I got this car used when I was in high school. Since then I've lived in major cities and smaller cities. It's handled the abuse of a young driver well and the abuses of aggressive city driving well. (ATL anyone?) At 16 years and 170K miles, it doesn't quite accelerate they way it used to, but it'll always get me there no matter what. I haven't had many issues with it; mostly an oil leak problem and a window issue. The interior door handles will break every now and then, but those are easy to find cheaply on eBay and replace yourself. Otherwise, it's a great little car that keeps going!
Bought this 2001 with 98,000 miles in January, 2009. Was a very clean, one-owner car. As of Aug 2016 we now have 230,000 miles on it, some rust showing, but it may give us another year. Only repair besides expected maintenance was the rack-and-pinion went out; replaced with inexpensive used part. This car has been reliable, very good on gas (usually 35-40 mpg; winter that dips), and easy to park in our small parking pad. Oh, both front springs have broken, but since it still steers and brakes and corners fine, I've not fixed them. It clunks on bumps, but tire wear remains normal. FYI, though, these 1.8L motors do begin to consume oil once miles add up. Oil return ports begin to sludge and restrict, causing blowby. I've just kept a close eye on oil levels and add as needed. I used Amsoil for a long time, but now use inexpensive conventional, and synthetic in MN winter.
The only hardware failure during our 13 years - still ongoing - experience was the failure of the master clutch cylinder (the Toyota dealership in Brunswick, GA installed a faulty one generic instead), leading to about $1700 in unreasonable, humiliating
I live in NYC, and find this vehicle to be the ideal city car. The combination of excellent reliability, compact-size and great maneuverability make this car a winner.
Between the horrible pothole ridden roads, stop and go traffic, excessive idling, and near-constant sudden breaking and my aggressive driving -- this car takes a beating,
However, in spite of the abuse, my Corolla starts up every time - and continues to run stronger than ever.
I currently have 140k on the car, and even with the abuse it takes from city driving fully expect it to last another 100k. I average about 6k miles driver a year, so I anticipate driving this car for the next 10+ years.
Excellent fuel economy. Top notch reliability.
Good stereo system for an economy car.
Cheap replacement parts.
Very low cost of repair at the shop.
Easy car for DIY maintenance.
Mass Airflow Sensor issues, there should be a recall issued for this.
Suspension is a bit soft.