By on May 6, 2014

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“Are you interested in our Thousand Dollar Test Drive raffle?” the saleslady eagerly asked. A row of new Corollas beckoned at the front of the lot; their freshly redesigned maws were hungry for customers. 

 The car I wound up driving is not the one in the pictures, but this showroom model is exactly the same sans a color change. A combination of threatening weather, pollen, and lens glare prevented me from getting any decent shots of the one on the lot. Just as well, because I greatly prefer this car’s red to the other’s less flashy silver metallic. Even if the redesign turns out to be too adventurous for Toyota’s more conservative customers, I’m a fan. The 17” wheels of the S Plus are harmonious with the car’s overall proportions, and unlike the refreshed Camry there’s no DLO fail in the rear side windows. I will say that the racy elegance of the piano black front grille with chrome surround on the S doesn’t translate well into the cheaper trims. On those, you get a wide swath of “I’m poor” unpainted plastic, much like the unfortunate snout of the Chevrolet SS.

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 The interior is the single greatest area of improvement over the old car. Grab the dash, and you can tell that there’s a greater level of solidity in its construction. Luxurious isn’t the word I’d use to describe it, but everything is in easy-to-use good taste. The piano black and painted silver complement the overall cockpit ambiance without feeling cheesy or me-too. The dash felt high to me, but no worse than most other cars on the market right now. The back-up camera kicks on automatically, but I still prefer the rear window: visibility is reasonable but not great.  At 6’ 2” I had no problem getting comfortable and ready to roll.

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 Speaking of comfort, the seats were the best part of the entire car for me. The lumbar support felt great on my aching, recently operated-on back, and the bottom cushion was supportive but not too firm. I didn’t need to use the orthopedic pad I’ve been dragging around with me, and felt fine throughout my test drive. The six-way mechanical adjustment mechanism was great, especially the up-down function. In short, these seats completely outclass the previous-generation car, my xA, the Focus, the Altima, and pretty much anything else I can think of. If you do a lot of freeway driving and are contemplating a car at around this price and size, the Corolla deserves your consideration for those seats alone.

 The version of Toyota’s Entune infotainment system gave me no problems in my brief experimentation with it. It was easy to Bluetooth sync an Iphone 4 and make a long-distance call, which the recipient had no trouble understanding. I didn’t have any songs on that phone so I couldn’t test the music sync, but the menus were easy to understand. The stereo came through loud and clear- no complaints there. The voice-command system employs a training function that adjusts to the driver with time, so it’s difficult to get a feel for it during a short drive. As a millennial that spends a shockingly small amount of time playing with his phone while driving, I have no complaints regarding anything infotainment-related.

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 The only true negatives to the interior are in the back, but they don’t cancel out the strengths of the front. The rear seats don’t fold flat, and the trunk pass-through is disappointingly narrow. I didn’t have enough room to avoid hitting my head on the headliner, which didn’t surprise me: compact car back seats are rarely my friend. Even so, legroom was more than adequate and therefore should be good for just about anyone who isn’t an NBA center.  The biggest gripe I had was the totally flimsy and destined-to-break collapsible rear cup holder. I would rather sacrifice a small amount of center console room to get one or two molded cup holders, especially given the fact that in many cases rear-seat occupants are likely to be children. A couple toddler kicks is all it will take to bust off that chintzy fold-up mechanism. Another more trivial complaint: the map pocket on the back of the passenger seat is unlined. Instead of durable pleather, it’s some type of clingy foam material which felt thoroughly unpleasant on my hand. There’s also the annoying lack of a rear-seat coathook by the grab handle, a useful feature I have utilized in my xA countless times. What are you supposed to do with your dry-cleaning now?

