The 2008 Corolla is a good car… if you get a good one. I bought this car because my wife and I really like our 2007 Matrix, which is in essence a Corolla wagon. Both cars have the same engine and transmission, but you would never know it. Our 2007 Matrix is smooth and quiet. The 2008 Corolla has a loud knock when the engine is cold, that diminishes when the engine warms up, but does not go away. When I had this checked out by the dealer, they confirmed it is piston slap also known as cold start knock, but informed me it is considered “normal” for this engine. I find it irritating to listen to this. I wish I had test driven the car when it was cold, before I accepted this car for delivery.
Good gas mileage, good headlights, comfortable ride, pleasant interior
Build quality, and the associated reliability of that build quality, should be more consistent, (particularly for the engines). Antilock brakes and side curtain airbags should be standard equipment, not infrequently found options.