Not content that the Corolla is already one of the best-selling cars in America, Toyota plans to make the redesigned 2014 Corolla the most popular small car in the U.S. To do that, Toyota has injected the new 2014 Corolla with a big, fat dose of style while at the same time improving fuel economy, comfort levels, safety ratings, technology and more, all while keeping prices relatively low.
The target is the Honda Civic, current sales champ among compact cars, and because Honda has apparently put the Civic on a continuous improvement plan for three years running, the target is a moving one. I’ve driven the cars back-to-back, and even before the long list of 2014 model year upgrades to the Civic was made public, I voiced a preference for the Honda.
Now, I’ve just spent a week with a 2014 Toyota Corolla Eco, directly following a week with a 2014 Honda Civic EX-L. While this review isn’t a comparison test, my opinions haven’t changed, except that the Civic is also now the more advanced car from a technology standpoint. If Toyota wants to overtake the Civic as the best-selling small car in America, the automaker is not going to be able to sit still and wait for the usual mid-life refresh in 2017 to make improvements to the Corolla. Competition is brutal, eh?
Rather, the purpose of this review is to introduce you to the 2014 Toyota Corolla Eco, which is expected to represent one of every 10 Corollas sold. Unless you’re really interested in the Corolla S model’s sportier look, this is the version of the car you’ll want to carefully consider, as it is the most fuel-efficient, powerful, and mechanically sophisticated version of the new 2014 Corolla.