What do you think of the new Toyota Corolla sedan? Striking isn’t it? Today’s simultaneous launch in the US, Europe and China revealed different masks for each major market. In China’s case, there are two looks – one for the Toyota Corolla and another for the Toyota Levin. Let’s compare the different looks.

Like other major foreign brands in China, Toyota has two local joint ventures – GAC Toyota and FAW Toyota – and each has their own version of the Corolla. GAC Toyota’s is called Levin, and as with the outgoing car, the new Levin is sportier in appearance compared to FAW Toyota’s version, which is simply called Corolla. The former’s looks goes well with its more evocative name.

The Levin’s face – which will also be found on the Corolla sedans sold in Japan and other markets – is similar in style, but not identical to the aggressive mug of the Corolla Hatchback and Touring Sports wagon that were revealed earlier this year. It’s made up of slim headlamps with long vertical “fangs” at the sides, and a huge lower grille with honeycomb mesh and fog lamps at the lower ends.

L-R: China-market Levin, global Corolla Hatchback; click to enlarge

Now that your eyes are there, note that the lower ends of the mouth don’t fold back in sharply on the Levin, and it doesn’t get the hatchback’s “floating” body-coloured chin either.

Upon closer inspection, the Levin’s grille also loses out on the V-shape trim surrounding the Toyota logo – it’s just mesh here. The area to the side of the hatchback’s “mouth” is empty, but there’s a small notch mimicking an intake on the Levin – seen head-on, the latter further emphasises width versus the hatch.

Meanwhile, the European- and Chinese-market Corolla is less overtly sporty than the Levin, and it takes more of a mini-Camry look – however, that’s not to say that it’s “uncle”, because the latest “Beautiful Monster” Camry looks very aggressive. The headlamps are completely different from the Levin’s – they’re shorter but cut sharper, and there’s interplay with the chrome “wings” of the Toyota logo, which travels deep into the clusters.

L-R: China-market Corolla and Levin; click to enlarge

While the mouth is also huge, the extra room between the upper and lower grilles is apparent. Unique to the Corolla are vertical vent-like strips at the extreme ends of the face, which also double up as “holders” for the fog lamps. There’s chrome trim here to match the above-mentioned wings, and the lower grille is filled with horizontal slats in dark chrome.

A defining cue at the rear end is the bridge between the tail lamp clusters. On the Levin, the gloss black trim connects the top of the lights, while on the Corolla, it’s a chrome garnish that “supports” the bottom. The sportier sister gets a big gloss black area on the lower bumper, punctuated by a body-coloured strip.

The US-market Corolla is something else altogether. We’re used to seeing North American Toyotas looking sportier than what the rest of the world gets, but this is unprecedented aggression for a 2.0 litre C-segment family sedan. Never mind that there’s just 169 hp under the hood, it looks like an absolute beast.

US-market Toyota Corolla XSE

While the headlamps with those distinctive triple curve LED daytime running lights are as per the hatchback, the slim grille that bridges the eyes does not house the Toyota logo here. Instead, the emblem sits above the grille on a body-coloured island. Without the T-badge, the slim grille becomes visually separated from the lower grille.

The bumper is also unique to the sportiest US-market sedan. While the hatchback and Levin have fog lamps within the “mouth”, the US sedan sports side air-intake style extensions to the mouth (all fake, of course), and they house horizontal LED fog lamp strips. There’s a full-length body-coloured chin spoiler as well.

At the back, the most extrovert 12th-gen Corolla features a slim bootlid spoiler and a large black honeycomb section on the bumper. Within the latter, there’s a body-coloured “diffuser” with four fins to match those on the front chin. It’s also the only sedan variation with exposed exhaust tips – there are two on one side.

There you have it, the one car, three looks of the all-new 12th generation Toyota Corolla sedan. Which will we be getting as the Toyota Corolla Altis for ASEAN?

Car guys might like the hyper-aggressive USDM look, but a Corolla needs to appeal to a wide segment of buyers, and that mask is too anti-social. Our money is on something similar to the European- and Chinese-market Corolla, which balances “high-end” with “aggressive” pretty well, despite officially bearing the “Prestige model” name. The “Sporty model” look of the Levin would be a good option to have, but options are for big markets.

For figures and full details, check out our earlier report. What do you think of the new Corolla? Based on looks and that nice minimalist interior alone, this or the Honda Civic?

GALLERY: 2019 Toyota Corolla/Levin, China-spec

GALLERY: 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan, US version