I bought this car new and drove it for the past 13 years without any major problems. I replaced the tires and breaks but nothing else. Was planning to drive this car until it wouldn't run anymore but it was totalled in an accident. Luckily I wasn't seriously hurt because of the way the Toyotas are built. I was on the highway when the accident happened so it could have been much worse than it was. The body of the vehicle took a beating in the accident but nothing came through to the inside of the car. Very safe car!
Excellent gas mileage! I used to get over 300 miles to a tank of gas!
I always had some trouble with the defrost in the car, seemed like my windows always stayed fogged up in the rain. I'm sure that's not a problem with the new Corollas.
I had this car for 12 years bought it new. In 12 Years we had 1 unexpected expense (Cdn $551 - water pump). If you keep up the fluid changes (oil and tranny) and little repairs (brakes, light bulbs, etc.), the car would last easily 500,000 km. Unfortunately for us, a person rear-ended us and the car was written off. A GMC panel van hit us at 50/km (30 mph) without even breaking. I took the insurance money for the car and went and straight and bought a brand new 2006 Corolla. I can only hope the quality on the 2006 CE is a good as the 2004 Toyota Corolla DX was. If you are looking for a second hand 94 Corolla I would recommend a "one owner" version - at least you would think it has been taken care of.
For sure - reliabililty. The lights going off when you open the driver's door was a bonus - so your battery could not die if you forgot the lights were on. Toyota fixed all the recall issues on the car without hesitation and seemed sorry the car had a problem in the first place.
The plastic clips holding all the stuff in the trunk down (carpet, trim ect) always seemed to be loose or falling off. To change the oil by yourself always seemed a pain as the filter was difficult to get at without getting yourself messy. Changing the exterior light bulbs was difficult to understand.
The most practical and reliable car I've ever owned. In 13 years/153,000 miles, in addition to oil changes/fluid checks, the only repairs I've had are: water pump replacement, timing belt replacement, front and rear brakes, and dash board light replacement. I love the manual locks and doors... less to break.
Plain, simple, functional, reliable. The station wagon has ample space.