 In terms of overall road manners, it’s a mixed bag. In the Deep South we’re a little short on freeze-cracked pavement, so I didn’t get to test the ride on rough road as much as I would have liked. Despite this, the car felt thoroughly composed over the bumps I did encounter. This was another area of noticeable improvement over the previous generation. That feeling of flouncy, floppy suspension response typical of the old car is much reduced. It didn’t quite live up to the standards of the Focii or the Cruzes that I have ridden in, but I’d hesitate to render a final verdict without having taken the Corolla over a truly rough stretch of road. I will say that the handling is still the most tedious part of the Corolla experience. You rotate the steering wheel, and the car changes direction. If you want feedback, look elsewhere. The brakes are definitely more inspiring though, with a solid pedal feel no doubt helped by the tested car’s 4-wheel discs.

  This car was equipped with the simulated paddle shift option for Toyota’s new CVT. To its credit, it feels remarkably like the shift-it-yourself systems in other cars with conventional torque-converter automatics. Blip the paddle, and the gearchange feels just like a cog swap in an old-school box. If you enjoy those systems, you’ll appreciate the one in this car. As for myself, I can’t really escape the artificiality of the process. When allowed to do its thing, the CVT is a fine automatic transmission that isn’t intrusive or annoying. It will be a perfectly acceptable replacement for the much-maligned 4-speed, which is still in the fleet-level trims. There is some delay in response when you mash the throttle, but not any more than in most automatics. Like many compacts these days, there’s an “Eco” button on the dash that lights up to tell you you’re not driving like a nutcase. The good news is that a true 6-speed manual is available in this trim level, a nice concession to enthusiasts.

 With $860 in freight charges and a $299 set of floor mats, the tested car stickered for $20,869. For that you get Entune with a 6.1” touchscreen, USB, Bluetooth, and an auxiliary jack. You also get the “shiftable” CVT, backup camera, heated power mirrors, keyless entry, daytime running and fog lights, and 4-wheel discs. It’s not the bargain in this segment, but not the priciest either; about in the middle, in true Corolla fashion. The strongest argument I can make for this car is the seats, in addition to the traditional economy and reliability. The sensibility and comfort of the revised interior combined with the newly stylish exterior has gotten me to seriously consider it as a possible successor to my xA; I couldn’t have said that about the previous generation. I didn’t win the eponymous raffle. Even so, I managed to score a nifty logo towel as a consolation prize; you can judge if my opinion has been bought off. More importantly, the test drive got me, an enthusiast, to take the Corolla seriously once again.

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86 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2014 Toyota Corolla S Plus CVT...”


  • avatar
    Zackman

    Wifey and I looked at one of these at our recent auto show and were duly impressed. If I were going to replace my Impala, I’d have to give one of these a look-see and test drive for sure.

    The car on the floor was red, too. Identical to the top photo in everything I could see.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Detractors not withstanding, I see a bunch of these new Corollas around the Miami area every day, it is amazing how popular these cars are around these parts, I truly believe that it is taking business away from its larger stablemate, I mean when I went to see one, the inside was the same size as my 86 Camry.

  • avatar
    alsorl

    I might be going crazy or just giving up on life. So consult psych because I actually think the new corolla is not that bad. I sat in one a few weeks ago and seats were pretty damn nice and interior was not so bad either. If I was in the market for a small sedan, the new Toyoda corolla would definitely be on the list for debate. I still think the new 1.8t jetta, Ford focus, and Hyundai elantra offer more and would be much more fun to drive. But the new corolla is pretty damn nice. Well see how the crash test rating are before a final opinion can be made.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I agree with you. The new Corolla, in S spec with those wheels looks good. The increased space and quality is also welcome. This seems like a very good upgrade.

      • 0 avatar
        luvmyv8

        Also agree too. They look great in blue with the S trim. If I got one it’d be that, but with the 6 speed manual and navigation.

        This was plan ‘B’ for me if I couldn’t find/afford a Jeep Wrangler that I liked, but I did find one.

