A great but noisy commuting car with no style, requiring rustproofing and following a maintenance schedule to ensure its advertised reliability, particularly in snowy and salty climates. Mine came with a 1.6 liter engine and 3-speed slushy automatic with lockup that engages only at 48 mph. Merging onto highways a major challenge. Engine dies with a full load of friends going up steep hills and struggles when passing on the highway. Fuel economy is disappointing due to lack of gear ratios and overdrive. At more than 60 mph the engine runs hard and quickly eats up gas. Most efficient running at 50 to 55 mph. The aging shocks (especially rear shocks) were nice and soft before they broke.
The car's paint and body does not rust easily even in salty, wet and snowy weather, but I recommend rustproofing anyways. Excellent as a winter beater. Great feature is its ugly looks since few people would want to steal it and there is no hurt feelings if the car gets damaged or destroyed.
Body panels is very durable and rust-resistant, but vital mechanical components needed more corrosion protection. Needs more durable rear shocks, gas tank (mine fell out), brakes and tougher bumpers. Car needs to be more user serviceable and easier to repair. Bigger DX-trim engine would help too.
I have never had luck with cars, so when I have purchased this car from a friend I thought as long as it gets me through a year. But this has turned out to be my favorite car I have ever owned, and there have been many. The mileage is great, and I haven't had any major problems. I would say that cruise control would have been nice in this car but not necessary. I would buy another car like this if I could find one.
I purchased this vehicle off the lot brand new, never had any major problems just regular maintenance and general upkeep changed a few batteries, timing belt after 100K and struts on the 150k mark it needed it. When it was paid off I just used the money I saved over a year and spruced up the engine. This car has become my favorite and of course well cared for still classy (did I mention Paid for). I started sprucing it up now everyone wants to buy it - sorry no sale here. I tricked it now it's completely mine. Have to thank TRD Japan for its good supplies in the Asian Market for this vehicle. USA did not supply the 93 to 96 corollas well... stylish gas saver and good ole lil' car
I placed most comfort features myself by upgrading the dashboard dvd, mp3, gps and all in dash very nice. I even have massaging seats.
everything I did to it... make it a Corolla Altis...
I have been looking to buy a new car for some time now but nothing shows the reliability that the 1996 corolla does. My car has almost 170,000 miles on it and it has never broken down. Have replaced brakes and tires from wear and tear but that is it. I don't even change the oil as often as I probably should but the car is a champ. Pick-up isn't the best and it's very loud (vibrations/rattles/outside noise). No special features, no power options. But in the end probably the best 3000 dollars spent. Plan on driving it until it can't drive any longer.
Over the past 13 years I'm sure Toyota has covered it.
I bought my corolla over 2 years ago from my mom, she had it for 8 years herself. She never had one problem with it and neither have I. Just replaced the timing belt and that's it besides normal maintenance!! It feels like a 5 year old car with 50,000 yet it has 180,000 and is now 13. If you're looking for reliability this is the car for you.