I bought my corolla in 04 with only 9miles on it. As of July 2010 i have 242,000+ miles on it and it still drives great. My first clutch lasted up for about 188,000 miles before it was replaced. but its not something to be driven in the snow.
I had my 1986 Corolla GTS before and now I have chance to own a XRS. Though Corolla is an entry level of Toyota but still surprises me after many years! After 9 months driving, I am really satisfied with it. As a used car, the price go down a lot to a reasonable amount. However, the cornering still need to be improved by upgrading aftermarket parts. The original tuned suspension is unable to handle this car anymore which I feel too soft. 0-60 mph only 7.2 sec with top speed 130 mph (Lock by limiter) and 28 mpg with mixing freeway and local (I live in SF Bay area) If you plan to buy Scion tC, I would recommend you to have this one instead if you don't mind have a used car.
The VVTi-L engine and 6 spd transmission from Celica GTS give me a lot of fun.
If the VVTi-L turns on around 5,700 rpm will be perfect as the originally setting turns on at 6,800 to 8,200 rpm only. The factory rims should go 17" inches instead of 16" inches
After owning for 40 days, the fuel pump died in my corolla with 67,000 miles. The big problem is that mine was made in Japan. Because of that the fuel pump will cost over $800. If my corolla had been made in North America the fuel pump would cost $130-250. Why on earth would Toyota want to do that to their customers? Right now my car is still in the shop because I don't know what to do and neither does my mechanic. If the VIN starts with J that means it was made in Japan and you should not buy it!
When it was working my wife and I really liked the way it drove.
Toyota should not punish their customers for buying their cars.
Bought the car used in Aug. '06 with only 3,300 miles on it from a private owner. Complaints are only minor: sun visor on driver's hits the rear-view mirror every time you pull it down and put it back up, it's annoying to have to readjust the mirror every time the sun is in your eyes. Other major complaint is driving position, I'm 6' tall and have to have the seat pushed all the way back for leg room, when I do that, the steering wheel is too far, since it does not telescope out( corrected on '09 and newer Corollas).
Outside temp.reading, task lights under the rear-view mirror, gas mileage (avg 32 to 34 MPG in mixed driving).
Driver position(for taller drivers) and sun visor that doesn't bump into rear-view mirror.
Bought new for wife. At 5ft 2in tall she loves it! I (at 6ft 2in) found it to be more uncomfortable than my old 1990 Corolla. The steering wheel is too far away and not adjustable. The armrests on the doors are very hard and my left arm goes to sleep when driving even short distances and the seats provide little thigh support for taller people. The serpentine belt squeaks constantly, (tensioner?) The valence panel below the front bumper is very flimsy and easily cracked.. Be careful when loading the trunk. The curved support arms may crush items when the lid is closed.
Fuel economy is great. Parts and fluids are easy to find. Fold down rear seats and large trunk is a plus. Oil changes are easy with accessible filter.
Adjustable steering wheel. Better ergonomics related to seat position. More substantial below bumper fairings. Use better trunk hinge mechanism instead of intrusive curved arms.