I bought this car brand new in January 2009 and traveled a lot for work. I now have 200K miles and use this as my second car for short trips. So far everything still works and no major mechanical issues or rusts. As long as you are changing the oil every 4K miles and tune up every 75K miles you should be good. Just be easy on the gas pedal since it doesn't have a lot of power.
I researched before I bought the Corolla - I needed good gas mileage, enough room for the grandkids, and a comfortable ride. The Corolla has surprised me with its comfort, 27 mpg mixed hiway/street, and how well it has retained its good looks. The car is clean and functional with everything I need to comfortably get from A to Z. My only disappointment is that the car doesn't have Bluetooth or USB ports. It does have an auxiliary port that connects to the radio, so I am able to listen to books, music, news - whatever. I would highly recommend the Corolla as a sharp little vehicle with good response on the road.
I didn't exactly buy a Toyota for performance, but for a cheap car with great reliability. My car's been fairly reliable, at least compared to German cars, but i was disappointed that i've already had to replace the alternator and water pump at 60,000+ and 76,000 miles respectively. Another thing that bugs me is that the front seat is not comfortable and makes my back ache.
If i have enough resources in the future, i would avoid buying a toyota corolla.
I'm 6 foot tall and almost didn't buy because of its size, would have been a good decision. My knees are right on the steering wheel, nobody could sit behind me and the seat puts me at an akward posture. It's overly standardized; changed a back light and had no way to turn on or off the lights to check it until the car let's me at night. Why can't the human control the lights? Really dumb 'feature' on a regular basis. Windshield wipers have 3 or 4 settings, that's it, no adjustable levels. Accelerates so slowly I might as well be on a 50cc scooter. Electronics suck; only shows track number on display, I dj so it helps if I can see the song titles to remember the song. The auxiliary is broken on my car so that's probably just my qualm but be careful, it's delicate. Bought it at about 105000 miles, 09 in 15... owned it 5 months and I've put 500 in repairs and will be taking it to the shop again this week. Not a mechanic but the front wheels suck. Friend of mine with virtually identical car had to replace whole transmission at just over 100000 miles. Gets great gas mileage but I would have paid for better quality as I thought this car would be more reliable ie less repairs, maintenance expected. Worst car I've ever owned. Good thing it holds its value, anybody in the market for an oversized go cart?