"Got this car as a Christmas present in 2010. It sat in the driveway over winter with two flat tires and a dead battery. Thought I would get it running in spring. So it sat there all winter. Previous owners got in an accident with it and deployed both airbags which they did not replace. The front end was repaired on the most part.
When spring came and I charged the battery, I was amazed that it started up right away with little or no smoke. Fixed the tires and it drove remarkably well. When I moved to Virginia in the fall, I was hesitant that the car would make it. It not only made it, but did so with distinction. The has mileage amazed me. I filled the tank from Northern Ohio and drove to the Washington DC area, via through West Virginia. I still had half a tank left! On the other hand, just driving around town and such the gas mileage isn't that great. Taking road trips with this car is great. Even though the car was in an accident to the point of deploying its airbags, when I was driving 70, I let go of the wheel, and it stayed steady and true.
Just keep checking the fluids on a regular basis. The oil and water of course, for they tend to get low for no reason but not really bad.
It is not the best looking car and I joke that it is just a glamorous go-cart, it runs great, takes a beating, gets great mileage on the highway and very reliable if you treat it right. It is a work horse and love it. One of the best Christmas presents I received. :)"
Cons: "kinda small for tall husband (get the matrix)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Ive had this car for 4 years. No problems with it. We had to replace the radiator cap ($16) and break fluid line. Loved the car so much we just bought a newer Toyota Matrix to replace it. I love Toyota, we have two of them, they can run forever. If I could drive this car forever I would have but new baby needs car newer than 16 years old (updated safety features)"
"I bought my Corolla new in 1995 and drove it til I bought my 08 4 Runner (which I LOVE). I have never had a problem with it, it has been a very reliable car and will now make a great car for my 17 year old son. The only cost of owning it is gas and maintanence. Love my Toyotas."
"We currently own four Corolla sedans: 1996 DX (182K), 1998 LE (130K), 2006 LE (12K), 2009 LE (25K). With the exception of the 2009, I purchased all of these consistent runners used from the original owners. These machines ask for nothing special. An oil change and filter every 4-5K and they will run and run and run. Other normal service, of course. As example, the 1996 DX didn't require anything other than normal service items until 2007 when I replaced the alternator. Find a used Corolla, any year, with less than 80K and GO BUY IT!!!"
"this car has been exceptional and I wish they made it brand new today - I'd buy one again... I would like a newer car with less miles but can't justify it because this 97 Corolla is fantastic... seats are not real comfy and back seat a little small compared to new models - but Corolla Rocks... I get average of 35-40 MPG ALL the time."
"Bought this 94 Corolla about 4 years ago, and other than cosmetic issues.. its kept on ticking. Not the roomiest nor prettiest automobile but you can't beat the savings on gas! And Toyota knows how to build an engine!"
"I have owned this car for almost a year and have never EVER! Had a problem. And ive put almost 35,000 miles on it. The only time ive had to spend money on it was to put gas in it occasionally, for it gets 33 highway and 30mpg in the city. This car is going to my younger brother soon and im sure it will last him until he decides to get another vehicle. I would deffinatly recomend this car to anyone wanting cheaper and reliable transportation. Also i might add that 1.8 liter has some power!"
"I've had my '93 for 13 years. It had 100,000 on it when I got and now it's got 300,000. I live in the Colorado rocky mountains, without a garage and I commute to Denver every day. Granted, this car is no "Babe Magnet" but it's never let me down. I do my own maintenance and anything I've done to this car has been very easy to work on. Keep fresh oil in it and it will last a lifetime!"
"When my daughter totaled my 2003 Honda Civic I had to get a car fast. I picked up a used 1997 CE with 89K miles on it. Then my son needed a car for school. As luck would have it ANOTHER 1997 CE showed up on Craig's list with 31K miles on it. I grabbed that one as well.
Never in a million years did I think that I would become the Jay Leno of 1997 Corollas, but I'm glad that I did. Take a look around in traffic & you will see a lot of this body style still in action, more than similar year models of other car makers. And there is a reason for this: the cars are amazing. Cheap to run, nearly 30 mpg, sturdy & safe. Yeah, I'd love to have a 2008 Honda Fit or something similar, but for a fraction of the cost of a new car I've got 2 used cars that will last forever.
If you are looking for a 2nd car or a car for a student, you can't go wrong with the 1997 Corolla."
"I bought this car Jan. of '06 and it had 107,000 miles on it. I've put a litte over 20,00 on it to date.
I have been extremely pleasedd with this car. The comfort is great, but I am a short girl LOL
It seems a little small for my boyfriend who is 6'5" so maybe not the best one to get if you are really tall.
My mom had a Corolla years ago and these cars do last a long long time.
I highly recommend this car!"
"Driven vehicle over 12 years with only normal maintenance expense. Drove it down the ALCAN in 99 with family, have been cross country several times, vehicle has never failed. Driven daily 90 miles back and forth to work. Not a better vehicle on the road in it's class."
"We bought this car new in 1995 and it now has 186k on it. I kept saying I would buy a new car when this one dies, but it just keeps going. We've never done any repair work other than oil changes. Did I say awesome car?!
Well, I finally did shop for a new wagon. Test drove the VW Passat and Toyota Matrix.....the Matrix drove much better and for $6,000 less, the choice was obvious. There is no beating a Toyota for value and reliability.
The sad part will be selling/parting with my old corolla wagon....it is truly part of the family!"
"Purchased the car with 221000 miles. It continues to run well. Not exciting but very reliable. I have averaged 30+ in all types of driving. The car handles well in snow. The Toyota reputation for quality is evidenced in this car."
Cons: "Not fast enough for a teenage boy, not pretty."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"This was the car I purchased when i got my drivers licence. It is a great car, reliable, gets great gas mileage, and parts were cheap. in the three years i have had it, i have replaced one set of tires, front breaks, a timing belt, and a water pump. Other than those things i have never had any issues with it, even with its age. The cosmetics leave something to be desired, but it is a great first car, and one i won't soon forget."
"I have had this car going on 5 years now and am tottaly happy with the way it has been . Withing the time I have had it, I have replaced ALL 4 tires, raditaor, brake and fuel lines battery, Plus minor things. but ecept for a little rust , it is great."
Pros: "Gas mileage and price to operate and maintain."
Cons: "Comfort of seating and ease of entry."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The Corolla is a great little car. This our second one. We owned a 1979 model. Mechanically sound, easy to work on and to get work done on. Parts are reasonably priced. Will drive the present one until the wheels fall off-which they probably won't. Only drawback-seating is a little low and not the easiest to get in and out of for this ol' retired teacher."
"bought this car from my mom who was original owner. This car is very, very, very dependable, would not sell if my son had not bought himself a newer version. Kept the car maintained by Toyota dealership and it has lasted far more years than I had expected."