2014 Toyota Corolla
Need more room and a bit less excitement for your daily grind? Well, that’s where the Toyota Corolla fits in. Year after year the Corolla sales juggernaut rolls on. And, based on our first Quick Spin, the 11th generation, 2014 Corolla looks like more money in the bank for Toyota.
The first thing you notice is the exterior. Drawing heavily from the Furia auto show concept, the new Corolla trades bland for boffo. It is clearly younger and more modern. An aggressive front fascia hints at a more playful nature. While sportier character lines are stretched over almost four inches of added wheelbase and overall length. It is the biggest change in Corolla image and road presence ever.
Interior redesign mimics the latest RAV4, with an expansive dash and more comprehensive center stack. Gauges are still simple, large, and easy to read.
If there is anything to dim our enthusiasm it’s the Corolla’s carryover 1.8 liter inline 4 with a base 132 horsepower. On the upside, a six speed manual replaces the previous five speed and proved fairly engaging in around-town touring. The base automatic, for some reason, still has only four gears.
But, Toyota thinks most Corollas will go out the door in new LE Eco trim, with its new CVT and “intelligent shifting” for seven simulated gear ratios. Engine output is slightly higher at 140 horsepower, thanks to retuning and new “Valvematic” continuous variable valve timing system. With it, highway fuel economy tops 40 MPG.
GREG CARLOSS: The CVT in the new Corolla has seven steps, which are simulated gear shifts. Unfortunately, I’m well aware that I’m driving a CVT. But that’s fine as long as you’re in the city. And when you combine it with the Valvematic engine, you’re getting close to 40 miles per gallon, if not more, on the highway. So that should ease the pain of driving a CVT.
JOHN DAVIS: On sale soon, prices for the 2014 Toyota Corolla start around $18,000.
Engine: 1.8 liter inline 4
Price: Start around $18,000