When a new generation of the world’s best selling car, and of the best selling cars of all times (accounts differ) rolls off the line at its factory, then this is usually a big deal. This time, it’s a smaller deal. The 11th generation Corolla that started production today at Toyota’s new plant near Sendai in Japan’s tsunami-ravaged north, is a little shorter than its predecessor. It breaks a tradition of carbloat. (Read More…)
We’ve seen a few NUMMI-built Junkyard Finds in recent weeks, including this ’87 Nova and this ’87 Corolla FX16 GT-S. However, the car that really comes to mind when you think of NUMMI is the Geo Prizm. Here’s an example of GM’s rebadged Corolla that I found at a self-service junkyard about 20 miles from the car’s birthplace. It’s the circle of automotive life! (Read More…)
After 15 years of sales in the United States, the Corolla had become as familiar to Americans as the Nova or Dart. By 1981, Toyota had confused matters by badging the unrelated Tercel as the “Corolla Tercel,” but the actual Corolla was still selling well. With the gas lines of the 1979 energy crisis— by some measures more painful that its 1973 precursor— still fresh in car shoppers’ memories, the stingy Corolla made a lot of sense. The Corolla was getting sportier-looking as the 1980s dawned, too; compare this car to the smaller and frumpier Corollas of just five years earlier. Here’s a nice example of the Celica-influenced fourth-gen Corolla liftback, spotted last month in a California self-service yard. (Read More…)
It’s strange how the passage of a few decades makes the mid-70s Corolla seem like a much better car than it actually was. Granted, it was quite a car for the time, with a combination of price, reliability, and fuel economy that Detroit and Europe couldn’t touch… but if we take ourselves out of the mindset of the Malaise Era and fast-forward our vehicular expectations maybe ten years, this generation of Corolla turns out to be a cramped, underpowered, noisy econobox that lasted maybe 150,000 miles (if you lived in the rust-free Southwest). (Read More…)
Having suffered behind the wheel of a few rented Corollas during my travels with the 24 Hours of LeMons Circus, I’m here to tell you that the current generation of Corolla— the version you get in rental fleets, at any rate— is one of the least fun motor vehicles you can buy. I am convinced that the suits at Toyota have ordered their top engineers to devise a Fun Prevention Control Module™ for the Corolla, a little box under the dash that does everything from preventing you from finding a good song on the radio to ensuring that you will never, ever be able to pull off even a half-assed e-brake turn in a muddy racetrack paddock. With the FPCM™ in full effect, you’ll drive your Corolla for hundreds of thousands of trouble- and fun-free miles, all the while fantasizing about setting the thing on fire and giving some crackhead $119 for a much more fun ’95 Mercury Mystique rolling on three space-saver spares. So, it came as a shock when I spotted this Corolla-hustling ad on a Saigon Toyota dealership during my recent trip to Vietnam. (Read More…)
Just a few years after Toyota confused American car shoppers by badging the early Tercel as the “Corolla Tercel,” they offered two very different vehicles as the 1987 “Corolla GT-S.” One was the AE86 coupe, based on the older rear-drive Corolla platform and much beloved by present-day drifters, and the other was the front-drive FX16 hatchback, built in California and equipped with the same 16-valve 4AGE engine as the AE86. The FX16 was sort of goofy-looking, with sharp angles and cheezy-looking plastic panels, but it was a screamin’ fast competitor to the VW GTI and held together much, much longer than its Wolfsburg rival. (Read More…)
The 2012 Yaris! It’s a car! That might sound like the strangest marketing claim for a new car ever, but if you dig deeper it is Toyota’s attempt at saying “OK, we get it.” Why? Because Toyota, like most manufacturers, has had trouble staying on message with basic transportation. Need proof? Look no further than the Corolla. The Corolla was a small, cheap and cheerful vehicle that has since grown into a 15-foot long sedan that weighs almost 3,000lbs and can reach $20,000 with options. No matter how nice a Corolla might be, cheap to buy it isn’t.
