2002 Toyota Corolla safety?

I would please like to know if this is a safe car for my 17 year old son. I am a single mom so I don’t have his dad for input.

Thank you very much


You have the question backwards. Is my 17 years old safe in any car. His driving is the key factor and you should not put your VIN on an open web site.

@cdaquila Carolyn , I doubt this person will return so would remove the VIN from their post please . Have a good weekend.

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Pay a mechanic $100 to check the car over before you buy it. The car may be fine, it may be rusted away, you do not know until you check. If the seller does not want to let you do that, walk away and find another car.

My retired sister drove a 2002 Corolla for years. As others say, if the car has been well maintained and a mechanic pronounces it safe, you have nothing to worry about other than your son’s driving.

If you want to be extra careful have him take a defensive driving course given by most auto clubs.

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Just like the Honda Civic, the Corolla is a very safe car for a young driver.

First. It’s a four cylinder engine.

Not a hot-rod.

Second. It has anti-lock brakes/air bags.

Safety features.

Third. And most of all.

If you your son is able to drive sanely, and not get any moving violations, the liability insurance for this vehicle should be low.

My kids all started out driving Civics/Corollas.

The ones I passed down to them.


I think it’s a good choice. As mentioned above, if you are buying this as a used car, have a pre-purchase inspection done by your own mechanic before committing.

It is absolutely safe enough as long as your son develops good driving habits, like thinking ahead, anticipating, being aware of what’s going on around him, assuming that 10% of all the other driver son the road will do something idiotic and leaving them room to do so, etc. And YOU are the key here. Spend as much time as you can riding with him, pointing out as you go all the stupidity that goes on around him. Leaving enough space and time around him to react to the stupidity of others, and being aware of same, will keep him out of an untold number of accidents over the years.

A 2002 Corolla with its seatbelt, airbags, and structure designed to protect the passengers (including driver) will go far to protect him from harm should he be involved in an accident. Good driving habits will go far to prevent him from being involved in an accident. Prevention is by far the better path to focus your energies on.

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I own this generation Corolla. Things to watch for is the high oil consumption issues with the 1.8 1ZZFE engine especially on 1998-2002 model years.Check the oil level often and for evidence of soot at the end of the tailpipe.Some of them will never develop oil consumption problems but the majority will.A manufacturer defect of the piston(not enough oil piston return holes) is the caused.A revised piston is available.

I’d say it is not safe relative to any modern vehicle that same size. This video will explain why.