The history of the Toyota Corolla through 11 generations


Posted by: Henry Egan

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Do you know that the first Toyota Corolla was built as far back as 1966? Let's go back memory lane and see the history of the Toyota Corolla here!!!

The Toyota Corolla is one world-beater that has gone through the test of time and has proved itself, time and again. First produced in 1966, the brand has taken the world over, from then on and has recorded a great level of success and world prestige. In light of that, here’s a recap of the Toyota Corolla's 11 generations, thus far:

1ST generation: 1966-1970

The first generation of the Toyota Corolla was an all-time stunner, setting the pace for reliability and desirability on new technology the world had not seen before. Produced in Japan in 1966, the car made a major hit in Australia in that year, and adventured into America in 1968. That became a global breakthrough for the company at large, with the vehicle itself receiving high praise and patronage from the international market.

At the time of its release, the Toyota Corolla was built in two body forms: as a 2-door station wagon and as a 2/4 door sedan. Vehicle weight was about a 730kg at 525,000 Yuan ($1,700). Transmission was geared at a 4-speed manual with floorshift.   


First generation Toyota Corolla made a major hit in Australia in the year of launching

2nd generation: 1970-1974

The second generation was heck different. The E20 was fashioned in three forms: as a sedan, as a wagon and as a panel van. The Corolla second generation featured two models: the Corolla Levin and the Sprinter Trueno. The two were revised versions and were named to distinct between the sheet metal and trim options, respectively present in both models.  Also operating on a four-speed manual with floorshift transmission, the vehicle was restyled in a ‘coke bottle’ kind of way. The front suspension was improved upon remarkably, with a sway bar. A double overhead camshaft was installed and more renovations probed on, which ushered in the third generation in 1974.


Second generation Toyota Corolla was restyled in a ‘coke bottle’ kind of way

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3rd generation: 1974-1979

The third generation Corolla welcomed robust innovations. While, in North America, models were explored in sedans, hardtop coupes, sports coupes and liftback forms, in Japan, models other than these were introduced. Third generation cars were angular-looking and pretty much heavier than models in former generations. Total weight was an overwhelming 890kg. Transmission was a four-speed manual, with an installed two-speed automatic.

A jump in the generation sales caused an outbreak of the fourth generation. However, Japan recorded underwhelming figures; and North America? It broke grounds.


Third Generation Toyota Corolla recorded underwhelming sales figures in Japan and North America

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4th generation: 1979-1983

The journey into luxury began in March 1979 with the inclusion of fuel economy and a 3-speed automatic transmission, coupled with 4 and 5 speed manual transmissions. The 4th generation Toyota Corollas was set to run due to its 1.6 litre overhead cam engine that ensured smooth rides. Having fulfilled high, luxe demands in their lineup, the 4th generation Corollas ventured into mass production. By the end of its generational year, the Toyota company had manufactured 10 million cars, all of which found way into 116 other countries.


By the end of its fourth generational year, Toyota had manufactured 10 million Corolla

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5th generation: 1983-1987

The 5th generation Corollas introduced the front wheel drive mode along with a greater degree of technology. The sedan was a lot roomier on the inside. The front bonnet was refashioned, giving the car a more pronounced boxy frame outlook. Popup headlights were installed and generally, the car went through some revolutionary changes. Little wonder, it became the most popular and Toyota records that it sold above 3 million cars to the world.  


Fifth Generation Toyota Corolla introduced the front wheel drive mode, more technology, and was a lot roomier inside

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6th generation: 1987-1991

The 6th generation Corollas were even more stylish and presented four body types. It was uncommon and not like the regular Corollas the world had experienced.  A 5-speed manual transmission paired with a 1.3 liter and a super charged 1.8 liter diesel engine was featured for the vehicle.


Sixth generation Toyota Corolla

>>> Toyota Corolla Price in Nigeria (Updated in 2019) - Are they affordable?

7th generation: 1992-1997

The 7th generation Corollas were bigger, much better and definitely heavier. They had a sporty vibe to them and had an aerodynamic shape. They were produced in two body forms, namely as a sedan and as a 2-door coupe. Though later, the wagon and van forms joined in. Interior design was upscale, with the use of top notch, quality materials. 


Seventh Generation Toyota Corolla has upscaled Interior design, with the use of top notch, quality materials

>>> Toyota Corolla 7th generation is still reliable road companion, and can be had at a very affordable cost: Toyota Corolla 1992-1997 for sale in Nigeria at best prices

8th generation: 1997-2001

The 8th generation was all-thumb sleek. It was tailored to meet European taste and standard. Far from the regular, the Corolla introduced even newer safety tech options that offered SRS airbags, impact steering column and emergency locking seatbelts. The Corolla was also not as weighty and overall, carried on a healthy image.


Eighth Generation Toyota Corolla

>>> Toyota Corolla 1997-2001 for sale in Nigeria at best prices

9th generation: 2000-2006

The turning point! It seemed as if Toyota shed its old skin off with the past millennium. It introduced the 9th generation which had a display of edgy, sexy cars. It concentrated on performance and appealed largely to the global market. In the end, about 32 million cars from the 9th generation were produced and sold, worldwide.


9th generation is Toyota Corolla's turning point with a display of edgy, sexy cars

>>> Toyota Corolla 9th generation reviews: 2003200420052006

>>> Toyota Corolla 2000-2006 for sale in Nigeria at best prices

10th generation: 2006-2013

The 10th generation Toyota Corollas in Nigeria were the perfect definition of versatile. They were comfy, user-friendly, and to a great extent tech-inclined. The cabin design was superb. The interior was cozy and massively accommodating. The exterior, on the other hand, got a facelift. The front grille and bumpers were finely structured in first-rate. The trendy cars were basically chill.


The 10th generation Corollas were comfy, user-friendly, and tech-inclined

>>> Toyota Corolla 2006-2013 for sale in Nigeria at best prices

11th generation: 2014-present

Here, high tech was the look-out for. Tech-safety personalization options, fuel economy, performance, luxury came natural. A touch screen infotainment system, rear-view cameras, driver-assist features and a host of others were installed.


With the eleventh generation Toyota Corolla, high tech was the look-out for

>>> Toyota Corolla 11th generation review: 20182020

>>> Toyota Corolla 2014-2020 for sale in Nigeria at best prices

Now you know how the Toyota Corolla got to keep its name over the years, so you also know that the Toyota company is a reliable brand and have got their fans at heart.

Toyota Corolla Evolution (1966 - 2018)
Henry Egan
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Henry Egan

Henry Egan


Henry Egan a poet, essayist, content writer, blogger and technical writer who is willing to read just that last material to develop the best content possible. Henry feels he is more of a new generation writer with a sassy and swanky style. You can be sure you'll get all the facts in and never get bored with his articles.

He has got a flair for technical reviews on automobile and cars. He studied Mechanical Engineering but his first love remains Literary Art.

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