2008 Toyota Corolla Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Toyota Corolla Sedan

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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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (21 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

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.

An overall great car!

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

I have owned this car for about a month now and have been enjoying it! It has great fuel economy and an extremely smooth ride. I love the LE trim...the nice wood grain on the interior and the comfortable seats. With 122 HP it isn't a sports car but it gets up and goes! The only downside to this car is I purchased it at 35xxx miles and the drivetrain belt had already gone on it. It was cracked and needed to be replaced -- fortunately under warranty. Everything else has exceeded my expectations! This was a replacement car after my '97 Saturn was totaled and I believe I made an excellent choice. Very reliable, safe and an overall great car to drive near and far!

Excellent economy vehicle

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

I currently have a 2007 Toyota RAV4 Limited and wanted an alternate vehicle in order to minimize the number of miles on the RAV, and also to commute with better MPG. I picked up the 2008 Corolla in the LE edition, with faux wood trim, multi-CD changer, rearview mirror interior lights et al. I have rented this vehicle on extended prior occasions. The 2008 automatic gets BETTER MPG than the 2010 auto, has a more logically-planned interior with more storage points, and seats with better lateral support. The interior is quiet, the ride comfortable, view excellent out all windows (as opposed to the 2010 Corolla with its high waist). For a "commuter appliance" you pretty much can't do better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Best corolla yet...

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

Our 10th Toyota, 3rd Corolla. Reliability in 31000 miles: 0 problems. Economy with automatic: 27-30 mpg city, 36-42 hwy. Great seats for local or long distance. Steering position a little awkward on long drives-- telescoping wheel would be a plus. Popping noise some have mentioned in other reviews may be ABS self-test when you are starting forward from stop (owner's manual mentions this). Gripes? Upholstery poorly sewn (wrinkles from the git-go) on US-assembled model (never had this problem on Japan- assembled Toyotas). Roof- and rocker- panel trim strips came loose in normal driving. Power adequate, auto-shifting is smoother than my Subie, quiet on road, comfort, cost of ownership.

Best small car ever

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

Just drove 440 miles to Rocklin, ca. from orange county ca. What fun, 34.0 to 36.4 MPG and handled great at 80 mph with new Michelin tires. I bought this 2008 used with 27600 miles and its like new. If you are thinking of a Corolla just drive one, I am 5'10" tall and fit perfect in it. You may pay a little more for this car but well worth the $$...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great car!

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

My last 9 cars have all been $35+ luxury cars. When my last 2002 Odyssey bit the dust (after 220,000 miles) I decided to buy a car that would pay for itself because of improved gas mileage. After test driving a Civic, I realized I needed something with more interior space and focused on the Corolla instead. I found a great deal on a used 2009 LE, and have enjoyed it ever since. Very spacious inside (important, as I am tall as are my 4 sons) and great gas mileage. I do consistently about 38 miles per gallon on average and as such the car pays for itself (compared to my Honda). I only wish there was a remote trunk release and a horn beep when you remote lock the doors. Overall, rate it A+.

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.

Talk About The 2008 Corolla

Gas Mileage


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