The Toyota Corolla has been one of Australia’s most popular cars for decades. This mid-size sedan offers reliable performance, good fuel economy, and a comfortable ride – all at an affordable price. But when it comes to purchasing a used Corolla, how reliable are they?

History and Popularity in Australia

The first Toyota Corolla that arrived in Australia in November 1966 had a 90-inch wheelbase. Since then, the car has gone through several generations, with each one becoming more advanced while still retaining its core qualities of reliability, economy and comfort. 

Despite facing competition from other models and the growing popularity of SUVs, the Toyota Corolla has managed to maintain its status as Australia's top-selling passenger car for the tenth consecutive year in 2021.

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Reliability of Toyota Corolla

According to a study by Repair Pal, the Toyota Corolla is a reliable, compact car. The Corolla ranked first in terms of reliability among 35 other compact vehicles. The average repair cost per year for Corolla owners is $362, which is lower than the average of $526 for compact cars and $652 for all vehicles.

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In addition, Corolla owners typically only need to seek repairs 0.3 times per year. There is only a 7% likelihood of a repair being severe, compared to 12% for all other vehicle models. These factors make the Corolla a reliable and cost-effective car for owners.

The Toyota Corolla performed well in a recent Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, ranking 38th among the top 75 cars. Owners praised its strong performance and smooth ride, ranking it 7th for ride quality. 

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Common Reported Problems

Despite its overall reliability, some common problems have been reported by Corolla owners. The most common issue is with the transmission, which can be slow to shift or jerk when drivers change gears. Other problems include faulty brakes and suspension components, power steering failure, and a noisy engine. 

You should also note that braking-related problems have led to two Toyota Corolla recalls since 2000. The most commonly reported issues included premature brake failure, a grinding sound from the brakes, and brake squeaking. However, these braking issues have largely been resolved in newer Corolla models. 

Some Toyota Corolla owners expressed dissatisfaction with the car's practicality due to its small trunk, limited storage space, and issues with the infotainment screen.

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Final Thoughts on Toyota Corolla

When shopping for a used Corolla, look for a model manufactured between 2015 and 2020 to ensure maximum reliability. Check out its braking system – including recalls – and general wear and tear before making your purchase.

For a great deal on financing your new purchase, contact Australia's best reviewed finance broker on 1300 Credit (1300 273 348) today or visit

Jordan Ballard

Jordan Ballard

Automotive Content Editor

Jordan is a car finance and automotive industry specialist at Only Cars. With over 20 years of experience with frontline and management roles in sales, finance and other areas, Jordan has an incredible understanding of the automotive industry. As Automotive Content Editor, Jordan loves sharing his passion for cars with the Only Cars audience.