Bought the Corolla with 160k miles. It now has 253k and runs and drives perfect. Only normal maintenance and replacement of radiator and starter. This car has taken me from sea to shiny sea many times and has never left me walking. I have never had a better car and I don't think they make a better car today. If I keep it under 50 mph it will get about 37 mpg. Who needs a hybrid?
If you can find this car for around $1K or less, buy it. I'm now in the market for a new car but only because the body is starting to rust out, my trusty mechanic finally said "it's getting old," and I need to be able to rely on my car. And how many owners of 19 year old cars could even talk about reliability? It still runs beautifully and last year was the first year repairs topped $1K. So far this year I've only had the oil changed. It handles great, the interior has held up well except for the window cranks (replaced once, needing it again). It's not looking its best in its old age, but if I was the age of this car and handy with epoxy and paint I could make it look pretty good.
I bought the car in 2008 with only 58,000 original miles (lucky!). It was stored for years. I have reconditioned the car to almost new. It is very fun to drive and has lots of acceleration (better than you would expect!).It gets me 30 mpg on regular basis with combined driving.The interior looks new and has held up nicely. The seats are a bit hard and small but you get used to them. The layout of the interior is very simple and easy to navigate.I would recommend this corolla to anyone. The routine maintenance is very easy to perform. The parts are very inexpensive. It has 13"tires! They can be had for $32 a piece brand new! You can't beat these 88-92 corollas. This lil baby sings like a song.
I bought this car when it was 2yrs old and in mint condition. I've had it for 16 years with no plans to sell it nor any need to. When gas is low and it starts hesitating, just say the word "gasoline" and you get a few extra miles to get to a gas station ;-) It's THAT reliable!