The Toyota Corolla is a popular family sedan from the Japanese automaker and has been in production since 1966. It became the biggest selling model in the world in 1997 and precise sales figures for the Corolla are available starting in 2000. Even when not the biggest seller in the world, it has consistently been one of the top selling models within its class in the U.S. and elsewhere with over 200,000 units sold every year and over 300,000 units sold from 2003 through 2008. Many of those years it has topped 400,000 units sold when Australian and Canadian sales are included. From 1966 through 1987 it was a subcompact model and starting in 1988 it was reclassified as a compact model.
Toyota Corolla Origins
In Japan the Corolla was available starting in 1966 as its own brand, the Corolla Sprinter. In 1968 a fastback version became exclusive to Toyota Auto Store in Japan, after that point the Corolla became a Toyota model. It has always been a sedan and has been a cornerstone of the Japanese automaker almost from the beginning.
About the Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla is an ideal family sedan model for those who are looking for affordability, dependability, and a convenient vehicle for suburban and urban commutes. It is highly rated for its intuitive interior layout, fuel efficiency, and easy drive. Some of the areas where the Corolla receives lower marks include the feel of the steering, tight fit for adults in the back, and lack of performance capability within its class.
Toyota Corolla Features
There are five trim levels available: The L sedan four-cylinder, LE sedan four-cylinder, S sedan four-cylinder, S Special Edition sedan four-cylinder, and the LE Special Edition four-cylinder. Within its class, the number of available features may be less competitive than expected.
The Corolla body style is fairly nondescript with few details that could be called unique or noticeable within its class. It has a sharper front end than many of the current sedans sport with sharp wraparound headlights but an A-typical profile. Exterior features include power everything, daytime running lights, optional moonroof, and standard 15-inch wheels. Standard features include air, tilt/telescoping steering, and CD player with an MP3 jack. Fabric is standard. A navigation system and sound system upgrades are available.
The Toyota Corolla has a 132 horsepower 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine with a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual, a bit behind the times in terms of available gears which translates to a coarser feel than many of its competitors, even those with a few less horsepower. It is rated at 26/34 to 27/34 mpg city/highway, which is a bright spot in the performance arena. Safety features include front, side-impact and side curtain airbags, antilock brakes, and front head restraints.
Toyota Corolla Evolution
First generation models were in production from 1966 through 1968 as a Corolla Sprinter then from 1968 through 1970 exclusively at the Toyota Auto Store as a Toyota but with few changes. These were four-door, angular with a flat front, rounded headlights, side-mirrors mounted midway on the hood, and a K pushrod engine. The second generation included models in production from 1970 through 1974. The exterior was almost identical but a couple of engine options were added including the 1400cc and 1600cc. The third generation was introduced in 1974. These were bigger and heavier, had a redesigned rear and upgraded powertrain. The fourth generation was introduced in 1979 with the same squared-off edges and only modest changes to the design but an all new series of engines and new fuel injection. The fifth generation saw the first major exterior redesign starting in 1985. Most models switched to front wheel drive as well. Sixth generation cares followed almost immediately in 1987 with thinner headlights and a very similar overall. The Corolla began getting better marks in terms of refinement at this point. In 1991 the seventh generation was introduced. These were larger with a more rounded frame and a sharper front. The eight generation models went on sale in 1995. The design was updated slightly but the main changes included technology improvements. The ninth generation was introduced in 2000 with a series of technology upgrades and a rounder front and body style. The tenth generation returned to a sharper front area in 2006 but with a flared rear and more powerful engine options. The current generation went on sale in 2012 with a range of engine options and short rounded exterior with wraparound lights and smooth transitions from front to body and the back end.