By on January 16, 2013

Is the era of beige finally over? This concept is supposedly a preview of the new Corolla, due in 2014 – and it’s far more striking than the JDM version reviewed by our own BS.

 

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50 Comments on “NAIAS 2013: Toyota Furia Previews The Corolla...”


  • avatar
    mike978

    Very nice and I hope it progresses with only small changes before release next year. I would assume major powertrain changes since 4 speed auto’s don`t cut it anymore.
    I know Honda concepts are basically production ready. Does Toyota work like that also? or do their concepts change much before release typically?

  • avatar
    tmkreutzer

    Wow! Toyota, build stuff like this and you will get my attention.

    I also wish the US would get a Camry that looks like the JDM Crown. Those cars are gorgeous. I have no idea why they won’t import them. What’s to lose?

    • 0 avatar
      MrWhopee

      Sadly it’s no more. The latest Crown has just been uglified. Used to be quite good looking, though. It doesn’t bode well for future Toyota’s styling.

      BTW the Crown is not the Camry equivalent, it’s the sister car of the Lexus LS460.

  • avatar
    Brian P

    OK, Toyota, listen up: Do this, without diluting it, and you’ve fixed the styling. Now, fix the suspension and steering!!

  • avatar
    mr_muttonchops

    As far as compact sedans go, this is pretty nice. Whether or not this would transfer over to an actual production version is debatable, but it’d be a step in the right direction: away from blandness.

  • avatar
    Diewaldo

    To me it looks pretty much the same as our European Corolla aka Auris:

    http://www.toyota.de/cars/new_cars/auris/index.tmex?WT.ac=auris_NG_CC_key

  • avatar

    I don’t know; this looks like a bastardized version of the European-market Honda Civic. Still, it’s better than the appliance that holds the Corolla name right now…

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      It does kinda look like the Euro Civic – just better (which is a surprise considering Toyota, but maybe not considering Honda).

    • 0 avatar
      juicy sushi

      Uh, it’s the European Toyota Auris (aka Corolla) with a trunk instead of the hatchback).

      Bertel already told us all about it a few months ago…

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/toyota-launches-new-auris-in-japan-europe-has-to-wait-a-few-months/

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    Plant workers on ToyotaNation who are being trained on the new model say this is pretty much it, except for the huge 19 inch wheels and the carbon fiber bits.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    It looks rather Honda Civicish to me, but I like it.

    Go with different rims (like how they fill the arches but don’t like the red accents with that orange paint) and don’t dilute the design language and the plain Jane boring snozer of Corolla that’s been around since ’98 will be excised.

    The only reason Corolla is competitive in sales today is the spawning salmon buyers, if they really crossed shopped the C-segment the Corolla would be in a world of hurt. Says a lot about brand equity and loyalty.

    Modernize the Corolla and give it a more modern look while not being over done, and I think you could see pre-economic meltdown sales numbers of the Corolla once again (e.g. 2006 – 2007)

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I agree, but I doubt they will get to their old dominance because the compact market is much more competitive now than it was in 2006. The Jetta, Focus, Cruze and Elantra have all improved compared to the predecessors.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    It looks like a cross between a Honda Civic and Kia Forte (specifically the back).

  • avatar
    mmdpg

    I like the looks of this but I also have to defend the current Corolla a little. My daughter who just graduated from college last May and got her first job in November needed a car. I helped her narrow the field, Honda was over priced and wouldn’t negotiate on a Civic, Hyundai added $1799 to every car on the lot for pin stripes, paint sealant and Scotch guard even on the Elantra, Ford has too many reliability issues, no Mazda dealers in the area, GM burned my bridge 30 years ago.

    Despite the added costs, we test drove the Elantra and the Corolla. She liked the feel of the Corolla better and the Elantra brakes grabbed like crazy. The Hyundai dealer took the MSRP, added $1799 then thought it was giving us a great deal by subtracting $500.

    Toyota gave us an internet quote $1800 below invoice, gave her $1000 new graduate rebate, and she qualified for 0% for 5 years financing.

    She gets 35 MPG on the highway with the “horrible” stone age 4 speed transmission, even in the winter cold and still breaking in the engine. It might be a refrigerator on wheels but she got a good deal on a dead reliable and economical refrigerator.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      Just to clarify – the Hyundai *dealer* marked up the price of all their cars like DB’s, not Hyundai themselves.

