I bought this car in 2003, and it has been a solid, reliable purchase. No surprise there, as my first corolla (1981) lasted 14 years. The car is simply "a corolla"-built to last. I am surprised by the zip it has, and it handles very well through the corners, and is surprisingly quiet and smooth on the highway. In mixed driving, I get 32-36 mpg consistently. It's good for the daily commute, but I don't think I'd take it across country. Nonetheless the front seat is very comfy and it just has an all-around good feel to it. Paint has faded a bit off the back bumper, but otherwise, it still looks and feels great. I can't say enough good things about this car. Thought about selling it - but, naw!
Reliability and gas mileage. I've replaced the timing belt and water pump, re-did the front brakes, but those things are expected through 12 years. Easy to drive. Decent sized trunk for a compact. Hauls dirt pretty well, too. Really good AC. Heat is decent. Easy to change lights all around the car.
No intermittent wiper. Rear-defrost went bad at year 11, but can I complain? Wish it had a tachometer. Can't think of anything else you'd expect from a basic compact. It's a solid car that I am happy to own (and will probably continue to own for many more years).