2008 Toyota Corolla Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Toyota Corolla Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Toyota Corolla Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 126 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 26/35 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Toyota Corolla

  • The 2008 Toyota Corolla is a vice-free economy car with decades of good reliability. Unfortunately, it costs too much and has all the personality of an almond white Frigidaire.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Spacious interior, excellent fuel economy, good interior quality, illustrious reliability record.

  • Cons

    Bland on-road personality, awkward driving position, major safety features are optional, lack of upscale convenience features, pricey even when equipped with just the basics.

  • What's New for 2008

    There were no significant changes made to the 2008 Toyota Corolla.

Full 2008 Toyota Corolla Review

What's New for 2008

There were no significant changes made to the 2008 Toyota Corolla.


The Jeopardy! category is "Car Pourri," and the answer is "This is the best-selling nameplate in automotive history." If you replied "What is the Beetle?" then you just lost $400. Meanwhile, the 9th-grade English teacher from Dubuque, Iowa, successfully answered, "What is the Toyota Corolla?"

That's right, the 2008 Toyota Corolla is the latest incarnation of the world's number-one nameplate of all time. While it doesn't have the cultural or historic significance of previous record-holders, the VW Beetle and Ford Model T, the Corolla has quietly been an automotive phenomenon. Despite selling about 200,000 units every year in the United States, the Corolla nevertheless manages to blend into the automotive background with plain-Jane styling and personality. This Toyota economy car is about getting from point A to B reliably, year after year, with little worry and minimal spectacle. Sort of like that trusty Frigidaire in the kitchen.

Yet this appliance personality that has proved so successful is also what keeps the 2008 Toyota Corolla far from being our top choice in the economy sedan segment. (Its relatively high price is another big factor.) Although 2003 doesn't seem like that long ago, all of the Corolla's competitors have been replaced since then and it's rapidly feeling long in the tooth. Specifically, the recently redesigned Honda Civic has differing model styles, cutting-edge styling, more available convenience features and more power, while offering nearly equal fuel economy and reliability.

An all-new Corolla was delayed after its initial design was apparently deemed too plain in contrast to the Civic. The re-penned version is supposed to arrive for the 2009 model year. We would suggest waiting for this 10th generation to arrive if you're one of the 30 million people who have purchased a Toyota Corolla since 1967 and must have a new one. Otherwise, taking a close look at its many impressive competitors is a smart move.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Toyota Corolla economy sedan is available in three trim levels: CE, S and LE. The base CE comes with 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, a CD player, power mirrors, a height-adjustable driver seat, an outside temperature gauge and a 60/40-split folding rear seat. The S is similar but has a lower-body styling kit, a rear deck spoiler, foglights and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Go with the Corolla LE to gain fake wood trim, Optitron gauges, power windows and locks, and remote keyless entry. You can get the power windows and locks as options on the CE and S. Other available options, depending on the trim level, include 16-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, upgraded audio systems and cruise control.

Powertrains and Performance

Power for all 2008 Corollas comes in the form of a 126-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. A five-speed manual transmission driving the front wheels is standard, and a four-speed automatic is optional. Fuel economy is at the very top of the economy sedan segment (neck and neck with the Civic) with 2008 EPA figures of 26 mpg city and 35 mpg highway with the automatic transmission.


The 2008 Toyota Corolla offers antilock brakes, full-length side curtain airbags and front-seat side airbags as optional features. A stability control system that also adds traction control and brake assist is optional on S and LE models equipped with an automatic transmission and ABS. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the Toyota Corolla earned five stars (the best score possible) for frontal-impact protection and four stars for side-impact protection. In 40 mph frontal-offset crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), it received a "Good" rating (the highest possible). The IIHS gave a worst rating of "Poor" to the Corolla for the car's protection in side-impact crashes. That rating rises to "Acceptable" if the car is equipped with the optional side and side curtain airbags.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Corolla's interior is furnished with high-quality materials and user-friendly controls that wouldn't seem out of place in a more expensive car. In fact, its build quality is better than the latest Camry -- especially in uplevel LE trim. However, unlike the Civic or Mazda 3, no one will ever call the Corolla's design particularly dynamic or interesting. Even with the car's tall cabin, room in the front seats is only average, with a somewhat awkward seating position for the driver. On the plus side, two adults can sit comfortably in the backseat without ducked heads or pulled-up legs. Trunk capacity measures a generous 13.6 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

