Concerning the interior, the development staff at that time stated, "We returned to ground zero and strove to create space for five adults." Specifically, the interior was expanded to the maximum limit through methods such as moving the steering wheel forward 5.5 centimeters, lowering the floor surface and adopting a more vertical angle for the rear window. In this class, designers typically agonized over making millimeter increments, so this move to expand the space by several centimeters was truly revolutionary.

Looking at the exterior design by body type, the sedan adopted a clean, notchback style and expressed an airy image and ease of use. The 5-door model focused on aerodynamic characteristics and targeted a style that appeals to the younger generation as a vehicle featuring innovative style and function. While the coupe model was based on a design theme similar to that of the sedan series, it adopted a design with a carefree form typical of an FR vehicle, with the back end of the rear hatch pinched like a spoiler on the 3-door models.

Three types of engines were used in the sedan series, including the 1.3-liter 2A-LU and 1.5-liter 3A-LU developed based on the 3A-U from the fourth generation and the 1.6-liter 4A-ELU. The 2A-LU and 3A-LU engines strove to improve fuel economy and power performance by adopting the world's first SCV*1 to adjust combustion efficiency at medium and low speeds, a manifold converter, and the IIA*2. As a result, the 2A-LU engine achieved a maximum output of 74ps/6000rpm and a maximum torque of 10.9kg-m/3600rpm, and the 3A-LU engine achieved a maximum output of 83ps/5600rpm and a maximum torque of 12.0kg-m/3600rpm.

The 4A-ELU engine had increased engine displacement, EFI and TCCS*3, while inheriting the compact, lightweight, good fuel economy, and low noise characteristics of the base 3A-U engine. This high performance engine generated a maximum output of 100ps/5600rpm and a maximum torque of 14.0kg-m/rpm.

The 1.8-liter 1C diesel engine introduced in the final model period of the fourth generation was converted to a transverse mount and was offered on the fifth generation Corolla as the 1C-L. To make compatible to the FF drivetrain, the flywheel was made lighter, and changes were made to the auxiliary equipment. However, there were no changes in performance, and a maximum output of 65ps/4500rpm and a maximum torque of 11.5kg-m/3000 rpm were generated.

On the other hand, the engines for the coupe series included the 1.5-liter 3A-U II continued from the fourth generation and the 1.6-liter 16-valve 4A-GEU. The 3A-U II engine strove for improvements in fuel economy and power performance by adopting a dual exhaust manifold and the IIA. The 4A-GEU engine, also based on the 3A-U, replaced the famed 2T-GEU. The 4A-GEU, initially developed as a single cam, 2 valves per cylinder engine, was converted into a double-overhead cam, 4-valve design after approximately a year and a half into development. This was done in favor of the higher output in the high speed range, increased combustion efficiency and intake/exhaust efficiency that the new design offered. Along with this new generation DOHC design, the engine incorporated the latest technologies, including an aluminum alloy cylinder head, forged crankshaft, Toyota-Variable Induction System and higher compression ratio. As a result, a truly high power engine with high response was achieved that generated a maximum output of 130ps/6600rpm and a maximum torque of 15.2kg-m/5200rpm. The engine was given the name LASRE*4 like the other new generation Toyota engines, and was called the LASREá 4A-GEU engine.

In October 1984, the 4A-GELU engine, which was a converted version of the 4A-GEU engine for use in a FF drivetrain, was loaded in the sedan series and hatchback (Corolla FX). Then in May 1985 in the latter half of the model period, the 2A-LU was replaced by the newly developed 1.3-liter OHC 2E-LU engine. This engine adopted SCV, cross flow type intake and exhaust ports, a 3-valve method and a variable venturi carburetor to achieve good fuel economy and high power — with a maximum output of 81ps/6000rpm and a maximum torque of 11.0kg-m/4400rpm. Furthermore, a Partial Lean System was adopted to stabilize lean air-fuel mixture combustion and conserve fuel through computer control of the air-fuel ratio, and this contributed to superior fuel economy performance.

  • *1: Swirl Control Valve
  • *2: Integrated Ignition Assembly
  • *3: TOYOTA Computer Controlled System
  • *4: Light-weight Advanced Super Response Engine