Well, I bought it only a few days ago, but I'll list off what I've noticed so far:
Rear struts are completely shot.
Handbrake doesn't hold too well.
Slight exhaust leak from the flex pipe.
Front tires are worn.
Plastic bumper covers are hanging off.
Body is rough.
Couple rust holes need repairing.
Interior is dirty and smells like a dog.
I don't much like carburetors.
Clutch pedal feels funny, but seems to work fine.
Rear wiper doesn't work.
Occasionally the starter grinds on the flywheel. I just put it in 5th and roll the car in gear a bit then hit the starter again and it works.
Temperature gauge doesn't work. Cooling fan comes on when it should though.
One door doesn't open.
The heater control is stuck on vent and floor, moving the lever doesn't change it. Makes defogging the windshield tough.
The horn sounds funny.
I just bought the car on Saturday October 7th 2006. I sold my 96 Sunfire to my brother because he needed a car to get back and forth to work in. I just wanted a cheap running winter beater, didn't really care what it looked like.
The car has 231000 miles (373000 kms) on it, but it still runs good. This is my 2nd old, high mileage Toyota (oddly enough, they were both 88's) and mileage or age doesn't seem to affect them.
It's a little slow getting up to highway speed, but once it's up there, the little car will hold speed quite easily. It surprised me how peppy on the highway it is, I knew it only had 90hp and I was expecting it to be a complete dog, but it picks up speed quickly and does well on hills. It's pretty good around town too. I have the 5 speed so maybe that helps things.
I find the car drives nice on the highway. It isn't overly noisy, steering is light and it doesn't vibrate or shake. The driving position seems to suit me quite well.
The body does need some work. I know the car is 18 years old and I did only pay 350 bucks for it so I knew there would be some problems. A dent on the fender, plastic bumper covers are hanging off, 2 small holes in the door frame, but really that's the extent of needed body work that I've seen so far.
Air filters for the 4A-F are shockingly expensive. $21.73 at Canadian Tire!! Luckily, this week Canadian Tire had a promotion, which is good til the 18th of the month. You buy a jug of Castrol GTX oil at $12.99 (a savings of 4 bucks) and you get ANY air filter free!! I didn't need an extra jug of oil as I have oil at home, but I took advantage of that deal, so basically I saved 9 bucks on the air filter and got the oil for free. I love deals like that.
I'm probably only going to drive this car a year and then I'll likely sell it for parts. I'm sure even then the motor will still be running just as well as it is now.
Information on the 6th generation Corollas seems to be hard to find. Most of the info I find deals with 93 and up Corollas. If someone can find 6th gen specific info, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.