Toyota make a bewildering number of cars, they really do. This one lives in Dublin, Ireland where I saw it in the summer of 2022.
Rather foolishly I did not get as far as recording the nameplate. The only evidence I have for this sighting are these three grainy photographs, of the sort used by crazed believers in pseudo-science to prove the existence of the Loch Ness animal. In order to find out what this was I had to first open up a list of Toyota cars which I believe to be incomplete, look at the list (about 80 vehicles that are not busses or trucks), open several more windows under Yaris, Starlet and Corolla and then I wrote to Daniel O’Callaghan, our south-east Ireland correspondent. He informed me that the vehicle is known as the Toyota Corolla Axio. Before you say, ‘Wait, that’s not a Toyota Corolla’, sit down, calm down and take a loud breath. This is the E160 Toyota Corolla, specially imported to Ireland by special importers.
This version is sold in Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Bangladesh, Singapore and Sri Lanka and in Ireland, used. This one dates from around 2013. It is still in production as a fleet-only car.
An estate is available, the Fielder:
For a small car, they’ve given it a lot of engines: 1.3 L (1 NR-FE I4), the 1.5 (L 1NZ-FE I4), the 1.5 L 1NZ-FXE I4 (hybrid) and the range-storming (1.8 L 2ZR-FE I4). Sizewise we are not in Kansas now Dorothy. The length is 4360 mm while the Corolla with which we are more familiar is about three hundred millimetres longer. The Corolla Axio is 1695 millimetres wide while the conventional Corolla is 1775 millimetres from side to side. That’s enough for a centre arm-rest on the larger car. From the standpoint of weight, the car shown today is 1050-1200 kg, depending on whether it is a hybrid or not (that’s really heavy, isn’t it). The normal Corolla tips the weighing machine at 1,200 kg to 1,300 kg (the same as a mid-70s upper medium family car).
This is a type of small saloon which I had thought had died out along with Fruit Gums sold in rolls (and not in silly bags). It has a pleasantly formal quality. The sides are pretty vertical – notice the lines are almost but not quite parallel. The rear windscreen is steepish, to allow for head room; the front valence also avoids leaning much. At the front I’d have liked a more formal grille and not this one which is too much like any old Yaris.
This is bewildering
What we have here is a very Toyota kind of car: a carefully curated commodity car, adjusted for markets other companies don’t bother with (and Japan, obviously).