The new 2004 Toyota Corolla is instantly recognisable, thanks to styling changes that include a new grille, bonnet and bumper and ‘teardrop’-style headlamps at the front, new lamp clusters and bumper at the rear and body colour keyed side protection mouldings. Inside, trim and cabin detailing have been improved and all models are fitted with Optitron instrument display and telescopic steering wheel adjustment.
Particular attention has been paid to safety provisions. All new Corolla models are equipped with a cut-off switch for the front passenger airbag and a two-stage seatbelt warning system that follows up a warning light with a persistent buzzer if front seat occupants fail to buckle-up. Curtain airbags are made available across the range.
Customer demand for premium quality equipment in C segment cars is high. Toyota addresses this by providing impressive new features for the Corolla, such as rain-sensing windscreen wipers and an electrochromic auto-dipping rear view mirror as standard on certain grades, in addition to optional items such as full-map satellite navigation and a full leather interior.
The T3 three and five-door models are given a new sporting profile with the addition of side and rear body skirts and a carbon fibre-style finish for the dashboard fascia. Leather trim is added to the steering wheel and the gear knob.
The top-of-the-range T Sport model has been given extra sporting design details and fitted with new-style sports seats. Mechanically it benefits from new performance dampers and new coil springs and shock absorbers. Rebound springs are adopted at the rear to help deliver improved handling and the steering is more direct and responsive, further adding to the T Sport’s driver appeal.
The arrival of the new Corolla in mid-June will be followed later in the year by the introduction of a new diesel engine for the range. The 89bhp 1.4-litre D-4D unit will replace the current 2.0-litre D-4D unit. It will not however replace the current 114 bhp (116hp) unit which will continue to be sold as well.
Although smaller in capacity, it will match the previous engine in terms of power, while delivering improved fuel economy and exhaust emissions that comply with Euro IV standards. It will also be the first diesel unit to be offered with the option of Toyota’s Multi-mode Manual Transmission (MMT), a system that allows the car to be driven with automatic gearchanges, or with manual selection of the up- and down-shifts.
Full details and specifications for the new Toyota Corolla will be published nearer to the time of launch.Published 21 May 2004