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The Toyota Corolla is one of the most successful vehicles of all time. It’s the longtime top-seller for the compact car segment — and is second only to the Toyota RAV4 as the world’s best-selling car. On top of that, the name “Corolla” has a beautiful meaning from the world of nature. 

What does the Toyota Corolla’s name mean?

Rear angle view of red 2023 Toyota Corolla, highlighting the meaning of its name
2023 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

The names of cars are more important than you might think. Automakers usually devote a great deal of time and resources for deciding which name to choose. This involves coordination between the design, communication, and marketing departments. A name conveys a sense of identity to a vehicle and influences which cars consumers buy. 

With the “Corolla” name, Toyota emphasized beauty by looking toward nature. And what is one of the most beautiful things in nature? A flower.

Assortment of colorful flowers, highlighting how the Toyota Corolla was named after the corolla of a flower
Bouquet of flowers | Annie Spratt via Unsplash

The Toyota Corolla is named after the corolla, which is the ring of petals that encircles the center of a flower. The petals that form the corolla vary in color, size, and number for each flower species. Often, large flowers have fewer petals in the corolla, while smaller flowers have a greater number of petals. 

Along with a flower, the Corolla follows the Toyota Crown name: In Latin, it means ‘little crown’

The Corolla name has another meaning. Along with the petals of a flower, the Corolla derives its name from Latin. In Latin, corolla means “little crown.” 

The Crown is the name of Toyota’s flagship sedan model. When Toyota introduced the Corolla in 1966, it marketed the compact car as a smaller version of the Crown executive sedan, which debuted a decade earlier. 

Front angle view of white 2023 Toyota Corolla compact car
2023 Toyota Corolla | Toyota

The name “Corolla” is part of Toyota’s traditional naming system for sedans derived from the Crown. The Corolla’s larger sibling, the Camry midsize sedan, derives its name from the Japanese phrase kanmuri, which means “little crown.” Also, the Scepter, a previous name for the Camry in Japan, is from the word scepter — an ornamental staff used as an accessory to a crown. 

Additionally, there’s the recently discontinued Avalon full-size sedan. It’s not named after a crown, but it has royal implications. It derives its name from the mythical island in the legends of King Arthur. 

Other monikers for the Corolla


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Automakers, including Toyota, often change the names of their models for different countries. And for the Corolla, there are a variety of monikers. This includes:

  • Toyota Sprinter: Japan 
  • Toyota Allex: Japan 
  • Toyota Auris: Europe, Taiwan, and Japan 
  • Toyota Levin: China 
  • Toyota Allion: China
  • Toyota Conquest: South Africa
  • Toyota Tazz: South Africa
  • Toyota Carri: South Africa
  • Suzuki Swace: Europe
  • Holden Nova: Australia
  • Daihatsu Charmant

However, for most of the world, “Corolla” is the name for the Toyota Corolla, including in the United States and elsewhere in North America. Also, except for the Suzuki Swace in Europe and the Toyota Levin and Allion in China, the rest of the alternative monikers are no longer utilized. 

The Corolla has long been a compact car. However, with the Corolla Cross, which debuted for the 2022 model year, Toyota added a crossover SUV to the Corolla lineup — along with a tweaking of its name. The Toyota Corolla Cross combines the styling of the Corolla sedan with the utility and capabilities of an SUV.

The next time you see a Toyota Corolla drive by, you can say, “there goes the beautiful little flower.” Or alternatively, say, “the little crown.”