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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Toyota Corolla or similar small cars

    Hello, I am looking to get a smaller car for commuting and going riding at farther destinations as my GMC Yukon gets 14 mpg on a good day.

    The Toyota Corolla is a front runner because it is rated to tow 1500lbs and that is good because i have a small 5x8 utility trailer and use it to haul my dirtbikes to the Motocross track a few times a year.

    I was just wondering if anybody has any input on the 2013 Corolla mainly on reliability and quality?
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  2. #2
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    Not a corolla, but my 09 civic has been flawless as a bike hauler.

    That being said, if I were you I'd look at something a little bigger with a bit more power. I haven't driven a corolla, but I've heard the civic is a hair more peppy. Regardless, I doubt it has any less power. There's no way I'd want to pull a 5x8 motorcycle trailer with it. It's slow enough with one or two bikes on the roof rack. I'm sure it could do it a few times, but it'd be miserable.

    I drive pretty much all highway and get 32-33mpg on average with a roof rack on the civic. Parents have an 07 accord that gets around the same mileage with no rack. It's a much more solid and powerful car that I wouldn't think twice about pulling a small trailer behind. I'd go for something like that and throw a hitch and hitch rack on it. Maybe a camry if you're a toyota person.

    An outback would be worth looking at as well. You'll still end up in the 30mpg range, but bump your towing capacity up another 1200lbs. Not very fun to drive though.
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  3. #3
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    The Corolla is badly in need of a refresh. I would be looking at a Mazda3 (I own an older one, it's been flawless), Subaru Impreza, or Civic.

    Plus it's ungodly boring to drive. That aside, we get like 5-6 year old ones in and they are noticably not as nice in the long run as comparable other cars. It's kind of shocking because Toyota was known for so long for reliability.

    I stand to gain nothing by recommending an Impreza (Sport model would be nice, gives you the roof rails) but you'll get a solid 35-38 highway all day long. With constant AWD.
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    get a matrix. you get a small wagon that gets 35 mpg, can haul a crapload of gear,and looks good doing it.plus you can get awd.mine hauls my bikes,and at 78 in the left lane,is a smooth riding as a lexus

  5. #5
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    Re: Toyota Corolla or similar small cars

    mazda 3 hatchback would be one to look at, I love mine.

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  6. #6
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    I work at a car rental place and we just got in the '13 Corolla. Everyone like them for the gas mileages. But like someone mention, they are boring to drive. If you are going to get the Corolla, if possible, get the "S" model. More pleasant on the eye and the interior is a tad bit more stylish.

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    I am looking at the S trim level.....not looking for excitement either, this car would be an appliance to get from point a to point b....i don't want backup cameras or moonroof etc.

    I considered Subies, but i really dont want a CVT trans in any car i get...and manual is out of the question due to Chicagoland traffic.
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  8. #8
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    You would take a 4 speed automatic over a CVT?? And AWD with better fuel economy than the Corolla, too?

    Anyways, this isn't me championing the Impreza, it's just that there are literally better quality and better performing cars out there for the money than the Corolla. Toyota is simply riding along on the notion that people think Toyotas are super reliable, just because they were 15 years ago. I find it offensive that they don't feel the need to properly update the Corolla, knowing that people will buy the same old same old.
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  9. #9
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    With the Corolla, we haven't have any issue with them, at least not yet. Only major difference in S trim is the exterior with the "body kit" enhancement and the funky steering wheel and other minor visual. One of the Corolla in my fleet is the S trim without the moon roof/sun roof and the roof mount antenna (not sure if that is an option or not). We don't allow towing with any of my fleet vehicles, so I don't know how it will do with towing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FloriDave View Post
    mazda 3 hatchback would be one to look at, I love mine.

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    I agree. A hatchback is exponentially better. Several good ones these days.
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  11. #11
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    What a car is "rated" to tow, and what it will "actually" tow are not the same. In the US, they want us to think we need a 6k lb truck to tow a little boat or something:

    my Bike Hauler - Chevy Sonic Owners Forum
    whatever...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by steadite View Post
    What a car is "rated" to tow, and what it will "actually" tow are not the same. In the US, they want us to think we need a 6k lb truck to tow a little boat or something:

    my Bike Hauler - Chevy Sonic Owners Forum
    Nice! I really do think the 1500lb rating is conservative knowing people will push the limits....i agree in other country's they tow with sedans, but in the US there are too many lawyers that do not allow tow ratings...everyone thinks you need a Mack Semi Truck to move a refrigerator...that said i would be hanging onto the yukon for towing, at least for the time being.

