Toyota Corolla Years to Avoid [Best & Worst Period]

Are you considering buying a Toyota Corolla? Before you make that purchase, you must understand which years of the Toyota Corolla years to avoid.

Figuring out what to look for can be a way to make an informed decision and avoid expensive repairs or costly maintenance.

9th Generation 

  • Worst years 2002, 2003, 2005

A Toyota Corolla provides its owners with reliable and efficient transportation for a long time. In the market for a used Corolla, you should avoid specific model years of the 9th.

10th Generation 

  • Worst years 2009, 2010

The 10th generation of the Toyota Corolla spanned from 2007 to 2012, and while it boasted several improvements over its predecessor, there were still some models to steer clear of.

11th Generation 

  • Worst year 2014

The 11th generation of the Toyota Corolla was introduced in 2013 and is still being produced today. However, there is only one certain 2014 year model to avoid purchasing a used vehicle from this generation.

Common Problems 

Transmission Issues

Transmission problems are mostly reported on the 2003 and 2009 Toyota Corollas, and it’s worth noting that these problems are only shared in these two particular models. If you encounter any of these issues, you may want to avoid purchasing a 2003 or 2009 Toyota Corolla altogether. While many great models of Corolla are out there, these two years are not worth the risk.

Body and Paint Issues

If you’re in the market for a used Toyota Corolla, it’s vital to steer clear of the 2005, 2006, 2009, and 2010 models due to reported body and paint issues. Owners have said that the paint on these models chips and peels off after only a few miles, which means many of these cars require repainting. Avoiding them is better as these years can be costly and time-consuming.

Brake Issues

Issues with the braking system of any car should never be taken lightly, and this is especially true for Toyota Corolla models known to have brake problems. The 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2016 Corolla models are among the ones to avoid due to the brake issues that many owners have experienced.

Complaints range from the brakes making a grinding noise when applied to them slipping off and causing the car to accelerate when matching the brakes. These problems pose a safety risk and require frequent and costly repairs, making it worth it to steer clear of these models.

Interior Accessories Issues

The 2009, 2014, and 2015 model years of the Toyota Corolla have also been plagued by several interior accessories issues. The rattling dashboard can be frustrating, especially on longer drives, as it creates a constant distraction and noise.

The malfunctioning radio system can also be a nuisance, mainly if you rely heavily on music or other audio while driving. Power lock failures can also be frustrating, especially if you have to manually lock and unlock your car whenever you need to get in or out.  

Check out Toyota Camry Years to Avoid

Faults by year


What Are The Best Toyota Corolla Years To Buy?

When it comes to the Toyota Corolla, knowing which years to avoid is important, but there are also many great models to choose from. If you’re looking for the most reliable Toyota Corolla years and affordable ride, these are the years to look out for:

  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2004
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2011 to 2013
  • 2016 to 2021

Worst Toyota years

  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2005
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2014


If you’re in the market for a used Toyota Corolla, you must know which Toyota Corolla years to avoid to save yourself potential headaches and costly repairs. The models, including 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009, and 2010,2014, have a history of transmission problems and other common issues that may not be worth the risk.

Is it reasonable to buy an old Corolla?

On a budget, you may want to consider buying an old Corolla. However, maintenance is critical to the longevity of the vehicle. A Corolla with all service done entirely and on time should still have plenty of life at 150,000 miles. It’s essential to have the bills to prove the service history to ensure you are buying a reliable car.

Can a Corolla last 30 years?

While the average lifespan of a Toyota is between 15-20 years, some models can last up to 25 years without major issues. However, reaching a 30-year lifespan is possible but requires significant work and dedication from the owner to maintain and repair the vehicle.

Which year of Corolla is the most reliable?

The Toyota Corolla years from 2003 to 2008 are the best models for you. This one of the best Toyota Corolla models has received highly favorable Consumer Reports ratings. It also offers the best value and reliability for the money with the most reliable Toyota Corolla engine. While other Corolla years may also be reliable, these are the ones that stand out in terms of overall quality and durability.

Jake Mayock