In 1966, the very first Toyota Corolla was released in Japan, coined as “A car for everyone.” Half a century and nine generations later, the iconic vehicle gets a fresh set of looks inside and out, the latest safety equipment and true to the original, a fuel-efficient powertrain still offered with a fun and sporty manual transmission.
For 2017, the compact sedan gets an updated nose resembling other products in the lineup including the Yaris. The front emblem is encased in a body colour housing that overlaps a much larger blacked out lower grille. SE trim levels and above receive a move aggressive bumper featuring a mesh grille, larger side air intakes and vertical LED daytime running lights.
All offerings receive a redesigned instrument cluster with dual blue-and-black-themed dials surrounded by polished chrome rings. Clusters in entry-level CE and LE grades use a 3.5-inch Multi-information Display to relay important information such as fuel economy and odometer readout, while everything above has a slightly larger 4.2-inch MiD.
Performance has come a long way in 50 years — the first Corolla had a 60-horsepower 1.1-litre four-cylinder engine. Now, output has more than doubled via a 1.8-litre four-cylinder producing either 132 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque, or 140 hp and 126 lb-ft on Eco models utilizing Toyota’s VALVEMATIC technology and a CVTi-S continuously-variable gearbox. Fuel consumption for the Eco is rated at 7.7 L/100 km in city driving, 5.6 highway and 6.8 combined.
As with all other products now sold by the Japanese manufacturer, the Toyota Safety Sense P safety package is standard. The suite includes a collision mitigation system comprised of pedestrian detection with automatic braking, lane departure alert, radar cruise control, and more.
MSRP for the 2017 Toyota Corolla ranges from $16,290 (CE) to $25,210 (XSE). In stores now.