Say High To The 2014 Toyota Corolla +VIDEO
HEELS ON WHEELS: 2014 TOYOTA COROLLA PREVIEW
HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel
INTRO TO THE COROLLA VEHICLE
Ten generations strong with 4.5 million still on the road, Toyota decides to make the bold move of turning the Corolla into a car people actually want to buy rather than one they feel obligated to. Revamping for the 2014 model begins with a lower, longer and wider wheelbase; sharper exterior styling; and improvements to the sportier trim as well as the addition on an all-new, well-equipped eco-trim that gets 42 miles-per-gallon highway. If you are passionate, creative, under 35 years-of-age (and ethnically diverse according to Toyota), you might find yourself swept up by this deal on wheels.
At a recent media preview event in Seattle, Washington, I drove several 2014 Toyota Corollas with the 1.8-liter DOCH four-cylinder engine featuring Dual Variable Value Timing with Intelligence. Available now in four trim grades – the base L, LE, LE Eco and S – most of my drive time was spent in the LE Eco with the following features as standard: Entune multi-media system featuring a 6.1-inch touchscreen; a six-speaker audio system; backup camera; steering wheel mounted controls; two-toned fabric upholstery; and sixteen-inch wheels. Price as described comes to $18,300.
Revamped trim grades are the most noticeable change, and that includes the addition of the all- LE Eco trim. Compact sedans competitors also toting sharp value, style and fuel economy include the Kia Forte, Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Chevrolet Cruze.
HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA
Stylish But Comfortable Results: It’s evident Toyota has ditched former Corolla design practices with the creation of a more fluid dashboard and use of more upgraded materials like piano black finish on the center stack, soft-touch lining, and two-toned upholstery choices. It’s bigger in here, too, with rear legroom growing by 5.1 inches. But the most stylish efforts have been given to the LE Eco and S trim that features a detailed grille with chrome and honeycomb accents, fog lights, and a two-gauge instrument panel with a digital screen. Entune has grown into a suite of popular apps like Bing and Pandora that provide all the infotainment and smartphone connectivity you want or don’t want, depending upon the depth of your pocketbook (or trim grade you go with). The improved user face now allows for screen swiping, a familiar motion anyone under three years of age knows how to do. All models receive upgraded LED headlights and Bluetooth.
Reliability & Safety Factor: The 2014 Toyota Corolla has not yet been tested by government safety agencies like the IIHS or NHTSA. Last year’s model was a Top Safety Pick with the IIHS.
Cost Issues: The base Corolla L starts at $16,800; the LE at $18,300; the LE Eco at $18,700; and the S at $19,000. Toyota predicts the lion’s share of sales will go to the LE and S trims.
Activity & Performance Ability: The Corolla performed impressively on city streets, highways and at turns, outputting 132 horsepower for all models (with the LE Eco getting 140 ponies). Transmissions slightly vary, and all models omitting the base L stepping up to a new and ultra-smooth Continuously Variable Transmission (CTVi-S) automatic transmission designed especially for the American market – meaning it can handle our erratic driving style by offering smoother shifting. Additional gear positions while in Drive include the S (best for twists and turns) and the B (best for deceleration on steep slopes). The S trim gets a Sport Mode and paddle shifters at the steering column.
The Green Concern: A new high for gas-powered engines, overall stats for the LE Eco trim are 31-city and 42-highway for a combined EPA rating of 35 miles-per-gallon.
FINAL PARTING WORDS
Playing on strengths but delivering more modern style and features, the 2014 Toyota Corolla allows drivers to live large for a small price by evolving an exciting drive rather than just another compact sedan with great gas mileage.
2014 Toyota Corolla Commercial,/p?
History of Toyota Corolla 1966-2010
©2013 Katrina Ramser