First off, I have spent nothing in maintenance on this thing. It actually gets pretty decent mileage, probably only a Prius would beat it on average, maybe a Yaris. You can actually get about 47 mpg on the highway on a long trip if you keep the speed at 55mph. Pretty good.
It always turns on, the stability control, which was an option this year, is very nice in the winter. The car is pretty quiet, and the acceleration is reasonable.
Sure, there are few things like I mentioned above, but the car does work. I've driven it for 26,000 miles without replacing anything. I just go for the free dealer maintenance for the last 3 years every 6 months.
I also enjoy the sunroof and the remote engine starter on it, since I can turn the car on from my house. The only issue is that I have to turn the car off and then on again after the remote starter is activated.
The MSRP was 21,500 when I got it in '08 since I get every option on it, I paid 20k total with TTL with 0% financing for 3 years.
It always gets me to where I have to go. I do expect this from a new car.
I have heard of issues on this car such as water pumps and alternators wearing out. Again, I haven't had these issues. Apparently people have had their brake pads wear out early, I'm still on the original pad at 26,000 miles. People also complain they can't keep the car straight on the highway with the electric steering. I think the steering is fine.
Would I buy his car again? Depends. It seems like there is no perfect small car if you read all the reviews. The Nissan Sentra has issues with steering, the Civics having starting issues and eat through rear tires, and they are also more expensive.
Personally I would rather spend a couple extra thousand on the car to get a higher quality car, but I guess Toyota has to keep the car competitive, so it keeps a lower price point. But then again, all the manufacturer's are doing this nowadays.