About a month ago, my car was rear-ended by one of those enormous land yacht SUV's. The insurance company pointed me in the direction of a rental agency, and I ended up with a '99 Corolla. I have to say I'm not terribly impressed. For years I've heard my friends gushing over how wonderful their Toyotas are. Now I'm really beginning to wonder if my definition of "wonderful" is vastly different from what the rest of the world believes.
First, this car is s-l-u-g-g-i-s-h. Taking off from a red light or accelerating onto the interstate is a long, drawn out process, and every time I pass an 18 wheeler I wonder if I'll make it in front of him before next Tuesday.
Next, this car just doesn't look cool. I know that's kind of a petty thing to dislike about a car, but let's be honest. This car has nothing at all unique about it. The interior is average, the shape of the car is average, the acceleration is average to poor, the braking is mushy (more on that later), and I don't think anyone has ever said "Wow! Look at that! A Corolla! COOL!"
Now, as far as the braking goes, I suppose this could just be because this particular car needs a brake job, but the braking on this car is really, really mushy. It just doesn't feel responsive at all. Also, there's a tendency for the car to creep unless you keep your foot jammed right down on the pedal.
The handling of the Toyota is neither good nor bad. It's not the most responsive vehicle I've ever driven, but it certainly doesn't drive like a truck, either.
This car does have its good points. The sound system is really great -- a nice AM/FM cassette player that's CD-changer ready, and speakers that cover the whole car well, and don't conk out at really loud volumes. Also, the cupholders will hold a jumbo drink from Taco Bell just as well as they hold a can of soda. Most importantly, this car gets AMAZING gas mileage. It costs about 15 dollars to fill, and I can go about 400 miles on a tank.
All things considered, I would say that this car would be good for someone who's just looking for cheap utility. This isn't a good vehicle for anyone who wants to make a statement, or who really enjoys driving. If you want a fairly roomy car that gets good mileage and looks really, really boring, then this is the car for you.
I'm going to have to say "no" to "Recommend to other buyers", only because you can spend the same amount of money and get a much cooler/better car than this.