      Also, thanks for the story. My immediate reaction to this was “finally, a reason to actually look at a Corolla and not laugh!”, however your story adds some great insight into the purchase of the car.

      If I didn’t have my dead reliable 2012 Ford Focus (no MFT, but several large MFT updates in the 18 months since I’ve purchased my car, new, have fixed all “bugs”) with it’s excellent 6 speed AT and great NVH… I’d probably look at an Elantra. Specifically, a two door. My only complaint about my Focus is that, at 6’5, I’m just too big for the thing to want it long-term.

      • 0 avatar
        thesparrow

        No offense but to call your 18 month old, 2012 Ford Focus “dead reliable” seems a bit premature. Get back to us in few more years and then we’ll talk about reliability…

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        18 months of unflinching reliability (without being bothered by any recalls) is about 15% of the way towards the way my 1994 Honda Civic broke its cherry in terms of being broken in.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        @thesparrow

        Calling my Focus reliable at 26,500 miles makes as much sense as mmdpg calling Ford’s newer stuff “unreliable” when most of it has only been out for 1-2 years, or less. That’s why I said it.

        Not buying a Ford because you heard a bad thing about an implementation of MFT from 2 years ago is like buying a 2013 Camry because you heard a good thing about a 2003 Camry, or avoiding buying a 2013 Ford Taurus because your 1993 Ford Taurus was a pile of garbage. It’s silly.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        tuffjuff, I agree with that point.

        FWIW, the new Camry is quite a bit better than the last gen, which I found to be abysmal (honestly, it was a giant heap of plast-tastic crap, inside and out), but it’s too soon for the new Camry reliability verdict to be rendered.

        As far as the latest gen Focus is concerned, however, the reliability complaints regarding it are hardly constrained to MFT. DSG transmission, steering and a literal plethora of other issues have plagued it, it earns a less than reliable rating from Consumer Reports, and if you wander on over to the Focus Owners’ Forums, you’ll see a long list of complaints (I realize that this isn’t exactly statistically scientific reporting of data, and it’s anecdotal, but there are self-reported problems on those Forums in a volume that is at least as large as any other I’ve ever witnessed).

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        @DeadWeight

        Your comment reminds me – I do have one weird issue with my Focus (it hasn’t shown up in months, so I forgot) – it has some annoying low-speed suspension noise. The struts, or something, can get audible at low (sub 15 MPH, parking lot driving) speeds. Not “shatter glass” audible, but it is annoying, and rather perplexing. I remember reading a thread on Focus Fanatics, and I’m not the only one.

        Other than that, the DSG has been flashed and for most it’s been “fixed” (and every story I’ve read about it, post flash, sounds like the person just isn’t used to a DSG/”learning” transmission). I’ve had no other issues, and I’ve not heard of any TSB’s/recalls on anything but the passenger side windshield wiper motor.

        For the record, I’m looking at the RX350 and Cadillac SRX for my next vehicle. I’d go with an Edge, but I’ll probably be leasing, and the incentives on the SRX are pretty good. The RX350, not so much, but I love the interiors on Lexus vehicles, so I’m going to try and work some magic there, if I can help it.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      And who says Toyota doesn`t do discounts!
      Wow 35mpg, those getting 40mpg in a Mazda3 are quaking.

    • 0 avatar
      dan1malk

      Makes sense.

      The Corolla is maybe (correct me if I’m wrong) the oldest mainstream car in that segment now, and they are probably more able to bend to close these kinds of deals.

      Glad she’s happy with the car. My sister-in-law was in a similar situation. She considered the same options, add the Focus, Cruze, and Mazda 3. The Dart wasn’t out yet. After an impressive amount of research on her part, she eventually landed on the Cruze (LT) as she thought it felt more ‘luxurious’ than the others simply on it’s quiet/comfortable road manners. If I remember right, the Corolla made it to her final three, but mostly because it was the cheapest I think.

    • 0 avatar
      sckid213

      Too bad about the 30 year grudge. She probably would have liked the Cruze very much. But glad she’s happy with the Corolla.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Its sad to see the giant known as Toyota copying Kia rental cars, I just saw one last night that looked almost identical to this aside from the front end.

    The front of this, with an already dated “gaping mouth”, is just an ugly attempt at mimicking ugly Hyundais.

    Gimme the Citation-wannabe Camry from the 80’s over this new, soulless Kia wannabe.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      I resent this comment.

