What makes a car truly great? No two gearheads will ever agree on all the criteria for greatness, but one thread runs through all of them. A great car is one that does what it's designed to do as well as it can possibly do it. Some cars do speed, some do power and others do luxury. Toyota does reliability.
The ninth-generation Corolla E120 was one of the most popular and versatile of the breed. Built well before tales of unintended acceleration sullied the Toyota name, the ninth-generation Corolla just couldn't seem to put a foot wrong. Many 2003 Corollas for sale today have more than 120,000 miles on the clock with no significant problems recorded, and more than a few are going for 200,000 miles. That's about the highest you're likely to see as of 2013 for a 2003 model; however, looking back at the 2000 model -- the first of this generation -- you'll see Corolla S models still running fine after 240,000 miles. Of course, a lot of this comes down to maintenance and how severe those miles are; a badly maintained car that's seen every one of its 230,000 miles in stop-and-go traffic will be in much worse shape than a well-maintained car run consistently on the interstate. As of 2013, occasional reported failures have included the engine control module -- computer -- and water pump. While costly, these failures are thus far pretty rare; on the whole, the ninth-generation Corolla seems to have taken every mile owners could throw at it.