    The 2014 Corolla is supposedly all new, but i always like buying stuff after it has been out for a while and had all the kinks worked out....to put it in bike lingo, i would much rather buy a Garmin 800 Gps computer than the all new 810...even at the same price.

    I am still looking and doing homework, and i haven't ruled out subies or any other cars for good yet. But i am leery of the new CVT technology, and it doesn't feel right while accelerating....tho i guess people would get used to it in time...
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    XJaredX
    i am just curious since you deal with subarus....i have read on subaruforester.org forums the new engines that have a timing chain instead of a belt consume oil (like 1 quart every 1500 miles) have you heard anything on this or do you know anything about the validity of those claims? there are alot of people up in arms over there..
    Also what do you think of the CVT trans long term? Were the catastrophic failures limited to Nissan CVT trans cars only? What is the highest mileage you have seen on a CVT impreza without the trans being touched? Also the CVT is covered on the 5 year 60k warranty correct?

    I am really just looking for a car with good longevity more so than performance or style...i only drive 2 miles to and from work everyday, so i am barley putting on 3,000 miles annually with my yukon, but i would take a few more road trips with a more fuel efficent vehicle, so i am guessing if i got a new car weather its a civic, impreza, corolla, or mazda it would see 5,000-7,000 miles a year.....and i would expect to keep it for around 10 years
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HondaMotocross View Post
    XJari only drive 2 miles to and from work everyday
    .... 2 miles? Sounds like a candidate for bike commuting.

    Then keep the Yukon for hauling duties and the winter commute

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by HondaMotocross View Post
    Hello, I am looking to get a smaller car for commuting and going riding at farther destinations as my GMC Yukon gets 14 mpg on a good day.

    The Toyota Corolla is a front runner because it is rated to tow 1500lbs and that is good because i have a small 5x8 utility trailer and use it to haul my dirtbikes to the Motocross track a few times a year.

    I was just wondering if anybody has any input on the 2013 Corolla mainly on reliability and quality?
    Dude, get something like a Mazda 3, Subaru Impreza or Ford Focus. The Toyota Corolla is a really reliable car but its about as bland and boring as you can make a car. I mean that car literally doesn't even suck enough to be interesting, I've driven worse cars I liked better. If you want reliability get the Toyota. If you want reliability, fun and practicality get a Subaru, or possibly a Mazda. If you want fun and want to take a gamble on reliability get a Ford. I drove a focus 1200 miles, and while I can't attest to its reliability it is one of the best handling and most enjoyable cars I've ever driven. I currently own a Subaru Impreza, which narrowly won over the Focus and Mazda. Toyota Corolla...I guess if you really hate driving (and life in general) it's a good car.

  16. #16
    skobiken
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    Quote Originally Posted by HondaMotocross View Post
    I only drive 2 miles to and from work everyday, so i am barley putting on 3,000 miles annually with my yukon, but i would take a few more road trips with a more fuel efficent vehicle, so i am guessing if i got a new car weather its a civic, impreza, corolla, or mazda it would see 5,000-7,000 miles a year.....and i would expect to keep it for around 10 years
    Is the only thing wrong with the yukon the gas mileage?

    If you bump up your driving on the yukon to 7k/year you'll spend ~$2000/year on gas @ $4/gal and 14mpg.

    Assuming you'll average 36mpg out of one of the cars you're looking at that'll be $778/year

    So you'll save $1222/year on gas.

    But you're probably going to spend around $20k on the car. So just on gas, it'll be over 16 years before you hit the break even point.

    Since you're keeping the yukon for towing you'll also now be paying for insurance and tags on two cars.