      The 13 months I owned a 2010 Kia Forte (before dumping it for a 2012 Focus), it was in the shop far too often with broken safety equipment to be reliable enough for rental car duty.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        I’m sure that fleet buyers are used to fixing issues back and forth these days, 10 years of Panthers have trained them quite well.

        I’m both sorry and unsurprised that your Kia was having issues, looks like Korean cars are STILL trying to catch up, makes me wonder why the heck Honda and Toyota are taking their styling.

  • avatar

    My favorite story from the last week: Hyundai’s design-led success inspiring the guy who designed the Previa (!) to confront Toyota’s aesthetically unimaginative culture. Fukuichi-san talks about how Toyota’s kaizen (“continuous improvement”) approach is great for manufacturing quality but stifles design creativity and character. The way he talks about confronting the established orthodoxy in the name of irrational emotionalism, he almost sounds like a Japanese Bob Lutz… except Lutz didn’t have to fight against a culture that could point to dominant sales performance.

    Great work by Reuters, getting the story that probably scares the industry more than any other…

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/13/autoshow-toyota-design-idUSL4N0AF20R20130113

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Very true, once Toyota gets better at exterior design they will be even more of a formidable competitor. Then the only other complaint they have left to fix is to address driving dynamics. The Focus, Mazda 3, Accord and others show this is possible without compromising quality.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    That glowing orange sideways V on the brake lights has got me going. I really like this.

    • 0 avatar
      Lynchenstein

      I saw the photos on Autoblog and I hated this concept. But these photos seem to be more flattering and I don’t mind it so much. Still, the odd crease and gap in front of the front wheel arch looks quite odd from the front 1/4 shot.

  • avatar
    Magnusmaster

    About time they started to make a good design, although I hope they’re not dumping kaizen completely, since form must still follow function. It’s odd that this car is completely unlike the JDM one. Toyota implied that the international Corolla would be a modified variation of the JDM one, but this seems like a totally different car, resembling the European Auris.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Toyota risks losing the granny crowd who buy this cars, in order to quell critics and maybe attract a few younger buyers, remember, grannies used to buy Buicks and such but since the pensions and interests have not kept up with the ever increasing cost of new cars,, they have had to go downmarket to Corolla and to a lesser extent, the Elantra.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      Except the Elantra is ten times the car this Corolla is; heck, I’d buy a Civic over this, and the Civic is a mad dumpster fire of a car.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        You fell for the ‘there are no bad cars anymore’ and ‘Hyundai/Kia’s warranty proves their products are as good as anyone else’s’ shticks though, so what do you know?

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        No. I didn’t.

        You missed the part where I dumped my 2010 Kia Forte like a New Yorker dumps their happiness at 8:05 int he morning.

        That said, the Forte is largely considered to be the start of Kia’s renaissance, evidenced by the fact the redesigned Rio is nicer than it, and be priced higher, despite being a segment below it. Until Kia releases pricing on the second gen Forte, anyway. I imagine it will be a much nicer car.

        All of the Korean’s newer stuff is much nicer, many people agree given their sky-rocketing sales. And it would make sense given their across-the-board increase in price. Any review you read of the new Azera, Sonata, Elantra, Accent, etc will show they are all heads and shoulders nicer than the cars they release.

        Didn’t say I’d buy one. I DID say the Civic is over-hyped and under-performing, though.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    TJ,
    The 2013 Civic was substantially re-worked — every review has confirmed that the 2012’s flaws have been addressed and the Civic is back where it belongs — the top of its class.

    Let’s move on from the “mad dumpster fire” comments.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      I’d hardly call it the top of it’s class. With the Cruze, Elantra and Focus, everybody’s piece of pie is smaller. Pretty much every small car is now good, where 5 years ago they were almost ALL universally terrible. The 2013 Civic is no less ugly than the 2012 it replaces. That said, it *is* an over-hyped Japanese car, and even the god-awful 2012 Civic sold in huge numbers. People aren’t smart.

      Oh, and before you cry Domestic fanboy – my next vehicle is likely to be an RX350.

      • 0 avatar
        Macca

        You seem to have a strange recollection of the not-so-distant past. 5 years ago was 2008.

        The Mazda3 was still in its pre-clownface first gen and was wonderful, from the lowly 2.0L models on up to the Mazdaspeed3. The 8th-gen Civic was well received and upon introduction of the messy 2012, was looked back upon with misty eyes for its coherent design. The fourth-gen Elantra was generally well received and more upscale and modern than the preceding model, albeit still bland.

