With a new look inside and out, as well as a few revised parts here and there, the 2014 Toyota Corolla has the ability to keep this sedan at the top as the No. 1 selling car in the world.
What is the Toyota Corolla?
Besides being the bestselling car of all time (which means that close to 40 million Corollas have been sold the world over), it is Toyota’s compact car and has been on the road since the 1960s in Japan.
In its 11th generation, the Toyota Corolla offers drivers exactly what they want in a compact family car that’s reliable and easy to drive.
2014 Toyota Corolla S Price and Specs
One of the most appealing aspects of the Toyota Corolla is its affordability, and the fact that you’re getting a reliable, functional vehicle for not a lot of coin. A base 2014 Toyota Corolla with a 6-speed manual transmission starts at $15,995 (excluding freight & PDI).
My as-tested 2014 Toyota Corolla S equipped with a Premium Package (with power/tilt moonroof and more) and a 6-speed manual transmission hit the price scale at $21,565.
There are two engine options for the 2014 Toyota Corolla; three models (including my S model) are equipped with Toyota’s 1.8L 4-cylinder good for 132 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque. However, should you choose the Toyota Corolla LE ECO with a CVT you’ll get a VALVEMATIC 1.8L 4-cylinder with ECO Mode which pushes out 140 horsepower and 126 lb-ft.
Transmission choices reside in a 6-speed manual, a 4-speed automatic, a CVTi-S with or without paddle shifters.
Driving the 2014 Toyota Corolla S
I really did spend a week with the Corolla. I didn’t pass it off or try to drive something else. I even took it on an extended drive to a nearby city for the weekend. I lived with the 2014 Toyota Corolla S as if it were my own. And I didn’t hate it. Not entirely.
I came to realize something very quickly about the 2014 Toyota Corolla S: it’s gutless. It has very little oomph, very little desire to go. As horrible as that might sound, it’s perfect for the Corolla. It ho-hums along as it should, doing exactly what it should. For the millions of people who have bought a Corolla, this is precisely what they want.
That’s what makes the 2014 Toyota Corolla S nice to drive. It makes no illusions about what it is or what it can do. I didn’t expect anything more from it. I did discover that should you want a bit of “performance” out of the 1.8L you need to push the revs quite high and endure the in-cabin cacophony of engine noise.
There’s something solid about a Toyota, and that’s instantly recognizable as soon as you sit in the car. It feels solid on the road, well built. You feel you’re driving quality and that’s a huge plus in this segment.
Inside and Out of the Toyota Corolla S
By far, this is one of the best looking Corollas to hit the road in quite some time. Finally it’s got a bit of character in its front fascia. I love the front nose and the rear lights remind me ever so slightly of the brand new Lexus IS rear.
Inside, the likes continue. Somehow Toyota managed to inject some luxury-car feeling into a sub-$30k compact vehicle, and that’s great. I’ve complained about Toyota ergonomics in the recent past, and with good reason; however, this time they got it right. The front seats are comfortable, even on longer hauls, and the centre stack is easy to manipulate and user-friendly.
My only gripe about the 2014 Toyota Corolla S is the difficulty I had installing a baby seat. This isn’t the first time I’ve had to put my son’s seat on the driver’s side instead of the passenger side due to a hard-to-get-to LATCH system. The middle seatbelt covers the hook in the seat to the point where it’s impossible to latch the seat to. Obviously, it can be remedied, but still obnoxious.
Comparing the 2014 Toyota Corolla S
This segment is rife with competition, and stiff ones at that. From the Honda Civic to the brand new Mazda3, the Corolla has some sales-killing, serious contenders out there. The very best thing the 2014 Toyota Corolla has going for it is the fact that it is what the majority of people are looking for it. It is a happy medium with no polarizing bits, no special pieces. It is the pair of Levis everyone is going to buy because they want a pair of jeans and nothing more -- and that’s OK.