The 2003 Toyota Corolla is part of a brood of popular compact vehicles that has a very long history in the industry. It first rolled out in the United States back in 1966. The sales numbers is in tens of millions since its birth, making it the best-selling passenger car in automotive history. About 230,000 units were produced for the model year with three versions: the entry-level CE, higher end LE, and the S sporty edition. It has also been designed to appeal to a younger crowd, particularly between the ages of 25 and 34 years old.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual gearbox, four-speed automatic
Models: Toyota Corolla CE, Toyota Corolla S, Toyota Corolla LE
The 2003 Corolla receives a total makeover for its release. It goes beyond the usual styling and is among the more luxurious built of its kind with better interior room. The team of designers and engineers also addressed the shortcomings of the previous models. Toyota incorporates a lot of features just to make sure it remains true to its reputation of giving consumers great value for their money.
The overall dimensions of the 2003 Toyota Corolla increased compared to its older siblings. New styling lines were implemented but not too drastic as to alienate consumers from the Corolla look. The wheelbase of the car stands at 102.4 inches while its length is pegged at 178.3 inches. This release is about five inches longer than the model it followed. The width of the vehicle measures 66.9 inches and its height measures 57.5 inches. The S, known as the sporty version of the bunch, receives some special touches like fog lights, smoked headlamps, side rockers panels, body side moldings following the color of the body, and underbody spoilers. The S also has a specially-tuned suspension made up of springs with different rates and revolved shocks. All models roll on 15-inch rims, but the S and LE come with wider tires.
The 2003 Toyota Corolla shows off better equipment than the previous releases. The CE come standard with air-conditioning, power mirrors, tilting steering column, tachometer, intermittent wipers, CD stereo, and a gauge for outside temperature. The LE adds to the standard power windows, power door locks, power mirrors following the color of the body, wood-like treatment for the panel of instruments, vertical height adjustment for the seats, and keyless entry. The S gives the steering wheel a leather treatment and adds to the panel a sporty speedometer. Toyota claims a roomier interior especially for the front cabin occupants. The legroom for the backseat passengers is not as good unless the front seats are adjusted forward. The glove box is also quite roomy and can hold a lot of items, which consumers may need handy.
Performance & Handling
The 2003 Toyota Corolla offers 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine gives out 130 horses and can be paired with either a four-speed automatic gearbox or a five-speed manual transmission. Older Corollas made use of three-speed automatic transmissions, but these are no longer in use. It's among the most reliable compact sedans the car industry has seen. It offers a good blend of reliability, refinement, and fuel economy. The styling changes might not get a thumbs-up from everyone and has a good foundation of excellence built by the previous generations. The performance is not that great, but the output of the engine is good enough for your daily commute. The extra five horsepower does not bring it up the league of fast cars, but this car promises years of good service. The acceleration is not the best in the market but decent enough. The engine growls a bit while trying to accelerate, but it quiets down when you hit the highway cruising speed. Maneuvering it will never be an issue but there is of course a big room to improve handling precision. The ride is quite comfortable and smooth.
The 2003 Toyota Corolla has an option for anti-lock brakes and side-impact airbags mounted on the seats. The front airbags are deployed in several stages that might be slower for drivers who sit quite close to the car's steering wheel.
EPA Fuel Economy
Toyota Corolla: 28/36 mpg city/highway
- Roomier interior compared to previous models
- Good build quality
- Refined styling
You Won't Like
- Pricey for an economy sedan
Comes with a proven track record that will satisfy daily driving needs.
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