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Toyota’s popular Corolla celebrates its 50th birthday with a bold new look

The Toyota Corolla is turning 50 this year. To celebrate the occasion, Toyota is giving the popular compact a facelift, and launching a limited-edition model.

Scheduled to go on sale as a 2017 model, the updated Corolla features a brand new front fascia that falls in line with Toyota’s latest design language. The modifications include a bolder front bumper that incorporates a lower and wider grille that’s almost Lexus-like, and vertical LED daytime running lights. Redesigned tail lamps and new alloy wheel designs round out the major visual modifications.

The interior revisions include a new instrument cluster that’s easier to read, a bigger screen for the infotainment system, more modern-looking HVAC controls, and round air vents that replace the outgoing model’s square units.

For 2017, all Corolla models regardless of trim level are available with Toyota Safety Sense-P, a suite of safety features and electronic driving aids that includes a pre-collision system with a pedestrian detection function, radar-based cruise control, lane departure alert with a steering assist function, and automatic high beams. Additionally, Toyota has expanded the list of standard features with a rear-view camera and, on most trim levels, LED headlights.

The limited-edition 50th Anniversary model builds on the mid-range 2017 Corolla SE with features such as 17-inch alloys, special emblems, black seats with black cherry contrast stitching, black cherry accents on the door panels and on the dashboard, as well as specific floor mats. It comes generously equipped with a 4.2-inch TFT screen in the instrument cluster, a seven-inch touch screen for the infotainment system, and a push-button ignition.

The Corolla 50th Anniversary will exclusively be offered in black cherry, classic silver, and blizzard pearl when it goes on sale in the fall. Just 8,000 examples will be allocated to the United States.

For die-hard Corolla fans, Toyota is launching a year-long anniversary campaign that will highlight key moments in the compact’s 50-year history. Enthusiasts are encouraged to share pictures and stories of their current or past Corollas by using the hashtag #Corolla50 on social media platforms. Toyota has sold 43 million Corollas over the past five decades, so it’s safe to assume the anecdotes will come pouring in.

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Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
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