Are you looking for brake pads for your Toyota Corolla? In this article we break-down the pros and cons of each type, recommend the best brake pads for each type of driver, and offer our best overall pick!

Before we begin, if you are not changing your own brakes, why not? It is a very satisfying and straightforward maintenance item for your vehicle. Check out this article on changing the brakes in a Toyota Corolla to find out more!

The brake pads discussed here fit 2003-2008 Toyota Corolla, 2003-2008 Pontiac Vibe, and 2003-2008 Toyota Matrix.

Choosing Brake Pads

The purpose of brakes is to slow down your vehicle by converting kinetic energy (motion) into thermal energy (heat). This is done by compressing the rotor between the brake pads, similar to the brakes visible on the hand brake on a bicycle. The effectiveness of the brakes depends on many factors, not least of which is the interface maximum temperature which is dependent on factors such as sliding speed, contact area ratio, number of braking applications, brake load, and type of friction material.

There are several different styles of brake pads, which are the best, and which ones should you choose?

Choosing high quality brake pads does not need to be difficult. There are mainly 3 different types that are used these days: organic, ceramic and semi-metallic. Thankfully, gone are the days of the cancerous asbestos brake pads!
Let’s take a look at the options that are currently available for brake pads.

Organic Brake Pads

Organic brake pads, though they are still often used as a cheap alternative, should be avoided because they don’t last very long and so require more frequent replacement. They also have reduced effectiveness and don’t work as well in extreme heat or extreme cold temperatures. The main upside of organic brake pads is that they tend to be very inexpensive.

Metallic Brake Pads

Metallic brake pads are generally for those drivers who prefer performance over everything else. As a result, metallic brake pads have very good stopping power and heat dissipation. They can also handle a large range of temperatures. However, the downside is that they had a tendency to wear down the rotors much more quickly than other types of pads, and they are also more noisy.

Ceramic Brake Pads

Ceramic brake pads are more durable than organic brake pads and as a result, they tend to last longer. In addition, they produce less dust. They are also more quiet than metallic brake pads and can handle a large temperature range in which they are effective. For these reasons, ceramic brake pads are the most highly recommended brake pads for the vast majority of drivers simply because they tend to do well in all areas: effectiveness, rotor wear, dust production, and noise.

Top 5 Brake Pads

Now let’s take a look at our top 5 picks for 2003-2008 Toyota Corolla, Matrix, and Pontiac Vibe brake pads. The model number you need to be looking for is 923. So you will notice this number somewhere in the name of each of the brake pads on this list.


Bosch BE923H

Editor’s Rating: 8.6 / 10 stars
Price: $$
The Bosch BE923H brake pads are a ceramic and semi-metallic pad. This blend makes the brake pads extremely effective in terms of stopping power, with reduced wear on the rotors. The tabs or ‘ears’ on these brake pads do tend to be a bit of a tight fit, so you may end up needing to file them down a bit for installation, but this does tend to keep the pads from rattling. Be forewarned on these pads that in an attempt to reduce plastic packaging, they come wrapped in a reusable shop towel instead. This is a nice touch to stick with ‘green’ packaging. These pads also come with a hardware kit which includes some caliper grease, noise clips, and anti-rattle inserts.

Bosch BE923H – See on Amazon


Akebono ACT923

Editor’s Rating: 8.6 / 10 stars
Price: $$$
The Akebono ACT923 are the OEM supplier for Toyota brake pads. So it is hard to go wrong with these pads. These brake pads boast a ceramic formula that is ‘rotor friendly’ and requires no break-in period. These pads definitely have the most ‘polished’ look to them. Few burrs or rough spots. These are the high-end brake pads.

Akebono ACT923 – See on Amazon


Wagner ThermoQuiet QC923

Editor’s Rating: 8.2 / 10 stars
Price: $$
The Wagner ThermoQuiet QC923 pads have a “proprietary formula” that according to their literature is a ceramic brake pad with “low copper technology,” suggesting that it is a mixture of ceramic and some copper (like most ceramic pads). These pads don’t come with shims, instead having a raised portion on the back of the pad to take the place of the shim, “shimless.”

Wagner ThermoQuiet QC923 – See on Amazon


Monroe CX923

Editor’s Rating: 6.2 / 10 stars
Price: $
The Monroe CX923 are a ceramic brake pad and the least expensive brake pads on the list. These are straight ceramic pads. The kit comes with the ‘noise elimination hardware.’ These can generate a bit more dust than the other pads on the list, but in general seem to have responsive stopping power.

Monroe CX923 – See on Amazon


ACDelco 17D923CH

Editor’s Rating: 7.2 / 10
Price: $$
The ACDelco 17D923CH pads are ceramic and include the slide clips and some grease. These are said to produce very little dust, so if dirty hubcaps are something you like to avoid, these pads would work well. That being said, the packaging material is a bit subpar, so a fair number of users report chipped pads upon arrival.

ACDelco 17D923CH – See on Amazon


Overall Top Pick

Our overall top pick for brake pads for the 2003-2008 Toyota Corolla, 2003-2008 Pontiac Vibe, and 2003-2008 Toyota Matrix, are the Bosch BE923H! These brake pads have excellent quality for the money. It is difficult to find anything wrong with these brake pads. I an speak from personal experience because these are the brake pads that I currently use. Check out this article where I install these brake pads on a 2004 Toyota Corolla.
Click here to Buy Bosch BE923H Brake Pads!

Thanks for reading and I hope you found this helpful!