Temp dial half way is considered normal.
Regarding the rough ride. I have been having the same problem with my Corolla GLi. I got so disappointed that I wanted to sell my car. But I think I have found a solution.
I tried the tires on my Civic (Good Year 195-60 R 14) on the Corolla. And amazingly the ride got 75 to 80 % better. As soon as I drove off the driveway I could feel the cushioning effect of the tires and I loved it.
I strongly recomend get rid of them General tires. Get good quality Japanese tires. I dont want to spend on larger size rims so I am planning to get size 195-70 R 14.
Size 195-65 R 14 could also be a good replacement but 195-70 R 14 will be bigger and will probably do well on some speed breakers I have to pass over almost daily.