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Editors' Page: 2014 Toyota Corolla

By KBB.com Editors on December 9, 2013 5:50 PM
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Traditional virtues fortified by high mpg.

The redesigned Corolla is embarked on its 11th generation, a stem-to-stern makeover that enhances this compact bestseller's traditional strengths -- reliability, affordability, low operating costs -- with 21st-century must-have improvements: a roomier interior, reduced interior noise, and increased fuel economy. Its new, more contemporary sheetmetal surrounds a substantially bigger Corolla -- longer wheelbase, longer and wider overall, with a vast increase in rear seat legroom that trumps everything in the compact class, as well as many midsize and even full-size sedans.

With attractive pricing, contemporary styling, class-leading roominess, and high fuel economy ratings, the Corolla has what it takes to continue building on its formidable worldwide sales record -- 40 million cars and still going strong, the bestselling brand in automotive history.

Build and Price

Sticker prices for the 2014 Toyota Corolla start under $18,000 and top out under $25,000, attractive pricing that's backed up by strong resale values. Build and price your own 2014 Toyota Corolla right here at KBB.com to unlock Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own and more.

At the Wheel

For all their popularity, Corollas have never won praise for their fun-to-drive index, and that tradition continues in the latest generation. Steering feel is essentially absent, body roll abundant in hard cornering, braking performance sub-standard among compact sedans, and acceleration tepid with either engine. Most Corollas will likely be equipped with a new continuously variable transmission (CVT), and to Toyota's credit it's more pleasant to live with than most transmissions of this type, with artificial shift steps programmed in and little of the annoying wheeze that accompanies similar units during hard acceleration. While driver engagement is largely absent, the Corolla does have two dynamic strong suits: it's far quieter than its predecessor -- interior noise suppression was a key element in the redesign -- and its cushy suspension tuning will iron out all but the nastiest pavement warts, even in the slightly firmer S trim level.

One Size

While many of its compact competitors also offer coupe and/or hatchback versions, the Toyota Corolla still comes in just one body style, a formal four-door sedan. It's a continuation of a long tradition of one-size-fits-all, but in this case the size has been expanded enough to justify the convention. 

Feature Highlight

Toyota has added a new sub-chapter in the unending saga of improved internal combustion efficiency. A variation on the variable valve timing systems that have become common in today's engines, it's called Valvetronic, and it's the key to the Corolla's LE Eco variant. The system reduces intake valve lift when throttle openings are slight, minimizing pumping losses and enhancing fuel economy. The Eco version of the Corolla's 1.8-liter 4-cylinder is rated for 140 hp, 8 more than the standard 1.8, although peak torque is down 2 lb-ft, to 126. More important, the Valvetronic 1.8 is EPA rated for over 40 mpg.

Owners Say

KBB.com visitor virginia_driver had this to say: "While reviewers have noted ad infinitum that it isn't a 'drivers car' it certainly has more than adequate power for any sane driver, and the handling and steering are quite solid - certainly no 'floatiness'. The ride is very quiet and bumps are handled very well; I have never driven a car with better suspension. The interior, as noted elsewhere is large for this class car." Read more Toyota Corolla consumer reviews.

Other Compact Cars

The affordable, dependable Toyota Corolla is one of the smartest and most practical new-cars choices you can make, but that doesn't mean it's the right choice for you. Check out all your compact car options for 2014.

Photo Gallery: 2014 Toyota Corolla Inside and Out

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