        The Fit and Versa subcompacts had recently been introduced and both offered good value and space for their price/size. The second-gen Focus was derided for being a lazy and seemingly cheap refresh (fender vents, anyone?) although it was perfectly competent and a good seller. The Cobalt was still GM’s compact offering, which was overall bland, but competent, and was pretty awesome with a 260hp mill under the hood. The Caliber was pretty much awful and even 5 years ago the Corolla was still outmoded.

        Universally terrible? Hyperbole much?

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        I have a great recollection. I’d call the spaceship looking interior gauge cluster and speedometer along with the nasty hard plastic interior of the 2008 Honda Civic terrible. The Mazda3 wasn’t too bad, but aside from this the only two “decent” cars were the then-current Jetta and Astra, both European and both more expensive than their rivals.

        Pretty much everything else had smatterings of hard touch, rattley plastic. The Chevy Cobalt was terrible. My first new car, by the way, was a 2006 Cobalt LT silver coupe. Just because you add 110 horse power does not a good car make. The Corolla 5 years ago was the same as it is today, the ONLY difference being that you could hide the bland exterior and gross interior behind class leading MPG and ***perceived*** reliability. The 2.2 Ecotec in my Cobalt was plenty reliable, and the 2.4 Ecotec in the GMC Terrain and Chevy Equinox of today does just fine, so don’t sit here and tell me a Toyota is somehow superior.

        Add to this the downright ugly Nissan Sentra with it’s ricer inspirations and cramp front quarters and it was nothing special. Same goes for the Honda Fit. The Honda Fit’s only good contribution to the automotive world is the fact Honda made the most of that space. The gas mileage is nothing special and the Honda Fit is no more “reliable” than a Chevy Sonic, Ford Fiesta or Kia Rio.

        Every single car, with very few exceptions, was subpar 5 years ago. You had to get a mid-sized car to avoid this. The Pointiac G6/Saturn Aura is a great example of this – impressively quiet for the time, great ride, soft touch interior, rattle free. And they cost the same then as a compact does now. I paid more for my 2012 Ford Focus hatchback than I did for my 2007 (I dumped the Cobalt after a year) Pontiac G6 GT.

        I love my 2012 Focus, but I’d rather take the bus than drive a 2011. There’s a reason the MSRP rose by a good 4-5 thousand dollars. You get what you pay for, etc.

        I’m not saying any of these cars are the level of the obnoxious Smart ForTwo. What I am saying is that prior to 2-3 years ago, almost ALL compact cars were garbage. See exhibit A: compact cars from 2012, 2013.

      • 0 avatar
        Macca

        Forgive me if I’m way off base here, but if your first new car was an ’06 Cobalt, do you not have extensive experience with older compacts?

        Civics from the ‘90s were great vehicles, as was the third-gen Nissan Sentra (not limited to the SE-R, although it was especially sweet). For a time, the Corolla really was class leading – the 7th gen (’91-’98) was like a mini-Lexus in terms of refinement for the class (with a well-screwed together interior w/ soft touch materials, even).

        My point here is merely that ‘subpar’ depends on ‘par’ – which is set by the course, you know. So saying compacts were “subpar” 5 years ago implies what, that you’re measuring them against what’s available now? Or comparing them against cars in a more expensive class?

        Most of the recent cars you consider “garbage” seem downright princely compared to compacts from 25+ years ago.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        You bring up a great point. I largely consider vehicles from the late 80s through about 2005 to almost universally be garbage. There are exceptions, of course, but come on.

      • 0 avatar
        Macca

        ^ This coming from someone who purposely purchased a new Cobalt is laughable, indeed.

  • avatar
    redav

    It certainly is different for Toyota, but it doesn’t impress me. I don’t know if it would impress the type of person who buys Toyotas. (Impressing internet enthusiasts doesn’t mean much because they aren’t going to buy Corollas, anyway.)

    But then again, a ton of people buy Hyundais, and they are butt-f’ugly, so who knows?

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    What will the geriatric customers say? I mean 8 in 10 Corollas I see driving sport that proverbial little blue haired old lady going to the store. This is aimed at the Scion crowd.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      Either that or younger people or the so-called secretary special. I actually find these to be attractive and far better than a pedestrian Sentra or Lancer especially in S or XRS trim. An S with a 5 speed or XRS with a 6 speed is a performance bargain.

  • avatar
    phargophil

    Mom always told me that if I can’t say anything good, I shouldn’t say anything at all.

    I like the color.


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