• Jul 11, 2006
Automotive News reported yesterday that Toyota has decided to leave the current Corolla on the market for an extra year and delay its replacement until 2008. This will be the current generation's sixth year on the market, which is a record and breaks the company's long-standing tradition of redesigning vehicles after their fifth model year.

Toyota cites the redistribution of engineering resources to ensure a smooth launch for the redesigned Camry as the main reason for the delay. Other automotive news outlets are speculating that the real reason is because Honda's new Civic has forced Toyota to go back to the drawing board.

For our part, we believe Toyota. The Honda Civic is currently enjoying a 17.1 increase in sales during the first half of the year, selling nearly 200,000 units. Clearly the Corolla can hold its own for one more year, which gives Toyota 365 more days to build a better Civic slayer.

[Source: Automotive News via The Detroit News]


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  • 44 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      To poster #2..I agree, it is hard to believe that a Corolla steam rolls anything. What John Neff forgot to consider in the Corolla's nearly 200,000 sales were the fleet units that Toyota has pushed. I have to disagree with John Neff on this one and say that the new Civic did force Toyota back to the drawing board.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I must have transformed into a Mazda fanboy. All I read was, "We need more time to copy features from the Mazda3".
      • 8 Years Ago
      #2, I used to feel exactly as you about Toyota. Then I actually started to need to drive, instead of driving only when I want to. After an extensive search, I ended up with a Lexus GS. What a car!
      • 8 Years Ago
      We can agree that both the Civic and Corolla are really competent cars, but the current Civic just looks bigger, and has a really odd looking instrument cluster... just hope that the new Corolla doesn't take the pseudo-edgy styling route and screw up the perfectly ergonomic interiors that has characterized Corollas of the past.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I totally agree with you regarding the "odd looking instrument cluster" on the Civic. I am a current owner of 2 Toyotas (Camry and Corolla) and of many previous Hondas. I went out this weekend to test drive the Corolla, Civic and Mazda3. I test drove the Corolla and Mazda3, but after sitting in a Civic in the showroom, I didn't waste my time with a test drive. It had the deepest and oddest front dash I have ever seen. Even with the seat in the highest position, I felt the dash obstructed the view. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the drive and handling of the Mazda3. Plus, the side airbags and curtains are standard on all Mazda3 models. To get the same airbags on the Corolla, you have to buy the most expensive model and then add the moonroof package.
      • 8 Years Ago
      First of all, the current Corolla started in 2003, which means that '07 will be the 5th model year, not the 6th as the article states. Toyota is pushing back the release date for 6 months, not a year. As far as looks go, to say one car looks better than another is ridiculous because it's all a matter of opinion. But any car, with exception of the Pontiac Aztek, can be made to look good so long you put the right wheels on it. I personally, don't like the Civic, and my friend who's boughten an '06 Civic can't stand it and will be trading it in as soon as he's not upside down. I'm sorry, why would I want a car that at 9 months old, is still upside down?
      I haven't seen final pictures on the new Corolla, but I expect it to be an improvement over the 03-07 but more stylish like the 01-02 S was. We'll see. Either way, the 03-06 Corolla and 03-06 Corolla Matrix (hence why sales count together) will continue to out-sell the Civic as the Camry has the Accord.
      Year after year, design after design, Toyotas are more technologically advanced, more refined, and as good looking (if not better) than Hondas.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "34. Has anyone else noticed that Corolla drivers are slow on the highway no matter which lane they are on. Maybe its because I usually see older folk at the wheel."

      So, you've seen old people driving them. Big deal. I've seen old people driving S2000s. It's still ideal for it's intended purpose.

      People who piss on others people's cars are dumb.
      • 8 Years Ago
      32, it is the "Corolla Matrix" in some other markets, and I think they did start down that path when it was introduced. Now it's a Corolla when it's convenient for them, as in boosting sales figures, and not a Corolla when it's pitched as a hot hatch or a small crossover.

      My principal objection is that as of 8PM EDT, Autoblog still has not corrected the 38.7% figure as being a June vs. June comparison, not a first half comparison. The Corolla's sales lead of either 32,000 units or 6000 units can be interpreted as holding its own; the fact that the Civic is currently gaining sales at a higher, and not significantly lower, rate can not be so interpreted.

      My secondary objection is that Neff in the course of one paragraph says he both believes and disbelieves Toyota's explanation for the delay.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "In the US the Matrix is not named, badged, or advertised as a Corolla"

      Well, it does say "Corolla" on the Matrix' owner's manual, at least on mine (not sure about newer examples). I also remember reading one or two very early road tests where it was referred to as the 'Corolla Matrix'. But that's about as far as the branding goes.

      And I definately agree - what Toyota's doing is akin to VW lumping Rabbit and Jetta sales together - just because two models share a platform and many pieces doesn't mean they're the same *car*.
      Lisa
      • 8 Years Ago
      Oh buy the way Lexus is made by TOYOTA!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yes, the sales figures were for June, but the piece claims they were for the first half, which is serious mistake, as it makes it appear an aging Corolla really is experiencing a bigger improvement in sales than a totally new Civic, when it's not, so far.

      In the US the Matrix is not named, badged, or advertised as a Corolla; to paraphrase, it's not Honda's problem that Toyota no longer offers a 2-door Corolla, or alternative powertrain options. In reality, the bulk of both vehicle's US sales are sedans. Civic Hybrid sales have increased even more for 2006 than total Civic sales, but they're still a small fraction of the total; a smaller fraction, in fact than the "Corolla Matrix" is of Corolla sales. Maybe Toyota should also add "Corolla Prius" sales to the Corolla to make it look even better.
      Clyde Batter
      • 8 Years Ago
      Anyone who follows Toyota's philosophy knows how conservative they are. That new Civic coupe is one sharp little car.

      Toyota's claim to fame is not to invent the mousetrap, but rather to continually come out with a better mousetrap. Since the Corolla has enjoyed 30+ years of success and over 25 million units in worldwide sales, it is reasonable to assume the next generation Corolla will be heavily Lexus-influenced and take away even more sales from Honda.

      • 8 Years Ago
      So the current gen Corolla's will be on the market for six years? That's nothing...the current Nissan Sentra B15 platform has been out seven years.
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