    If the yukon is in decent shape I'd look pretty hard at just keeping it and sucking up the gas bill. If you talk a few friends into coming along whenever you decide to take a road trip it'll be just as cheap as a small car.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HondaMotocross View Post
    XJaredX
    i am just curious since you deal with subarus....i have read on subaruforester.org forums the new engines that have a timing chain instead of a belt consume oil (like 1 quart every 1500 miles) have you heard anything on this or do you know anything about the validity of those claims? there are alot of people up in arms over there..
    Also what do you think of the CVT trans long term? Were the catastrophic failures limited to Nissan CVT trans cars only? What is the highest mileage you have seen on a CVT impreza without the trans being touched? Also the CVT is covered on the 5 year 60k warranty correct?

    I am really just looking for a car with good longevity more so than performance or style...i only drive 2 miles to and from work everyday, so i am barley putting on 3,000 miles annually with my yukon, but i would take a few more road trips with a more fuel efficent vehicle, so i am guessing if i got a new car weather its a civic, impreza, corolla, or mazda it would see 5,000-7,000 miles a year.....and i would expect to keep it for around 10 years
    I have seen zero issues with oil burning with the new engine. I used to belong to those forums but I had to bail because a lot of the posters there can be rather... eccentric?

    The CVT is under the 5/60k powertrain but I honestly can't speak to it's long-term reliability, as it has only been out since MY2010. But, Subaru replaced their dead-on reliable 4 speed automatic, which they've used for a hell of a long time, with this CVT in every application now, and I can't help but think that they wouldn't have tested it to death before adapting it. Snarky comments about head gaskets aside, people buy Subarus for their reliability, not for their looks, lol.

    I guess my point is, you can do far better than a Corolla, in initial value, reliability, resale value, joy of ownership, etc, by looking at a few different makes. The Corolla is just that beat by now.

    But yeah, 2 mile commute, buying a new car for fuel economy with the amount of driving you do isn't economical. Even factoring in pleasure driving. Unless there are other factors you haven't told us about, like "My Yukon is 18 years old and is starting to nickel and dime me and I need something I don't have to worry about breaking down on a road trip" or something.
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  18. #18
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    What's with all the Corolla haters. What are we talking about here, rally cars? I have a Corolla, swapped out the crappy stereo for a pioneer dvd, new speakers and a sub, it's plenty fun for me.
    Just need to figure out how to get a bike rack on it, LOL. I haul my bike with a Ford Edge! The bike fits on a hitch rack or inside.
    I use the Corolla to get to work.
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  19. #19
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    My dad always had Corrollas as far back as I can recall(I know he had others before but not while I was old enough), 88, 92,96,97 all worked well to about 120k miles. The 92 was the best drivetrain when it was retired/sold but as we lived on the coast at the time it rusted out a bit. The 96 and 97 were smoking oil a bit at 100k but running decent enough. It was a good enough track record that he decided to get my sister a 2001 when she graduated college.

    That was a mistake. The engine was later part of a big to-do about the cooling system being impropperly designed and not warming up sufficiently. It wore/sludged the rings to the point of consuming almost a quart of oil every couple weeks(conservatively). When the dust settled the company recalled the engines but not for those of us who do our own oil and forget to keep ALL the recipts for the life of the car. Needless to say it was a less than favorable result and the last Corolla we ever bought.

    The reluctance I would bring up if you are wanting to pull a 5x8 which I have one also, is the stopping authority. People focus on the transmissions and power ratings when they get a trailer but a 5x8 can put a lot of force on the braking system of a car that is not designed necessarily to dissipate that much energy. When my dad got his Cobalts he also got a 4x6 trailer which works well with it but the 5x8 is the tail wagging the dog so to speak. It is a balance of vehicle sizes and weights.

    On my personal side, we just traded a 07 Suzuki SX4 awd which was quite fun to drive but cost $200/mo to pay the bank(ew) for a 1994 Ford Escort wagon. The escort needed a couple things fixed but it was only 1k to buy and 700 to fix but at 175k miles it doesn't smoke and gets 30+ mpg with some internal hatch space. In fact it's enough with the seats folded to put a full size mtb inside or on the roof rack. Easy to work on and cheap to fix.
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  20. #20
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    Can't go wrong with the Corolla when it comes to mpgs.My wife has a 2010 and last road trip we averaged 39-44 on the highway. I do agree that it looks a bit boring but it doesn't bother me.She doesn't know it yet, but I have plans to get a 2" hitch mount installed to carry our bikes. We usually use my Nissan Frontier but it gets 18-20 on the highway.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MObiker View Post
    What's with all the Corolla haters. What are we talking about here, rally cars? I have a Corolla, swapped out the crappy stereo for a pioneer dvd, new speakers and a sub, it's plenty fun for me.
    I agree.


