Toyota Corolla Fielder 2000-2007 used car review

The Toyota Corolla Fielder is the Japanese version of the ever-popular Toyota Corolla wagon.

Richard Edwards
Richard Edwards
Expert Reviewer | Auto Media Group

The Toyota Corolla Fielder is the Japanese version of the ever-popular Toyota Corolla wagon. It offers more features than the Kiwi model, although has a smaller engine in most cases.

Exterior , 4 out of 5 Drive , 3.5 out of 5 Safety , 2 out of 5 Value , 4 out of 5 Interior , 4 out of 5

Overall score , 3.5 out of 5

The good
  • Excellent build quality will impress
  • Huge boot makes this a great family car
  • Excellent rear leg and headroom
The not-so-good
  • More expensive than other small wagons
  • Ride feels bouncier than hatchback version

The Toyota Corolla wagon has long been the choice of small families and businesses. In Japan this model is called the “Fielder” and stands alone as a separate model to the rest of the Corolla range. Compared to local models, it offers different engines and transmissions as well as additional luxury and sports options. All-wheel drive is also a common option.

Inside and out

Our review “S” model Fielder looks similar to the Corolla wagon, with a soft and rounded front, large headlights, tall straight sides and squared-off rear. This model features alloy wheels, roof rails and the chrome trim commonly found on most Fielders. Tinted windows are also very common - they help keep passengers cool and loads from prying eyes. There is no Corolla badge, just “Fielder” on the tailgate.

Once inside our Fielder seems very dark, thanks to those tinted windows and a sporty, black-and-grey interior.  Everything feels high quality and durable, though some of the plastics are a little hard to the touch. The instruments are very clear, large and easy to read with white text on a dark background. 

Our review vehicle features a New Zealand-specification CD player stereo. However, most will feature a Japanese radio that requires a band expander to receive local stations. Below this are the controls for the climate control air-conditioning.

Like the “RunX” version we recently reviewed, we found the front seat bases too short, with little support for the thighs of taller drivers. Rear seat room is more impressive. There is only width across for two adults and a child, but legroom and headroom are very good for this size of the car.

Boot space in the wagon is excellent. Its 402 litres matches some larger cars and its square, boxy shape makes the most of it. We believe four to six medium suitcases will fit. The rear seat splits and folds 60/40 and lies almost flat to provide more space for larger items.

On the road

The most common engine powering the Fielder is a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. The S version we have features a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine, while the Z model uses a high-performance version. A hard-to-find option is a 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, available only as the base X model. 

Five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions are standard, except on the Z which features a six-speed automatic. The engine in our car produces 100kW and 171Nm, which is excellent for a relatively small engine. Performance is great, although the engine does need to be revved a little to get the best from it.

Although the Fielder drives like most other Corollas – it has plenty of grip around corners with some body roll - our wagon does feel a little bouncy. This could be down to its longer wheelbase or it could be a sign of suspension wear due to heavy loads being carried. The Z features firmer sports suspension if you want a more sporty car to drive.

Forward visibility is great and the large rear mirrors are helpful. Large rear corners and tinted windows do make seeing to the back of the car tricky and reversing cameras or sensors are not standard on any model. We suggest fitting a camera - this will cost from $50 for a unit to fit yourself and from $200 to have a professional do it for you.

Our S model uses the same engine and transmission as the New Zealand-new model, so we feel the local tow ratings can apply.

That model is rated at 450kg unbraked (a small garden trailer) and 1,300kg braked (a small trailer boat). Be aware the X model with its 1.5-litre engine might not tow as well.


No safety rating is available for our 2001 Fielder, although it is very similar to, and has the same safety features as the 2002-2007 models which carry a two-star Used Car Safety Rating (based on real-world crash data). Safety specifications include driver and passenger airbags, and anti-lock brakes.

The rear seat features ISOFIX child seat points in the window positions. The centre seatbelt is a lap-only type, which offers less protection than the shoulder-type.


