Owner Review

2004 Toyota Corolla Ascent Review

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Corollas are not fun cars. Gone are the days of the free-revving twin cam SX Seca and Sportivo. The average buyer are either fleet companies or the elderly.

So why did I buy a Corolla wagon? I'm not a fleet company, I'm not elderly and I'm not one of those Tradie's who loads little wagons to the bump stops. I'm a young, impoverished student fresh out of home and into the world, no longer privileged with a garage or free accommodation. Why would I leave a nice car out in the weather? So I sold my Mazda MX5 and purchased the Toyota Corolla Ascent wagon.

Imperative to my choice was simplicity, frugality, reliability and cabin space, as well as ease of DIY servicing and spare parts accessibility. On first inspection, it misfired, the handbrake was inoperable and the engine leaked like a sieve. However, I knew all these issues could be fixed with ease, so I threw some money to the lovely Frenchman who was selling it and picked it up the next day, vowing to spend the following few days repairing and getting it up to scratch.

I only wish I could have repaired the issues Toyota never bothered to worry about; the awful driving position, ABS, passenger and side airbags and the omission of safety features that rival manufacturers had as standard on their base models. The Corolla is also missing fairly basic features such as power windows and stereo aux input.

I was able to upgrade the stereo to a modern unit from a Yaris, which has Bluetooth, but I would certainly never be able to upgrade the cars image. A dependable and loyal car, but nothing more.