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Old 02-13-2019, 09:18 PM
 
28 posts, read 6,986 times
Reputation: 28

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I like the look of the 2003 Corolla better than that of 2002 Corolla. 2002 Corolla looks much older than 2003.

However, carcomplaints.com shows 2003 Corolla has over 900 complaints, while 2002 Corolla has 232 complaints.

Would that mean that it would be better to buy 2002 Corolla than 2003 Corolla?

Also how would a 2003 Sentra compare to these two? It has 244 complaints.

2002 Corolla:
https://www.carcomplaints.com/Toyota/Corolla/2002/

2003 Corolla:
https://www.carcomplaints.com/Toyota/Corolla/2003/

2003 Sentra:
https://www.carcomplaints.com/Nissan/Sentra/2003/
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:46 AM
 
Location: Vermont
384 posts, read 102,546 times
Reputation: 726
Try Dashboard-Light for actual mechanical failure statistics:

Dashboard Light - Automotive Reliability






Based on the reliability data alone, the 2003 Corolla looks like the way to go. If you can find a newer model Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris for the same price, either is statistically more reliable than that model year Corolla.
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:18 AM
 
375 posts, read 372,006 times
Reputation: 1018
Many people say to avoid the first year of a new model run, because that's the one that usually has the most problems. Therefore, the 2002 Corolla could be the safer bet.

With that being said, these are almost 20 year old used cars. That turns it into a crap shoot with a lot of unknowns such as how well the cars were maintained and/or how they were driven over the years. Any one of these 3 choices could leave you with very good luck or very bad luck, just depending on how the dice land.

A thorough pre-buy inspection by someone who knows what they're doing would probably be the best thing you can do to increase your odds.
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Old Today, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Fremont, CA
179 posts, read 128,285 times
Reputation: 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfrabel View Post
Many people say to avoid the first year of a new model run, because that's the one that usually has the most problems. Therefore, the 2002 Corolla could be the safer bet.
I never understood the reasoning behind this until I worked at the California plant where some of the Corollas were assembled. The '03 Corolla (and Pontiac Vibe) model launch in early 2002 was a very difficult one for that plant and ramp up was very slow and delayed. Most of the issues though were body related, fit, finish, paint, etc. and nothing that should affect vehicle longevity if it is properly maintained.

I have an '03 Pontiac Vibe that I have had for many years (similar to the Matrix, same engine and transmission as the Corolla) with over 325k on it. Only thing that has gone out on it is the starter and its still running strong. I know of many people that have over 500k on this model Corolla, Vibe, and Matrix. I wouldn't hesitate owning another.
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