Toyota Corolla Years to Avoid Buying in 2024

Toyota Corolla is a series of compact and subcompact cars that debuted in 1966. Toyota Corolla became the world’s best-selling car in 1974.

Since then, the Corolla has been one of the best-selling cars in the world, and Toyota has sold more than 50 million Corollas by 2023.

Corolla is a well-known and affordable car all over the world. But all the model years have flaws and do not live up to the mark. Some model years have many issues, while others have a great service record.

So, to buy a new or used Corolla, you must know about the best and worst model years. Let’s have a look at the 7 Toyota Corolla years you must avoid.

7 Toyota Corolla Years to Avoid Buying (and Why)

According to the user reviews and complaint numbers, you must avoid 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2014 model years while buying a new or used Toyota Corolla. The 2009 Toyota Corolla model year is the worst, as it has the most complaints and recalls.

2002 Toyota Corolla Problems

2002 Toyota Corolla Problems

Toyota Corolla 2002 is the 8th generation car in the Corolla family. Let’s discuss some common problems with the 2002 Toyota Corolla:

Engine problems: Engine problems include excessive oil consumption, engine failure, and tapping or buzzing noises from the engine.

Transmission Problems: Transmission problems include transmission failure, gear freezing, etc.

AC/Heater problems: The AC doesn’t work, and the compressor clutch issues are the main problems.

There are also clutch, electrical, window, and windshield issues with the 2002 model year. So you should avoid the 2002 model years before purchasing.

Ratings of the 2002 Toyota Corolla

Edmund’s user rating is 4.3 out of 5.0

Cars.com’s reliability rating is 4.8 out of 5.0

2003 Toyota Corolla Problems

Toyota Corolla 2003 is the 9th generation car in the family. Let’s have a look at the common problems with the 2003 Toyota Corolla:

Transmission problems: The most common issues are transmission failure, differential transmission failure, and grinding noise.

Exhaust system problems: Exhaust system problems include a dead catalytic converter, an emission test failure, a check engine light on, etc.

Engine issues: Common engine issues are head gasket leaks, engine seizure due to the buildup of oil sludge, knocking noise, excessive oil consumption, and unexpected acceleration.

Interior accessory problems, body or paint issues, fuel system problems, light issues, and cooling system problems are also common problems with the 2003 Toyota Corolla. So you should also keep in mind to avoid the 2003 Toyota Corolla model year while buying.

Ratings of the 2003 Toyota Corolla

Edmund’s user rating is 4.6 out of 5.0

Cars.com’s reliability rating is 4.7 out of 5.0

2005 Toyota Corolla Problems

2005 Toyota Corolla Problems

Toyota Corolla 2005 is a 9th generation facelift version of the Corolla models. Let’s discuss some common 2005 Corolla problems:

Body/paint problems: Peeling paint, water leakage, and trunk opening issues are the main body/paint issues.

Electrical issues: Electrical issues include engine lights on, alarms going off suddenly, battery charges not holding, and different electrical parts issues.

Transmission problems: The main transmission problems are harsh shifts, transmission clutch failure, transmission hesitation, rattling noise, stalling while shifting, etc.

There is also the model year’s engine, interior accessory, suspension, wheel, and brake issues. So you should also avoid the 2005 Corolla model year.

Ratings of the 2005 Toyota Corolla

Edmund’s user rating is 4.8 out of 5.0

Cars.com’s reliability rating is 4.5 out of 5.0

2006 Toyota Corolla Problems

Toyota Corolla 2006 is also a 9th-gen facelift version of the model family. Here are some common 2006 Toyota Corolla problems:

Engine problems: Engine problems are engine surges while stopped, sudden engine cutoff, unintended acceleration, engine failure, etc.

Body/paint issues: Chipping paint, rust, and fog light insert falling out are the main body/paint issues.

Interior accessory issues: The common internal accessory issues are the check engine light on, the cup holder breaking, the dash light not working, and the speedometer not working.

This model year also has transmission, seat belt, airbag, AC/heater, and brake problems. So if you are purchasing a Corolla, you should avoid the 2006 model year.

Ratings of the 2006 Toyota Corolla

Edmund’s user rating is 4.6 out of 5.0

Cars.com’s reliability rating is 4.8 out of 5.0

2009 Toyota Corolla Problems

2009 Toyota Corolla Problems

Toyota Corolla 2009 is the 10th generation of the Corolla model. The common problems with the 2009 Toyota Corolla are as follows:

Engine problems: The common engine problems are excessive oil consumption, loud noise, check engine light on, the engine won’t start, etc.

Cooling system issues: Water pump failure, engine cooling failure, and the cooling fan not working is the main cooling system issues.

Body/paint problems: Common body/paint problems are defective paint, thin paint, trunk lid issues, weak bumpers, rear spoiler breaking off, etc.

Transmission issues: Transmission issues include transmission quitting, rough shifting, hesitated shifting, unintended shifting, and improper shifting.

