Being our third, of now 4 Toyota's (my wife drives our wonderful 99 Tacoma extended cab PU), this may very well be the most reliable of the bunch!
With our second child we outgrew our Corolla Wagon, but may never find this kind of room again. As the At-home-dad I've often felt like a buss driver with the "Cab-over" effect of this mid-engine vehicle.
The driving height and panoramic view through that comparatively large windshield often tempts me to charge admission! Thus the need to replace it twice. Though the slope, or front angle of the van looks somewhat radical, its windshield actually has less slope than most cars, and seems prone to more severe rock damage.
The growing kids and I (occasionally Mom too) frequently load our mountain bikes, cooler, and selves, with room to spare. The high ceiling has often seemed like wasted space, until loading those bikes. We recently loaded 9 full grown, hand dug Blueberry plants into it, along with assorted tubs, shovels, and boots. I literally had to slam the back hatch to cram everything in! Too bad the "One-wheel-drive" couldn't get up the dry grass hill to where I planted them, I completely agree with it's inability's off dry pavement.
But what a cruiser on our local "Blue highways." I've never checked or cared about gas mileage, any smaller engine wouldn't work, so I've assumed it's getting the best mileage possible. And as I tell the kids, "Anyone can drive a V-8, it takes a real driver to finesse a 4 Cylinder!"
The 5-speed manual sold me, I wouldn't have anything else. The idea of 4-wheel drive (which I don't have) makes me forever envious... The U-turn ability has quickly erased many a mistake!
We've had the back seat removed for years now, that usable interior space, and the nice low bumper clearance, makes my SUV friends drool!
We've actually had a recent inkling to replace it, but because of the instant interest of 3 close friends to purchase, we've reconsidered (human nature), and after reading all these magnificent reviews... I think we'll keep it!