Sedans & Coupes

2008 Used Cars Compete: Honda Civic vs. Toyota Corolla

The Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla have gone head to head ever since we can remember. They have a lot in common, but there are some differences. Between the 2008 Civic and the 2008 Corolla, which is the better used car? The 2020 Corolla and the 2020 Civic are awesome. However, new versions will cost much more.

2020 Toyota Corolla XSE
2020 Toyota Corolla XSE | Toyota

The Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla have been leading contenders in their class––both new and used––in pretty much every model year. The 2008 model year is a great year for finding a good used car at a low price. Many 2008 cars in their top trim are still luxurious and offer some nice amenities, even if they are a bit dated. But which of these two popular cars is the best used car?

A Honda Civic is seen during the Vienna Car Show press preview
The 2020 Honda Civic | Manfred Schmid/Getty Images

The 2008 Honda Civic

The Honda Civic from the 2008 model year boasts 4.5 out of 5 for reliability from J.D. Power, according to US News and World Report. Additionally, US News notes that in the first year(2006) of the generation the 2008 Civic belongs to this popular sedan won Car of the Year from MotorTrend. Plus, Detroit News also named it the best.

2006 Honda Civic lineup
2006 Honda Civic lineup | Honda

US News appreciates the 2008 Civic’s “responsive, quiet ride,” and Kelley Blue Book praises its fuel economy, architectural integrity, and resale value. Edmunds, in its review of the 2008 Honda Civic, notes the roomy interior and high crash test scores. CarGurus shows listings for the honda civic under 100,000 miles ranging from $5,000 to a bit under $10 grand. But you can easily find one for less than that if you don’t mind buying something with higher mileage.

Consumer reviews on Edmunds as recent as 2018 say things such as “this car was purchased new in 2009 so I have driven it for almost 10 years,” or “no complaints I have owned 9 different types of cars before purchasing my Honda I will never buy another brand of car again.” This is a car that has been making owners happy for over a decade. But is it a better used car choice than a 2008 model year used Toyota Corolla?

A car shopper inspecting a Honda Civic
A customer inspecting a Honda Civic | YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP via Getty Images

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The 2008 Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla is a perfect example of the conservative simplicity for which Toyota has been appreciated over the years. The 2008 model year of the Corolla also earned a 4.5 out of 5 reliability score from J.D. Power, according to the US News and World Report review. Though a quick glance at the listings on CarGurus reveals that a lower milage option may be more difficult to find, the 2008 Corolla can be bought used for about the same price as the 2008 model year Honda Civic.

Workers inspect Toyota Corollas at a factory
Workers make a final check of a Corolla vehicle at Toyota assembly plant | TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP via Getty Images

Edmunds writes that the 2008 Toyota Corolla has an “illustrious reliability record.” That is an extremely appealing quality when you are shopping for a used car. Or a new one, for that matter. Consumer reviews on Edmunds show comments such as “perfect commuter car” and “best economical option out there.” Consumer reviews dated as recent as 2017 praise the 2008 Corolla as a used car that runs and runs requiring little maintenance. Buyers of both new and used 2008 Corollas are generally happy with their choice. Consumer reviews rated it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

2008 Toyota Corolla side view against a mountainous backdrop
2008 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

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“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.”

Edmunds Consumer Review

RELATED: Which Used Honda Models Are the Most Reliable?

Which used car is better?

Between the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla, it’s pretty hard to say which is a better used car. It seems that the general consensus of auto reviews deem the 2008 Honda Civic a more stylish sedan on the outside. The Toyota Corolla generally earns praise for higher quality interior materials.