January 1, 2002

First Look: 2003 Toyota Corolla

2003 Toyota Corolla S
Corolla Sport shown

Toyota Canada today released details of the much-anticipated 2003 Corolla. Completely redesigned, the all-new ninth generation Corolla provides more room, more power, more comfort and more safety on an all-new platform.

“Corolla sets a new standard for all the qualities that have made it the world’s best selling passenger car as well as an enduring favourite and our best selling Toyota in Canada,” said Tony Wearing, Group Vice President in charge of Vehicle Sales and Marketing. “Completely redesigned with the needs of North American customers in mind, it offers class-leading features and options, a more spacious and comfortable interior, a new level of performance, and a classy, updated look that is both fresh and timeless.”

The 2003 Corolla is outfitted with Toyota’s 130 horsepower, 1ZZ-FE 1.8-litre, 4-cylinder engine. Also found in the Matrix and Pontiac Vibe (see: First Drive: 2003 Pontiac Vibe), this 16-valve powerplant is equipped with multi-port electronic fuel injection and Toyota’s sophisticated Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i). With an increase of five horsepower over the previous Corolla, the 1ZZ-FE produces 130 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, plus 125 lb/ft of torque at 4,200 rpm.

A 5-speed manual overdrive transmission is standard, and an advanced, electronically-controlled 4-speed automatic is optional across the lineup.

With just 7.1L/100km (city) and 5.3L/100km (highway) when equipped with manual transmission, and 8.1L/100km (city) and 5.8L/100km (highway) with automatic transmission, the new Corolla is rated as an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV).

Thanks to an all new platform, the 2003 Corolla boasts more interior space and a body that is longer, taller and wider. There is more head- and leg-room, as well as a higher hip-point for easier entry and exit for both front and rear passengers.

The 2003 Corolla will be available in three trim levels – CE, Sport and LE – each with its own unique materials, finishes and standard features.

Standard features on the CE include:

  • deluxe fabric interior,

  • tilt steering wheel,
  • 4-speaker AM/FM/CD sound system,
  • power remote outside mirrors,
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat,
  • and a digital dual-trip odometer with outside temperature gauge.

To this, the LE adds:

  • premium fabric interior,

  • vertical driver seat height adjustment,
  • silhouette-lit instrument cluster faces,
  • 6-speaker stereo system,
  • colour-keyed side body moldings and outside mirrors,
  • power door locks,
  • power windows with driver-side auto-down
  • aluminum alloy wheels,
  • simulated wood-grain trim,
  • cruise control,
  • and keyless entry with lockout protection.

The Corolla Sport offers its own unique style with:

  • unique black interior,

  • leather-wrapped steering wheel,
  • colour-keyed side body moldings and outside mirrors,
  • rear spoiler,
  • skirt package,
  • aluminum alloy wheels,
  • and fog lamps.

The CE can be equipped with an option package that includes air conditioning, an air filter to collect dust and pollen, keyless entry and power door locks. Power windows, cruise control and a power moonroof are optional on the Corolla Sport. The Corolla LE turns comfort into luxury with
an option package including leather seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel, power moonroof, front side airbags, fog lamps, chrome inside door handles, electrochromic rearview mirror with digital compass, and an anti-theft system.

Dual-stage driver and front passenger airbags are a standard feature of all 2003 Corollas, as are 3-point seatbelts for all five passengers. Front seatbelts have pretensioners and force limiters as well as height-adjustable shoulder anchors. The back seat is equipped with three ISO-FIX child restraint seat anchors and child protection locks for added security.

Along with the all-new Matrix, the new Corolla will be built exclusively for North America in Cambridge, Ontario.

Pricing for the 2003 Corolla lineup will be announced closer to the on-sale date in February.

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