Having made and sold over 43 million units within the last five decades, Toyota Corolla marks its 50th birthday with a 2017 model equipped with an improved safety technology…
[dropcap]F[/dropcap]orty-three million and counting. That’s the number of Corollas that Toyota has sold globally since it began building the landmark model in the fall of 1966. And that makes Corolla the best-selling nameplate of all time. That’s a lot of happy drivers.
What better way to mark the Corolla’s 50th anniversary than with refreshed styling and, more significantly, a new safety system? Just for good measure, though, Toyota has also introduced a Corolla SE 50th Anniversary Special Edition model, featuring special paint and trim color in the SE model with moonroof, Smart Key and Entune Audio Plus.
The Corolla gets a sportier look for 2017 thanks to a new front grille and LED headlamps. The L, LE and LE Eco grades gain Bi-LED headlamps, while complex-LED headlamps come standard on SE, XSE and XLE grades. With the base L model adding a back-up camera, that feature is now standard across the Corolla line. Redesigned 16-inch wheels are standard on the LE and XLE, while the SE and XSE step up into standard 17-inch alloy wheels.
The 2017 Corolla’s upgraded fabric interior offers a choice between added elegance in the LE with Almond, Ash/Dark Gray or Black/Brown color schemes, or bold sportiness with Softex-trimmed sport seats with Vivid Blue, Orange Zest, and Black premium fabric inserts in the SE. A redesigned climate control panel and circular air vents add an upscale touch.
Onboard entertainment has come a very long way since the first Corolla’s AM radio. Standard Bluetooth and Entune. Audio are among the features that help make the 2017 Corolla a standout value in its segment. Audio and connectivity upgrades abound, including available Entune Audio Plus with Connected Navigation (Scout® GPS Link App) or available Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite. Both the Entune Audio Plus and Entune Premium Audio systems feature a 7-inch touch screen for 2017.
What Corolla customers are sure to appreciate, even more than great audio, is the advanced Toyota Safety Sense-P (TSS-P) technology. Standard on all Corollas, TSS-P is a safety system that bundles the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beams.
Toyota is committed to making Toyota Safety Sense standard on nearly all its models by the end of 2017. That will put Toyota (and Lexus) four years ahead of the model-year 2022 industry target announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The first Toyota Corolla went into production in November 1966 and made its United States debut in 1968. By 1970, Corolla was already among the more popular import cars in the country. The Corolla has evolved over the decades, becoming roomier, more powerful, more efficient, and gaining ever more advanced safety technology.
Today, Toyota sells approximately 1.5 million Corollas globally each year. Sixteen plants worldwide assemble Corollas, including at Toyota’s assembly plants in Blue Springs, Miss. (since October 2011) and in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada (since November 1988). With customers in more than 150 countries, the Corolla has earned its title as “The World’s Car.”
50th Anniversary Special Edition
The Corolla SE 50th Anniversary Special Edition celebrates this important milestone year for Corolla with a deft and elegant designer touch. Building on the SE grade’s upscale features, the 50th Anniversary Special Edition adds an exclusive exterior color, Black Cherry Pearl. Also available in Classic Silver and Blizzard Pearl, the Corolla SE 50th Anniversary Special Edition will be offered in a run of 8,000 vehicles.
Inside, Toyota made this anniversary model extra special with black mixed media seats with Black Cherry piping and contrast stitching. Black Cherry contrast stitching also trims the black interior’s steering wheel and shift boot. The distinctive Black Cherry theme also distinguishes the dash panel and door trim, and unique “50th Anniversary Edition” floor mats and exterior rear badging make the final touch.
The 2017 Corolla 50th Anniversary Edition comes standard with a 7-inch touch-screen and Entune Audio Plus with Connected Navigation (Scout® GPS Link App). There’s also a color 4.2-inch TFT Multi-Information Display in the gauge panel. A standard Smart Key system with push button start and power tilt/slide moonroof add an upscale touch to this special Corolla.
On Corolla’s Golden Anniversary, It’s Still the Gold Standard in Value
The 2017 Corolla upholds the model’s well-earned reputation for value and quality, starting with roominess. Consider the Corolla’s 41.4 inches of rear seat legroom, which gives it a 3-7 inch advantage over most competitors.
