Toyota in India is facing stiff competition now days on every front. As the Etios twins are already lagging behind the competition, dominance of Innova has been challenged by the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and new MUVs. Corolla has been dethroned by the Hyundai Elantra recently and Fortuner might face some heat from the SsangYong Rexton. The reason for the present condition of Toyota might be the aging product line-up or not so appealing design language of the products. Toyota has never been acclaimed for the design of their cars but instead is known for reliability, durability and built to last character. To add some freshness, efforts were made by Toyota by bringing in TRD Sportivo or Aero limited edition models, which are actually not enough.
The entrance of the Neo Fluidic Elantra shook the pavements of everyone in its league and created a need for competitors to get upgraded. Toyota is usually reluctant to bring such upgrades to their models frequently. This is evident with the current generation Innova and Corolla Altis which received some minor facial upgrades only once or twice in their lifespan. But now, Toyota seems to be working on some serious upgrades to the Corolla which is expected to hit our shores next year. The all new model has severe changes all around and is expected to draw styling cues from the Toyota Auris. However in China, Toyota still continues to sell the ninth generation Corolla, while we in India have got the tenth generation model since quite some time now.
In China, Toyota has upgraded the old Corolla by completely redesigning the headlights. The air scoop is also made wider and fog lamps are now housed in bigger and sharper triangular scoops. But these sharp design changes are spoiled by the bland front grille which does not get absorbed well in its place. Side profile also looks similar to the current model/ The rear receives changes in the design of tail-lights. The round shaped lights makes way for new lamps with sharper blinkers housed inside. Other than this, not a single part at the rear has been touched upon by Toyota designers. As this seems just a facelift, mechanical underpinnings are not supposed to be changed. Power continues to come from a 1.6-litre petrol engine which produces 120 BHP of power and 152 Nm of torque. This engine is mated to a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic gearbox.
Summing it up, the old Toyota Corolla (which went on sale in India way back in 2003) now tries to come into limelight in China with this facelift which carries design changes upfront. Could Toyota bring the old generation model in India, positioning it between the Etios and Corolla Altis at around Rs. 7-9 lakhs? Toyota has already put the eleventh generation Corolla on sale in Japan, which is called the Corolla Axio.
Pictures Source – AutoHome.com.cn