The 5 Best Corollas as the World’s Most Popular Car Hits 50

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An email inviting me to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Toyota Corolla at the New York International Auto Show popped into my inbox the other day.

Of course that started a mental debate: what were the 5 best Corollas of the last half-century? What were the worst? Well, as my editor sagely pointed out, nobody wants to read about the 5 worst Corollas. In honor of 50 years of Corolla, here’s our primer on the 5 best Corollas to roll off the assembly line.

But first an introduction, delivered courtesy of an excellent history by Toyota. The first Corolla, designed for the Japanese market, rolled onto the sales floor in November 1966. (Okay, so it’s not quite 50.) Since then, more than 40 million have been sold in 150 countries. That’s equal to every single vehicle sold in the U.S. in the last 30 months approximately, and that helped the Toyota Corolla earn the title of the world’s most popular car.

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