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Old 10th September 2011, 18:46   #1
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Default Toyota Corolla 2004 - Long Term Ownership Report 55,000 KM

WHY AM I SELLING THIS!!

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The Falcon is here! (My New TOFU as some like to sceptically call it on the Forum). But I don't need the 5th Car now. 4 is our limit. One has to go. I try to rationalize with my bro to sell the 2002 Qualis (having done nearly 1.25L kms). But he is so much in love with that truck that he refuses point blank to part with. Aisi gaadi kahaan milegi bhaiyya? Papa ki nishani hai. Papa loved it! So my trusted workhorse of 7 years, The Brilliant TOCO (lolz.. Toyota Corolla) it has to be... Decided to start this Long Term Ownership Thread to preserve it for posterity, so that I can have a look at this thread and sigh! sigh!

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Circa 2002

Our last vehicle was the Esteem which had just been sold. We had just procured the Honda City and were loving every moment in it. But, extensive traveling was now in order, so the first Toyota vehicle which had recently been launched and undergone it's first facelift had been setup to be procured.

Yeh gaadi hai yah dabalroti ka dibba! My father had said at that time. Mujhe yeh diesel viesel ki gaadi nahi samaj me aa rahi beta. Are you sure you want this? Diesel to Ambassador hoti hai beta! Papa, its a Toyota! Magar yeh breadbox? So the story went something like that. He was mighty skeptical to procure that vehicle but went along with my wishes to buy it. On his first drive back from the showroom (Ghaziabad) to Meerut, he said to me - Andar se kaafi badi hai! Aur bilkul car jaisi! Half my money was recovered by that one sentence of his. And what a breadbox it turned out to be that my bro is still not letting go of it.

Circa 2004

April 2004 - My Honda City (1.3 Exi) of 3 years was 'feeling' old, oddly. Driven it just around 40K kms during that period but still it has begun to rattle and roll on our pathetic West UP roads. Time to upgrade it was nearing. It was sold off and lookout for new cars started. We only had the Optra's and the Elantra's as an option that time in the mid luxury segment besides the Corolla. The Corolla had recently been launched by Toyota and it was 'the largest selling car in the world' at that moment. The Qualis was making us smile everyday, so it really was a no-brainer when we opted for the 2nd Toyota in the family.

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It was booked 06-05-2004 and delivered to us on 12-05-2004. It costed me Rs. 10,35,809/- ex-showroom (Ghaziabad). Add to that an Insurance figure of 37,449/-. The 'unbelievable' figure is that of the Road Tax I had paid at that time of just Rs. 4800/- for lifetime. 10K was paid extra for the premium number. So it worked somewhere around Rs. 10.90 L on road at that time for the 1.8E (H2 model - Fabric Seats with Manual transmission but fully loaded)

The VIN was checked even then and it was Built 04/04 on the engine plate and exact date and time was 26/04/2004 23.40 hours (YES, I was particular about this even at that time and NO, I had not heard about TeamBHP then). The colour was ridiculously named as 'Champagne Mica'. Gold to me it was.

The dealership experience in those days from Toyota was just Fantastic. Uttam Toyota was their only dealership in UP (I presume) and it made us feel uber cool. The deal was sweetened by Toyota's offering of a Compaq Pressario Notebook worth Rs. 75,000/- FREE with the Corolla. YES, those days even Toyota had to resort to these tactics to sell their products. They even started giving a Citizen watch free + this laptop after a few days of my purchase and I even complained to them at that time. Those schemes never really came back from T after those initial years. Premium Original Toyota Fabric Floor Mats were given complimentary. My only grouse was the 700 bucks worth of Muffler Cutter that I never got from them... lolz, but that is another story already discussed on the Falcon thread.

The car was fully loaded for it's time. It was the first time I tasted AUTO A/C and what an auto it was. Nearly the same unit still does service on the present Toyota Models including my Falcon. 6 CD changer was something crazy at that time, and it was a nice party trick to see the single slot eating away 6 CD's in one go. Where in the heck, did those go inside? Do they fold? lolz. It was a 2DIN so those days it meant it had a cassette player included. It, sadly, didn't play MP3's at that time (another grouse, which I complained to them in writing) and had a manual pull type Antenna, but this was compensated to some aspect by a nice Panasonic OE cassette adapter that I procured to play my ipod. And that works brilliantly till this day.

First drive and I said to myself- Oh my God! This is a racing Car! Those day's this kind of pickup was phenomenal. And till this day, I am in love with its brilliant 1.8 16 valve VVT-i Engine, which incidentally still does duty on the current Altis with minor changes. Like Warren Buffet says - “Never fix a problem that doesn’t need fixing”, so Toyota never did.

