08 Avalon vs 2011 corolla

Hi all. So I’m on the verge of choosing a new car. My two choices are a 2008 Avalon or a 2011 corolla.

The Avalon has 108k miles, is a NY native car so has some small patches of rust underneath but nothing crazy. The dealer just replaced front and back brakes, both mufflers, the battery, and a metal strip that runs under the gas tank. It’s had one owner and no accidents. Test drive felt good.

The corolla is from PA, and has just about no rust underneath because of that. It has 134k miles. Back brakes need to be done but the dealer said he would do that up and anything else needed.

The corolla is $6,500 and the Avalon is $6,000. I like the Avalon a bit more because of the overall look and the more powerful engine, but I’m more into reliability.


Toss up, Avalon will give a bit more room, the Corolla is newer. Both should be reliable, but have an independent mechanic go over the car before you make an offer. You do not want any surprises.

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If it’s for short commutes, maybe the Corolla, but if I’m putting hours in it, the Avalon, assuming you find it comfortable and it passes the mechanic’s inspection.

12 year old rust state car or an 9 year old rust state car? Yeah, I’m strongly leaning to the 2011 Corolla. Cars in these types of states die not because of mechanical failure but rust damage.

Have a mechanic give each a serious look-under and screwdriver poke. If anything looks sketchy at all on the Avalon go for the Corolla.


You don’t think that PA is a rust-belt state?

I suggest that you follow the advice of Mustangman:



Have a mechanic you trust check out the one you like most, including a close look at any rust in the body and underside. If it turns out the rust is worse than you think (probable), consider how long the car body will last. I’m guessing you are a young person, and you don’t need a luxury car. Maybe start with the Corolla, but the choice is yours. This will cost you about $125, and it’s worth it.

I inspected under the car and it’s pretty pristine. I thought PA didn’t use salt. The more you know.

I looked under both cars. The Avalon definitely has more rust, but nothing I could see was anything other than surface. Of course I could be wrong, in fact, I welcome it lol.

I do plan on doing a pre purchase inspection.

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I lived in PA for many many years, they use an enormous amount of salt on the roads

Over the last five winters, PennDOT used an average of 844,000 tons of salt to keep Pennsylvania drivers moving. If winter does strike, PennDOT will have crews treating roadways around the clock, but the department’s aim is to keep roads passable rather than completely free of ice and snow.


Huh, interesting. For being a 9 year old car from a salt belt state, it has a remarkable lack of rust.

I have an unreasonably adverse reaction to any rust on my car, so I’d pick the Corolla on that alone.

Once rust starts, it doesn’t stop, and it keeps growing. If you don’t care if your car is a rusty heap, then the Avalon might be the better choice - though note that Avalons required premium gas at one point, and I don’t remember when that stopped. So the Avalon might end up making you spend 40-50 cents more a gallon.

The amount of snow varies greatly in PA. Philadelphia gets a lot less snow than Erie, for instance.

As a trucker always operating out of the Buffalo NY Area I can tell you the the use of salt spread in PA especially in the middle of the night is minuscule compare to NY. The worst areas for salt are Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. The rest of the state just doesn’t get as much snow except the North Country esp. the area West of the Tug hill plateau, but because it gets so cold there, they use more sand than salt.

NY uses 16+tond of salt per lane mile. similar to the New England states, but a lot more in my area, we find cars from PA to be almost rust free compared to ours. I have never worn out a car, they die from rust. The exceptions being in my younger street racing days but that was in the 50s.

How about a Camry? Close to Avalon in size for less $

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Much depends on the specific location, Southern PA has mild winters. My cousins moved to York in the 1970’s and remarked about the lack of snowfall, 25 inches a year.

Philadelphia; 22.4" a year.

It shouldn’t be hard to find a clean car in or from Pennsylvania.

I would avoid rust at all cost, used to live in CT!
Either the Corolla, or if you think it is too small and you have a long commute, look for a Camry.
On a similar note, the 2011 Corolla is probably the same size as the 90;s Camry.

It really doesn’t matter how many inches of snow a place gets as much as how often. Southern Ohio doesn’t get many inches but everytime 1/2 is predicted the roads get brined.

And then it warms up to 34 degrees so the salt can get the rust started.


If it matters to anyone, I plan on doing a fluid film undercoat before the winter starts.

I wouldn’t buy either of these cars, but the 2011 Corolla is probably the better buy for a lot of reasons.

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Just looked it up… Doesn’t look like it could hurt anything but won’t do much to prevent existing rust from getting worse.