        Still though, I think Toyota did well with this generation of Corolla.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      The Elantra is horrible to drive. I can say this from experience.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Why are people surprised that this car has gotten much better, Toyota does have good engineers and plenty of money to develop a decent car and besides their top brass most likely got fed up with all the negatives reviews and comments on the previous gen which had become the Aveo of the compact class.

    • 0 avatar
      kmoney

      They did seem to let the car somewhat languish for years. We’ve owned a ’93, ’99 and ’04 and all three seemed to just be evolutions of the previous car with enough stuff tacked on to make them salable in their respective timeframes. The new car actually seems like a car you would buy for reasons other than that it is simply dead solid reliable and cheap with a decent dealer experience (the only reason we owned the previous three).

      I was surprised when I saw this car, not so much because I thought Toyota couldn’t do it, but because they actually look like they started to care.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    I had an ex with a 04′ Corolla. Car never gave her any problems, but what was pretty miserable to ride and drive in. A bit cramped upfront, and I’m not that large or tall, and just not a great ride at all.

    Maybe this new one is that much better, which would be nice, because I really can’t say anything bad on the dependability of these cars or how they’re made. $20k+ is way too much money for one these though; I’d probably go the base-base model and a manual 6spd, which came out to $17k…. still a bit pricey for a small car, but more reasonable.

    When the time comes, and if I hate the Fiat 500, I think this is quickly becoming 2nd choice.

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      Too much? have you been pricing cars lately, even POS like the Fiat 500 are going for close to $20k, the way people like to buy them.

      • 0 avatar

        Hey Volt! I think the Corolla is a greater POS than the 500. YMMV. :)

        • 0 avatar
          Volt 230

          Then perhaps you could explain to me why they buy them from salvage yards, fix them up and ship them to Latin America and the Caribbean?

          • 0 avatar

            They don’t do that in Brazil, thank God. Here the new Corolla has been launched (looks like the Euro version). Looks like a good car, but way too expensive. I, and I stress the I part, have no use for it as there are cars like Logan, Cobalt, Versa in the category below that do the same for less, and cars of French origin in the same category as the Corolla that also do the same for less, plus more content and style.

            Meanwhile, our market is in duress but the 500 still has waiting lists.

            It’s just my opinion Volt, I recognize the Corolla is a good car that serves well millions of people all over the world. It just doesn’t rock my boat is all.

          • 0 avatar
            alsorl

            Because its Latin America and Caribbean they don’t know any better. And most of those are third world countries.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            Marcelo, there’s some significant difference between “… greater POS than a…” and “… good car… just doesn’t rock my boat at all.”

      • 0 avatar
        AMC_CJ

        I’ve been seeing slightly used Fiat 500′s for $10-$12k. I wouldn’t pay no retail for them…. well, I have seen the local Dealer discount brand new manual Turbo models down to $17k already.

        When you can get a base Mustang for $22k, it’s hard to think a crappy small slow FWD car is a decently priced at a few grand less.

        • 0 avatar

          Hey KixStart! I was just repeating Volt’s terminology. I think that few cars today really deserve to be called POS. They can have a POS feature or other, but rarely is the whole package a total POS. FWIW, I think neither the 500 nor the Corolla are PsOS. I just think the Corolla has a lot of competition that make it a less compelling buy to me (I stress the “to me”), while the 500 has a great style that I’d love to have. So, the 500 rocks my boat while the Corolla doesn’t and all is good.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Marcelo I think you are spot on. The Corolla has been and still is pretty much a one trick pony – uber reliable, the cockroach of cars. But there are SO many more interesting/nicer choices for the money, and everything is reliable these days. Poked around a brand new one on a rental lot recently, it’s nicer than the old one, but that isn’t saying much. I doubt it could possibly drive any WORSE than the old one, because that car was firmly dead last in its class for that.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Good looking car.

    Fun Fact: One of my friends has one and the key fob rings like a cell phone.

  • avatar
    alsorl

    Have you driven an older corolla ? Even the brakes felt like an 1983 VW jetta. And interior was very cheap.

