Got this as a hand me down three weeks ago with 32,000 miles. Ride is terrible. I feel every pebble in the road. Traction control stunts hard/quick acceleration at all speeds. Steering wonders at high speed. Cheap interior quality, the plastics rattle. Wind noise is bad. Cheap feel overall. Dealer has to do certain customizable feature for you.
My 2005 Civic with 183,000 miles was better in every way. Including MPG. (Note: I never changed the shocks and only did routine maintenance on it) And this car does not have as much room as the Civic. Civic all the way.
The windows dont fog up easily. Better A/C than the Civic. Plenty of cubby holes for storage. Have not had any major problems yet.
Beef up build quality. Take traction control out. Use a mechanical linkage for steering. Work to improve MPG to par with competitors. Improve suspension.
Consumer Reports said their real world mpg tests showed that the Corolla was one of the best, beat by a hybrid and a diesel.
I'd say that is very good, considering that the engine and tranny are older.
Wait till the new '14 Corolla comes out if you want better mpg, as it will be all new.
Some complain about steering - if so, there is a TSB out to reprogram it.
Noise and ride - compared to a Civic?!?!
Corolla is quieter, and Honda's typically ride rougher, as they are tuned that way.