Toyota recently updated the Corolla range in Japan a little over three years after the model went on sale in the country. As before, three body styles are offered, including the regular Corolla (sedan), Corolla Touring (wagon) and Corolla Sport (hatchback), all of which benefit from visual, mechanical and equipment revisions.
Starting with the looks, all three models now sport a revised LED daytime running light signature that is unified as a single element rather than being separated like before. The Corolla and Corolla Touring both share the same face as the Levin sold in China (we get the European look in Malaysia), and this has been tweaked so the large lower intake no longer has a honeycomb insert.
Instead, there are now horizontal bars and slats running across the lower intake, which continues to integrate circular fog lamps and a wing-like trim piece near its base. The puffed-up cheeks remain a familiar design cue, as do the creased corner section for faux air inlets.
As for the Corolla Sport, which matches the hatchback European and United States customers get, it receives a more expressive front apron with more prominent fog lamp surrounds as well as an arrow-themed insert for its lower intake. The rears of all three models appear pretty much identical to before, save for some new trim pieces that are fitted depending on the chosen grade.
Moving inside, the interiors of the Corolla models appear unchanged, but Toyota points out that the available infotainment systems have been upgraded in terms of software and design. Buyers will still get two display sizes to choose from, including 8-inch Display Audio and 10.5-inch Display Audio Plus units, both now with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto support.
On the driver assistance front, junction support has been added to the Toyota Safety Sense pre-crash system, which now allows detection of oncoming vehicles when turning right at an intersection as well as pedestrians crossing the road when turning left or right. Proactive Driving Assist also joins the suite to support the driver’s steering and braking to avoid getting too close to pedestrians, bicycles and parked vehicles.
In terms of powertrains, all three body styles can be had with hybrid power. The setup consists of an Atkinson-cycle 2ZR-FXE 1.8 litre four-cylinder engine that makes 98 PS and 142 Nm of torque, which is now augmented by a more powerful 1VM electric motor rated at 95 PS and 185 Nm (previously 53 PS and 163 Nm).
The hybrid powertrain comes with an e-CVT to send drive to the front wheels, although the Corolla and Corolla Touring can also be had with the E-Four all-wheel drive system that adds a rear 1WM electric motor with 41 PS and 84 Nm.
In addition to the revised hybrid powertrain, the Corolla and Corolla Touring also receive a new 1.5 litre Dynamic Force naturally-aspirated three-cylinder petrol engine to replace the previous 2ZR-FAE 1.8 litre NA four-cylinder unit.
The M15A-FKS powerplant is already found in the latest Sienta as well as the Yaris and Yaris Cross. In the non-hatchback Corolla models, the mill serves up 120 PS and 145 Nm, which is less than the 2ZR-FAE that made 140 PS and 170 Nm. To go along with the Dynamic Force engine, the Super CVT-i has been replaced with a Toyota’s Direct Shift-CVT.
Meanwhile, the Corolla Sport also gets a Dynamic Force engine to replace the previous 8NR-FTS 1.2 litre turbocharged four-pot (116 PS and 185 Nm). The new M20A-FKS is an Atkinson-cycle 2.0 litre four-cylinder that makes 170 PS and 202 Nm, with the only transmission pairing being a Direct Shift-CVT – the turbo engine was previously available with the Super CVT-i or six-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT).
The Corolla retails for between 1.99 and 2.998 million yen (RM63,756 and RM96,050) in Japan, while the Corolla Touring is from 2.07 to 3.048 million yen (RM66,319 to RM97,652) and the Corolla Sport is priced between 2.2 and 2.89 million yen (RM70,485 and RM92,592).