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1999 Toyota Corolla Sedan

4dr Sdn VE Manual

Starting at | Starting at 31 MPG City - 38 MPG Highway

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  • $12,258 original MSRP
Printable Version

1999 Toyota Corolla Sedan

Printable Version

1999 Toyota Corolla Sedan

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1999 Toyota Corolla

Source: New Car Test Drive

Durable, reliable and comfortable.

by Ray Thursby

Base Price $12,638
As Tested $17,608


Even with a complete redesign last year, the Toyota Corolla remains an unobtrusive car, one that seeks to meet the needs of buyers looking for transportation rather than sensation. The absence of flash can make any car a difficult selling proposition, but customers are so attracted to Corolla's reasonable price and reputation that near-invisibility seems to have no effect on sales.

One rung down from the popular Camry, the Corolla enhances Toyota's reputation for meeting the needs of its customers, blending long-time virtues with new strengths into an appealing whole.

As a model name, Corolla has been around for some 30 years, evolving from a tiny imported sedan of slightly odd appearance into a made-in-America compact that sells well and is routinely praised for its refinement.

Naturally, there are numerous companies looking for a big slice of this market. Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen, Dodge, Chevrolet, Ford and Saturn all offer their own interpretations of what a compact car should be. And they all build good cars. The Corolla meets this challenge with Toyota's strong durability and reliability record.


Walkaround

Toyota, which seldom opts for startling style, has once again brought forth a conservative, clean shape that doesn't call attention to itself. The new Corolla is, in fact, one step away from being plain. But it is nicely proportioned, trim and efficient.

A couple of details set it apart from competing designs. The body sides are indented and the rear lamp clusters look similar to those of the Lexus GS with small trunk-mounted segments. But as a whole, the Corolla does without superfluous ornamentation.

All Corollas are four-door sedans. Three trim levels are offered. VE is the plainest, a low-price car with all but the most basic amenities optional. Most people opt for the mid-range CE or the well-equipped LE. None are exactly luxurious unless extras are ordered, but they fulfill transportation needs well.

Frankly, Toyota's VE to CE to LE strategy is a little bit difficult to fathom. Even a digital clock is extra on a VE, which gets the plainest interior fabrics; it's hard to imagine anyone but fleet customers will go for a VE without air conditioning and a radio. Add much equipment to one and its price begins to climb to that of the CE.

A CE can be equipped to be a virtual twin to the LE (except for the latter's optional sunroof and alloy wheels) while both anti-lock brakes and side-impact airbags are options for all three versions.

But Toyota has long been wedded to this approach. Its primary drawback, aside from confusion over which car gets which features, is an element of sticker shock. The VE's base price appears to put the Corolla squarely in the bargain category, right down there in rock-bottom land with many competitors. But by the time you've driven away in a fully equipped LE -- like our test car -- the tab has climbed into mid-size car territory.


The Inside Story

Toyota has done a fine job of squeezing maximum passenger space out of a small overall package. Generous room is provided for the driver and front-seat passenger, both of whom sit on comfortable seats. The rear seat, as is common to cars in this class, is rather less commodious. With two occupants the rear seat is a reasonable habitat, though lacking in both leg- and headroom for taller passengers. But three riders had best be good friends. Cupholders, storage boxes and a center-console with a lidded bin are provided for convenience.

The interior design matches the exterior insofar as it's attractive and well finished, but is otherwise similar to most cars in the class. Instruments are housed in a curved dashboard; a tachometer is added in an optional Touring Package. Controls are laid out for easy use.

Materials and workmanship are above average, though a few of our passengers found the cloth seat material, which looks attractive and should be durable, rather scratchy on bare skin. Our LE model carried just about every conceivable option, which gave us use of a good four-speaker sound system, air conditioning, power windows, mirrors and door locks and a glass sunroof.

Opinions were divided on the white instrument faces that are part of the Touring Package; their colors reverse when lit at night, and in the transition between day and night they are sometimes hard to read. Others thought they looked really neat. Luggage can be stowed in a roomy trunk with a large lid that opens right down to bumper level for easy loading.


Ride & Drive

For the money, the Corolla offers very good performance, handling, ride quality and comfort.

Toyota's all-aluminum 16-valve four-cylinder engine is lighter, more powerful and more economical than its predecessor. It gives the Corolla sprightly performance, even when teamed with a four-speed automatic transmission, as was the case with our test car. Yet it sipped fuel at a commendably miserly 30-mpg average during our test.

