I admit this car has its place... and it's not with me. I've driven quite a few cars and I would consider myself a "car guy", so I'm going to base my review on that.
Apart from the quite ugly exterior there's not much to talk about there. Upon entering the car you'll notice it sits VERY low to the ground and for a "family sedan" you would be surprised. A nice amenity it has is that it has power windows, and the amenities stop there. Although the interior has some decent soft touch plastics, you'll notice it's not very inviting. The look is very bland. One thing I'm surprised on is that it has no cupholders. The seats feel like you're sitting on an old sofa and the rear seats seem to be missing headrests. It has a radio with a tape player; so nothing out of place for that year of vehicle.
Now for the drive. The suspension feels okay, and I can say that's the best thing about the car. It's not so soft, but it does soak up a bit of the bumps in the road. Steering is quite bad and has very little direct response, but most people could live with it. Now, the acceleration is my main issue here: it feels like it has none. You practically have to floor it to even get moving to speed and there is just no enjoyment in driving this car. The brakes are also quite unresponsive.
If you actually enjoy driving this is NOT the car for you. If you could care less about what car you drive, want something cheap and to get to point A to point B I suppose this car is okay. But with how low it rides, how small it is, lack of cupholders and with the slow moving speeds I would say this isn't a good daily driver.
I bought this car two years ago with 227,000 miles on it ! Yes I know , a lot lol . This car is very durable . Only repairs I've made were the brake lights , tires , and struts . My car now has 266,000 miles on it and it and still runs like new !
I bought my 1997 Corolla back in 2005 with under 60,000 miles. Today it has over 266,000 miles. The car has been a stalwart companion over the last 10+ years. Up until 2 years ago the only maintenance items were changing the brakes, battery and tires. I will say the A/C broke a few years into the purchase, and I never got it fixed, but you get used to that. Over the last few years had to put an alternator, serpentine belt, spark plug wires and starter; but considering the first 180,000 miles of ownership went so smooth, I guess it is to be expected.
I would recommend this car to anyone who is looking for something simple, no nonsense and needs a reliable ride.
1998 COROLLA LE AUTOMATIC. I bought it in Sept 2012 with a confirmed 98K on the odometer with the intent of keeping it for MANY years to come. I drive 100 miles per day, so I want the ride quality top notch (well balanced). Due to this, I personally installed a new Bilstein suspension, including new "normal ride height" springs, all greasable good quality fittings, super heavy-duty inner tie rods and polyurethane bushings. I did this because the orig. suspension was sagging a bit making it tough to get over the bump at the foot of my driveway.
UPDATE 7/2016- All the greasable front-end parts wore out very quickly (within 2 years) so I replaced all the Mevotech X-Factor parts with ProForged parts. Just replaced the exhaust manifold and downpipe and ordered new wheels and tires. Did all this for its 200k birthday (and to pass inspection).