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2014 Toyota Corolla sedan here mid-February


Toyota will add a sedan body style to its Corolla lineup from mid-February to help the Japanese giant defend its 2013 best-seller status against the all-new Mazda 3 - arriving later this month.

The Australian Corolla sedan will be based on the European-spec model unveiled in Turkey last June, with a slightly less aggressive design than its US counterpart

Aside from a lower roofline and shorter rear overhang, the 11th generation Corolla sedan’s key difference over existing sedan and hatch models is a 100mm wheelbase stretch, with the 2700mm figure resulting in a claimed 75mm legroom increase for rear passengers.

The longer-wheelbase sedan follows a similar formula to Nissan and Hyundai  with their Pulsar and Elantra sedan (over the i30 hatch) models, and Toyota Australia's sales and marketing boss Tony Cramb claims the new interior will offer a wholesale improvement over the current sedan.

"The entire cabin offers a roomier and more premium environment with redesigned seats for greater flexibility and comfort - and the boot is also larger for the convenience of owners," he says.

The extended wheelbase is also set to bring dynamic improvements to the sedan, thanks to a larger footprint with the wheels pushed closer to each corner.

The new sedan will be produced in 16 factories around the world, but Australian models will be sourced from Thailand, unlike the hatch and current sedan which are produced in Japan.

Pricing of the new model is yet to be confirmed, but Toyota claim that Australia’s Free Trade Agreement with Thailand will help “keep a lid on prices”, suggesting little change from the existing sedan’s $20,990-$31,990 pricing, starting $1000 more than the hatch.

Toyota is yet to confirm the new sedan’s mechanical package, but it is expected to mirror the hatch with its 103kW/173Nm 1.8-litre petrol four, with six-speed manual or CVT auto transmissions.

This reporter is on Twitter: @Mal_Flynn