    • 0 avatar
      Krivka

      Gave my 2002 Corolla to my brother. 120k miles, original exhaust, two sets of tires, two sets of brakes. Drove it on long vacations and never had a problem with it. Best vehicle I ever had, not necessarily the best car to drive, but bullet proof.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Compared to what? I know that the competition at the time, like Neon, Cavalier and Escort were worse.

  • avatar
    brenschluss

    So we’ll need to memorize a new taillight pattern to recognize the rolling chicane of American highways from afar.

    No car is more often driven 20MPH below the speed limit than the seafoam green Toyota Corolla.

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      you must drive I-95 around Miami.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I always see Toyota drivers speeding, for what it’s worth. I nearly got run down by a Prius yesterday…

      • 0 avatar
        LALoser

        A friend is a beat cop in NYC, he claims Corolla drivers are the worse of the worse.

      • 0 avatar
        brenschluss

        The Prius occupies an interesting spot because most of its male drivers under 55 (or who color their hair) all seem to drive them as quickly as they can go, maybe as some compensatory beta-male thing against their wives telling them they had to buy it.

        80%+ I see in Corollas are just unsure, hesitant, clumsy drivers.

        Not to stereotype or anything.

        Also I think something weird is going on with the comments. This should be to Kyree.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Some Prii in NW Ohio are rolling roadblocks, to be sure, but I have had the occasion to have had my doors blown off by a few on the freeway!

        On a drive from Toledo to Detroit, my cruise was set at 80, and a white 3rd-Generation Prius came out of nowhere–had to be doing nearly the top speed of the car. (What is the top speed of a Prius? I presume it’s governed by tires or the need to prevent the HSD from blowing its top.)

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Does it go fast apart from the immediate hesitation?

    I’ve developed a strong aversion to new cars, as they don’t go fast. Yes, an EB3.5 V6 can move, but Ford will probably shoot that engine when they give us the “engineering marvel” of a stretched Fusion named Taurus. The Focus is a slug; everything from Mazda is a slug; the Regal is a dead dog; at least the Camry V6 goes. it doesn’t matter how they try to force more air through an I-4, they gear those things so they turn into slugs in real life.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Totally agree. Today’s engines put out great numbers, but the engineers just adjust the gear ratios to maximize fuel economy. That way the marketing types can boast about how with a turbo motor the fuel economy is nearly the same as a the base motor – extra power for “free.”

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        Marcelo do most Brazilians buy stick or auto?

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        After many years of only driving direct throttle cars, I had the opportunity to drive some of these new computer controlled throttle by wire systems and felt “disconnected” from the drive train in a way that is difficult to explain, like when you step on the gas is more of a “request” or “suggestion” than a command.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          That’s absolutely correct Volt 230. Throttle by Wire systems always seem hesitant to me.

          Request rather than command sums it up perfectly.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      The “stretched” Fusion that becomes a Taurus has been killed.

  • avatar
    dude500

    I drove a 2014 Corolla as a rental recently, and I have to say that it is a pleasant place to be in, if you’re constantly stuck in traffic. The HVAC and radio interface system is top notch (better than UConnect, primarily because it is intuitive) and the speakers are excellent (clear sound, even with deep bass). I agree that the seats are very comfortable too. I’d prefer the Corolla over many cars if I didn’t go over 20mph with any regularity.

    However, the driving dynamics leave much to be desired. A Chrysler 200 (not the redesigned one) drives better than the new Corolla, and even the I4 Chrysler engine is less buzzy than the Toyota I4. The new brakes are very good, however. The CVT is about what you’d expect – merging on a highway sounds like a turboprop taking off, and takes the same amount of time too.

