Ask The AUTO GUROs: Power Options for the Toyota Corolla XL

Ask The AUTO GUROs: Power Options for the Toyota Corolla XL

A question for the AUTO GUROs came in from one of our loyal readers. And it goes:
“Good day. It’s my first time. I have a Corolla XL 12-valve and I know such is not a powerful car but I’m wondering how would I increase my engine’s power. Can you put a turbo on a 12-valve engine? If not what are the possibilities of increasing the horsepower? Can you help me out on engine customization?”
– Victor Morales via

We are always glad to help our kababayans with their rides. So here’s what the AUTO GUROs have to say:

Kevin Carlos says:
“Hmm I think its better if you do an engine swap. I think a lot of work will be needed if you put a turbo on that? Internals, etc, etc. A swap will save time maybe money. And it will also be good durability-wise.”

The King, Ian King says:
“You can do both, but if you want a quick fix then engine swap is the easiest way. ”

Ben Alameda says:
“Thanks for the question, Kevin and Ian are correct. My advice to this individuals who do “off-beat or uncommon engines” is to be aware of the the “Potential” of any engines you do! The availability of parts like a Forged Crank for a turbo application, even the most basic things like, is there a Racing Clutch that can take the projected upgrades?… So the “swap” advice is the best. But if you want to be a “lone wolf” and want to do something that has never been done, and if you are successful, then you have proven all of us wrong… I have seen this!”

THE aSTIG says:
“If you’re looking to increase the potential of that 12-valve engine while retaining reliability, then just change the air intake/filter, headers, and exhaust system into more free-flowing units. There are also other tips and tricks for modifying a stock engine <– written by Ben Alameda. But your current engine was actually designed to take you from point A to point B reliably and using the least amount of fuel as possible. So I don’t think it is really worth your time or money to modify it all-out. So it’s best to go for an all-out engine swap. Depending on your budget and the amount of horsepower you want to achieve, there are plenty of options available to you. There’s actually the 2E Turbo, which is still a 1.3L but turbocharged. The 4AGE which comes in various horsepower ratings all the way to 165bhp (which is the one shown on the picture above). If you want more then there’s the 4AGZE Supercharged version. If you want bigger displacement, there’s the 3SGE, and if you want to go hardcore, take the turbocharged 3SGTE version.” Hope this helps you bro! To all other readers, if you have any questions for the AUTO GUROs, feel free to ask away in the comments section.

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10 Responses to Ask The AUTO GUROs: Power Options for the Toyota Corolla XL

  1. Ian King says:

    Basically you want to get the Bang for your buck right? Check what options your left with when you work out how much your going to drop on performance parts! But dont forget your reliability parts and safety parts.

    Usually people work there engines first and dont leave budget for other parts like I mentioned. When you start upping your power you also need to up your brakes especially if your really after performance. A fast car involves dependable braking which is very useful for diving in or saving you from a fender bender! But dont forget the parts to help make your car more reliable like an oil cooler, or a new fuel pump.

    Oh lastly usually heavy mods to get the most out of an engine is usually leads to poor reliability, especially if it needs serious air fuel mapping. For some reason were not yet that adept to the science of engine management!

  2. THE aSTIG says:

    Nice! Thanks Ian!

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  9. harry says:

    where can i buy low price engine for toyota corolla ? help me please .

  10. argel cabana says:

    nice article about the XL. i also have one. maybe engine swap or swap your car to GLI f it will save you time and money.

    but if you want to go with the stock engine. you can use or change your performance parts (headers ,exhaust, muffler,air filters, grounding kit etc.) clutch lining, body kit(fiber hood,/fender) it will make your car a little lighter. suspensions etc.