SUM UP (2 Stars)

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Corolla in 2014

The Toyota Corolla has been redesigned for the 2014 model year, with aggressive new exterior styling, standard LED headlights, more passenger and cargo room, and a new CVT that boasts 42 mpg highway in Eco trim...
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Vehicle Overview

The Toyota Corolla is the automaker’s entry in the compact sedan segment; it fits above the Yaris and below the Camry in the lineup. The Corolla is now in its 11th generation, and continues to embody Toyota’s values of QDR: quality, durability, and reliability.

Summary

The 2014 Toyota Corolla comes with a 1.8-liter I-4 that makes 132 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque, which will net an EPA-estimated 27-29/36-38 mpg city/highway, and can be had with a six-speed manual, four-speed automatic, or a CVT. The Eco model of the Corolla 1.8-liter I-4 makes 140 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque, can only be had in six-speed manual or CVT form, and will get an EPA-estimated 30/40-42 mpg, the best mileage comes from the six-speed-manual equipped Eco.

LED headlights are standard on the 2014 Corolla, which is surprisingly big inside. Even in the sportier S trim (which can be had with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles), the 2014 Corolla still excels more as a commuter car than an occasional winding road carver.

The 2014 Toyota Corolla earned a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), and is considered an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2013, but did not meet the tougher criteria for 2014.

What We Think

Like many Toyota vehicles, the 2014 Corolla is wonderful for those who won't consider other brands. In a 2014 review of compact sedans, however, the Toyota Corolla lined up against the Honda Civic in a comparison that included the Chevrolet Cruze, Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Kia Forte, Mazda 3, and Volkswagen Jetta. “The exterior design has lots of overdone details, but the basics are bland. Meanwhile, the interior design architecture is a mess of randomly intersecting, cheap-looking plastics,” we said of the new looks. “Fortunately, somewhere under all of this is a pretty good small car, now with a wheelbase stretched to 106.3 inches to afford an impressive 97.5 cubic feet of passenger volume, including 41.4 inches of rear-seat legroom.”

On performance: “The CVT has been electronically calibrated to do a good impression of a seven-speed automatic, and this Corolla S Plus even has shift paddles on the steering wheel. But there’s only so much the transmission can do . . . the mission here is fuel efficiency, not fizz.” We summed up the latest effort, saying, “Time has caught up with the Toyota Corolla. The others cars in this comparison are no longer pushovers that can offer only tasteless generic-brand flavor. These days, everyone has got fizz. The Toyota Corolla takes a half-hearted stab at repackaging its familiar formula and fails to deliver.”

You’ll Like

  • Fuel efficiency
  • Holds its value well
  • Impressive rear legroom

You Won’t Like

  • Bland exterior styling
  • Uninvolved driving experience
  • Confused interior styling

Key Competitors

  • Honda Civic
  • Chevrolet Cruze
  • Ford Focus
  • Mazda 3
  • Volkswagen Jetta
  • Kia Forte

Rating

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