Icon of icons: Autocar Awards Readers’ Champion – Toyota Corolla


The Toyota Corolla is in the running to be this year’s Autocar Awards Readers’ Champion. Each day a different member of the Autocar team will champion one of the 17 cars, but only one can be the Icon of Icons and it’s up to you to decide – vote here.

We know what you’re thinking: what is the Toyota Corolla doing among a list of automotive icons? Safe, dependable, entirely unexciting family car, sure. But a motoring icon? 

Well, yes. Here’s why: the Corolla is the best-selling car in the world. Ever. Since it was launched in 1966, Toyota has sold around 45 million Corolla-badged cars. That is, you won’t need to be told, a lot. 

Of course, simply selling in record numbers does not an icon make. You could even count it against the Corolla, comparing it to a huge middle-of-the-road stadium-filling rock band. You know, the sort that dominates the charts by churning out pleasant, blandly inoffensive songs. The Toyota Coldplay, if you will. 

The latest example of this approach is the new Corolla, shortly to return to the UK after 13 years. It was originally unveiled as the next-generation Auris, but I reckon Toyota changed tack after realising a smartly styled hybrid-only hatchback perfectly fitted the Corolla’s brief of an affordable, desirable people’s car for this era. 

So then, the Toyota Corolla, motoring icon? Absolutely. But it isn’t great because Toyota has sold 45 million. Toyota has sold 45 million because it’s great at what it does. 

Click here for the Toyota Corolla to be named our ‘icon of icons’

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