I love my Corolla. It has stood the test of time. Still getting 30 plus mpg, my car cannot be beat. I have done a few things (exhaust manifold, cold air intake, regular tune ups) to keep my car at it's peak and the power of the car has not suffered at all in the past 14 years. Toyota reliability cannot be beat.
If I had a time machine, I would have gone back to 1993 and bought another 94 Corolla! Up until a few weeks ago I had this car for several years, and traded it in to buy a new Matrix. I was so sad to part with it, because it has been the most reliable car I have ever owned. This thing made it to 210,000 miles with little more than me replacing the shocks and a few other minor things. Solid construction all around, and took a beating traveling across the country over and over again, even through the mountains, without failing once. Toyota really hit the mark on this one, and the reliability of the Corolla is what made me decide to buy another Toyota vehicle. Can you say low-maintenance?!
Body always looked fairly modern, as compared to other boxier models of the same era. Comfortable seating and large trunk.
Cup holders in rear, some of the plastic elements of the car didn't withstand the test of time, such as the plastic doorhandles.
This little Toyota wagon is a jewel. I've got 160k miles on it and it runs as well as the day I drove it home. I, too, had to replace a water pump in the first year or two of ownership and also had a leak in one of the CV boots in the 3rd or 4th year. Other than that I've only had regular maintenance done on the car and replaced normal stuff when it wore out. It is the perfect size and gets good mileage with an automatic transmission. The only thing I would change is I would like a little less road noise and a little smoother ride but then it's not bad for this price car. My friends with big maintenance bills for their BMWs and Mercedes are envious!
I bought this car with 158000+ miles back in 2004. I have put on another 30,000 miles since. I drive a lot and this car has not let me down ever. I even went on a 50 hour (round trip) road trip in it last year. If my car drives this good when it has 188000 miles, I can only imagine how good it was brand new. I would always buy Toyotas with no fear (new or used). Great car!!