Explore 5 Decades of the Toyota Corolla’s History

Corolla Virginia

You recognize the Toyota Corolla as the popular compact sedan seen all over the roads in Virginia, but you may be interested to learn about how this vehicle has evolved throughout the years. Since the first Corolla was officially introduced to Japan in 1966 and arrived in the United States in 1968, most people have owned, driven, or ridden in one at some point.

The Original Toyota Corolla

The first generation of the Toyota Corolla lasted just from 1968 and 1969. When it arrived, the Corolla had a 90-inch wheelbase and the choice of a 4-door sedan, 2-door coupe, or 2-door wagon. This vehicle held the title of the smallest Toyota to be sold in the country at the time. The original Corolla was powered by a 1.1-liter 4-cylinder with 60 horsepower, a 4-speed manual transmission, and rear-wheel drive. This first-generation Corolla started at less than $1,700, proving that reliability and affordability could go hand in hand.

2nd to 7th Corolla Generations

Even in 1970, American drivers preferred more powerful, larger vehicles than the original Corolla. Because of this, the second generation debuted with the 1970 Corolla that had 73 horsepower from its new 1.2-liter engine and a 91.9-inch wheelbase. This small increase in wheelbase made a dramatic difference in terms of comfort and made the Corolla the second-best-selling vehicle worldwide. 1971 saw the engine grow to a 102-horsepower 1.6-liter one. In 1975, the third-generation Corolla offered five different models and some unique styling with the same engine. The 5-speed manual was joined by a 4-speed manual and 3-speed automatic, and 1976 saw the addition of a 3-door hatchback model and a Sport Coupe.

The fourth generation began in 1979 with a new chassis, along with a coil spring suspension, larger wheelbase, and new 75-horsepower 1.8-liter engine. Look at a fifth-generation Corolla, which began in 1984, and you will get the first front-wheel-drive version. The 1988 Toyota Corolla started the sixth generation with a front-drive coupe, more conservative styling, and better-equipped trims. By the seventh generation, the Corolla had a 97-inch wheelbase and the 1.6-liter engine or a 115-horsepower 1.8-liter one.

Recent Years: 8th, 9th, and 10th Generations

The Toyota Corolla continued to grow during the eighth and ninth generations until it reached the current 10th-generation model’s styling and size. The eighth generation was limited to just a sedan with three trim levels. By the ninth generation, it looked like a smaller version of the Camry with a 102.4-inch wheelbase.

See where the Toyota Corolla’s history has taken it throughout the years when you visit Miller Toyota in Manassas, Virginia.


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June 30, 2016
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