The Corolla E100 was the 7th generation produced under the long-running name. It was larger, heavier and visually more aerodynamic than its predecessor, the E90, earning it the nickname 'big-body Toyota'. The design cues was supposed to emulate a 'mini Lexus', to build on the recent success of Toyota's flagship range. Produced during the time of Japan's bubble economy, it featured fewer body panels for increased strength, lower cost and fewer panel gaps. At the same time, Toyota aimed this Corolla at mostly first-time buyers: it received positive reviews for being reliable and sturdy. In 1993, it underwent a facelift with modifications done to the front fascia and interior trims.
A variety of body styles were produced, such as regular 4-door sedans, 5-door wagons and 5-door liftbacks like this unit here. Different engines were made available, but most units in Singapore were powered by a 1587 cc 4A-FE i4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 195 km/h with an acceleration of 10 seconds [0-100 km/h]. It was 4210 mm long and weighed 1070 kg, with a good fuel consumption of 12.2 km/litre.
Production of the E100 ended in 1998, where it was replaced by the E110 series. There are still quite a handful of sedan versions on the road, but liftbacks like this are very rare: in fact, this should be one of the last ones standing! Till today, they remain quite popular with enthusiasts and I confess that it is one that I hope to own as my 1st car. While its rather frumpy shape belies its age, it still remains an affordable classic and I hope that it gets more love!