The Toyota Corolla is set to be a carryover for the 2017 model year. Key updates include a new 50th Anniversary Special Edition and sport-themed XSE model. The popular small car will also gain active safety features for the first time expected to help earn it top marks and compete better in its segment.
The 50th Anniversary Special Edition will be based on the current SE model, and will add a Black Cherry accented interior with special 50th Anniversary badging on the car’s rear end and floormats. The car will also get a 7-inch touchscreen display featuring Entune Audio Plus as well as 17-inch dark gray wheels, plus special LED headlamps. Drivers will also get a smart key featuring push-button start. Toyota says it will only build 8,000 units for sale in the U.S.
Full details on the new Corolla XSE have not yet been announced, but preliminary images show a more aggressive front fascia, enhanced LED headlights and an upgraded interior.
No major changes are expected as far as powertrain choices. The current car features a 1.8-liter naturally aspirated engine making 132 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque. On certain versions such as the Corolla LE ECO, the engine helps the car get as much as 42 mpg in highway driving. Base L models feature a 6-speed manual or optional 4-speed automatic transmission, but the more popular models feature a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
According to Toyota, entry-level Corollas will now include a backup camera and LED headlights as standard equipment. In addition, all models will now have available Toyota Safety Sense active safety technology. The option, called Safety Sense P, adds a collision mitigation system with automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and more.
The additional safety features are expected to help earn the Corolla a coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus score. Competitors such as the 2017 Hyundai Elantra and 2016 Honda Civic have been adding this type of technology to increase appeal.