Which Toyota Corolla Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

It appears that the Toyota Corolla is the most popular car ever sold in the United States, dating back to 1966. At an average of 1.5 million vehicles a year, there have been twelve generations of automobiles that have all been successful. Toyota’s Corolla is one of the most popular cars on the road because to its reputation for dependability and excellence.

However, the model has flaws of its own. Years marked by a high number of infractions are less common than years marked by a high number of clean records. When searching for a used Toyota Corolla, it’s helpful to know which model years to avoid.

To help you make an accurate purchase decision, I’ll show you which years of Toyota Corolla had the worst performance and which years had the best performance.

Toyota Corolla Years to Avoid (List of Years)

Toyota’s Corolla model automobiles are among of the best on the market, but there have been a few years where the cars just didn’t measure up.

Here is a shortlist of Toyota corolla years you should definitely avoid-

  • 2000 Toyota Corolla
  • 2001 Toyota Corolla
  • 2002 Toyota Corolla
  • 2003 Toyota Corolla
  • 2009 Toyota Corolla
  • 2014 Toyota Corolla

Excessive oil consumption is one of the most often reported issues with the Toyota Corolla’s engine. The 2003 and 2009 versions were plagued with transmission issues.

Many people experienced cooling issues in 2009 as a result of water pump failures. It’s more normal for these model years to have minor faults with paint and accents in the inside.

What Makes These Toyota Corolla Years Worth Avoiding?

Let’s take a closer look at the issues that make the mentioned years undesirable.

1. Toyota Corolla 2000 Year Problems

Excessive oil consumption has been the most persistent issue with the Toyota Corolla. Engine problems, engine failure, and the check engine light being on are among the most typical problems with the 2000 Toyota Corolla.

In addition to using excessive amounts of oil, this vehicle had an issue with oil leaking.

This was such a serious problem that it became a running joke that this particular model uses more oil than it does gasoline. After repairs, many people claim that the problem only lasts for a short time before returning to its original state.

2. Toyota Corolla 2001 Year Problems

Excessive oil consumption plagued both the Toyota Corolla 2000 and its successor, the Corolla 2001. Maintaining a car with this problem was a bother even if it wasn’t as terrible as it was in the 2000 model.

There was also a problem with the check engine light being on in the background. Because the light may stay on even if there was a significant problem with the vehicle, this was a serious issue. This was due to the car’s brand-new EVAP system.

3. Toyota Corolla 2002 Year Problems

The Toyota Corolla had a comprehensive overhaul from 2001 to 2005. As a result, there were several problems with the automobile.

The NHSTA was called upon to investigate many concerns about the 2002 Toyota Corolla’s engine and airbags, in particular.

There have been reports of engine problems, including excessive oil consumption, engine failure, engine tapping noises, and engine buzzing noises when accelerating.

Excessive oil consumption is a costly repair, and it generally happens after the vehicle has been driven 97,000 miles.

4. Toyota Corolla 2003 Year Problems

The gearbox problems with the 2003 Toyota Corolla were a major source of worry. As a result, it received a great deal of backlash.

The transmission and differential failures were mentioned as the main issues. There was also a transaxle that was making a lot of noise.

Repairing these problems, which arose after 116,000 miles of driving, cost roughly $2830. Reports of seat belt and airbag malfunctions have also surfaced. In collisions that resulted in 44 injuries, it was found that the airbags did not deploy.

5.Toyota Corolla 2009 Year Problems

 Although Car Complaints does not consider the 2009 Corolla to be the worst model year, it does receive the most complaints overall.

Additionally, this model year received a “Beware of the Clunker” award. The most frequent problems with the 2009 Corolla are identical to those with the 2002 Corolla. However, the 2009 Corolla’s faults were far worse than the 2002 Corolla’s.

It received a high volume of complaints from consumers and the NHTSA. The engine, seat belts, and airbags were all subject to concerns.

The engine troubles included surging, engine sounds, unexpected lack of power, the accelerator becoming stuck, the check engine light coming on when there is no engine problem, and the car simply refusing to start.

6. Toyota Corolla 2014 Year Problems

The Corolla’s later model years, particularly the 2014 Corolla, continued to receive numerous reports of failing airbags.

One of the most significant issues to resurface was one that initially surfaced in the 2001 model.

This was the cause of the check engine light, which was caused by the EVAP system. The distinction was that, unlike the 2001 model, the light did not cease to function fully. Rather than that, it provided erroneous signals.

The remedy was identical to that of the 2001 model: replace the EVAP canister.

Additionally, the NHTSA receives several complaints about this model’s seat belts and airbags. Apart from that, there were issues about the paint and body of the car.

Which Years are Safe to Buy Used?

The finest years of the Toyota Corolla are the ideal years to buy the model, as the car was loaded to the brim with quality and dependability and lacked many of the issues that subsequent years would encounter.

Here are the safest Years for Toyota Corolla:

  • 1984 Toyota Corolla
  • 1985 Toyota Corolla
  • 1986 Toyota Corolla
  • 1987 Toyota Corolla
  • 1988 Toyota Corolla
  • 1989 Toyota Corolla
  • 1990 Toyota Corolla
  • 1991 Toyota Corolla
  • 1992 Toyota Corolla
  • 1993 Toyota Corolla
  • 1994 Toyota Corolla
  • 1995 Toyota Corolla
  • 1996 Toyota Corolla
  • 1997 Toyota Corolla
  • 1998 Toyota Corolla
  • 1999 Toyota Corolla
  • 2004 Toyota Corolla
  • 2005 Toyota Corolla
  • 2006 Toyota Corolla
  • 2007 Toyota Corolla
  • 2008 Toyota Corolla
  • 2011 Toyota Corolla
  • 2012 Toyota Corolla
  • 2013 Toyota Corolla
  • 2015 Toyota Corolla
  • 2016 Toyota Corolla
  • 2017 Toyota Corolla
  • 2018 Toyota Corolla
  • 2019 Toyota Corolla
  • 2020 Toyota Corolla

As one of the best-selling automobiles in America and the globe, no model year is without its difficulties, but there are plenty of years with less recorded issues that should be safe to buy.


Overall, Corollas have earned their image as dependable vehicles for good cause. The purchase of a Toyota Corolla is definitely a wise decision, provided that you do your homework first.

Using this article as a reference, you can figure out which years are riskiest and which ones you should put your money into.

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