Toyota really put quality into every nook and cranny of this car. Other manufacturers focus on the most obvious parts (interior, dash) but the second you start poking around you find a lot of shortcuts. With Toyota you could probably stick your head up the tailpipe and notice touches that other car makers gloss over.
I like the quality of the car. I don't believe any manufacturer will give you as good quality for the price as Toyota. The engine bay is very neat, no spaghetti wiring. Plasic is great quality, seats are comfortable. The dash is very will laid out. Doors close with a pleasant muffled thump instead of a noisy slam.
The trunk is enormous. I like the fact that there are not any releases for folding down the seats inside the passenger cabin, and the trunk release by the drivers seat can be disabled. Anything stored in the trunk will be safe if someone breaks into the car.
There are nice touches like an outside temperature gauge, two trip meters, cabin air filter, lots of cup holders, and floor air vents for the rear seats.
The car seems a little high. When I go into someone else's car I really notice how high the corolla sits.
There are some squeaks and rattles from the dash that come and go as the car ages, worse in lower temperatures.
The Air conditioner seems very underpowered, but I hear this is a trend with all newer cars for environmental reasons.
The suspension could be better. It is not nearly as nice as the Camry, but I still find myself going much faster than I think I am. I maxed out the spedo at 180Km/h and the car felt like it could easily handle higher speeds.
The stock tires are garbage. Poor traction in dry, wet, snowy conditions. They are good for only about 30,000Km then they should be scrapped.
The trunk is hard to close, but I have the hang of it now. I haven't met anyone that has been able to close the trunk properly on their first try.
Reverse gear is hard to get into. I usually go into fourth, then reverse, and this seems to work well.
My gas tank cover froze shut once and I had to get someone to pull on the release lever while I pried it open with my fingers.
Gas mileage is excellent. I keep the receipt from every fill-up with the odometer reading written down on it. The car averages about 7.5L/100Km (31mpg) or about 670Km per tank.
Engine power is good. At high RPMs you really get a good kick out of the car, especially for a 1.8 liter.
To sum up, the Corolla is the perfect commuter car. It seats four comfortably and it is utterly reliable. I haven't had a single problem with it yet, and I don't expect to for at least 5 years.