Originally Posted by tskoe23
Also considering a corolla with the 4cyl and 5 speed as well
If the Corolla fits your needs for seating and hauling crap around, it's a no-brainer from a mechanical and economic standpoint. My '96 Corolla with 140,000 miles still gets better than 35 mpg and I have literally done nothing but change the oil, plugs, filters, and brakes. Oh, and a clutch that worked great until my 13 year old attempted to joyride. The original brakes lasted to over 130,000. No timing belt to replace (a chain in '96) and no fuel filter to mess with (it's in the tank). Great for around town, shuttling (didn't bottom out with seven passengers), and commuting. The trunk is surprisingly large and with the split back seat folded down, fits skis.
Drawback: need to drop down to third to go 55 over Vail pass.