Had this Corsi for 16 years now, and not once has it been to the shop for anything more than an alternator. It's a typical Chevy of the mid-eighties/nineties: an inexpensive vehicle for the masses with pretty solid build construction, marred by poor quality control. But considering how much more I would have paid for an equivalent Honda or Toyota, this was a good value. I spend pennies on repair, not hundreds. I agree with others that the paint is awful, but in my case, the clearcoat is what's messed up. It has swirls and water spots even when dry. Cheap ABS plastic knobs keep breaking and falling off. The interior fabric is also chintzy, but isn't that why they make seat covers...
I bought my 96 Corsica last year for $450 cash. The car looks like absolute crap, but it runs great. It has 159000 miles on it and still purrs. I feel that I have already gotten my money back out of this car. The interior headlight and wiper controls on those older Chevys are not designed very well so I have had to rig them up so they will work. No complaining from me though, this car gets me from point a to point b reliably.
I have had this car since it was brand new in 96. It has 73,000 miles on it and the Head Gasket went. It's going to cost me a pretty $700 to get it fixed. The mechanic doing the work said that Corsica's are notorious for this. He alone has replaced 25 head gaskets on Corisca's. If you buy one, what out for it.
I purchased this car from a co-worker in December 2000. It had 100,000 highway miles on it because he commuted to central NY from northern PA for the job. Even so, the car has performed excellently for me overall. I have had to make costly repairs, but have since learned that it was due more to mechanic's greed than actual necessity. Engine still purrs at 170,000. On mine and other models I've seen, I've noticed the gas cap cover tends to rust off, and the doors stick in cold temperatures. Also, my "Check Engine" light has been on for 3 years, but I suspect this is from emissions (gascap again) and not mechanical. If you can find a model with reasonable mileage at 10 years, it's worth a look