The Corolla L model offers renowned Toyota quality, durability and reliability in an affordable package. In addition to TSS-P, continuously variable transmission with intelligence (CVTi-S) and air conditioning with a dust and pollen filter, the Corolla L grade includes as standard:
- Integrated backup camera
- Monochrome 3.5-inch TFT Multi-Information Display
- USB and iPod® connectivity
- Integrated backup camera with projected path guidelines
- Bi-LED headlamps
- Bluetooth for hands-free phone control, phone book access and audio streaming
- 60/40 split fold-down rear seat
- Tilt and telescoping steering column
- Power windows and door locks
- Overhead console with map light
- Entune™ Audio with 6.1-inch display screen and six speakers.
The most popular Corolla grade, the LE, steps up comfort with:
- Upgraded interior fabric trim and 3-spoke steering wheel
- Remote keyless entry
- Automatic Climate Control with dust and pollen filter
- Color-keyed heated power outside mirrors
Anticipated To be The Most Fuel-Efficient Corolla: 2017 Corolla LE Eco CVT
When the first Corolla arrived in the U.S., gasoline cost about 25 cents per gallon (the equivalent of about $1.75 in 2016). Many American drivers saw the long-term value in higher fuel economy and chose Corolla for that reason. Through the decades, fuel efficiency has always been a promise the Corolla has kept.
The 2017 Corolla LE Eco CVT is expected to be the fuel economy champ of the line, with a projected rating of 40 MPG highway. As a testament to Toyota engineering, the Corolla LE Eco CVT doesn’t compromise performance or comfort with such an expected exceptional fuel economy number. Its LE trim, for example, is the most popular in the Corolla line for its comfort and amenities.
The 2017 Corolla LE Eco CVT is the most powerful Corolla in the line, as well, with a specially tuned 140 horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine in place of the 132-horsepower version used in the other models. This exclusive version of the engine features Valvematic technology, which offers a broader range of continuously variable valve timing (lift and phasing) than even the Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) in the standard Corolla engine.
A savvy combination of powertrain technology and aerodynamic features also help boost fuel economy in this model. The Corolla LE Eco cheats the wind with aerodynamic underbody covers and a color-keyed rear spoiler, which brings its coefficient of drag (Cd) down to an impressive 0.28 compared to 0.29 and 0.30 in other Corolla models.
Toyota programmed accelerator response to compensate for choppy driving habits and to control acceleration from a standing start in order to help reduce fuel consumption. However, when you press the accelerator past 50-percent, the Corolla LE Eco responds as in Normal mode to provide the needed power for merging in traffic.
Selecting the ECO driving mode reduces power to the air conditioner compressor, although the system runs in recirculation mode to compensate for the longer cool-down time. Special low rolling resistance P195/65R15 tires help to reduce fuel usage, and these can be upgraded to larger 205/55R16 tires on aerodynamic alloy wheels.
A Smarter CVT
Corolla’s advanced Continuously Variable Transmission with intelligence Shift (CVTi-S) also helps maximize fuel economy. It’s programmed to respond more like a conventional geared automatic using discrete stepped shift points for acceleration and deceleration. The CVTi-S even mimics the familiar characteristics of hydraulic automatics by creating a sense of positive shift engagement.
The Strong, Quiet Type
If the Corolla’s expansive rear legroom draws comparisons to larger cars, the quietness of its cabin underscores the parallel. The Corolla’s uni-body, which makes extensive use of high tensile-strength steel, provides a rigid platform that forms a foundation for tight handling and ride smoothness. An extensive array of measures help keep outside noises out, including acoustic glass windshield, floor carpet insulation, an instrument panel seal between the cowl and the windshield, fender insulators and an inner dash silencer pad.
A rigid steering structure enhances the direct feeling coming through the electric power-assist steering system. There’s also no messy hydraulic steering fluid to change or top off. The high-strength structure allows the suspension to be tuned for agility without sacrificing comfort.
High-strength construction sets the foundation for exemplary collision performance in the Corolla. In addition to the new TSS P system, the Corolla continues to include, as standard, the Toyota Star Safety System™. This comprehensive array includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. The Corolla also comes equipped with the Smart Stop Technology brake-override system and an electronic tire pressure monitoring system.
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