It still gives me a FE of between 11-13, and that's more than my Santro gives in the city, and it's cheaper to maintain too than the said vehicle. Usage pattern is mostly for Delhi-Meerut runs and that's nearly city driving nowadays with the snarling traffic. Never left me stranded. Never failed to start. No clutch change till date. 1 battery change. 3 tyres changed (1 burst) and that's about the costliest expenditure I did on this beauty. 40K service costed me around 7K and that was the costliest in it's history. Break pads were changed locally for 700 bucks (3K at Toyota A-S-S) and that's the only job not done at the A-S-S. That is the story of the T brand name.

For overall build quality, fit and finish, interior design, space, quality and comfort, I will let my pictures (taken today) of a 7 year old vehicle do the talking. Its an ergonomically 'perfect' car. I never felt the 'harsh drives' that some say it has. It is as pliant on the highway as it is at home on the bad bad roads of the Wild West (UP).

The double barrel headlights are brilliant, so are the fogs. The gearshift and transmission is top notch, though it does stick between 2nd and 3rd rarely (once in 6 months) when I'm fast shifting. No niggles, squeaks, parts problem faced till date.

The Dealership (Uttam Toyota, Ghaziabad) has deteriorated to a shadow of it's original self, as I had mentioned in the Falcon thread, but then some brilliant ones like 36 Toyota, Faridabad and even the Grand Toyota, Meerut are coming up.

I don't know why I have sold this (advance received). People stop me from doing this madness and return the deposit!!

Enough said, let the show begin; All photos taken today (i.e. 10-09-2011), after having owned the vehicle for nearly 7.5 years, and till date I have done NO 3M detailing etc. on the vehicle, NO Teflon Treatment, NO Under-body Treatment, NO Interior Cleaning by any professional. Only Formula 1 Carnauba Waxed once every 3 months and self maintained.

The head-on view
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The Classic Rear
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An interesting view
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The brilliant double barrel projector (type) headlamps
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The wide spread Fogs
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The Fantastic and Classic Chrome Front Grill and T logo. Still looking as brilliant as when new...
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The Left & Right Back Light with the 'Corolla' and 'T' monikers
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The Boot Chrome Plate, shiny as ever
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The 15" Alloys with the Bridgestone Potenza's
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The HUGE boot. Space is useful to the fullest. Has swallowed all my needfull on all long journeys without complaint. Has a Boot Light which automatically turns on/off with boot opening/closing
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Full Sized Alloy Spare Wheel - No shortchanging in the essentials from T, ever
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The Side Mirrors, Electrically retractable and adjustable. Another party trick in those years, now quite common. But they still bring a smile to my face for their flawless functioning even after 7 years of rigorous use.
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The solid chromed stainless steel door handles.
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Driver Seat manual adjustments (including height). Note the remote fuel and boot openers, nothing special
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The Driver Side Door, with pockets (no bottle holder - bad), No welcome lights (though provision is visible), brilliant 3 zone upholstering, very nice wood finish colour and still solid as ever controls and inside door opener is visible. Also note the Front speaker.
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The Chromed Inside Door Opener - built to last, not a dullness in any chrome part
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A close-up of the Central Locking and Power Windows Controls. Notice the high quality velvet fabric inserts on top. I miss these interiors on my 'hard' Falcon.
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The Front Passenger side door
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And the Tweeter neatly placed on its top
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The brilliant Steering. Looking rich as ever. Has controls for tilt.
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Close-up of the leather quality on the steering. No wear and tear.
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The functional Centre Console. I like the wood finish colour, contrary to popular belief. Notice 2 storage slots below the A/C controls. One is for CD's and the other is an ashtray which I use to store the fuel bills as I detest smoking. Lolz... This is a NO SMOKING Thread. Also visible is a chime slot on the side and barely visible is the dead pedal for the driver. Ergonomically 'perfect'.
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A close-up of the 6 CD Changer + FM + (now obsolete) Cassette Player
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The Chiller of an AUTO A/C. Was blown off by it in 2004 to see such a brilliant cooling unit. Still functions as good as new without any maintenance. There's a A/C Filter slot behind the glove box. I have replaced that by a stainless steel mesh (self fabricated at my factory) to prevent rats from entering inside the car, for which this model of Corolla is notorious.
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The Driver Side Sun visor. Both have vanity mirrors (unlike my Falcon where only the Passenger Side one has it). Notice the ticket/card holder which is present on both visors.
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The Passenger side Sun Visor with the Vanity Mirror (opened)
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Last edited by dkaile : 10th September 2011 at 20:20.
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Old 10th September 2011, 19:26   #2
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla 2004 - Long Term Ownership Report 55000KM