    The suspension on the new Corolla is strange – yes it is firm, but not well damped, so hitting a pothole delivers both an immediate blow to the cabin and also generates 4 or 5 oscillations. Basically, it has the worst traits of a stuff suspension and a soft suspension, with no benefits.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I’ll have to disagree on the piano black grill. Piano black plastic trim gets easily scratched and shows dirt and smudges when it’s on the INSIDE of the car, it’s going to get murdered as part of the grill. Give me the “I’m poor” unpainted plastic everyday, or, better yet, don’t design such a huge grill.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I had one of these as a rental for a week. I concur on the seats. The front was a very comfortable place to be. I got no complaints from my young teenage rear seat passengers, and the trunk was spacious enough for nearly any Costco run.

    I tried using the paddles, and gave up when I realized that in everyday traffic, the car did a much better job of “shifting” than I did. The engine I would say was cooperative, if not particularly willing, and the transmission was well matched to it. Fuel economy seemed decent, but not out of the ordinary.

    It’s a very competent transportation appliance, but doesn’t leave much for anyone with an interest in sporting driving.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      The CVT in the 2013 Accord, when I test-drove a 2013 Sport so-equipped, about two days after the new ones hit the lots in 2012, seemed to be done very well as opposed to horror stories such as some Nissan CVTs or Subie Justys! It essentially behaved like a conventional slushbox, minus normal upshifts; just a smooth rise in speed along with RPMs. (As opposed to the RPMs hitting a certain point and droning away while the car accelerated.)

      Done right, in lower-torque four-pot applications, these are probably OK. The only unknown is reliability and durability; the Accord units have had occasional hiccups, but TCU software updates have taken care of most of the problems; Honda has had to replace a few units, but have been OK about it, if I’m not mistaken.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Glad to hear praise for good seat comfort in a compact, hope this is some sort of trend. My 2012 Civic is the same way. Despite whatever complaints I may have about wooly handling or cheap-ish interior and road noise, the seats are incredible. 10 hour road trips are a breeze. Actually more comfortable than my old gold standard, the first gen Volvo S60 seats.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Had a 2013 Civic as a service-loaner (just didn’t feel like sitting at the dealer for several hours), and the seats are nearly as good as my Accord Touring’s!

      One other thing that Honda seems to get right is the front headrests; every auto scribe seems to complain about how the newer anti-whiplash headrests push one’s head forward. The Honda ones seem to hit nicely right on the back of my neck. Verrrry comfy!

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    If anyone from Toyota is listening…

    Americanize and import the wagon version, and I’m first in line.

    • 0 avatar
      Tinn-Can

      I would like this… I loved the body style of the wagon in the other review, but the front end of the US version looks a lot better to me… It would be hard going back to a sedan after having a hatch to add cargo area…

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Seats are one area where the Koreans seem to lag behind, the couple of Hyundai cars I have rented for long trips did not have very comfy seats at all.

    • 0 avatar

      And suspensions. And engine refinement.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        Marcelo, you’re being mean to the Koreans, come on now!

        • 0 avatar

          Hey Volt, not really! Just my opinion. I think to most people they’re fine, get the job done etc. But to those who can feel that extra mile, nope, not there yet. I think the suspension on the Corolla is better than on equivalent HyunKias. The engines too. As are those of most other large players. I truly believe the Koreans still have a ways to go there.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I agree that our 2012 Sonata Limited has a suspension-setup that could best be described as “crashy”. We rented a base-spec 2013 Santa Fe Sport, and it didn’t feel that great, either, especially once we got to Colo. Springs. But the Azera and Cadenza seem to be far, far better, and I’m betting that the new Genesis, Equus, and K9/K900 are much better, too…

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Kyree! I sure hope for them that they do get it right, but then they’ll have to work on engine refinement. Lots of people jump on me whenever I state this, but both these things take talent, perseverance and some money. Though it costs about as much to build a coarse engine as a more suave one. Ditto suspensions. So, I’ll use the phrase again, it takes some black arts. Maybe HyunKia did it this time around. Maybe not. The proof will be in the driving.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        The seats in the newer Koreans – the Azera, Santa Fe, etc. are much better.

