Piston Slap: The Toyota Corolla CE is a Pain in the Ass

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
TTAC Commentator dastanley writes:My 2006 Corolla CE is what it is – it gets me where I’m going with no muss, no fuss, no excitement, no drama, no fun. But hey, it runs.Problem is, every time I do a road trip in the thing, my ass hurts. The driver’s cloth seat feels like wood. Should I go to Walmart and buy the aftermarket cushions, etc. or does anyone have a recommendation for good comfortable aftermarket replacement seats? Or get another car?Sajeev replies:I reviewed this vintage Corolla “S” and thought the seats were decent, especially the rear bench. But I didn’t make a road trip, and carmakers don’t make ’em like they used to: everyone pruned their way to lower costs with rubbish thrones. Lousy padding, less contouring, thinner coverings, lame lumbar support—it beats up a body on long trips. But Toyota is good at badge engineering parts that consumers never see; I suspect the Corolla’s seat tracks are similar to other Toyotas, sans RWD Lexus products and trucks. The expensive Corollas are the best choice, if they are an improvement. But buy the back seat for a perfect match. But don’t expect a clean set of Corolla S seats for cheap from a recycler. My guess is $500 for all three.And choosing seats from a non-Toyota are a bad idea without Internet research and/or test fitting. They’ll look terrible because they won’t match the rear bench. Not to mention cost, side airbag (if equipped) safety woes, and the possible fitment issues against interior panels.Sadly, an aftermarket seat cover is a smarter idea. Some fitted covers claim to offer more padding, but they’ll be $100 or more. Perhaps the wooden beads (that taxicab drivers use) are a good alternative. They are comfortable, even if they are ugly. But they are durable, cheap and even somewhat eco-friendly [Send your queries to mehta@ttac.com]
Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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  • Supremebrougham Supremebrougham on Sep 05, 2009

    I once had a '95 Corolla DX, It was a nice car but I could only do three hours at a time till my legs starting hurting me. I ended up finding a small pillow to put under my legs. The best cars I've ever done long trips in were the two Oldsmobiles I owned, my '87 Cutlass and my '04 Alero. Both of those cars had the six-way power seats, and I found that by raising up the front half of the seat my legs wouldn't hurt me. A funny story...The seats in the Alero always felt as if they had too much lumbar built into them. A year and a half ago I broke my leg and had to use a cane for six months. Getting in and out of the car was a bit of a challenge. One day when I was getting in I had to brace myself with my hand by pressing on the seat back. Well, something in the seat broke! I thought "oh great, I broke the seat" But, as it turned out, the seat ended up feeling better than ever! I really miss that car... Moral of my story, either use a pillow, or find out if the power seat track and motor from a Camry could be installed.

  • Gardiner Westbound Gardiner Westbound on Sep 06, 2009

    OhMyGoat +1 Looked at the skwoosh site. They have some interesting stuff, and it's reasonably priced.

  • RobbyG $100k+...for a Jeep. Are they selling these in fantasy land?Twin turbo inline 6 paired to an 8-speed transmission. Yet still only gets 14mpg.Whatever money you think you would save over a V-8 will be spent 2-3x amount fixing these things when they blow up.
  • Alan Well the manufacturers are catching up with stocks. This means shortages of parts is reducing. Stocks are building around the world even Australia and last year had the most vehicles ever sold here.
  • Larry You neglected to mention that the 2024 Atlas has a US Government 5-Star Safety Rating.
  • Alan Why is it that Toyota and Nissan beat their large SUVs (Patrol/300 Series) with an ugly stick and say they are upmarket? Whilst they are beating the vehicles with an ugly stick they reduce the off road ability rather than improve it.As I've stated in previous comments you are far better off waiting for the Patrol to arrive than buy an overpriced vehicle.
  • Alan How many people do you see with a 4x4 running mud tyres? How many people do you see with a 4x4 running massive rims and low profile tyres? How many people have oversize mirrors for towing once in a blue moon? How many 4x4s do you see lifted? How many people care what tyres they run to save fuel? The most comfortable tyres are more or less the most economical.