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2014 Toyota Corolla First Impressions

The Corolla is Toyota’s best asset, their most valuable player: it is the brand’s star. Unlike A-Rod, the Corolla’s always been an honest to goodness car, and has never pretended to be more than it is. Fact is that the Corolla has over-performed from day one without the help of performance-enhancing drugs.

To tinker with and design a new Corolla is like trying to cut the right wire on a ticking time bomb while having a seizure. The 2014 Toyota Corolla must be good, and must fulfill its droves and legions of fans. Toyota cannot screw this one up; the cost would be too great.

They haven’t.

The 2014 Toyota Corolla addresses all of the previous 2009-‘13 car’s flaws, namely boredom at the sight of it and when behind the wheel. The new Corolla is fairly refined, quiet, and a good drive. On an isolated country road with countless switchbacks and elevation changes, I had fun! As well, it is spacious and its design is nearly hip.

It’ll do very well.

What is a Toyota Corolla?
The Corolla, like the Camry, is a car that needs no real introduction. As the best selling car in the history of the world, with nearly 40 million sold, the Corolla is the definition of simple yet effective transportation.

The Toyota Corolla has always been the rational choice in the compact car segment, but has been losing ground to some newer models, especially those aimed at younger buyers.

The Corolla first saw the light of day in 1967 and has since been reborn 10 times for a total of 11 generations. So far, 1.3 million have been delivered in Canada where it has been built for 25 years.

2014 Toyota Corolla Price and Specs
The 2014 Toyota Corolla’s pricing begins at a competitive $15,995. The CE is the new base car while the LE, which starts at $19,500, is expected to become the volume leader. The S returns with a base price of $19,215, roughly $1,500 less than the previous car.

The 2014 Toyota Corolla carries on with the same 132 horsepower 1.8L 4-cylinder engine. New for the 11th gen is the VALVEMATIC (varies intake air levels) 1.8L 4-pot engine that develops 140 horsepower and that can only be had with the LE Eco trim.

Transmission options are interesting overall, save for a sad, optional 4-speed automatic with the CE trim. Otherwise, a 6-speed manual is standard on the CE and S. A CVTi-S transmission is standard with the LE and LE Eco and optional on the S.

Driving the 2014 Toyota Corolla
Let me put the 2014 Toyota Corolla driving experience to you this way: Those more interested in driving would normally, for example, cross-shop the Corolla and Mazda3 and leave with the Mazda. As early as this week (when the Corolla goes on sale) that may change.

The 2014 Toyota Corolla features additional unibody bracing that has increased platform rigidity. Also, the rear torsion beam’s attachments points are now mounted directly to the body. Although simple enhancements, their effect on the Corolla’s drive are surprising.

Even if the LE’s suspension is tuned for comfort (S for sporty driving), all sloppiness and uncertainty in the car’s road-holding abilities are eliminated. What’s more, the car’s electric steering is spot on weight- and precision-wise. Keeping in mind that this is a Corolla, the car is good fun to drive.

The 1.8L’s adequate pep will never win a drag race, but that’s not the idea. The CVTi-S, the only ‘box I got to test, performs admirably. Most 2nd-gen CVTs won’t shoot engine revs to the stratosphere. In the S, the transmission features seven pre-programmed “gears” that can be manipulated through steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters or the shift gate.

The 2014 Toyota Corolla is no sporty car, but given where it comes from this is undoubtedly the sportiest generation of the Corolla, ever.

Inside and Out of the 2014 Toyota Corolla
The theme behind the creation of the new 2014 Corolla was iconic dynamism. The new shell is meant to bring emotions to the rational. Efforts were made on this front by, for example, making desirable and modern LED headlamps standard, a segment first.

The design of the 2014 Corolla is certainly more daring than it has ever been, but I would not venture to say that the car is pretty. In my opinion, the CE and both LEs are physically better suited to the Corolla “brand.” Toyota is, not surprisingly, featuring the S in much of its advertising because of its deeper bumpers, stronger grille, and 17” wheels.

Although the 2014 Corolla S may be more appealing visually, the fact that the car is a Corolla may play against it unless the young consumer is being influenced by parents or the like.

The cabin is also all-new and a far step from bland. The instrument cluster has a lovely blue hue and is accented by a blue stripe that circles the cabin. The dashboard is more modern and retains good ergonomics save possibly for the heated seat switches.

Throughout, the seats are comfortable and there’s plenty of room. The new longer and wider dimensions of the car are well exploited.

Comparing the 2014 Toyota Corolla
Toyota aims to take the No.1 spot in the compact-car segment in Canada. Given that 300 engineers worked on the car, I can assure you that they’re not playing around.

Other makers are not fooling around, either. The new Mazda3, revised for 2013 Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra are only three of the Corolla’s headaches.

The bottom line is that if you’ve ever considered a Corolla, this time around, there's next to no reason for hesitation.

This is a “Corolla, like you’ve never seen it before.”

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    2014 Toyota Corolla CE
    toyota corolla 2014
    2014 Toyota Corolla CE
    Review this Vehicle
    Styling
    Accessories
    Space and Access
    Comfort
    Performance
    Driving Dynamics
    Safety
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