The 2014 Toyota Corolla is the latest edition of the Japanese automaker’s entry-level sedan. The compact Toyota Corolla had been sailing along for several years in dire need of a makeover, and the 2014 edition addresses several of the car’s deficiencies while also offering advances in styling and efficiency. The new Corolla isn’t as forward-thinking as several of its competitors, but it manages to present value wrapped in a more modern package for its legions of loyal customers.
Let’s take a quick look at 10 things you need to know about the 2014 Toyota Corolla.
01. The 2014 Toyota Corolla Features Fresh Styling
When the Toyota Furia concept was unveiled at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, it hinted at the future direction of the Corolla’s design. Flash-forward to now, and its clear that while the Furia has definitely influenced the Corolla’s appearance, its swooping lines have been balanced out by the need to cater to the compact’s more conservative core audience. The Furia’s touch can be seen most evidently up front, where LED headlights frame a thick grille. The car’s wheel wells are also more muscular in years past, and the entire car’s silhouette is far less upright than that of the departing model.
02. The 2014 Toyota Corolla Rides On A New Platform
The 2014 Toyota Corolla benefits from an all-new platform, one that extends its wheelbase by a generous 3.9 inches, and which is longer and lower than that of the vehicle it replaces. The new Toyota Corolla is also wider, which gives it a more surefooted stance out on the highway. Dynamically, the Corolla doesn’t raise any eyebrows in the slalom, but it’s a tighter offering than it was in 2013, and it also offers better absorption of road insults via its suspension system. This leads to a quieter cabin, and a more composed ride.
03. The 2014 Toyota Corolla Offers A Revised Interior
The 2014 Toyota Corolla’s exterior growth pays off for passengers by way of a roomer interior. Specifically, front riders enjoy more room to stretch out, while those seated at the back of the Toyota Corolla benefit from just over five inches of additional leg room. The materials used throughout the cabin of the Corolla have also been improved, and while no one would ever mistake the sedan for a luxury model, it’s a more compelling environment than one would have previously been subjected to by the automobile. Trunk space for the Corolla remains good, checking in at a competitive 13 cubic feet, and the rear seat can be folded forward to accommodate plus-sized cargo.
04. The 2014 Toyota Corolla Packs Last Year’s Engine
The 2014 Toyota Corolla soldiers on with the same engine under its hood that was available in 2013: a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder unit that has been tuned to provide 132 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque. This motor is also available in a special fuel mileage-focused edition that has seen its output massaged to 140 horses and 126 lb-ft of twist while returning efficiency figures of 30-mpg in stop and go driving and 42-mpg during highway cruising. This is accomplished without the use of direct fuel injection or an automatic engine start/stop system.
05. The 2014 Toyota Corolla Comes With A New CVT
A big part of the 2014 Toyota Corolla’s frugality can be attributed to its new continuously-variable automatic transmission. The CVT unit is optional on all but the least-expensive edition of the Toyota Corolla, and on certain models it can even be paired with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters that can access programming that imitates a manual transmission. A traditional six-speed manual is also offered with the new Corolla, and true gluttons for punishment can take a trip back through time and sample the car’s available four-speed autobox (entry-level trim only).
06. The 2014 Toyota Corolla Is Available In Three Main Trim Levels
The 2014 Toyota Corolla starts out in L trim, which features power windows, 15-inch steel rims, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and not a whole lot else. The Toyota Corolla LE introduces the Entune touchscreen and voice interface, power door locks, audio streaming over Bluetooth, cruise control, 16-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, and a rearview camera, while the LE Eco grafts on the aerodynamic improvements (and trick engine tuning) necessary to achieve its lofty fuel mileage rating. The Corolla S comes standard with a rear spoiler, a chrome grille surround, sport seats, nicer trim inside and out, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
07. The 2014 Toyota Corolla Can Be Ordered With Several Options Packages
The 2014 Toyota Corolla might reference some of its options packages as ‘sub-trims,’ but don’t let that get you confused – it’s really fairly straightforward. The LE Plus edition of the Toyota Corolla adds rims and fog lights, the LE Premium includes nicer vinyl upholstery, and the LE Eco Plus and Premium do pretty much the same thing (with the exception of a special Eco driving mode for the LE Eco Plus). The S Plus features disc brakes out back instead of the car’s standard drums, along with 17-inch alloy wheels, and a stiffer suspension system, while the S Premium snags the same seat covers found in the LE Premium. You can also order a Driver Convenience package when specifying the Plus and Premium editions of the Corolla, which brings with it a navigation system, a smart phone app that is linked to the car, satellite radio, and keyless entry with keyless ignition.
08. The 2014 Toyota Corolla Doesn’t Raise The Bar On Safety
The 2014 Toyota Corolla doesn’t offer a single active safety system – no blind spot monitor, no forward collision monitoring, and no rear cross-traffic detection. This isn’t to say that the Toyota Corolla is somehow unsafe, as it does features side impact airbags up front, side curtain airbags, dual forward airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, and a supplemental front passenger airbag, along with electronic stability control and traction control. It’s worth pointing out, however, that the vast majority of the compact sedan’s rivals deliver a range of active safety features at a variety of price points.
09. The 2014 Toyota Corolla Is Very Affordable
The 2014 Toyota Corolla starts at an MSRP of just $16,800. This puts it in good company amongst its compact sedan colleagues, although in order to access that particular price it’s necessary to aim low and be content with the thinly-featured Corolla L model. The Corolla LE, however, is a much more comfortable proposition, and it remains comfortably affordable with an MSRP of $18,300. Stretching to the very top of the lineup demands that buyers fork over $19,000 for the Toyota Corolla S, with a few extra bucks required to take home Plus or Premium editions of that particular model.
10. The 2014 Toyota Corolla Joins An Ultra-Competitive Segment
The 2014 Toyota Corolla might be all-new, but it’s not the only one – compact sedans like the Ford Focus, the Hyundai Elantra, and the Mazda Mazda3 have all been given comprehensive makeovers of their own in recent years. By ‘comprehensive,’ we mean that new body work and fresh platforms have been joined by powerful, very efficient engines that in some cases boast turbochargers and direct fuel injection. The Corolla’s mechanical details aren’t nearly as innovative as those posted by several key competitors, which could be a deciding factor for certain small car buyers.