I can't imagine these horrid reviews other than to think that it's sour grapes Mazda and Honda owners trolling. I have over 40K miles of hard mileage calculations, and I have NEVER turned in less than 34 mpg. The lifetime average of my Corolla is a handsome 37.7 mpg (go to Fuelly.com where I post as The Rolla). Never have I had any serious issue with my Canadian-made Corolla.
Gripes? OK, it gurgles softly sometimes once you just begin to move forward. The seat height adjuster sometimes gets pushed down getting into and out of the car. Maybe it's a little boring to drive, but at a paltry $17,146 out the door, yeah try to hang with that, overpriced, 20 mpg Mazda zoom-zoom gas hog.
Great mileage would have to be at the top of the list. But also, I like the styling of the car, exterior and interior. The steel wheels are a little not to my liking, and I really dislike the ratty wheel covers, but that can be fixed after the tires finally wear out and I upgrade to some 16" Toyota aluminum wheels off an S model.
I like the interior controls, and having the mist cycle on the windshield wipers is a definite plus. Also, I really like the trip computer with mileage estimates, trip elapsed time, temperature, average speed, and other data.
Plus, let's not forget that nice smooth luxury ride. A bit on the soft side, but not objectionable.
I wish the seats were covered with the same fabric as the S model. What the LE came with is a little cruddy looking and grips your clothes when you try to slide in or out. The radio reception seems maybe a little weak. Maybe locating the antenna in the rear glass was not the best idea. The rear sway bar could be tightened up a bit as well. Tip into a corner, and it's a bit mushy up front.