No roadway would be complete without the presence of a Toyota Corolla, and if you’ve ever owned one of these trusted vehicles, you know that seemingly nothing can bring them down, not even a hurricane. A few years back, we had a pretty bad storm (Hurricane Irma), and although my family and I evacuated, my Corolla didn’t and unfortunately ended up under a large tree. Upon arriving back in Florida and subsequently removing the tree from my car, the old gal started right up and continued to take me back to work until she was ultimately replaced by a newer model. The moral of the story is this… no matter what, the Toyota Corolla is a legend. Whether you’re looking for a new car at your local Toyota Corolla dealer or you’re just intrigued about where it originated, let’s chat a bit about the Corolla’s history.
The Corolla made its debut in 1966, emerging as the ideal vehicle for the cost-conscious buyer. Although the makings of this soon-to-be-famous car were humble in nature, Toyota wanted to give it a leg up on the competition, which is why it was armed with a bigger engine than its competitors. You see, this was the 1960s, and plenty of automakers were tossing their hats in the ring, trying to appeal to virtually any type of buyer. You had Chevy and Ford duking it out for the best work truck and plenty of others trying to capture the attention of families across the nation with their dependable and affordable offerings. Something had to set this newcomer apart from the rest.
America, however, didn’t see the Corolla until 1968, when it was introduced into the international market, and as you could probably imagine, buyers were intrigued. The 1970s brought the next-generation Corolla touting a roomier cabin and an even stronger engine, capable of over 70 horsepower, which began the wave of interest in this sub-compact traveler. This second-generation Corolla was outfitted with more creature comforts, a five-speed manual transmission option, and numerous appearance upgrades. Toyota was working hard to place this reliable sedan ahead of the rest, and with these upgrades came even more interest by car shoppers all over the country.
As the years went on, the Corolla became more versatile, offering up a style to meet pretty much any driver’s needs. The 1980s saw even more of an evolution, with the Corolla transitioning from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive. This change cut costs and gave the Corolla friendlier bad-weather handling. It was through this continued work that Toyota patiently crafted one of the most popular cars in history.
A Bestseller Emerges
The years ticked by, and Toyota continued making enhancements to this affordable and flexible sedan. By the late 1980s, the Corolla’s size increased, allowing for more functionality and room for families and individuals alike, making the Corolla a top pick for many drivers. Not only were they able to take advantage of a reliable ride, now the Corolla was offering them even more by way of a comfortable cabin, designed to heighten the experience behind the wheel.
The 1990s brought about the Corolla that we’re most familiar with in the present day. Equipped with a larger frame and roomier interior, the Corolla graduated from a sub-compact traveler to a compact sedan. And with its continuously upgraded engine, the Corolla now featured over 100 horses under its hood, making it a top option for drivers everywhere that not only had their budget on their minds but efficiency and power as well. By the turn of the century, the Corolla was topping lists as being the top car to buy, recognized for its ever-evolving greatness.
The early 2000s continued to bring impressive Corolla options designed to bring more power, enhanced performance, and increased comfort to the everyday traveler. Now not only was the Corolla offered in its standard sedan form, but a more athletic model emerged, offering up even more power than its predecessors to appeal to even more buyers. The XRS trim continued to impress, and as the years rolled by, more transformations ensued. Perhaps why the Corolla has become one of the most beloved cars on the road today is due to the fact that Toyota has never stopped working to improve this offering.
The Corolla’s Transformation
It wasn’t until the Corolla’s tenth generation that it received one of the most massive transformations in its history. More modern styling, sweeping curves, and more technology could be found throughout this trusty traveler, as well as the addition of the continuously variable transmission that was designed to offer a smoother ride and increased fuel efficiency. Not only was the Corolla known to be one of the best budget-friendly cars on the planet, but it was also recognized as being extremely dependable and effortlessly efficient, which continues to be a win-win for many to this day.
The Corolla reached its 50th anniversary in 2016, and Toyota debuted a refreshed 2017 model, complete with all the bells and whistles, like an even more stylish design, Toyota Safety Sense, and increased comfort within. The years went on to include even more contemporary design and various options like hatchback and hybrid variants to give drivers a more varied selection.
Modern Day Marvel
Today, the Corolla continues to be a bestseller for drivers near and far. Not only do you get to enjoy the enhanced features that you’d expect to find in a more expensive vehicle for a fraction of the price, but you also get to take advantage of perks like stellar fuel efficiency and the reliability that is a hallmark of the Toyota brand. Put all this together, and you get an award-winning sedan capable of delivering a smooth, refined and dependable ride, no matter where the road takes you.
The 2021 Corolla sports a sculpted look inside and out, complete with all the modern conveniences you could wish for in a vehicle, like an intuitive touchscreen, loads of connectivity options, and superior safety features. In addition to the basic sedan, the 2021 Corolla also has hybrid and hatchback options to once again appeal to the masses. The Corolla has earned various accolades, including being named an IIHS Top Safety Pick and Green Car Journal’s Green Car of the Year, continuing its legacy of greatness in the industry.
Looking Toward the Future
As we speculate the fate of the Toyota Corolla, we can almost guarantee that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Not only does it offer drivers everything they could want in a vehicle, you just can’t beat its everyday functionality and versatility. If you need proof, just talk to someone who has owned a Corolla at least once in their lifetime. Chances are, you’ll get a story like mine about how their Corolla was there for them even in the trickiest of situations. Whether you’re interested in trying out the Corolla for the first time or you’re a life-long Corolla fanatic, it helps to learn more about where the Corolla came from to really appreciate its impact on the industry.
I know one thing… if another hurricane makes its way into my town again, I know that my Corolla can take it. Not many cars can spend a week underneath a tree and come out with only a few minor scratches. Because of that, Toyota has a loyal buyer in me. Once you discover how this car continues to evolve and advance, you’ll want to place your trust in it to deliver you wherever you need to go with absolute assurance.