The wraps have officially come off the 2019 Toyota Corolla sedan. The twelfth-generation C-segment model has made its global debut at the Guangzhou Motor Show in two variants – Prestige and Sporty (the latter sold in China as the Levin), with the US version also being announced simultaneously.

Underpinned by the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) GA-C platform, the Corolla has been unified globally for this generation. The China Corolla measures in at 4,640 mm long, 1,780 mm wide and 1,435 mm tall, making it 10 mm longer, five mm wider and 45 mm lower than the old car. The wheelbase remains at 2,700 mm long.

The sedan’s exterior design is based along ‘shooting robust’ lines, which the automaker says presents a sporty silhouette, complemented by a lower stance and wider tread than its predecessor. Front overhang has been shortened, while that for the rear has been increased. Aside from the lowered ride height, the engine is also mounted lower, resulting in the bonnet height being reduced by 3.5 cm to improve forward visibility.

Toyota Corolla sedan, US version.

On the US version, the front end presentation varies by model grade, with the sportiest faces incorporating a body-coloured chin spoiler and aero-stabilising fins. Front headlights are of the bi-beam LED variety, and LED rear lamps are standard across the model range, the type and style again varying by model grade, with sporty grades featuring smoked outer light lenses. An adaptive front-lighting system (AFS) is also on the list.

The interior design, meanwhile, showcases elements drawn from a ‘sensuous minimalism’ concept, offering a clean, sleek and refined look. Inside, the automaker says that the cabin materials and elements in the new Corolla have been carefully selected for consistency and their aesthetic quality, with high-gloss materials paired with matte elements to accentuate a premium look and feel.

Interior colour schemes include several two-tone accents, with choices being a black/blue combination (black, with blue highlights) as well as Moonstone (light grey, with dark grey highlights) and Macadamia, a cream shade.

Gaps have also been minimised between buttons and switches to offer a tauter look, and the instrument panel has been lowered. Along with a reconfigured lower beltline, slimmer A-pillars and repositioned side view mirrors, these changes have improved outward visibility and created a much airier cabin.

Seating has also been revised. Aside from a configuration that lowers the driver’s hip point and shifts it rearward, sportier versions get a new front seat design featuring a unique shape, with broad shoulder supports and a headrest nestling into the shoulder area, while seat material on higher grades feature the use of SofTex synthetic leather.

The air-conditioning system has also been redesigned to be more efficient and effective. Highlights include an innovative twin-layer recirculation/fresh air induction unit, which in colder climates will automatically send dehumidified fresh air to the upper cabin to reduce glass fogging while promoting recirculation of warm cabin air in lower areas of the cabin.

The new car is also quieter, the reduction in NVH achieved through increased use of sound-absorbing materials, including Thinsulate, sealants, foams and silencers. The TNGA structure also features additional seals in its body panel gaps to insulate noise penetration and enhance air-sealing performance.

As standard, the Corolla sedan comes equipped with a 4.2-inch thin film transistor (TFT) multi-info display (MID) in the instrument cluster, though there’s a larger seven-inch MID available as an option. As for the central unit, this is a high-resolution eight-inch multimedia touchscreen for higher spec models, with the baseline unit a seven-inch touchscreen. Also available is a 10-inch head-up display.

On the US Corolla sedan, a six-speaker audio system is standard fit, with a 800 watt JBL nine-speaker available on higher-spec models. There’s Qi wireless device charging available as an option, and there’s no shortage of connected services for the Corolla, varying only in their availability depending on the market.

In the US, items on the list will include Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa cloud-based voice service compatibility and Wi-Fi Connect. In China, the new models will come standard with an onboard Data Communication Module (DCM), an integral component of Toyota Connected, and European customers will get relevant services for the region.

A number of powertrain options will be available for the Corolla sedan globally, including the automaker’s new 2.0 litre Dynamic Force Engine, the M20A-FKS. The US will get the new mill, which offers 169 hp at 6,600 rpm and 205 Nm of torque at 4,800, along with the 2ZR-FAE 1.8 litre unit carried over from before, but with performance improvements.

Europe, meanwhile, will get two powertrain options – a 130 hp 1.6 litre petrol mill and a 1.8 litre self-charging hybrid system, which offers 121 hp. Hybrids are set to feature strongly, with the automaker saying that hybrid models will be newly introduced in more than 90 markets globally.

Available transmissions are a new Direct-Shift CVT equipped with a simulated 10-speed sequential shiftmatic and an all-new six-speed iMT (intelligent manual transmission), the latter featuring downshift rev-matching control and the promise of improved shift feel, which should no doubt delight those into sticks.

Mechanical upgrades over the previous iteration include a switch from a torsion beam setup in the rear suspension to a multi-link configuration. The front MacPherson strut layout has also been totally revised for this platform, and the Corolla also gets newly-developed shock absorbers, all aimed at improving ride and handling aspects.

Standard safety kit – on the US-spec Corolla – includes eight airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes enhanced vehicle stability control, traction control, EBD and brake assist. The American Corolla sedan will also come with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 fitted as standard. Kit on this one includes a pre-collision system, dynamic radar cruise control (DRCC), lane departure alert with steer assist, lane tracing assist, automatic high beam and road sign assist.

The initial line up will present the car in Sporty and Prestige forms. The Sporty model, which features a keener, energetic look, will be sold in North America, China (as the Levin), Japan and other countries/regions, while the Prestige model – which offers a high-end appearance – will make its way to Europe and China (as the Corolla) on top of selected countries. Wheel sizes offered for the car will range from 16- to 18-inch units.

Sales in the United States and Europe are set to begin in the first quarter of 2019, and the Corolla sedan will gradually be rolled out in more than 150 countries, including China, after mid-2019. In Japan, sales of the new sedan and wagon models are slated for sometime within 2019.

GALLERY: 2019 Toyota Corolla/Levin sedan, China version

GALLERY: 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan, US version