TOYOTA Corolla Sedan
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
The best selling car nameplate in history, the Toyota Corolla has arrived at its 12th generation since it was launched.
With over 46 million Corollas sold worldwide since 1966, you can safely say it’s Toyota’s most successful model as well, which makes the new model a very important addition to Toyota’s modern stable.
Just like its hatchback brethren, which was unveiled earlier in 2018, the 2019 Toyota Corolla Sedan in U.S. guise is based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), which puts the compact sedan’s focus on comfort and refinement while also bringing some much needed sportiness from the Corolla hatchback into the mix. The L, LE, and XLE trim levels will still use the 1.8-liter four-cylinder found in the previous generation, but Toyota has improved the engine’s overall output and fuel efficiency. The higher XSE and SE trim levels benefit from and all-new 2.0-liter four-cylinder with direct injection, somewhat humorously called the “Dynamic-Force,” with 169 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque.
Toyota introduced the ninth generation of the Corolla in Japan in 2000, but it took the carmakers two years to bring it in the U.S.
The Corolla was already the best-selling nameplate among passenger cars in the world. Its key-elements were simplicity and reliability. It was a very user-friendly vehicle. The 2002 Corolla tried to get rid of the older jokes regarding its performances, and the Toyota’s designers managed to give the car a better look.
The 2002 Corolla was not that bland anymore. Its angled headlights with clear lenses and the sportier-looking front bumper made it compete better with other Japanese carmakers. The carmaker offered the Corolla with side-skirts and a small wing on the trunk lid on the upper trim levels. While it didn’t look as sporty as it tried, it looked sportier than the rest of its siblings.
Inside, a three-spoke steering wheel and some wood-trims on the dash made the Corolla looks a little bit upmarket, even though it wasn’t. The curved lines and the taller center console divided the front area into two. The carmaker installed white dials inside the instrument cluster for the sport trim-level and replaced the wood-trims with black plastic.
Under the hood, Toyota installed a new engine with a variable valve timing system that brought more power to the 1.8-liter four-pot. While the base version provided 135 hp from a non-VVTi unit, the top of the range featured a 164 hp mill to bring more joy for the driver.
Released after only one year since Toyota unveiled a new Corolla model, the 2004 sedan Corolla came with a couple of new features that could attract more young consumers than the 2003 version which was especially addressed to this segment.
Toyota upgraded the engine of the new Corolla with 5 horsepower and improved both the steering and the braking system. Moreover, the standard features have also been changed a bit, smoked headlights, fog lights and underbody spoiler being installed by default on the S version. Moreover, the CE model has standard air conditioning and power mirrors.
Toyota introduced the ninth generation of the Corolla in Europe in 2002, and it tried to be the same decent car with decent running costs as before.
The Corolla was one of the best-selling cars in the world. The Japanese carmaker proved the vehicle’s reliability, which helped the sales, despite its bland styling or hard plastic materials.
They say to not judge a book by its covers and the Corolla was a fine example of that. Its headlights had nothing special in their styling. A black grille adorned at the top with a chromed slat, and the manufacturer’s badge was the only bright spot of the front fascia. Its straight, horizontal lines from the bumper showed no dynamism whatsoever. But the bland design went further from its profile, where the Sedan version showed that sometimes the designers should go out from their offices seeking some inspiration.
Inside, Toyota installed hard plastic materials on the door panels and dashboard for all three trim levels. The base model, Earth, featured a simple air-conditioning system, front power windows, mirrors, and locks. The middle trim level, Luna (moon), provided power windows for the rear passengers and a better sound system. For the full-options version, named Sun, the carmaker, installed leather upholstery, steering wheel, and gear-stick. All versions were good to carry four adults, with a smaller, narrower place for a child in the middle of the rear bench.
Under the hood, Toyota offered a choice of two gasoline and one turbo-diesel engine. For the 110 hp, 1.6-liter unit, the carmaker provided an option for a four-speed automatic gearbox.
Unveiled in 2000, the ninth generation of Toyota Corolla came with almost the same body styles as the previous edition, namely a 4-door sedan, a 3- and 5-door hatchback, a 5-door station wagon and a 5-door van.
Assembled at multiple plants around the world, the new Corolla was marketed under different names, depending on the country and on the version. For example, the Brazilian flavor of the sedan Corolla was built at the local factory in Indaiatuba although it is pretty similar with the US model. Moreover, this local version of the sedan comes with an exclusive 1.6 liter engine which is not installed on another edition of the car.
Already famous for their great reliability and excellent value for money, the Corolla range was updated in 1997.
Guiding their evolution process on the “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” idea, Toyota managed to keep Corolla’s position on the market, thus it was awarded the world’s best selling car title in 1997.
The 5-door sedan was upgraded along with the 5-door liftback, the estate and the saloon body styles.
A world car, the Toyota Corolla was sold in three different markets: Japan, North America and Europe.
While the previous models were greatly appreciated, Toyota noticed the customer’s need of a more fun-to-drive vehicle, thus excitement needed to be a word to define the new generation.
The new models came with a changed suspension, new fabrics inside, more lively design elements and a heavily redesigned exterior look, with revised headlights, a new grille and new taillights. The redesigned exterior also helped reducing the NVH levels with its flush-mounted side windows and other techniques borrowed from Lexus.
Other changes included new technical specifications and well as more equipment.
Both gasoline and diesel units were available, however, the Japanese market had a broader range of engines to choose from. Most Corollas were powered by a 1.8-liter all-aluminium DOHC 4-cylinder engine that developed 120 hp and 122 pound-feet of torque. Besides more power offered, the engine helped achieving a lower fuel consumption than its predecessor.
Concerned about safety, Toyota offered the Corolla with four-wheel antilock brakes and side-impact airbags.
The 1992 sedan version of the Toyota Corolla is actually the seventh generation of this popular car manufactured by the company since 1966.
A really interesting fact is that the development of this model was supervised by Dr. Akihiko Saito who said that the new Corolla should look like a mini version of a Lexus but to provide the advanced features belonging to Toyota. However, the vehicle evolved from mini-Lexus to Great Corolla in Indonesia, a country where the Sedan version recorded an impressive success and was sold better than the other hatchback and liftback editions.