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2014 Toyota Corolla Review

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2014 Toyota Corolla Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

Toyota argues that the Toyota Corolla is all-new for 2014, but that's a mixed truth. With roomy seating for five, the front-wheel-drive 4-door looks all-new, and its interior is certainly newer and nicer than ever. But the mechanicals include the Corolla's tried-and-true 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine and the true-but-tired twist-beam axle rear-suspension setup, both deeply refined but neither revolutionized. Competitors like the segment-leading Honda Civic, the Ford Focus and the new Mazda3 all have something tempting to lure compact-sedan buyers away from a Corolla – even an all-new one – but none of them can match the no surprises, bread-and-butter goodness of a Toyota Corolla.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you and your family have been speaking Toyota for as long as you can remember, the 2014 Corolla is the compact 4-door for you.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you want sportiness, chase down the new Mazda3 or a Ford Focus. Need to save as much as possible? Try to scrape up a bare-bones Kia Forte (good luck on that quest).

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.6
  • 7.2
  • 7.4
  • 7.2
  • 8.2
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#11

out of 22

Fuel Economy

#16

out of 22

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.6 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Toyota Corolla Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

Toyota portrays the Corolla as all-new for 2014.

Driving the Corolla
2014 Toyota Corolla Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions The 2014 Toyota Corolla is not out for blood. It is easy to drive, and if your expectations don't exceed the price you paid for the car, it is a...

... pleasant way to spend your time – whether on a short commute or a weekend road trip. Its ride is compact-car decent, with some higher-speed road noise present though not oppressive. Both 1.8-liter engines can successfully shrug up enough power to tackle a freeway onramp and find a way around slower traffic. The CVTi-S automatic transmission serves its noble purpose – adding a few extra mpg to the Corolla's bottom line – but like many CVTs, it can rev a bit too freely, loudly at times. You should be getting this message by now: The new Corolla won't bring a twisty road to its knees, but it will get you comfortably where you gotta go without adding any fussiness, and it'll do it for a long, long time.

AN INTERIOR HOME RUN, PART I: MATERIALS
Toyota has gone back to realizing that this is where most people spend their time with a car: inside. The interior design, seating, materials and touch points are all a step up in the 2014 Corolla.

AN INTERIOR HOME RUN, PART II: TECH-READY SETUP
Even in base form, the new Corolla pays attention to audio tech desires. The car includes both an Apple-compatible USB port and an iPod interface, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, and is hands-free Bluetooth phone ready.

2014 Toyota Corolla Details
2014 Toyota Corolla Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Telling the real story of the new Corolla sedan means talking about the interior. As we mentioned, this is a very nice interior – even the car's headliner material is impressive. There's plenty of stretch-out space in the front seats, and the newly extended wheelbase gives rear-seat passengers world-record legroom. Rear headroom, however, is compromised by the jaunty sweep of the Corolla's C-pillar/roofline into the trunk – good to look at, but requires ducking from tall-torsoed riders in back.

Exterior
2014 Toyota Corolla photo

Thanks to its 2014 redo, the all-new exterior styling has allowed the Corolla to move away from an anonymity that the Federal Witness Protection Program can't duplicate to an appealing series of folded edges in search of big wheels and tires to punctuate its stance (15-inch steel wheels are standard on base models, but find a way to move up to 16- or 17-inch wheels in steel or aluminum if you can). The car looks especially good in darker colors. And while the trunk capacity is a pinch bigger than the previous-generation Corolla, the trunk opening is smaller.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Like most of the players in this class, the basic Toyota Corolla L comes pretty basic. The most notable exceptions – Nice interior! Cool, iPod connectivity. Ahh, Bluetooth hands-free calling. – have already been outlined. Don't worry, the car gets air conditioning and a decent 4-speaker audio system, plus power windows, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and – all the rage in luxury cars these days – LED headlights. Always thinking of you, Toyota also includes a manual height adjuster for the driver's seat. While not yet ready to tame all the forces in an offset crash test, the new Corolla does offer the protection of eight airbags.

Optional Equipment

As is the habit these days, carmakers don't offer options so much as they offer option packages and add equipment by trim level. The 2014 Toyota Corolla sedan follows this lead. Pass on the base L version and step up to the LE models to get automatic climate control, Entune 6-speaker audio with streaming Bluetooth, bigger wheels, and remote keyless entry. Reaching up to the Corolla S rewards you with a sportier environment that includes fog lights, a chrome-tipped exhaust and a rear-deck spoiler, plus bolder seats and instrument cluster. The Driver's Convenience Package nets you Entune Premium audio, navigation and apps. Stand-alone option highlights: moonroof and push-button starting.

