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Toyota SUVs and sedans are usually very popular amongst used car shoppers. A Toyota Corolla might not be as athletic as the Mazda3 or the Honda Civic, but you can count on it to be reliable for several years. In fact, some drivers say that their Corolla models are still running with over 300,000 miles on the odometer.

However, some Toyota Corolla models require more maintenance. In many cases, it’s not worth buying a car that requires thousands of dollars in premature repairs and other issues. Here are three of the worst Corolla model years that used car shoppers should avoid.

1. 2002 Toyota Corolla

Judging from owner testimonials on CarComplaints, the 2002 Toyota Corolla is the worst. The most commonly reported repair issues are typically more expensive to fix compared to other model years. Additionally, many drivers say that their cars experienced significant problems with fewer than 100,000 miles on the odometer. 

According to CarComplaints, the 2002 Corolla is prone to many engine problems. Excessive oil consumption is the most common issue, and drivers spend an average of $2,600 for diagnosis and repair fees. It usually happens when the car has 99,000 miles on the odometer, but some drivers experienced the problem 40,000 miles earlier.

While less common, some drivers said their engines stopped working completely around the 82,000-mile mark. On average, these engine rebuilds cost $3,670. Many technicians also could not diagnose the issue properly, so drivers had no warning beforehand.

2. 2009 Toyota Corolla

The 10th generation of the Toyota Corolla compact sedan, spanning the 2009 to 2013 model years
2009-2013 Toyota Corolla generation | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

CarComplaints users also had a lot of trouble with the 2009 Corolla due to multiple major and minor problems. Oil consumption issues still plague the engine, usually resulting in a complete rebuild that costs over $4,000 on average. Some engines just needed minor components replaced at around 73,000 miles, costing an average of $950.

2009 Toyota Corolla drivers also encountered water pump failures as early as 35,000 miles. The average repair cost is $860, though some drivers had to pay much more to replace the engine alongside it. That’s because the car’s engine can overheat easily if the water pump can’t circulate coolant properly.

Additionally, this model’s transmission is known to stop working around the 135,000-mile mark. Alternatively, the gear synchronizer might need to be replaced at 85,000 miles. The 2009 Toyota Corolla also exhibited poor paint quality and minor electrical problems.

3. 2010/2014 Toyota Corolla (TIE)

Related The Best Used Toyota Corolla Sedan Years: Model to Hunt for and 1 to Avoid

The Best Used Toyota Corolla Sedan Years: Model to Hunt for and 1 to Avoid

CarComplaints data reports that body and paint issues were even more prevalent for the 2010 Toyota Corolla. By the 56,000-mile mark, many drivers reported that paint was peeling off large sections of their cars. This was accompanied by rust spots, particularly on the trunk hinges. Many had to have the vehicle entirely repainted, costing an average of $1,200.

2010 Toyota Corolla owners may also encounter power steering failures around 58,000 miles. One driver claimed that they were quoted $760 to fix the problem. This model’s factory brake pads are also unreliable and may need to be replaced as early as 25,450 miles.

Elsewhere, CarComplaints reports that the 2014 Corolla’s problems are few and far between but still prove to be headaches when encountered. The 2014 Toyota Corolla’s infotainment unit is known to stop working with just 54,400 miles on the odometer. It can cost anywhere between $960-$1,340 to replace.

A handful of 2014 Corolla drivers also reported rough idling from the engine and A/C compressor failures. The latter costs most drivers over $1,000 to repair. So, with so many other reliable Corolla models to seek out, there’s no reason to waste your time on these lemons.