2001 Toyota Corolla LE (330)


This week I drove the Toyota Corolla LE because we just sold a 1983 model with 120,000 miles plus, to a friend. And before it was sold, mom (82 years old) has been driving it for the past two years. How’s that for confidence in a car.

You can’t say more for any car that will endear it to buyers. I can’t say that for many cars and in fact, in the past weeks, when I tested the Kia Spectra it occurred to me that we have little history for any of the Korean products imported to this country. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the car, but naturally I wonder what the maintenance and operating cost will be over time? One thing you can say for Toyota products is that they have been with us for a long time now and have a history of quality. I’ve owned two Toyota Cressida’s and loved them both. Brother John and I owned a foreign car repair shop and we concluded that when I needed another car it should be a Toyota.

Handling & Performance:

Well, the Corolla is one of those fun to drive, zip around town little cars that’s not so small after all. And it has all the power you need in this price range car.


I’ve been disappointed in today’s car styling because they are all so generic or cookie-cutter. Remember when you could look at a car and tell what year it was. Try that now. For the past few years Chrysler has been, perhaps, the best manufacturer when it comes to selling cars that are distinctive. You need only look to the extremely popular PT Cruiser and Plymouth Prowler as two examples and I for one hope there will be more to come. Ford is bringing back the original little Thunderbird and I’ll bet other manufacturers will follow suit.

Fit and Finish:

Typical Japanese quality. Good.


Not a lot for the money. You have to boost the price by $4,000 to get all the things we’ve become accustomed to.


A little pricey precisely because of the high demand for a quality car.


I’ve driven all of the competition and I like them all. If price is a major component of your decision, you have a lot of good options to the more expensive Corolla.

The competition:

Chevrolet Prizm $13,995-16,060, Dodge Neon $12,715, Ford Focus $12,220-15,355, Honda Civic $12,760-16,910, Hyundai Elantra $12, 499, Kia Spectra $10,795-12,995, Nissan Sentra $11,649-14,899,  Saturn SL $10,570-12,895, Volkswagen Golf $14,900-17,900.

Good News:

Unquestionable quality, great fuel economy, comfortable, fun to drive.

Bad News:

Ho-hum styling.

Standard Equipment:

1.8 liter inline 4-cylinder engine, front wheel drive, 4-speed automatic trans, power steering, power front disc brakes, dual air bags, split fold down rear seat, tilt wheel, radio with cassette.

Gas Stats:

 30 City and 39 Highway MPG.


MSRP  $14,198 and if you add anti lock brakes, side airbags, cruise control, CD, moon roof, air conditioning, power windows and locks and dual power mirrors you’ll increase the price to $18,184.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is movello@earthlink.net.


Copyright © 2000 – Automotive Love Affair

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