Since the Mitsubishi Lancer got retired in Europe, the Land of the Rising Sun ran out of bare-bones cars to sell. But that’s okay because the Toyota Corolla E170 took its place.
The Toyota Corolla E170 fully replaced the Mitsubishi Lancer after it got permanently retired in 2017. Sure, even before that the Corolla wasn’t necessarily far from the concept of butt-naked, but now it’s really stuck in the middle and has become the Asian Dacia Logan, while the Fiat Tipo is the Italian Dacia Logan and the Skoda Rapid the German Dacia Logan.
And before you throw human metabolic waste at me for daring to compare the Dacia Logan to the Toyota Corolla or the Dacia to the Toyota altogether, let’s look at the numbers. An average Dacia Logan costs somewhere in the region of 10,000 pounds, one equipped with everything you need at least (basic stuff such as windows, steering wheel or seats). The Toyota Corolla E170 started at one point at 12,000 pounds, for a base model. A 10,000 euros Logan came with a 90 horsepower 0.9 turbo petrol and a base Corolla came with a 100 horsepower 1.33 petrol so the power was comparable. The features were just about comparable, with the mention that the middle-spec Logan had a few more extras than the base Corolla, but the Toyota was a bit more reliable, had a better interior, left you with the feeling of quality and had more space in the back.
And so the Toyota Corolla E170 remained a basic car for people who work for themselves aka freelancers aka self employed, the Corolla E170 being the official car for solopreneurs and traders. It had a solid reputation built on the back of the previous generation, it was a Toyota, it was reliable, it was roomy, it was economical and it was cheap. And you could’ve bought a decent, middle-specced model for around 15000 euros, and if you bought it as a sole trader or as a company and deducted the VAT, you paid even less. And another side effect is that in the modern business world, image counts and you need to make sure that you don’t make a fool of yourself with the car you are driving. You don’t have to have the newest Q7 packed with your personal assistans, you have to have a car you don’t want to embarrass yourself with. And the Corolla E170 was just that. A car you with which you didn’t embarrass yourself everywhere you went, and on top of it it did it’s job honorably.
Toyota Corolla E170 Engines
- 1.2 Turbo of 116 horsepower – Toyota sure took their sweet time to roll out their first turbocharged small petrol, but atleast they did it right. Sure, it also might develop an addiction to oil later in life, but that’s the only real issue and it’s a far better engine that everything else the competition had at it’s time, such as VW’s 1.2 TSI.
- 1.33 NA of 100 horsepower – When I talked about the 12000 euro Corolla, this is the engine you were getting. Sure, it’s reliable and it gets up to 60mph eventually, but that’s about all you can say about this engine. Sometimes the water pump fails and sometimes it leaks but it’s an engine as enthusiastic as El Presidente.
- 1.6 NA of 132-horsepower – The engine for the masses. It’s related to the 1.33 so it has same issues and same reliability, in other words, no worries because you clearly won’t own the car so much for oil issues consumption to kick in, no matter how many miles this car has. On the other hand, it should be mentioned that this is the only engine with an automatic gearbox available, namely the CVT Multidrive S gearbox which is fine in itself until it breaks down and you can ring up your accountant and ask how to write off the car.
- 1.8 NA of 140 horsepower – Why would they offer the regular version of the hybrid version is quite above me, until I realised that this engine was put on sale in a few asian countries, where the hybrid infrastructure is slim but no shady. It’s just slim. At any rate, it’s got the same oil consumption issue as all the other engines, as it’s part of the same family.
- 2.0 NA of 145 horsepower – Like the 1.8 petrol, only slightly bigger and slightly more muscular. For the person who struggled slightly better in life. Who did slightly better in school. Anyway, I will get to the goodies and say that this engine was also offered in the same asian countries, and they don’t get the hybrid treatment but they do get the flexi-fuel option, which is noice.
- 1.4 D-4D of 90 horsepower – I’m going to stand by my Auris article and say that this engine is renal insufficient. But this engine was bought in droves so I don’t have to stop whinning and take it as it is. As long as you keep close to the service interval, it has no specific issues. However, I insist to say something negative and that is the double mass flywheel because obviously a 1.4 diesel needs a double mass flywheel so it doesn’t break your legs when you press the clutch.
- 2.0 D-4D of 126 horsepower – This is still the 2.0 D-4D of original Toyota recipe so it’s good to go as it is. The only noteable difference from past version is that this one get’s a particle filter so watch out with the urban driving. This is a long haul engine.
1.8 Petrol Hybrid of 122 horsepower – It was only natural that the village bicycle of the Toyota hybrid world to arrive under the bonnet of the Corolla, arguably Toyota’s most important car. Since it’s the only hybrid available I’ll talk about it’s issues here. Sure, the petrol engine has the oil consumption, but the hybrid powertrain doesn’t like short drives all the time as it loses charge over tiime so make sure to take it for a longer drive every once in a while. Also, the hybrid needs to be fed via a trickle charger when it’s the battery gets as flat as one of my ex’s chest. DO NOT FEED IT WITH DIRECT CHARGING FROM ANOTHER CAR. Apart from that, enjoy the 300 mpg fuel efficiency you lucky bas…
Toyota Corolla E170 General Issues
- Wiper motors can go on spontaneous strike so it’s important to have a picture of Sofia Boutella with you to warm up the car and everything in a 5 mile radius instantly. That’s how hot she is.
- That interior is far too dull for anyone with the slightest automotive interest. It’s got a premium feel but it also happens to crack and giggle but you don’t mind anyway because you’re talking on bluetooth all day anyway while you’re heading to the next customer.
- The starter motor can show signs of fatigue as if it has just come back from holiday and needs another few days off after the holiday to recover.
- Soundproofing is a weak point for Toyota in general but you don’t have time to be bothered by it anyway because you’re always talking on the bluetooth while you’re on your way to the next customer.
Toyota Corolla E170 Verdict
It’s a reliable, dull car that you don’t embarrass yourself with when meeting customers. At least in Europe where we don’t have powerful versions because nobody buys them. The rarity of the 132 horsepower 1.6 engine here in Europe speaks volumes about Toyota’s clientele around here. Nope, they bought whatever engine was cheaper or whatever engine was more economical, depending on what the car dealer told them. They might aswell just sell it on supermarket shelves, in standard appliance white paint. But at least it’s reliable, practical, useful, and fuel efficient. If it were a person, it would be the kind of person who wears fleeces at home and handyman clothes on at work. Where they are their own boss. I hate it when my boss catches me playing with myself in the office. And I work from home. And I’m self-employed.
What engines do I recommend? For petrol, you’ll go for a 100 horsepower 1.33 anyway and for diesel most likely for the 90 horsepower 1.4 D-4D. The Hybrid would be the best overall option though.