The first-generation Corona, introduced in May 1957, was designed with parts from the previous-generation Crown and Master following a major restyle and enlargement of the Crown. Many of the body panels were cut down from the Master which had ceased production. Aside from the four-door sedan, the ST16/PT16 van versions were also available. Originally, the ST10/16 Corona was fitted with the old sidevalve “S” engine, with 33 PS (24 kW). In April 1958 the Corona underwent a light facelift, with a new hood ornament and door handles. The tail light design of this generation is reminiscent of the 1949 Ford sedan.
The 997 cc (60.8 cu in) OHV P series engine replaced the old S in September 1959, and offered substantially more power with 45 PS (33 kW) at 5,000 rpm. The P-engined Corona sedan was capable of traveling at 105 km/h (65 mph). The car also underwent another facelift, including a mesh grille and a new rear seat which allowed seating for five rather than the previous four. As regulations regarding taxis at the time required engines no larger than 910 cc (56 cu in), dealers restricted the power for taxi vehicles. Due to the upgrade in dimensions of the Crown, Toyota needed to continue manufacturing a vehicle with similar size dimensions to the first Crown, primarily to be used for taxi usage. This vehicle saw the introduction of a monocoque chassis structure, and an independent front suspension using double wishbones. Due to the monocoque chassis, Toyota was able to produce a vehicle under 1,000 kg (2,200 lb).