Toyota Corolla (2002 – 2007) Review

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Toyota Corolla (2002 – 2007) At A Glance


+Comfortable, well equipped and dependable. Huge range of body styles and refined, economical chain cam engines. Rated highly by owners.

-Not the most accomplished ride. VVT-i engines can suffer bore liner problem and guzzle oil after 40k miles.

On average it achieves 96% of the official MPG figure

Think Corolla and you think reliable but characterless. The 5-door version looks like a Chinese die-cast model of a Skoda Fabia done from memory. And your first impressions confirm your prejudices. Light controls. Over-light steering. Short gearing. Dashboard flat as a coal face. Nothing to get even mildly excited about.

Then you take it out for a second time and find Dr Jekyll blurring into Mr Hyde.

Toyota Corolla 1.6 T Spirit 2002 Road Test

Toyota Corolla Verso D-4D 2004 Road Test

Looking for a Toyota Corolla (2002 - 2007)?
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Real MPG average for a Toyota Corolla (2002 – 2007)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

25–65 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

I'm looking for a cheap second hand five-door family hatchback on a budget of around £2000?
"I'm looking for a cheap second hand five-door family hatchback on a budget of around £2000. I will be travelling 1000 miles per month with a mixture of urban and motorway. Could you please advise me as this is my first time buying?"
I'd recommend a Toyota Corolla. They're rated highly by owners and aren't as popular as something like a Volkswagen Golf so your money goes further. Also consider a Honda Civic or Mazda 3. Avoid diesels are they're likely to be problematic at this price.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What mid-size, automatic can I get that's reliable and cheap?
"I've just passed my test and would like to buy a cheap, reliable, mid-size automatic (about the same size as a new design Vauxhall Corsa as it's what I passed in). As long as the automatic gearbox is known for being reliable, that's the main thing. I haven't got a big budget so looking for something around £1500 or less. I'm probably asking for a miracle but a nudge in the right direction would be very much appreciated. Just needs to be big enough for a tent and camping kit."
Toyota Yaris Verso 1.3 auto. Next size up, Toyota Corolla auto or Honda Civic auto, but these are belt cam engines.
Answered by Honest John
Would a Mazda 3 be a good replacement for my Toyota Corolla?
"It's time to change my Toyota Corolla 1.6 VVTi which has basically given 128,000 trouble free miles. I intend to gift this car and then buy a petrol replacement outright. Not so sure about a Toyota Auris 1.2 T though. I thought about a Mazda 3 2.0 SE-L (hatchback or fastback) – perhaps a pre-reg as there appear to be a few with around 10 miles on the clock. However, I wondered if it might be worth waiting for a new Honda Civic SE with the 1.0 turbo engine. Do you have any advice you could offer me? I use my car for both long and short journeys. The budget would be a max of £18,500."
The Mazda 3 are probably pre-facelifts going cheaper, but still nice cars. Simply don't know about the new Civic. Crawled all over one in Thailand a year ago. Big car for the class; about the size an Accord was in 2003. They've been making them in Swindon since last September for export. But no UK launch until stocks of the old model Civic are sold off.
Answered by Honest John
What are the boot dimensions of the Toyota Corolla?
"I'm about to go to South Africa for a couple of months and will probably hire a Toyota Corolla. However, I cannot find out the dimensions of the boot, and I need to know because the hire company insist that the luggage must be entirely within the boot - nothing visible by folding down rear seats etc. They tell me the boot is 13 cubic feet, but that means nothing to me, I'd just like to know width, depth and height. Can you help, please?"
A South African Toyota Corolla saloon will be a Toyota Corolla Altis that is not sold in the UK and nor is it a car we have tested and measured the dimensions of the trunk: This page on Google helps (you need to copy and paste the entire URL):
Answered by Honest John

What does a Toyota Corolla (2002 – 2007) cost?