What Changed for 2008:
- No significant changes from 2007 model
- 2009 Corolla goes on sale in early 2008
When the Toyota Corolla made its American debut in 1968, its primary competitor was the Volkswagen Beetle; cars like the Honda Civic and Volkswagen Rabbit were still years away. Originally a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) sedan, the Corolla changed to front-wheel drive (FWD) in the late 1980s. Over the years, the Corolla has been produced in sport coupe, hatchback and wagon versions, though the sedan has been the mainstay of U.S. sales.
The current Corolla sedan, which was redesigned in 2003, occupies a space in the Toyota lineup above the entry-level Yaris and below the Camry midsize sedan. Available in CE, S and LE trim levels, all Corolla models include air conditioning with a cabin air filter; a 4-speaker /FM/CD stereo; power mirrors; tilt steering; and intermittent wipers. The S trim adds sportier gauges; an aerodynamic body kit with front and rear under-body spoilers; and integrated front fog lights. The LE trim includes power windows and mirrors; remote keyless entry; wood-like interior trim; electroluminescent Optitron gauges; and a 6-speaker stereo. The trunk measures 13.6 cubic feet, and a 60/40 split folding rear seat is standard on all models. The All-Weather Guard option package available on all trim levels includes windshield molding; anti-chipping tape; and a heavy-duty heater with a rear heater duct.
Now that the 170-hp XRS model is gone, all Corollas are powered by a 126-hp, 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder engine with variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which drives the front wheels through either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. At least 90 percent of peak torque (122 lb.-ft.) is available from 2000 rpm to the 6000 rpm redline. Standard are 15-inch steel wheels; alloys are optional, and the S model includes a 16-inch alloy option.
The 2008 Toyota Corolla gets EPA fuel economy estimates of 28 mpg city/37 mpg highway with a manual transmission; 26 mpg city/35 mpg highway with an automatic transmission.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2008 Toyota Corolla receives 5-star ratings in frontal crash tests and 4-star ratings in side-impact crash tests. Dual front air bags are standard fare. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) are optional on all models. ABS includes a tire-pressure-monitoring system with a dashboard warning light. Seat-mounted side air bags and side curtain air bags can be added to any model. Electronic vehicle stability control (VSC) is optional on S and LE trims-the latter only with the automatic transmission.
The JBL Value option package on S and LE Corolla models includes an 8-speaker JBL audio system with a 6-disc, in-dash CD changer. The VSC option, which manages engine torque and braking when a tire starts to slip, also includes traction control and brake assist. That feature supplements braking power in an emergency-stop situation.