30 photo limit reached on the previous post... uff; Hope you are not tired watching, continuing -

The Electric adjustments of the Outside Side Mirrors. Also note the Security (immobilizer), a rarity at that time, and the coin holder. The only place where some sign of wear is seen is on the printing of the retractable control of the side mirror.
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And the Storage space below these controls on the driver's side. Useful for nick-naks but cant hold the sunglasses.
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The Side (fully closable) AC vent. Also notice the side defroster and the tweeter on the driver side.
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The ergonomically perfect Centre Front Armrest. Doesn't foul your hands while gear changing unlike some of the current breed of cars. Notice the soft velvet upholstery on it's top which I sorely miss on my Falcon. Have to get this custom done on the TOFU. It opens in 2 stages.
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1st stage of it's opening is the 'official' Sunglass Holder. Notice the soft padded bottom. Can hold something extra than the sunglasses too.
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2nd stage of opening reveals a deep storage compartment for many nick nacks and cd's. There's also a blank cd storage box in the centre console.
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The Front Cup Holder with lid between the 2 seats. Notice also the ergonomically placed Brake Lever
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Close-up of the 'chromed' braked lever (chrome button is missing on the Falcon). Soft urethane finish, same as on dashboard top layer (also this soft top finish is missing on the Falcon's top dashboard)
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The cup holders revealed. Note that the 3 slots can be removed at will to make holders bigger/smaller or a one single big storage space for mobile etc.
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The day and night inside rear view mirror. Notice the fabulous view of the rear while backing up. 2 front interior lights sit atop it for both the front passengers. Also notice the Front Passenger Airbag. YES, even this model comes with 2 Airbags, a lifesaver for at least 2 of my friends.
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The deep Glove Box. It soft damped (unlike my TOFU) but it's NOT lockable. The A/C filter sits behind it.
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The Crystal Clear Instrument Panel. Has all necessary lights and information. Has 2 trip meters and 3rd setting for the light intensity of the backlit display. Notice the ODO reading. Yes, it has been driven less for it's age, but then with 4 cars in the house, it's turn comes on highway runs mainly.
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The high quality left and right control knobs. Ergonomically placed for Indian habits. And ready to take on the next 7 years.
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Notice the key with the transponder
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The high quality leather wrapped gear knob (now a little shiny with use). Notice the Lighter which doubles as the power point.
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Coming to the rear. Notice NO door pockets on the rear door, though the 3 stage upholstery and wood finish continues.
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Rear Seat Space. The front seat has been adjusted for a 6 footer. Notice the Seat-back pockets and the ashtray in between the 2 seats. Also notice the high centre tunnel.
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The high quality Rear Centre Armrest with 2 Cup Holders. No garish hinges visible. This is a well designed car.
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Both the rear doors have Child Protector Locks.
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The Rear Parcel Tray has submerged storage for small nick nacks. Notice the Speakers, the High Mounted Stop Light and Rear Defroster.
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The Rear Seat is 60:40 foldable for easy access to the boot.
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Coming to the HEART of the matter - THE Engine -

VIN
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The HEART. Except the poor quality battery, the rest looks ready to take another decade.
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It's the Brilliant 1.8L, 16 valve, VVT-i that makes all the difference.
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Some parts still look as good as new
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Some not so
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Now you know why I am a Toyota Fan. In conclusion, I can only say that if any vehicle can look this good after a good 7.5 years, it needs to be built well. As I said on another topic, Toyota's are as 'indestructible as nuclear waste', simply because every part is built and tested well. Maintain it like your baby and it will last you a lifetime. Can't say the same about many other brand's I have owned and driven over my lifetime.

Rock On T...

Last edited by dkaile : 10th September 2011 at 20:08.
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Old 11th September 2011, 12:25   #3
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla 2004 - Long Term Ownership Report 55000KM

Note from Moderator: Thread moved here from Assembly line section. Thanks for sharing
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Old 11th September 2011, 13:39   #4
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla 2004 - Long Term Ownership Report 55000KM

A very good write up.

Your corolla is still drool-worthy after 7.5 yrs and 55K on the odo. Definitely very well maintained by you. I can understand why you are sad while selling it.

I should say, whoever is buying it is lucky. T is the king of details - evident in the story the pictures you have posted are telling.

