Well, the time to upgrade my beloved Holden Cruze had come. A couple of issues with my Cruze allowed me to scrap Holden from the consideration. In the end, I had three cars I was seriously interested in:
Funnily enough, they were the best three selling cars at the time, so I thought it didn’t really matter what I chose, because they were all very good cars.
In all honesty, I liked the i30 and 3 for their style, features and drive. But the Corolla kept coming into my mind for Toyota’s legendary reliability and quality. After almost buying a Mazda 3, I went to a Toyota dealership. I test-drove a Corolla Sport CVT, and what can I say, it was fine. Nothing really stood out to be overly special, but come on, it’s a Corolla so who cares?
I negotiated a price and purchased a Corolla Sport in manual. I signed the paperwork and paid the deposit, when the dealer told me it would be a three-month wait on a manual. So what does a young guy who's too excited for buying his first new car do? Pays the extra to get the CVT. Now this is where we fall from the cliff.
I’ve had many issues with my Corolla. Some involving the CVT, the torque converter, and the doors. Eventually, Toyota gave me an extended warranty, but not without persistence, blood, sweat and even a few tears. It was not the amazing experience I was expecting.
Issues aside, I actually don’t mind my Corolla. It’s pretty comfortable, and I can do a four-hour drive in it quite comfortably. It doesn’t have the best power, but it gets up and goes eventually, and the sport button helps a lot. The fuel economy is very good – actually, it’s the only car I’ve owned that gets the recommended fuel consumption without trying. I usually see 6.1 on the freeway and 6.6 city. And I have a lead foot. That's very good as the washing machine sticker says it should get 6.1.
One of the things I’ve noticed in a few Corollas of the time is that the interior rattles, and mine's the same. Toyota fix rattles every service, and they just come back.
My Bluetooth is shocking. I’m not sure if I have a faulty unit, or if it’s just a very cheap system, but I can’t hear anything and the people on the other end can’t hear me.
Other than that, I can’t think of anything else that annoys me. I’ve had it a year in April, and to date I’ve done 34,000km – not exactly trouble-free in the usual Toyota way.
In conclusion, I do quite like my Corolla. Would I buy one again? Very unlikely. I just feel that Toyota has dropped the ball, and the customer service isn’t as good as its competitors.
For my next car, I’ll be having a good look at the new Hyundai i30, Kia Cerato and Mazda 3. I just feel Toyota has burnt me enough.