The current-generation Toyota Corolla was first introduced in Japan back in 2018. Now ripe for a refresh, the Japanese manufacturer has updated its popular model with some slight styling changes, added interior features, and a new all-electrified powertrain lineup in its domestic market.
In Japan, the Corolla is being offered with three body styles, starting with the Corolla sedan, Corolla Touring wagon, and the Corolla Sport hatchback. All three have received minor exterior changes, starting off with its LED daytime running lights that now feature a single element instead of the split design from the pre-facelift model.
The JDM Corolla wears the signature “C” badge in front with the standard Toyota corporate logo at the back, but now they feature blue accents that signify their Hybrid powertrains.
Inside, the Japanese-spec Corollas are now available with a bigger 10.5-inch infotainment system that has wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto connectivity, much like the Euro-spec Corolla that received a refresh earlier in the year.
Among other updates, the Toyota Safety Sense pre-crash system has also received a few tweaks, as it now allows the detection of oncoming vehicles when turning at an intersection. The Proactive Driving Assist also helps the driver avoid getting too close to pedestrians, bicycles, and parked vehicles by applying evasive steering and braking.
But perhaps the most significant change lies in the Corolla's powertrains. The 1.8-liter, four-cylinder N/A, and 1.2-liter, four-cylinder turbo has been replaced by a 1.5 three-cylinder and 2.0-liter, four-cylinder Dynamic Force engines, joining the existing 2ZR-FXE to form an all-hybrid powertrain lineup.
First is the new M15A-FKS engine, which is previously found in the JDM Yaris and Yaris Cross models. It puts out 120 PS and 145 Nm of torque paired to Toyota's Direct Shift-CVT. On the other hand, the M20A-FKS is an Atkinson cycle engine that makes 170 PS and 202 Nm of torque. Like the 1.5-liter unit, the 2.0-liter engine is paired with the Direct Shift-CVT transmission.
Interestingly, the M20A-FKS is the same engine powering the Euro-spec Corolla, but the Japanese market model gets less power this time, as the former produces 197 PS.
With an all-hybrid Corolla lineup now being offered in Japan, it will be interesting to see if Toyota will do the same in the ASEAN market soon. Locally, Toyota Motor Philippines has already secured approval for a 2.0-liter engine, and we'd like to think that could finally be the M20A-FKS. But so far there are no clear indications yet, so we may have to wait until next year to see what the future holds for the PH-spec Corolla Altis.