Like the rest of the Corolla range, the Fielder is considered to be very reliable. A few issues have surfaced, although most are only apparent because of the enormous numbers sold. The engine uses a timing chain which will not require regular replacement.

A lack of maintenance can contribute to timing chain wear, engine sludge build-up and then blocked oil pathways, with a small number of the worst-case scenarios running bearings or causing premature camshaft failure. The percentage of failures compared to the sheer number of Corollas on the road is very, very small. This lack of maintenance can also block the oil pump.

Ensure the oil light does not come on at all after the car is started or when it has warmed up.

Oil seepages on a car of this age are pretty common now - the rocker cover gasket is the usual source of any leaks. A replacement will only cost a few hundred dollars, although if the leak is minor it might not be worth doing.

Check the condition of the plastic radiator header tank carefully for signs of cracking or stress fractures. An older tank top will be a lightish brown colour (discoloured with age), and a newer replaced tank will be black. Telltale signs of coolant forced out under pressure can often be seen around the high-stress points of the cap aperture, hose points and tank edges.

The plastic headlamps on the Fielder can get milky or opaque over time, and will ultimately lead to a warrant of fitness failure. The lamps can be polished back to life, with commercial products or by professionals who offer the service for a small fee.

Paints on this model, particularly bright colours, can suffer in New Zealand’s harsh UV light. The worst are bright red, blue and black. Check the paint on the car you are considering is in good condition and bubbles are not showing because a re-spray can be very expensive.

Cost of ownership

Toyota recommends servicing the Fielder every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever comes first. The automatic transmission will also require a service every 60,000km or nine years. A dealer quoted us $260 for a standard service and $280 for the transmission service.

RightCar estimates that over 14,000km of driving a year, a Fielder will cost $1,960 a year to fuel. The 50-litre fuel tank will cost $100 to fill and should take you 640km before the fuel light comes on.

A vehicle licence for the Fielder costs $99.02 a year, with the car in the second cheapest ACC levy group.

Trade Me Insurance estimates insurance for a Fielder valued at $5,440 will cost $40.22* per month. This is only a few cents more than a Mitsubishi Lancer wagon.

Buyers' guide

This generation of Fielder is available on Trade Me priced from $2,750 to $10,000 for later and lower mileage vehicles. Search for both the Corolla model with “station wagon” selected as the body style you want and Fielder.


  • X - Powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol or 2.2-litre diesel engines. Features steel wheels, electric windows, manual air-conditioning, driver and passenger front airbags, anti-lock brakes and tinted windows. X G edition adds premium interior trim.
  • S - Powered by a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine. Adds climate control air-conditioning, dark interior and roof rails.
  • Z - Powered by a high-output 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine, front and rear skirts, fog-lights and sports suspension.

S and Z are available with an ‘Aero Tourer’ package, essentially a body kit and rear spoiler.


  • 2000 Launched in Japan
  • 2003 Receives cosmetic facelift
  • 2005 Receives further cosmetic upgrade
  • 2007 Replaced by new model


Review vehicle

2001 Toyota Fielder S


$5,500 to $10,000 for models which have travelled 70,000 to 120,000km


1.8-litre four-cylinder, 100kW and 171Nm


Four-speed automatic, front-wheel drive

Safety rating

Two-star Used Car Safety Rating


15,000km or 12 months

Spare wheel

Space saver

Fuel economy

7-litres per 100km (claimed)

Fuel type








Towing capacity

450kg (unbraked), 1300kg (braked)

Turning circle


This review covers the Toyota Corolla Fielder for model years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Review vehicle supplied by Turners Cars.

*Our insurance estimates are based on a 35-year-old male with no accidents in the last two years, garaging the car in Mission Bay, Auckland. The car is not used for business and will cover 10,000km to 20,000km a year. We estimate with no option add-ons and $500 excess. Customise your estimate at Trade Me Insurance.

Image gallery