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  1. #1
    Registered User MattManYo's Avatar
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    Should I get a 97,98,or 2004 Corolla?

    Looking to save money on repairs, gas, and get something that will all in all just be a solid car. Don’t need anything flashy, I had a Cadillac and I’m so done.

    Is there any benefits to getting a new 2000’s Corolla vs an older generation?
    Thanks for any help!
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  2. #2
    Transracial gigaTyrone elterrible987's Avatar
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    2004 is a different generation than the other ones since it started in 2003.

    I think they carried over the engine but not sure. I had a 2005 it was very reliable and the common issues were minor like leaking intake manifold gasket was easy to replace. Engine bay has lots of room to work with. Mom had a 93 corolla back in the day, was very reliable as well but I think some had issues with oil build up in the engine, dont remember the details, not as familiar with the maintenance on that generation since I was too young.


    Oh seating position is a little weird on the 2004 compared to the others, you sit very upright, you would notice it immediately compared to the other ones if you went in side by side. You sit lower in the older models. You get used to it after a while though and wont even notice it.

    2004 also has double din radio, you could buy a radio that does android auto/ apple car play for only a few hundred bucks. The older models had single din radios so no room for a screen unless you have one of those gay folding screens.
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  3. #3
    Transracial gigaTyrone elterrible987's Avatar
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    Also geo prism and pontiac vibe are just rebadged corollas (rebadged matrix for the vibe which is just a hatch corolla). They used to be slightly cheaper since it didnt have the toyota badge, not sure if that is still the case
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    Registered User PowerOfTruth's Avatar
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    Depends if safety is a concern of yours. The older models (late 90's) tend to have air bags and ABS as options. (I have no idea about Corollas, specifically) Even if they have them, the newer technology is better (safer), including body structure and crumple zones.

    If safety is not an issue, then get which ever one you want.
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    Transracial gigaTyrone elterrible987's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PowerOfTruth View Post
    Depends if safety is a concern of yours. The older models (late 90's) tend to have air bags and ABS as options. (I have no idea about Corollas, specifically) Even if they have them, the newer technology is better (safer), including body structure and crumple zones.

    If safety is not an issue, then get which ever one you want.

    ABS is still an option even on the 2004. The 93 had driver and I think passenger airbag. the 2004 definitely has passenger airbag.

    Also looking at it the 97 is an older generation and 98 is a newer generation and 2004 even newer. The difference between 97 and 98 though is closer to a refresh. 2003-2008 was more of a redesign and the car sits higher up, bumper is higher, higher ground clearance ect because SUV's were getting more popular at that time frame and they wanted the bumpers to reach the bumpers of trucks/SUVs for crashes.


    I would recommend 2003-2008 to OP for it being newer and also because I like android auto which is easily installed for a few hundred bucks but that is a personal preference.
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    Registered User MattManYo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply’s. Yea after looking a bit it seems the price difference from the 90’s to early 2000’s in close to the same. So may as well get the option that is safer.
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  7. #7
    rapscallion gluon's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MattManYo View Post
    Thanks for the reply’s. Yea after looking a bit it seems the price difference from the 90’s to early 2000’s in close to the same. So may as well get the option that is safer.
    nice, also 98+ have timing chains, older than that they used belts. better off with the newer one for that reason aswell
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    Gathering The Six Stones tunafishha's Avatar
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    Don't git cars that are too old. Instead, get the newest model year but with high mileage. At least thats what my engineer told me(if I understood him correctly)

    Each year that goes by, rust gets the chance to spread throughout the car. Also plastic and rubber parts degrade with each year. So again, look at the newest year but with high mileage. If you pay like 10k for a well maintained high mileage car, youre really only paying like 5k(which is the same cost as a non well maintained beater) because if you put 100k on the car you can sell it down the road for 5k even easier than the cars in the same price with the same mileage.
    Last edited by tunafishha; 07-22-2020 at 09:19 PM.
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    Registered User oaktownabroad's Avatar
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    Corollas are the best. Buy the newest one you can afford and run it into the ground.
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    Tuna, No Crust Jax05's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by oaktownabroad View Post
    Corollas are the best. Buy the newest one you can afford and run it into the ground.
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  11. #11
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    1997 generation is probably the pinnacle of durability and reliability for Toyota, along with that era's Camry. But it's a death trap.
    2004 is the next best thing.
    1998 generation is garbage.
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    Manlet with Credentials Jasonw1178's Avatar
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    Honestly, you are talking about buying cars 16+ years old. Yes, they were great a long time ago, but age has a role in that.
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  13. #13
    Punjabi WRXbrah's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MattManYo View Post
    Looking to save money on repairs, gas, and get something that will all in all just be a solid car. Don’t need anything flashy, I had a Cadillac and I’m so done.

    Is there any benefits to getting a new 2000’s Corolla vs an older generation?
    Thanks for any help!
    Honestly can't go wrong with either of them. Pretty much the same car. Older ones will likely have busted mounts and dash will vibrate in drive (easy way to diagnose). I'd test drive them all and check for fluid condition for engine/trans and oil leaks. Whichever one has less issues, buy it.
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