Toyota has just introduced the all-new 12th generation Corolla sedan simultaneously in both China and the USA. As before, both the North American (USA and Canada) and Chinese market Corolla are quite different. We still don't know which of these variations are coming to our market, but it's likely to be one of the two Chinese market designs.
Like many car companies operating in China, Toyota maintains two joint venture operations - FAW Toyota and GAC Toyota, both selling different range of Toyota models. Thus explains the use of two different name plates - Corolla and Levin, sold by FAW Toyota and GAC Toyota respectively - for what is essentially the same car with slightly different styling.
From the photos, it is apparent that the Corolla has three different front-end styling to cater the different needs of its two biggest markets.
For the North American market, the Corolla XSE shown here gets a slightly more aggressive front bumper with aero stabilizer fins at each end, while the headlights gain an extra J-shaped LED lighting element. The Toyota emblem has also been repositioned to the top portion of the bumper, above the slim upper grille.
The China market Corolla and Levin, on the other hand, are comparatively toned down. The Chinese duo does not receive the same aggressive front end as its American sibling.
The sides of the Corolla XSE feature a set of 18-inch wheels with a dual-tone finishing, slightly larger than the Chinese duo's 17-inch units. The design of the wheels are slightly different from the China market Levin, while the light grey side skirt further differentiate the side profile from its overseas siblings.
Towards the back, the Corolla XSE gets a bootlid spoiler and a more pronounced rear diffuser than the China versions. Twin muffler tips help complete the Corolla XSE’s rear end.
Chinese versions of the Corolla receive a simpler-looking rear end without an integrated diffuser on either model. The sportier version of the duo, the Levin, gets a black finishing on the bottom half of the rear bumper and a body-coloured insert. Despite their differences, the bumper shape remains identical across all three models.
Moving inside, the North American Corolla XSE gets a dual-tone colour scheme, with a black upper dashboard and cream coloured dashboard trim. The upper portion of the door trims and seats also receive the same treatment.
Unfortunately the display cars at the Guangzhou Auto Show had their respective interiors hidden by heavily tinted windows, so it’s hard to say how the interior looks like. But a video released by Toyota did give a quick glimpse at the inside, possibly showing that the Levin could receive an all-black interior, while the Corolla could receive the dual-tone interior. This point is further strengthened by the fact that the Levin shown at the Guangzhou Auto Show is a hybrid, which is represented by the energy flow display in the all-black interior pictured below.
So there you have it, one model with three distinctive faces.