2008 Toyota Corolla Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Spacious interior, excellent fuel economy, good interior quality, illustrious reliability record.
- 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.
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.
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.
2008 Toyota Corolla models
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.
Performance & mpg
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.
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.
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.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
- Side Impact TestPoor
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintPoor
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
Used 2008 Toyota Corolla Overview
The Used 2008 Toyota Corolla is offered in the following submodels: Corolla Sedan. Available styles include LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A), CE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A), S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A), CE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M), S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M), and LE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M). Pre-owned Toyota Corolla models are available with a 1.8 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 126 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2008 Toyota Corolla comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.
What's a good price on a Used 2008 Toyota Corolla?
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which used 2008 Toyota Corollas are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 Toyota Corolla for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2008 Toyota Corolla.
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Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Corolla for sale - 10 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $20,260.
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Should I lease or buy a 2008 Toyota Corolla?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.