When developers complete the design of a new model over approximately four years, they experience terrifying pressure because of the depth of their responsibility. This anxiety is felt until the popularity of the vehicle is realized after its release. Shirou Sasaki, who had command of developments of the second generation Corolla under the direction of Tatsuo Hasegawa, discussed the mindset just before the new model's release. He stated, "As I watched the huge transfer machines and other machinery being installed in the plant to get ready for production, I became very frightened about whether or not this plan was going to be okay." Day-to-day anxiety continued until reports of excellent sales were heard. In the end, the second generation Corolla proved to be a model that enjoyed dramatic success as a family car, following the trend set by its predecessor. A total of 2,406,860 units were produced until the switch was made to the third generation Corolla in 1974.

In addition to the 2-door sedan, 4-door sedan and van offered with the previous model, a coupe model was added to the lineup of the second generation Corolla for a total of four body types. Also, the sporty model lineup, which had gained a favorable reputation with the first generation, was aggressively expanded. In 1972, a top-of-the-line sporty model based on the coupe with a powerful engine — the Corolla Levin — was introduced.

At the time of initial release, three types of engine variations were available, including the twin carburetor 3K-B engine and the high compression ratio 3K-D engine based on the 1.2-liter, single carburetor specification 3K engine, all of which were continued from the first generation. Shortly after, the newly developed with 1.4-liter T engine was added to strengthen the lineup. Like the variations of the 3K engine, the lineup was expanded to include a twin carburetor T-B engine and a high compression ratio T-D engine. A broad lineup of engines was completed with the powerful DOHC 2T-G engine loaded in the Corolla Levin, meeting the diversifying needs of the market.

Specifically, the exterior dimensions were expanded one size, and a dynamic, innovative form was created through the use of more rounded lines and surfaces. Also, the newly added coupe model adopted a full-fastback style and achieved a design that further emphasized a sporty image compared to the long nose, short deck sedans. A major characteristic of the second generation was the removal of the triangular windows of the front doors on both the sedan and the coupe to achieve a truly refreshed image. In replacement of the triangular windows, large air intakes were established in the cowl area to ensure ventilation. This turned out to be a stylish accent for this model, while accomplishing a design that met the needs of the overseas markets.