The engine is noisy under hard acceleration. It's much quieter at cruising speeds, though there's an intrusive resonance at 3000 rpm. The gearbox, on the other hand, shifts smoothly and responds quickly when called upon to downshift for hill climbing or passing maneuvers.

Judged by class standards, the Corolla handles well, especially when equipped with the slightly upgraded suspension included in the Touring Package. Light but precise power-assisted steering helps as well.

Ride quality, given the short wheelbase, is very good. Nothing short of potholes will disturb the Corolla's occupants. Southern California's freeway expansion strips, which create uncomfortable rocking-horse motions on some of the cars we test, went unnoticed in the Corolla.

The brakes stop the car quickly even after repeated hard use; we recommend ordering them with the optional ABS.

The economy-grade tires were less than ideal, however. They make a noisy nuisance of themselves when asked to carry the car around corners at anything beyond a casual pace, they transmit tread noise into the cabin on the highway, and they lack grip under hard braking.

Driving a Corolla equipped with the automatic transmission, I found the brake pedal and throttle a bit close together for my big feet. Anyone who wears a size 12 or larger shoe will need to pay attention to pedal usage. Drivers with smaller feet-most drivers, in other words-will not likely have any difficulty. And ordering a Corolla with the manual gearbox eliminates this altogether because a different brake pedal is used.


Final Word

Faced with impressive competition, the Corolla holds its ground well. Budget-minded buyers who want a solid car need look no farther. Those seeking a sportier package may want to check with their Volkswagen or Honda dealers.

Redesigned last year, the new Corolla is a better car than the previous version-and it was one of the better offerings in its class.

The 1999 Corolla is comfortable, rugged and well built, a solid little machine that delivers what it promises. In the ride and handling department, it is better than expected.

By shopping carefully, a customer can drive away in a nicely appointed Corolla without spending much more than $15,000. The CE model, for example, when equipped with optional side air bags and ABS, is a very good buy. As such, it represents good value. Be warned, however, that a loaded Corolla intrudes into Camry territory, so a decision has to be made: Do you want a larger car with minimal extras or a smaller car loaded with everything?


Order our 200+ page magazine of reviews. Send $8.00 (S&H included) to New Car Test Drive, 2145 Crooks Rd. Suite 200, Troy, MI 48084.

© 1998-1999 New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

1999 Toyota Corolla Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Opt
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Printable Version

1999 Toyota Corolla Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 5 Years/60,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/Unlimited Miles

Toyota Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

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12-month/12,000-mile Comprehensive Warranty*

7-year/100,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty**

1-year of Roadside Assistance***

160-Point Quality Assurance Inspection

CARFAX® Vehicle History ReportTM****

Certified customers are eligible for standard new car financing rates*****

*Whichever comes first from date of Toyota Certified Used Vehicle purchase. The Comprehensive Warranty covers any repair or replacement of components which fail under normal use due to defect in materials or workmanship. (Program not available in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.)

**Whichever comes first from original date of first use when sold as new. See your Toyota Certified Used Vehicles dealer for warranty details. Program not available in Puerto Rico and Hawaii. For AL, FL, GA, NC & SC, warranty coverage differs in the following ways: 7-year or 100,000-mile Toyota Certified Limited Powertrain Warranty coverage begins on January 1st of the vehicle's model year and zero (0) odometer miles and expires at the earlier of seven years or 100,000 odometer miles.

***From date of Toyota Certified Used Vehicle purchase. Covers most services, including flat tires, lockout service, jump starts, fuel delivery up to 3 gallons and towing for mechanical breakdown or collision recovery to the nearest Toyota dealership. Services provided exclude any parts required. Coverage not available in Mexico. See Certified Warranty Supplement for warranty details.

****Beginning December 1, 2005 CARFAX® Vehicle History ReportsTM are a required part of every Toyota Certified Used Vehicle. See your local dealer for details.

*****Rates mentioned are for standard new car rates, and do not include new car specials or subvented rates. Not all buyers will qualify. Financing available through Toyota Financial Services for qualified buyers only.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 7 years / 85,000
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection All TCUV vehicles must pass a comprehensive checklist that includes a 160-point inspection. This way you can rest assured that your pre-owned Toyota is in perfect condition. To see full inspection list visit http://www.toyotacertified.com/inspection.html
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance 1-year of Roadside Assistance from date of TCUV purchase.
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $50

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

1999 Toyota Corolla Sedan

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