Used 2002 Toyota Corolla Consumer Reviews
Bought an 02 S model about 3 years ago. Abused by original owners and left for dead. Our friend at the junkyard for it working in a jiffy. My first car, college car, put some 40k long and hard freeway miles on it (it's at 180k now), replaced transmission, struts, manifold and a wheel baring, but it has never broken down on me or failed to start. I've driven it through hot Vermont summers and freezing Maine winters. This is the car I walk out to every morning and thank the Lord for. It is a car I am truly satisfied with.
We bought a a Corolla with 120,000 miles on it and now have it up to 136,000. So far, we have only done routine maintenance, although I recommend watching the brakes closely. It burns a little oil but nothing major. Combined gas mileage is around 28 in the winter and 35 in the summer. The car's size is its best feature for living in the city: it drives well for such a tiny car and it is easy to parallel park into tiny spots. You just have to watch out because sometimes big SUVs don't see it.
Built in December 2001 at Toyota's California plant, and finally sent to the junkyard in March 2020. So the Corolla CE Auto gave over 18 years and approximately 230,000 miles of remarkably solid, reliable and fuel-efficient service. A comfortable and relaxing way to travel around town, although it did tend to run out of gears and breath on longer journeys. Slogging up to the 11,000ft summit of I-70 in Colorado was always a stretch. During its last 3-4 years, it did burn a lot of oil, but the piston rings were probably worn out, and the OEM head gaskets life-expired after 200,000 miles. The front struts were a soggy, mushy mess, delivering almost no worthwhile damping effect at all. Driving along the interstate was too often like boating across Lake Michigan on a windy day. The simple controls, analog instruments and quiet interior always made for a very stress-free driving experience. Urban streets and parking spaces were a cinch with the light n' easy steering. The a/c blew icy cold in Florida's summers, and the heater blew hot in Colorado's winters. It started with the first turn of the key every time, whether it was 0°F or 100°F. As a base model, it had no cruise control, which didn't really matter around town. And the 2002 Corolla had no trashy-looking iPad sticking out of the dashboard, either. Grumpy old guy here can't stand those things, but they seem to be mandatory on all new cars now, unfortunately. The plastic exterior door handles got brittle with age and eventually succumbed to rough usage. The interior driver's door release handle suffered the same fate, those two little locating pegs snapping over and over again, although they were easy to replace. The beige cloth interior was way more practical than the all-black ones we see so often today, usefully concealing every kind of dust, fluff, dirt, cat hair, beach sand and other lifestyle detritus. It managed to look cleaner for longer, so I only vacuumed it every other month. Not a lot of legroom in the back seats, but just enough for kids and smaller-scale adults. Well-located LATCH anchor points for the child seats too, so the juniors always had a good view out for the five minutes before they fell asleep. Although it had a comically obsolete 3-speed automatic transmission, this was always buttery smooth and reliable, and it worked well with the 1.8 liter engine, especially in Florida's flatlands. A stone cracked the original radiator at about 130,000 miles, it had a couple of new batteries along the way, and I replaced the front brake pads myself, as it took less than an hour to change those in my driveway. Overall, it was a marvelously reliable and durable little car for the price. Send me back in a time machine, and I'd buy that same car all over again. Stick with the base model Corolla, and you'll get years of comfortable, trouble-free motoring for your money. And for millions of us, that's exactly what we need.
When receiving this car as a gift at 16 years old from my mother I had never been so excited! Ever since then I have drove the car & I am now 21, & the car will be with me until it won't run anymore. From my first accident to the second one, to forgetting to change the oil, to a deer or three, to the three original hubcaps that are left, my corolla has never ever let me down. I have ran on empty far too many times than imaginable, and have never once ran out of gas. Dependable when I definitely need her to be. She is so reliable that we have named her "Old Rolls." because no matter the situation she rolls through anything. (corny I realize.)
I wrote a review about 2 years ago at 74,000 miles. Car is still running well with 94,000 miles. No issues, only routine maintenance since purchased new. No oil burning issues as others have stated. Just replaced plugs for first time (were worn but no indication of oil or other issues). The car still seems to go through brakes and tires quickly. Always starts and runs smooth. Nothing exciting but gets me to work every day without any issues. Gas mileage 28-30 mpg in mixed driving. Interior has held up very well. Acceleration is as expected for a car with 125 HP.