We all know that Volkswagen Golf is one of the most popular cars in the world. But nothing beats the Corolla.

This year’s July, Toyota sold the 50-millionth Corolla, a milestone not just in Toyota history, but automotive history, as well. Now in its 12th generation and over 55 years in production, Corolla remains one of the world’s top-selling vehicles.

Toyota introduced the Corolla in 1966, and it arrived in the U.S. in spring 1968 as a 1969 model, starting at about $1,700. Gas cost $0.35 a gallon, and the median household income was $7,700. The No. 1 TV show in America was “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” and top hit songs that early Corolla drivers would have heard on the optional AM radio included Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” Simon and Garfunkle’s “Mrs. Robinson” and The Beatles’ “Hey Jude.”

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As the Corolla quickly evolved to offer more room, comfort and performance, it became a value benchmark in its class and grew into one of the largest branches in the Toyota family tree.

While the 2022 Corolla may seem lightyears from its late 1960s ancestor, its core values trace a line right back to that first edition. The Corolla continues to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of a growing and diverse customer base but has never veered from its mission to deliver renowned Toyota quality, durability and reliability with high fuel economy at an affordable price. It’s just gotten a whole lot more refined and enjoyable to drive.

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