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Toyota’s 10th Corolla chases youth and premium small-car buyers as well as loyalists

18 May 2007

THE best Corolla ever? Barring 1986’s wonderful Twin Cam version, as well as the seismic impact of the 1967 1100 original, the 10th generation 150 series sees Toyota getting deadly serious about toppling the Volkswagen Golf in Europe, so you'd better believe it. But we’re really only talking about half of the range here, because the latest Corolla is really the story of two distinct vehicles, as well as Toyota’s plan to dislodge the Holden Commodore as Australia’s best-selling car.
Model release date: 1 May 2007 to 1 September 2012

Previous model

Toyota 120 series Corolla

Released: December 2001
Ended: May 2007
Family Tree: Corolla

THE previous Corolla shared its front-wheel drive platform with the last Celica sportscar and 2000 RAV4 II SUV, so it felt as light in weight as it was to drive. Available in a very Euro-centric five-door hatch, pleasant four-door sedan and boxy four-door wagon, the 120 series Corolla was a fast, smooth and economical small-car proposition, powered in Australia by a 100kW/171Nm 1.8-litre twin-cam VVT-i four-cylinder engine (down-rated to 93kW/161Nm to meet 2006 emissions legislation) and mated to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. Aided by keen marketing and spiralling fuel prices, the 120 series became increasingly popular as it aged, even though refinement, space and dynamic levels started to trail the opposition. There was also a 141kW/180Nm 1.8-litre Sportivo hatch with a six-speed manual. Some of the Corollas were built in South Africa as well as Japan.

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