From a stop, the Corolla's acceleration is acceptable but nothing more. During highway driving, it's a quiet cruiser, with very little engine noise and even less wind noise. Though not as sporty as some competitors, this Toyota offers an appealing compromise between handling and comfort. It rides smoothly enough to be used as a commuter car, while maintaining its composure when occasionally pushed around the corners.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Not impressed

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Corolla LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

Bought this car end of 2007. Car would just accelerate while I was driving it or putting the brake. Almost caused an accident; very scary. Had to take it in for the recall; check engine light went on; occasionally would not start. Had a leaky brake; mechanic stated it was flaw in manufacturing. Have approx. 53,000 miles on the vehicle and the exhaust pipe rusted through right before the muffler. Other issues include: hard to see out the back window due to backseat head rests, archaic design, ice freezes in the trunk cover in the winter; ends up in the trunk every time its opened. In other words, I did not care that the car was ugly, just wanted something reliable. I am NOT IMPRESSED.

I have no reason to

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Corolla S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

I bought my 08 in November of 2007 brand new. Since then I have put 215000 miles on it. I have had it serviced at the dealership and kept up with all of the prescribed maintenance. Other than brakes, which are obviously a system designed to wear out, I have only had to replace one wheel bearing at 190000 miles. Other than that its just gas and oil. This car has been fantastic to me and since it is still in such good shape I'm going to drive it until the wheels fall of...which may be a while at this rate.

Abs issue

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Corolla S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)

My 2008 corolla's ABS have now caused me to be in 2 wrecks..they lock up completely and my car just slides.If the roads even a little wet its worse..I was told most likely a faulty sensor?? Anyone else with ABS issues?

Perfect commuter car

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Corolla S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

This is an economy car, a little higher priced for that purpose but you get what you pay for. What I was willing to pay for was dependability, good gas mileage and easy to drive. What I got was exactly that. I bought this car new in 2008 and have driven it 120,000 miles and it has NEVER been in the shop except for oil changes, new brake pads and tires. It has been very dependable and worth every dollar I paid for it. It isnt a sexy car, or the best handling or very powerful but it does get around 33 miles per gallon, nice trunk space and decent interior space for its size. Overall, this car is perfect for what it is intended to be, highly recommend it to anyone.

2008 corolla s

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Corolla S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this car used with 75,000 miles and now own it 15 months and 20,000 miles later. Other than changing the oil and brakes & rotors, I have had no mechanical issues. Bought it as a reliable commuter car and it is living up to the assignment.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

2008 corolla s- black

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Corolla S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

Picked up the car from the dealership when purchased and the car was making a ear piercing noise coming from the wheels. Ended up being the brake shields rubbing the brake rotors. When the car was delivered on the transport, they strapped the chains too close to the shields bending them. The Toyota dealership took the car back and gave us a piece of crap loaner with no air or radio and was about 10 years old. My wife was very upset since we just traded in our fairly new LTZ Suburban. Once we got the car back and took it home, I checked the tire pressure since the tire sensor monitor was on. There was only 18 psi tire pressure in the tires. Of course I attribute all this to the dealer.

Talk About The 2008 Corolla

2008 Toyota Corolla Discussions See all Started By

MPG versus the Civic or even its other form, the Corolla....

OK, I had a 2009 Corolla for a while and liked the improvements they changed from older models. I've had 2008, 1999, 1997, 1995 models so I'm a big fan of their economy, reliability, great gas mileage...

(including 15% taxes) for 2003 Corolla CE with package 'B', block heater and vin etching is Can$21,900....

Gas Mileage


  • 26
  • cty
  • 35
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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