Upon purchase, the Corsica made great shuddering noises in right hand corners and under acceleration. It also needed a front-end alignment, and to my surprise the alignment also cleared up all of those other problems as well.
Also upon purchase, I knew that the rear (dogbone) engine mount would need replacement. However, I found a local garage that could do it cheap, and with a used part and labor it actually cost less than the GM dealer would have charged me to buy it.
This car was involved in a moderate front end collision and had a Ford radiator installed when the front clip was replaced. This rendered all of the air conditioning equipment useless, so I hacksawed it off and threw it away. While doing this I noticed there was no electrical connection to the fan, which I reconnected, and allowed the fan to work properly.
The muffler strap rusted away shortly after purchasing the vehicle, and after having the GM dealer sell me the wrong part, I was able to get it at a local parts depot for only $8.99.
The Instrument Panel lights were tough to replace because the electrical shop I chose gave me a runaround about the parts being hard to find... while they were about $1.99 from GMPartsDirect, they tried to charge me $14.50 a bulb. Needless to say, the Better Business Bureau heard about it.
This car was meticulously maintained throughout its first eight years, and even being in a rather severe accident, it still runs like a dream (and has a brand new suspension all the way around, which gives this car a ride better than any midsize car I've ever been in.)
The 3.1 SFI V6 definitely combines power with economy. While not the ballsy engine ever put in a midsize car, when I was shopping I certainly found the extra V6 power nice to have, while not sacrificing fuel economy. While the Corsica has a smooth running V6, other midzize cars from this era (Contour, Altima) didn't even have an availible V6 at this point.
The interior controls are well laid-out and easy to see, and nothing seems to be far out of the drivers reach. The center console is aimed at the driver and makes it even easier to have access to the HVAC and radio controls.
The front seats are reasonably roomy, although looking at the back seats, I wouldn't want to a passenger in them (then again, I'm 6'2" and 240lbs as well.) They are just fine for my elderly father who is considerably smaller though, even for 250 mile trips.
I just wish I had air conditioning, and slightly less miles on my Corsica.
I also enjoy the wide-open look you get looking outside of the cabin, it allows you to see almost everything (the inside reminds me of a Ford Contour actually.)
My friends really can't believe the odometer or that such a tiny car packs a 170-hp V6.
I plan to get many trouble free miles out of my Corsica and plan to one-day replace it with a late-model Oldsmobile Aurora.