A bit off-topic... until very recently I had the very same opinion of T build and quality, but the issues with Etios has left a dent in that opinion. Of course, in T's defense, Etios is the one with the most cost cutting in T's stable.
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Old 11th September 2011, 13:52   #5
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla 2004 - Long Term Ownership Report 55000KM

Thats an amazingly well kept vehicle. Toyota is a Toyota and nothing can come close to it. The cars can handle anything thrown at them and never complaint. Never fails you, nothing goes wrong or malfunctions. Its like an addiction using them ( I drive the Innova).
The only reason someone can change a Toyota is when you get bored of it and want to change it for a new Toyota LOL!

Sad for you to have to let go of such a beauty. I have personally experienced UP roads specially around meerut and I really admire your driving skills for keeping the car in such a pristine condition. The new owner must be a very lucky guy.

And yes seeing your thread I am convinced that the next car for my dad will be the Altis.
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Old 11th September 2011, 14:28   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post
A very good write up.

A bit off-topic... until very recently I had the very same opinion of T build and quality, but the issues with Etios has left a dent in that opinion. Of course, in T's defense, Etios is the one with the most cost cutting in T's stable.
Thank you vasanthn21; Etios is built to a cost, has only basic equipment levels, has a somewhat bizzare instrumentation placement (on centre console) and garish seats on the higher trim, but still it will be a vehicle that should last. In its diesel avatar and at 5.5L, the Liva Diesel will redefine longevity, durability, long term value and economics and interior space for the Indian Car Consumers in the coming months... It may not be filled to the brim with features but it will drive and drive and drive till you drop, and isn't that what a car is primarily meant to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
The only reason someone can change a Toyota is when you get bored of it and want to change it for a new Toyota LOL!

And yes seeing your thread I am convinced that the next car for my dad will be the Altis.
Thank you drmohitg; I this the Altis should be a better bet for you than the Jetta that you are choosing. Jetta is overpriced in my opinion and treading on 20L category of vehicles which has a better choice available.
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Old 11th September 2011, 15:52   #7
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla 2004 - Long Term Ownership Report 55000KM

Wonderful write up and snaps. Congrats buddy.
Its jaw dropping to see your steering wheel. It looks brand new without showing its age. Our 4 year old civic started showing small wear.
'Well maintained' is not the word sufficient for this beauty.
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Old 11th September 2011, 16:22   #8
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla 2004 - Long Term Ownership Report 55000KM

Excellent write up @dkaile

I own one of the first Corollas of my City (Mfg Date 01/03 Reg Date 03/03) ; got it from the first owner last year.Mine is an auto H4G.

In the 11 months of usage, I have only spent on a wheel axle boot,an oil change,some ac issues and a starter service;the last two were thanks to some nuts who did an unprofessional job on the unit before the car came to me.

Overall,I like the feeling of driving this behemoth,especially in "cut-o-cut" traffic, where the all round visibility does wonders .

Fuel average that this car returns is 10.5-11kmpl in City.

The machine isn't perfect in everyway,but does give you that "feel like a king" feeling.

Sad to see your TOCO go ; boo hoo hoo !!!!
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Old 11th September 2011, 17:26   #9
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla 2004 - Long Term Ownership Report 55000KM

You have shown it all, what makes Toyotas the best selling vehicles all around the world and what makes it stand out from the rest.The attention to details.
Can't understand what the Toyota bashers have to say about the emotions and all.
You may not feel any emotions in a Toyota(especially the new ones) during a 30mins TD, but live with it for a decade and maintain it,then you will understand what the 'T' stands for.
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Old 11th September 2011, 17:54   #10
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla 2004 - Long Term Ownership Report 55000KM

dkaile, that's a very interesting write up and a sad decision to make. Your car looks immaculate considering its 7 years old. Could put most newer cars to shame. You sure have a knack of maintaining her.

I remember way back in 2003 when the Corolla was launched, it was the most desirable car being the first Toyota in India with same specs as the Int'l Corolla. The Civic came much later.

Its a tough decision to sell this car. 55K on a Toyota is hardly any running. The car would easily last another 1L km going by the way you have maintained her.
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Old 12th September 2011, 03:33   #11
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Hi dkaile,

Compliments to you for keeping your Corolla in mint condition!

I bet that's a nice tribute you have for your car - a thread to remember and talk (write) about.

By the way, if I may ask, what has been your asking price for this beauty?
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Old 12th September 2011, 04:28   #12
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla 2004 - Long Term Ownership Report 55000KM

Excellent long term review. If I were to write a long term review on my Pearl White Mica 2002 Corolla, it will turn out exactly same as yours. Last year we bought Merc C class but haven't sold Corolla yet and planning to keep it as long as I can keep. Toyota's reliability is just superb. Even in USA, I have 05 Corolla that has ran 140K miles and still going strong without expense of a single penny barring regular maintenance.