    Quote Originally Posted by supersedona View Post
    It was a good enough track record that he decided to get my sister a 2001 when she graduated college.

    That was a mistake. The engine was later part of a big to-do about the cooling system being impropperly designed and not warming up sufficiently. It wore/sludged the rings to the point of consuming almost a quart of oil every couple weeks(conservatively). When the dust settled the company recalled the engines but not for those of us who do our own oil and forget to keep ALL the recipts for the life of the car. Needless to say it was a less than favorable result and the last Corolla we ever bought.
    One of the downside to buying a used car, it's hard to tell how well the car has been maintence (unless you know the previous owner personally). My brother bought a brand new Corolla back in 2005 and put over 200k miles and still run and drive like how they first bought it. It all come down to how well the car was taken care of.

  22. #22
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    Toyota Corolla or similar small cars

    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Idea View Post
    Is the only thing wrong with the yukon the gas mileage?

    If you bump up your driving on the yukon to 7k/year you'll spend ~$2000/year on gas @ $4/gal and 14mpg.

    Assuming you'll average 36mpg out of one of the cars you're looking at that'll be $778/year

    So you'll save $1222/year on gas.

    But you're probably going to spend around $20k on the car. So just on gas, it'll be over 16 years before you hit the break even point.

    Since you're keeping the yukon for towing you'll also now be paying for insurance and tags on two cars.

    If the yukon is in decent shape I'd look pretty hard at just keeping it and sucking up the gas bill. If you talk a few friends into coming along whenever you decide to take a road trip it'll be just as cheap as a small car.
    I wish more people understood this.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiceBandit View Post
    I agree.




    One of the downside to buying a used car, it's hard to tell how well the car has been maintence (unless you know the previous owner personally). My brother bought a brand new Corolla back in 2005 and put over 200k miles and still run and drive like how they first bought it. It all come down to how well the car was taken care of.
    That was not a case of abused lemon. It was bought with less than 20k miles from a reputable dealer with dealer maintenance records. Toyota refused to recall it because we did our own work after that. I know they have made some efforts to design better since then but the manner in which they handled it was the major turn off.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Idea View Post
    Is the only thing wrong with the yukon the gas mileage?

    If you bump up your driving on the yukon to 7k/year you'll spend ~$2000/year on gas @ $4/gal and 14mpg.

    Assuming you'll average 36mpg out of one of the cars you're looking at that'll be $778/year

    So you'll save $1222/year on gas.

    But you're probably going to spend around $20k on the car. So just on gas, it'll be over 16 years before you hit the break even point.

    Since you're keeping the yukon for towing you'll also now be paying for insurance and tags on two cars.

    If the yukon is in decent shape I'd look pretty hard at just keeping it and sucking up the gas bill. If you talk a few friends into coming along whenever you decide to take a road trip it'll be just as cheap as a small car.
    Indeed. I keep a 2005 Jeep liberty for the trailer pulling since it can do it well at 25mpg and let the Escort be the mileage cruiser. Rather than make one do everything sorta and specialize in mediocrity, let one be mpg and one be utility power. To combine is a much harder element to both afford and reconcile. If towing is the preference(utility side) and the short range can be handled with a bike, you may be able to get by with an older liberty or blazer for mpg improvement without getting a damaging car loan. It would be a decrease in size from the Yukon class but a Liberty can handle a class III trailer with ease and still stays well below 10k purchase.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by supersedona View Post
    That was not a case of abused lemon. It was bought with less than 20k miles from a reputable dealer with dealer maintenance records. Toyota refused to recall it because we did our own work after that. I know they have made some efforts to design better since then but the manner in which they handled it was the major turn off.
    It doesn't have to be an abused lemon to have problems. That could of been used as prior rental and have gotten the abused from that. I work at rental office, and some of the cars don't get serviced in time and/or people abuse them. I even have some brand new cars that are already burning oil. But that is just my $.02.

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