Toyota Canada took the wraps off the 11th-generation, 2014 Corolla today at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa.
Like its predecessor, it will be built in Canada, at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) plant in Cambridge, Ontario, and it will arrive in dealers' showrooms later this year.
The current Corolla is the third-best-selling car in Canada, in a tight race with the Mazda3 and behind the Hyundai Elantra and Honda Civic.
Traditionally more conservative in its styling than those competitors, the new model is an attempt to make up some of that lost ground.
There was much speculation – and hope – that the Furia concept car Toyota introduced at Detroit this year was a preview of the new Corolla. And it was, to a degree.
It's a major step forward for Toyota but still not as avant garde in appearance as its major competitors from Ford, Honda, Hyundai and Mazda.
What it does offer compared to those competitors is more size. Although it is 10 mm lower than its predecessor, the new model is 16 mm wider and 99 mm longer overall, with a 100-mm longer wheelbase, which helps increase interior room.
The interior is aid to be quieter as well, thanks to adoption of an acoustic glass windshield, improved floor carpet insulation, better sealing and more sound insulation.
Four trim levels will be offered – CE, LE, S, and a new ECO grade. All feature LED headlamps and daytime running lights, colour-keyed door handles, and outside mirrors, a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, power door locks with automatic locking, power windows and eight airbags.
CE, LE and S models continue to be powered by a 132-horsepower, 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine, with a standard six-speed manual transmission.
To help eliminate some of the "rubber band" sensation of disconnect between the engine and wheels that is characteristic of CVTs, Toyota has incorporated seven stepped shift points into the CVTi-S's acceleration and deceleration curves, to make it feel more like a conventional transmission.
The ECO model also gets a different version of the 1.8-litre engine, incorporating what the company calls VALVEMATIC technology. It is said to provide a broader range of continuously variable valve adjustment (lift and phasing) than the base engine's Dual VVT-i variable valve timing system.
As a result, the ECO's engine output increases to 140 horsepower, while fuel economy is also said to be improved. The ECO also gets low rolling resistance tires on 15-inch wheels, with 16-inch aerodynamic alloy wheels available as an option.
More information and details about the new Corolla’s trim levels and specifications will be made available closer to its on-sale date in the fall.
Click here to view a video of the 2014 Corolla unveiling.