Skip to main content

One factor to consider when shopping for a new or used car is the annual maintenance cost. Among automakers, Toyota ranks as one of the lowest in maintenance and repair costs. It would be easy to assume the best-selling Corolla would be the cheapest to maintain and repair. However, that title belongs to a retired model, the Toyota Paseo. 

Here’s a look at the Toyota brand’s average maintenance and repair costs

Toyota is famous for its reliable cars. Considering the price, frequency, and severity of repairs, the consumer site RepairPal gives Toyota a reliability rating of four out of five stars. The company ranks eighth out of 32 car brands in the United States. RepairPal considers over 345 models when determining its brand rankings. 

RepairPal’s data shows Toyota owners can expect to pay an average of $441 in annual maintenance and repair costs. That’s relativity inexpensive — the standard for all 32 brands is $652. Most of Toyota’s primary competitors have higher annual repair costs across all models. For example, Nissan owners pay around $500, Volkswagen drivers fork over $676, and Cadillac owners shell out around $783. 

However, some of Toyota’s other rivals rank higher in low annual repair costs. Honda ranks No. 1, averaging $428. Despite not ranking first in the lowest maintenance and repair costs, Toyota remains a highly reliable brand. In addition to paying low annual repair costs of around $441, Toyota drivers also experience a low frequency of repair visits, with an average of 0.3 per year. Owners also have a low probability of dealing with severe repairs, as the average severity of repairs across all Toyota models is 12%. 

The Paseo has the lowest annual maintenance costs among Toyota models 

1992 Toyota Paseo lowest maintenance costs
1992 Toyota Paseo | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Despite the Corolla’s popularity, it’s not the Toyota model with the lowest annual maintenance costs. That distinction goes to the Paseo, a two-door coupe sold in the United States from 1992 to 1997. According to RepairPal, the average annual maintenance and repair costs for a Toyota Paseo total only $306. In comparison, the Corolla costs an average of $362 to keep running. 

Overall, the most common Toyota Paseo problem is the automatic transmission not shifting correctly after the vehicle reaches 125,000 to 150,000 miles. Often, this issue can be fixed by replacing the shift solenoid or adjusting the throttle position sensor. According to RepairPal data, the second most common issue is an ignition coil inside the distributor failing, which can cause hesitation during acceleration or even result in a no-start condition. Usually, the repair requires a new distributor. 

This is how the Corolla’s and Paseo’s problems compare 

Unlike the Paseo, the Toyota Corolla has remained in production since its 1966 debut. This compact car has higher annual maintenance costs than its retired sibling, but they remain low, averaging $362. Though the Paseo and Corolla have different features, they share some of the most common problems. 

As with the Paseo, the Corolla’s second most common maintenance issue is the automatic transmission not shifting correctly once the vehicle hits a higher mileage. A solenoid replacement or a throttle position sensor adjustment can fix the issue relatively quickly. 

The Corolla’s most significant problem is its check engine light illuminating due to an evaporative emission system fault. According to RepairPal, this issue is difficult to diagnose and can take a while to be fixed. However, some reasons behind the issue have been linked to a failed charcoal canister or a loose/worn gas cap. 


The 3 Most Reliable Toyota Corolla Model Years Under $10,000