Exportation of the Toyota Corolla from Japan to the United States began in March of 1968. At the time, this compact car was available as a two door coupe, a four door sedan or a two door wagon. The 1.1 liter 4 cylinder engine with 4 speed manual transmission provided the power, at the time, to the smallest car Toyota had ever introduced to the American marketplace. Since then, the original simple design and reliable mechanical engineering of the Corolla have served as the foundation for many future generations of this car which went on to become the most popular car line in automotive history. With the exception of the Land Cruiser, the Corolla is the oldest Toyota model still manufactured and produced as of the 2007 model year.
The Toyota Corolla is the world's best-selling car ever, with more than 30 million sold across ten distinct generations. Although the car hasn't been sold in the UK since February 2007, as it was superseded here by the Auris, it continues to be sold in overseas markets. The Corolla owes it popularity to the fact that owning one is utterly painless, if not especially rewarding. Cheap to buy and run, the cars have always been unfailingly reliable, astonishingly well equipped and supremely practical. However, even when offered in enthusiast guise, the cars have tended to be not especially well received by the press. That hasn't deterred millions of buyers from selecting the Corolla though, because the cars have always excelled where it matters.
The Corolla is a true mixed bag of a car. On the one hand it's dull in its interior and exterior design as well as unexciting (if competent) dynamically. But it's practical, reliable, economical and very easy to live with - and that one latter point is enough to swing it for many people. Around 30 million of them in fact. Which just goes to show that to build a successful car, you don't need to create something with any particular flair.
No car has ever sold in greater quantities than the Toyota Corolla, and while that's because there were nine different generations sold in the UK before it was superseded by the Auris in 2007, it's also because the Corolla has always had much to offer. However, despite being one of the easiest cars to own, the Corolla is far from perfect; such unfailing reliability comes at a price.