It's been half a century since the Toyota Corolla was launched. Since its debut in 1966, the unassuming saloon has created history by shifting 46 million units to become one of the best-selling automotive nameplates ever. Fittingly then, Toyota is celebrating the milestone by updating the sales icon inside and out, and also introducing a special Corolla SE 50th Anniversary Edition with exclusive paintwork and trim plus a bit of extra kit thrown in like a smart key and Toyota’s Entune infotainment system.

Revealed in the US, the 2017 Corollas features a suite of safety kit standard across all trims and even throws in a back-up camera to the entry model. Select cars get a 7.0in satellite navigation system, and depending on whether you go for the LE, XLE, SE or XSE you get to choose between newly designed 16in and 17in wheels.

General updates to the model include a new front fascia design incorporating a new grille and LED headlamps, while inside, designers went with circular air vents and a new dash centre panel as well as increased colour palettes for your interior options, and paint choices for the body cover the whole range. Meanwhile, the 50th Anniversary edition offers exclusive Black Cherry Pearl, Classic Silver and Blizzard Pearl hues. Only 8,000 of these examples will be built.

On the safety front all cars get Toyota Safety Sense-P tech which bundles Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beams. Customers in hotter climates will appreciate the air conditioning with dust and pollen filtration.

To maximise economy Toyota has chosen a CVT for its newly added Corolla LE Eco in the US, which coincidentally gets the most powerful engine in the range worth 140bhp yet returns the most efficiency.

Currently the 2016 GCC-spec Corolla starts from Dh65,900, but we have yet to see what guise Toyota Middle East brings the new Corolla in over here next year.