1997 Toyota Corolla LE 1.8 from North America
Feels like it'll last forever
Apart from the usual maintenance (oil, brakes), the only expense has been for new engine mounts recently, as there was considerable vibration in cold weather until the car was warmed up.
The gear selector light went out a while ago, and apparently replacement involves taking almost the whole car to pieces, so I won't bother.
Still gets good mileage. On a trip from Vancouver Island to Reno last summer, the average was 35 MPG.
Not a powerhouse, but the engine does the job. It's a very smooth and pleasant car to drive. Some people say the seats are a bit hard, but I like them and the driving position is just right for me. I never feel tired after a long journey.
Like another owner here, I like my older Corolla so much I bought my daughter one (a 1994) for university. It's a bit more spartan (base model), but has all the same virtues as mine.
Once these eventually wear out, I'll probably get some more! The newer Corollas don't seem to be in the same class for build quality and reliability. I'm happy to be cheap and cheerful.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th February, 2014
Keep buying / driving these 90's Toyotas. They are very economical and reliable. Avoid the newer ones (post 2005); that is when all the recalls occurred and quality went downhill. American and Korean manufacturers have really stepped up quality and design recently; Toyota now has catching up to do.
I'm about to buy a 1997 with 130k miles. Are you sure this is a reliable car?
The 1993-1999 Corollas are probably the most reliable and well put together Corolla you can get. There is always a chance you can buy a lemon that was poorly maintained, but if this car is not reliable - no other car in the world will match up to this reliability. Honda claims they do - I personally think they have good motors, but the gearboxes, shocks, CV joints, engine mounts, wheel bearing and many other aux parts seem to wear out lot faster, and the body feels like a paper bag.