Under the Hood
2014 Toyota Corolla Engine photo

Without asking you to wade waist-deep into an engine-technology discussion, we'd like you to know that the 2014 Toyota Corolla is offered with two versions of a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine. The first version, used in L, LE and S Corolla models, produces 132 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque – not much bragging rights for power, but the fuel economy is strong for the class (see the EPA numbers below). The second 1.8-liter, in Corolla LE Eco models, gets to tout fuel economy as high as 42 mpg on the highway – superb for a non-hybrid – mated to Toyota's CVTi-S continuously variable automatic transmission. That fuel-conscious CVTi-S also hosts the power in Corolla LE and S automatic-transmission models. A 6-speed manual gearbox is available in Corolla L and S versions, while a 4-speed automatic is available in the Corolla L.

1.8-liter inline-4
132 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
128 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy:
Corolla L: 28/37 mpg (6-speed manual), 27/36 mpg (4-speed automatic)
Corolla LE: 29/38 mpg (CVTi-S automatic)
Corolla S: 29/37 mpg (CVTi-S automatic), 28/37 mpg (6-speed manual)

1.8-liter inline-4
140 horsepower @ 6,100 rpm
126 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy:
Corolla LE Eco: 30/42 mpg (CVTi-S automatic)
Corolla LE Eco Plus & Eco Premium: 30/40 mpg (CVTi-S automatic)

Starting with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of around $17,500 for the Corolla L and reaching over $24,000 for a Corolla S model loaded past the point of "a good value," the 2014 Toyota Corolla resides right in the heart of the compact-sedan pricing spectrum. Notably, that high end is also where you can enjoy some really nice midsize sedans as well. Before you close a deal on your new Corolla, be sure to check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what kinds of deals other folks in your area are getting for theirs. Since the 2014 Corolla is an "all-new" vehicle, it's too early for us to make a call on how well it's going to hold its value over the years, but we will go on the record saying that no brand retains its resale value more consistently than Toyota.

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2014 Toyota Corolla Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 53 Ratings for the 2014 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Beautiful design with customer first

By on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 260

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price , fun to drive"

Cons: "No sunglasses holder"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

Letting it take a rest

"The hottest vehicle on the road today . Affordable, yet everything you ever wanted and more in a vehicle. Honda has nothing on this vehicle. The options are endless, and the ride is so comfortable, quite and smooth."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Letting it take a rest

Best first new car!

By on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great price, fun to drive, all-around awesome"

Cons: "non standard sunroof, slightly elevated dashboard"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned a very old Mercedes for my very first car. Unfortunately, the cost to fix the engine was far more than the vehicle itself. With the constant browsing through the market of compact/subcompact cars, I was dead-set on getting the 2015 Honda Fit. However, my mother told me that the revamped 2015 Toyota Corolla suited my needs, due to its bigger space and longevity. Good thing I listened to her. I now own a 2015 Toyota Corolla S Plus model. The interior and exterior completely changed for the better in the 11th generation of Corollas. Great audio, bluetooth capability, USB port, etc. Just a user-friendly infotainment system. The outside looks very modern, resonating the presence of a Lexus, if you look at it closely. Many car enthusiasts and car reviewers will argue the weak power, not fun-to-drive environment of the Corolla. Put the car into sport mode and manual mode, now let's see who's wrong. The numbers on the paper may not seem so great, but the experience of this car passes beyond it's 20k value. The CVT creates a smooth ride as well. I highly recommend this car, especially the Sport trim levels for its fun-to-drive and engaging personality. Trust me on this. Even choosing the base trim level will still be a smart choice for the consumers because of the legendary reliability Toyota has. Test drive it yourself. You won't regret it."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Niether happy nor disappointed

By on Thursday, April 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "MPG, Supposed Reliability, and cost."

Cons: "Seat, lack of power, and lack some basic features"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I purchased a new 2015 Toyota Corolla S Plus and this is my review. First I do not expect this car to have all the comforts and style of a much more expensive car so the ratings above is for a car of appropriate value. Pro: MPG, Supposed Reliability, and cost. Con: Seat and lack of several features that Civic has. This is my first Toyota and the deciding factor was the cost. I feel I got a great deal which I was not able to get on the Civic which had more features. I purchased the car with 11 miles and drove 150 miles testing it and seeing how it drives. Overall I have no problems though it did have a little issue with some steep hills MPG: It is estimated 37 on highway and I was easily able to get it to 40 for the 150 mile trip. My average speed was 60-65 miles per hour with some 10 miles of steep hills. Around 10 miles was through stop and go traffic. I have good driving habits though so others may see varying results. My one and biggest issue is the seat. It is very uncomfortable and if I would have test driven it longer I would either not have bought the corolla or upgraded it to one with power seats. The S Plus comes with manual seats and are very uncomfortable. I will be finding a solution to rectify the seat issue even if it means replacing it completely. Since the dealership had no S Premiums I would have likely went with a Honda Civic if I had know the seats were so uncomfortable."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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