All in all, excellent product.
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Old 12th September 2011, 11:22   #13
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla 2004 - Long Term Ownership Report 55000KM

Thanks for sharing. I really liked the details that you have covered in your photographs. I have a Cedia which is close to 5 years old (pre-owned) and driven twice as much as your Corolla. I find a lot of similarities between the two cars (both in exteriors and interiors).
The holder for your sunglasses is nice and deep. There is something similar in my Cedia which I discovered, just last week and wondering what can go in there (it is not as deep as the one in your car).
The view from the back (third photo) made be believe that this was just out of the assembly line.
How did you maintain the interior fabric (on the door)? I have similar fabric in my car and interior cleaning spray has soiled it further.
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Old 12th September 2011, 11:54   #14
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla 2004 - Long Term Ownership Report 55000KM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Boss View Post
'Well maintained' is not the word sufficient for this beauty.
Thank you Mr.Boss; I felt that Toyota's age slightly better than the competition. But Civic is an excellent vehicle and I would have loved to have its brilliant display.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
Sad to see your TOCO go ; boo hoo hoo !!!!
Thanks for the condolences vigsom; Only if your previous owner had been slightly more appreciative of his vehicle, that you would not have to face these issues.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DicKy View Post
You have shown it all, what makes Toyotas the best selling vehicles all around the world and what makes it stand out from the rest.The attention to details.
Can't understand what the Toyota bashers have to say about the emotions and all.
You may not feel any emotions in a Toyota(especially the new ones) during a 30mins TD, but live with it for a decade and maintain it,then you will understand what the 'T' stands for.
Brilliantly said DicKy; I have stopped arguing with all T-bashers and that seems the best option in life.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuel_addict View Post
I remember way back in 2003 when the Corolla was launched, it was the most desirable car being the first Toyota in India with same specs as the Int'l Corolla. The Civic came much later.

Its a tough decision to sell this car. 55K on a Toyota is hardly any running. The car would easily last another 1L km going by the way you have maintained her.
Thank you fuel_addict; The Altis today is also the same as it's international counterpart, I presume. The Civic and Corolla were both aspirational vehicles in our time and maybe still are for the vast majority.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monaro CV8 View Post
By the way, if I may ask, what has been your asking price for this beauty?
Thank you Monaro ji; Lets just say I sold it for 1L less than my expected price, but the consolation is that it's going to a close family friend.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrous Power View Post
Last year we bought Merc C class but haven't sold Corolla yet and planning to keep it as long as I can keep. Toyota's reliability is just superb.
You said it all Nitrous Power; Sometimes the T badge outlives even bigger brands in it's reliability.
Quote:
Originally Posted by S_U_N View Post
I have a Cedia which is close to 5 years old (pre-owned) and driven twice as much as your Corolla. I find a lot of similarities between the two cars (both in exteriors and interiors).
The view from the back (third photo) made be believe that this was just out of the assembly line.
How did you maintain the interior fabric (on the door)? I have similar fabric in my car and interior cleaning spray has soiled it further.
Thank you S_U_N; Both the Cedia and the Corolla are good for 2-3L kms; Like I said, I used the minimal of these so called 'maintenance' products. More often than not these serve no purpose but to fleece 'first time' car buyers out of their hard earned money. [I had a nice experience with the 3M products though recently, on my 1st service of the Falcon, and I feel they 'actually' work especially their Tyre Finisher and Engine Component Sprays.]

Though a good wax polish is essential for the exterior, but most of the Interiors are easily cleaned by a moist soft cloth. 'Water' as they say is the best cleaner especially for cloth surfaces. At most it can be wetted by any good detergent (like Ariel) for stubborn stains. A little Colin helps for glass surfaces. And last but not the least 'being careful' has no substitute.
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Old 12th September 2011, 12:17   #15
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla 2004 - Long Term Ownership Report 55000KM

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Originally Posted by DicKy View Post
You have shown it all, what makes Toyotas the best selling vehicles all around the world and what makes it stand out from the rest.The attention to details.
Can't understand what the Toyota bashers have to say about the emotions and all.
You may not feel any emotions in a Toyota(especially the new ones) during a 30mins TD, but live with it for a decade and maintain it,then you will understand what the 'T' stands for.
Perfectly said. You feel no emotion in a Toyota, but after you drive it for ever and it doesnt fall apart, it surely earns your respect beyond emotions. I just completed 1 lakh+ kms on my Prado in about 29 months of Ownership and I know exactly what it feels like in a Toyota.
The damn thing just stands in the parking lot with a cheezy grin... saying "what next".
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