This is a cheapie car that over delivers. I think when rating this car you have to take price into consideration. You are not going to get a high end Audi for under 20k. It has some road noise, a little to much cheap plastic in the interior and the stuff in find in the under 20k range.
What I did get was a a smooth ride, enough engine pep, just enough interior room all in a affordable package. Almost 40k and I have only changed oil, filters and put higher end tires on. It warms up quick in cold Michigan and handles snowy roads without skipping a beat. Its a better car than the last two Honda's I have owned.
I bought my 2011 new out of state. It is larger than previous models. There is a lot of road noise - very bumpy. It does not seem as solidly built as the two previous models that I've owned. I did have the RPM issue when I first got the car but the dealership made an adjustment and rectified the situation. I've had continual problems with the brakes squealing at low speeds when braking gently in stop and go traffic. I've been told time after time that everything is fine. Also, when the AC is on there is sometimes this very unpleasant grinding noise that I hear under the car. Also, had that checked out and again was told nothing wrong. I loved my 2003. I owned it for almost ten years. I never had one problem with it. It was the perfect size for me as well. I cannot understand why Toyota made the Corolla larger. I don't think I will own the 2011 for 10 years.
On a positive note, the car is very nice looking. The interior is attractive and it starts right up even on the coldest days and seems to do well in the little snow driving that I do. As far as gas mileage goes, I have no issue with that.
I've owned this car several months after purchasing it from a family member who loved it.
Its started all winter and handled well in the snow. The gas mileage is very good and it is an easy car to drive and enjoy. You can't go wrong with this car if you are looking for basic transportation.
I'm into the value. This car does everything I need at a decent price. Its only been oil changes to maintain this trouble free beauty.
Bought the car new and within months the radio wouldn't work w/ rear defroster on. They had to replace the radio and install new rear windshield. Two years later- same problem only not under warranty!!! $100 just to look at it when obviously the windshields are defective!!!!
I bought this car used with 15,000mi. Since then, I have driven to about 45,000 in two years. In my time I have realized how great it is from an economical standpoint: I get about 30/31mpg city, 36-39mpg hwy, maintenance costs are low (so far only oil changes and one cabin air filter replacement), insurance prices are low, and driver comfort/peace-of-mind is high from great visibility, good safety scores, and ease to drive/manage infotainment. That said, the interior isn't quite as "fancy" (futuristic or sharp designs) as competitors, but is great for the price. I would definitely recommend to a budget-orientated driver.
Front seat comfort
Mpg numbers significantly greater than EPA estimates
Inexpensive cost of ownership
The entire center console seems about five years behind competitors (the 2014 re-design solved that problem).
Oil changes are going to be more expensive (around $70 without promotions/coupons) because it takes synthetic oil. However, don't think Toyota is ripping you off because I have read plenty of reviews that justify the more expensive oil for its long-term benefits.