Electrical problems: Faulty alternators, system malfunctions, faulty ECMs, and block heater cords breaking are the main electrical issues.

2009 Toyota Corolla also has steering issues, interior accessory issues, AC/heater problems, brake issues, drivetrain problems, seat belt problems, airbag problems, etc. So you must avoid this model year, as it is the most problematic year for the Corolla.

Ratings of the 2009 Toyota Corolla

Edmund’s user rating is 4.4 out of 5.0

Cars.com’s reliability rating is 4.5 out of 5.0

2010 Toyota Corolla Problems

Toyota Corolla 2010 is also a 10th-generation sedan in the Toyota family. Let’s discuss some common problems with the 2010 Toyota Corolla:

Body/paint problems: Chipping paint, excessive rusting, bumper issues, roof popping issues, etc., are the main issues.

Steering problems: The main issues are steering failure, clunk noise, loose steering, etc.

Brake problems: Grinding noise, check engine light on, premature brake wear, etc., are the main issues with the braking system.

Engine problems: Engine problems include noisy engines, engine failure, low acceleration, and speed control issues.

There are also transmission issues, interior accessory problems, electrical problems, fuel system issues, seat belt and airbag problems, etc., with the 2010 model year. So you should also avoid the 2010 Toyota Corolla while purchasing it.

Ratings of the 2010 Toyota Corolla

Edmund’s user rating is 4.2 out of 5.0

Cars.com’s reliability rating is 4.8 out of 5.0

2014 Toyota Corolla Problems

2014 Toyota Corolla Problems

Toyota Corolla 2014 is the 11th generation of the Toyota Corolla family. The common problems of the 2014 model year are:

Interior accessory issues: Interior accessory issues include the radio not working, rattling noise coming from the dashboard, front door speaker malfunction, Bluetooth not working properly, etc.

Engine problems: Rough idle, check engine light on, sudden power loss, unintended acceleration at low speed, misfire, rattling noise, gas pedal not responding, etc., are the main engine issues.

AC/heater problems: Main AC/heater problems are AC not working properly, bad odor from vents, windshield icing, and rattling noise from vents.

2014 Toyota Corolla also has transmission failure issues, brake issues, body and paint problems, steering wheel problems, electrical problems, etc. So you should also avoid buying the 2014 Toyota Corolla model year.

Ratings of the 2014 Toyota Corolla

Edmund’s user rating is 4.2 out of 5.0

Cars.com’s reliability rating is 4.7 out of 5.0

Toyota Corolla Best Years

Now you may be wondering which model year of Corolla you must choose to buy as your daily driver. Don’t worry. I have listed the best Toyota Corolla model years for purchase, new or used.

These are the best Toyota Corolla model years to buy:

  • 2000-2001 Toyota Corolla
  • 2004 Toyota Corolla
  • 2007-2008 Toyota Corolla
  • 2011–2013 Toyota Corolla
  • 2015-2023 Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla User Complaint Numbers

According to carcomplaints.com and NHTSA.gov the user complaint numbers for Corolla model years are:

Model Years Complaint Number

(carcomplaints.com)

Complaint Number

(NHTSA.gov)

2000 66 156
2001 66 138
2002 98 148
2003 111 757
2004 48 497
2005 85 922
2006 82 894
2007 56 874
2008 37 338
2009 253 1524
2010 126 1246
2011 36 576
2012 32 429
2013 43 187
2014 110 244
2015 72 189
2016 39 189
2017 35 158
2018 10 110
2019 6 111
2020 20 1
2021 2 0
2022 3 32
2023 0 16

Toyota Corolla Recall History

2000 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for E-clip replacement.

2002 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for airbag issues.

2003 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for airbag replacement.

2004 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for wheels and airbag issues.

2005 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for airbag issues.

2006 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for equipment and airbag issues.

2007 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for airbags and equipment issues.

2008 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for engine and engine cooling, airbags, and equipment issues.

2009 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for seats, airbags, visibility, equipment, service brake, and power assist issues.

2010 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for airbags, seats, equipment, body structure, roof and pillars, service brake, power assist, visibility, and label issues.

2011 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for body structure, roof and pillars, airbags, and seat issues.

2012 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for seat and airbag issues.

2013 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for airbag and seat issues.

2014 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for windshield wipers, washer switch, wiring, and airbag issues.

2015 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for airbag issues.

2016 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for airbag issues.

2017 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for emergency tires, labels, and airbag issues.

2018 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for the fuel system, airbags, and equipment issues.

2019 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for the fuel system, airbags, powertrain, and label issues.

2020 Toyota Corolla recall: Recalled for exterior lighting, seat belts, fuel pump, labels, and electronic stability control issues.

Final Thoughts

Toyota Corolla is known for its reliability and is one of the best cars out there. But all the model years are not the same. Some model years are problematic, while others are great.

So if you want to buy a used or new Toyota Corolla, you must choose from the best years and avoid the problematic years I have listed in this article.

Want to explore other vehicle’s model years to avoid? Check out the following articles:

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