I believe this review and these other people are out of there mind. Maintenance, if you do maintenance things still break. I have a hole in the gas tank, the primer is coming through the paint even though I wax it twice a year. The air conditioning stoped working. My tires leak no matter what I do. Even with new tires. The engine is making a knocking noise. The buttons on the radio are falling off. Prizms suck despite what people think and my car only has 70,000 miles. Jump on me all you want, but this is what has happened. So go ahead say I don't take care of my car.
The transmission revs up the engine, causing it to throw rods three times? Now there's a statement that doesn't make a lot of sense. By any chance, did the engines throw a rod when you had the transmission locked into first with your foot jammed to the floor, and the tachometer reading 8,000 rpms? Here's a clue: that's your fault, not the transmission. Perhaps you've never heard the term "red line".
Both the 1.6L and 1.8L are overhead cam engines. There are no rods to throw. Also, the transmission cannot make the engine rev too high -- and if that is the case, why replace the engine and not the transmission?
The Toyota Corolla (and the Prizm, which is just a rebadged Corolla) are notoriously long-lived and reliable. That being said, ANY car will need some serious attention once it has such high mileage. This is especially true if previous owners have abused or neglected the car.
I have a 1993 Geo Prizm, and this car, while not luxurious, is a very good car for what it costs me to operate! It has been one of the most maintenance-free cars I've ever had, and I've been driving for over 26 years. This re-badged Corolla is a great car for the money!
I had a 1990 Prizm and it was an unbelievably reliable car until an 18 wheeler killed it when it had over 125,000 miles on it.