        In fact, the seats in the new Genesis sedan have gotten high praise for comfort – which could not be said for the seats in the outgoing one.

        Same for the suspension/ride.

        Kia’s recent products have been beating Toyota’s for ride/suspension comfort.

        Cadenza > Avalon
        Forte > Corolla

        Heck, even the box-ute Soul has beaten the Corolla for ride comfort in a comparison test.

        Toyota stiffened up their suspensions across the board in an attempt to get sportier and all they did was ruin their formerly compliant ride.

        What they do need to work on is steering feel/feedback – getting dangerously close to Toyota territory for numb steering.

        • 0 avatar

          Don’t know those cars, except for the Forte (called Cerato) here. Maybe they are better. On the whole I found the Cerato very underwhelming (though my wife thinks it’s beautiful).

          As to numb steering, unfortunately everyone is going down that road.

          • 0 avatar
            kvndoom

            I have the 2010 Forte SX coupe (Koup, if you must) and the seats are very comfortable. Compared to leather seats of all my other cars of the past 5 years I’d put them a small step below the 2006 TSX, and vastly superior to all the others (2011 Accord EXL, 2011 Juke SL, 2009 Speed3).

            The Accord was the biggest disappointment because its seats were horrific for a $30000 car. My left leg and hip experienced frequent numbness and pain, and my passengers beside and behind me complained all the time.

            Everyone loves the Kia’s seats, and I’ve had some long driving days (5+ hours) with no pain or fatigue at all.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            The 8th-Gen Accord (2008-2012) in general is the nadir of Accords, IMHO. A bloated whale, with cheap interior fitment and other cost-cutting to a fare-thee-well (although my 9th-Gen Touring has the co$t-cutting down with the alleged “carpet” and the feeling that something may scratch in the interior if you look at it funny, though I’ve been lucky (but have had to tell a couple female passengers with long fingernails to not tap on the plastic around the passenger window switches)!

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          The new Forte has been highly praised. And also in a recent review rated much higher than the Civic and Corolla.

          • 0 avatar

            Maybe the generations are different. Anyways, I too had read great things about the Cerato. Then I drove it. Underwhelmed. Closer to a Corolla than a Civic imo. Also, imo, didn’t offer anything different than the often derided third world specials so common in Brazil. In short, nice car, but not much else, and pretty much very close to cars that cost a fraction here.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    In the US even the Germans are going soft in the handling, suspension dept compared to what they were a generation ago, the US Passat and Jetta are almost as softly sprung as their Asian rivals and so are the latest BMW, except for the 1 and 2 series.

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    The rear seats don’t fold down? That’s a pretty big negative in my book…

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Styling is a huge improvement. I’ve seen a few in the wild and they look vastly better than the previous generation. Flashy without being over the top – S trim especially.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Toyota would never do it, but they should drop the Corolla name. At least in the US.

    It has a stigma, a negative stigma that hurts an improved vehicle. Not so tarnished as “Taurus” but tarnished so it’s an immediate turn-off to many.

    It’s almost the opposite problem Acura has w/ the Legend, a name that people remember fondly yet the pigheaded marketers eschew because it doesn’t fit into their alleged strategery.(sic)

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The biggest gripe I had was the totally flimsy and destined-to-break collapsible rear cup holder.

    So judging by the Matrix/Vibes I’ve been in (and the photo) the cup holder has been carry over for many years?

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Does your wife’s Matrix have this same thing in the back?

      Frankly, I’m waiting for the first subcompact (whatever the Civc/Corolla/Sentra fits into) to have rear seat vents in the console; I’ve received nice complements about the ones in my Accord; unfortunately, Honda only includes those in certain upper-level trims, where they used to be very egalitarian on the “sweat-the-details” stuff before the bean-counters REALLY took over! (Even the basest-of-base, four-wheels-and-a-heater Civic CX was beyond its class in terms of feel and substance!) