Last year, one of the most beloved models in the Toyota line-up passed a historic milestone. The Toyota Corolla celebrated its 50-year anniversary. This particular vehicle is a linchpin in developing the Toyota brand’s reputation as a manufacturer of building stalwart, reliable cars. Historically, its name is one of the oldest in Toyota’s current inventory of American products and it’s also the first car Toyota made in America. Toyota can also boast that with over 30 million Corollas sold worldwide, it’s the most popular car line in history. Here at our Kansas City Toyota dealership, we’re proud to carry a large array of 2017 Toyota Corolla models.
But let’s go back to the beginning. It’s 1968, the Summer of Love in the U.S., as well as lots of tumult and unrest. Toyota pronounced the new vehicle Corolla, which means “small crown” in Latin. After being introduced in Japan in 1966, the first generation Toyota Corolla arrived on U.S. shores with a 90-inch wheelbase in two-door coupe, four-door sedan and two-door wagon body styles. While the new Corolla was the smallest car Toyota had sold in America up until that time, it also showed that the Japanese manufacturer could build a quality, low cost vehicle as well.
By 1970 when the second-generation of Toyota Corolla vehicles were introduced, its engineers had added more power and room along with a more comfortable ride. With the addition of an automatic transmission, it quickly became the second best-selling car in the world.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the Toyota Corolla grew more advanced and stylish. In 1976, the auto manufacturer introduced a new three-door hatchback dubbed the “Liftback.” It resembled a sporty two-door station wagon. In its fourth generation years, the Toyota Corolla received particular praise for its attractive SR5 style in Sport Coupe, Hatchback, and Liftback semiwagon configurations. The SR5 used effective detailing to provide an expensive, stylish flair.
By 1987 a new front-drive Corolla “FX” coupe was introduced. It was produced at the NUMMI joint venture production plant in California (run by both Toyota and General Motors). By the end of the 1997 model year, the Corolla had become the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, overtaking the VW Beetle.
Over the years, the Toyota Corolla has become one of the top-selling vehicles in the world. New innovations to the classic car included a hybrid powertrain, advanced safety features, and cutting-edge technology. It has garnered impressive awards such as the 2017 IIHP Top Safety Pick Plus, the 2017 NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating, the 2016 5-Year Cost to Own Award from Kelley Blue Book, 2016 SmartChoice Maintenance Costs Winner from IntelliChoice, 2016 Best Buy Award Finalist from Kelley Blue Book, and 2017 Industry Accolade for being the only vehicle in its class to have a standard collision avoidance system.
Today, the brand new 2017 Toyota Corolla in its tenth generation is the most advanced version of the coupe to date, boasting excellent fuel economy, a roomy interior, and advanced in-car infotainment features.