Keeping track of American-market versions of the Corolla got difficult in the early 1980s, because you had the rear-drive E70 Corolla, and then you had the unrelated front-wheel-drive Corolla Tercel. Here’s an example of a “real” Corolla that I spotted at a Denver self-service yard last week. (Read More…)
When the GM Fremont Assembly plant took on Toyota managers and became NUMMI in 1984, the same supposedly inept lineworkers who hammered together sub-par Buick Apollos suddenly started building Corollas that were at least as well-made as the ones made by their Japanese counterparts (you are free to draw your own conclusions about GM management in the 1980s). The initial round of GM-badged Corollas were given the Chevrolet Nova name, prior to becoming the Geo Prizm; you still see Prizms around, but the 80s Nova has become a rare sight on the streets and in the junkyards. Here’s a Nova I spotted in an Oakland, California, self-serve yard earlier in the month. (Read More…)
A few days ago, 24/7 Wall Street published yet another list of the best selling cars of all times, kicking the perennial Ford F-Series to second place. We usually stay away from these lists, they just produce flame wars, especially when the methodology remains as dubious as in “we looked at best-selling car data from a number of sources.”
However, powered by the Huffington Post et al, the list went viral. And there you have it: “Toyota Corolla becomes world’s most popular car with one sold every 40 seconds.”
Toyota took that to heart today and added a second shift to its Blue Springs, Mississippi plant. It makes the Corolla in America. And yes, in the press release, Toyota confirms that the Corolla is “the world’s best-selling car of all time.”
The Blue Springs plant has an annual capacity to produce 150,000 Corollas. According to our monthly sales snapshot, the Corolla disappointed in January, whereas the new Camry is selling well. In 2011, Corolla U.S. sales had been down 9.7 percent. (With the Ford F series solidly in number 1.) So why a second shift? (Read More…)
TTAC Commentator threeer writes:
A recent ”New or Used” got me thinking. I’m facing a (sort of) similar situation regarding an upcoming vehicle purchase…for my 67 year old mother. A brief background… (Read More…)
I am looking to buy an RX-7 (FC) convertible. I currently own a hand me down 2000 Honda Accord V6 from my mother in law. this car drinks WAY too much gas. 20 dollars in 89 octane gas DAILY! my commute is about 50 miles round trip. but I always loved Mazdas my dad had a 1984 323 with a 1.3, a 929 with the V6. I grew up playing with FDs in Gran Turismo. now that I can buy a cheap used car I was thinking about an FC convertible. BUT the major problem that I have is my job, I work for a Chevy dealership as a salesman. The GSM and the SM fired a guy who bought a Toyota Corolla S brand new.
I don’t wanna lose my job but I LOVE the FC and will not buy anything else, I know rotaries are as unreliable as an iron duke but that doesn’t matter. I have access to a repair shop so free labor is there. the parts might be a problem, though i think there are plenty of them in my local junk yard. so please help me figure out my dilemma I Don’t want to drive that POS accord in the summer heat, because it has no A/C, brakes are almost shot.
By the time this Junkyard Find ’78 Corolla was built, the Corolla was an institution in North America (at least in the western parts of the country). Not so with this ’73, built when Toyota was still a slightly oddball import marque and the fuel-economy penalty for a Valiant or Nova didn’t mean much to small-car buyers (this all changed because of certain events in October ’73). (Read More…)
Hello Sajeev and Steve,
First time writer, long time reader; I must say, TTAC and Piston Slap rocks.
My wife and I are in a bit of a quandary. We currently own outright a 1997 Chevy Monte Carlo 3.1L LS with 197k miles and counting as well as a 2003 Chevy S-10 Blazer LS with 145k on the clock. Lately, we have been sinking money into the Blazer for everything from brakes, to shift solenoids, thermostat, intake manifold gasket and crankshaft position sensor (soon to be O2 sensor). I have been driving the Monte since senior year in high school (2004) and it has also had its share of problems, namely Dex-Cool and the ensuing broken conn-rod. The engine was replaced with a rebuilt Jasper at 117k. The dash is lit up like a Christmas tree, but I change the oil religiously and watch the other liquids and wear parts.