZR hatch – cannot wait. The 1.8 will continue in the base and Conquest models. The 4 speed auto will conitiue in 1.8, with 5 speed auto standard in 2.0 and optional in 2.4. Bring it on pse ..

  • http://Caradive jordan

    they need the diesel here in new zealand they do come on australia toyota

  • franz chong

    rather pricey for what it is.I went recently to check out a base ascent corolla with automatic and they were asking 27 grand for that with air.Korean Offerings are better equipped for less,Then you have Nissan’s Tiida where a base model now comes with ABS,Four Airbags and lots of goodies and if you specify the automatic Cruise Control,A smaller Ford Fiesta Zetec undercuts Toyota pricing by a lot.iT IS A NO BRAINER WHERE I AM HEADING to replace my 2006 tiida for and definetly ain’t a toyota dealer.

  • http://www.hitittuning.com tuning

Toyota Corolla Specs

Car Details
Body Type
New Price
Private Sale
$8,250 - $9,380
Dealer Retail
$9,810 - $11,660
Dealer Trade
$6,600 - $7,500
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
Engine Size
Max. Torque
175Nm @  4400rpm
Max. Power
100kW @  6000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
Bore & Stroke
Compression Ratio
Valve Gear
Drivetrain Specifications
Drive Type
Final Drive Ratio
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
7.4L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Ground Clearance
Towing Capacity
Brake:1300  Unbrake:450
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
Turning Circle
Front Rim Size
Rear Rim Size
Front Tyres
195/65 R15
Rear Tyres
195/65 R15
Wheel Base
Front Track
Rear Track
Front Brakes
Rear Brakes
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Lower control arm, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Trailing arm, Torsion bar, Coil Spring, Gas damper
Standard Features
Air Conditioning
Control & Handling
Electronic Brake Force Distribution
Power Steering, Trip Computer
Radio CD with 6 Speakers
Power Mirrors
Cloth Trim, Power Windows Front
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Metallic Paint
Safety Pack
Service Interval
6 months /  10,000 kms
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Front Floor
Country of Origin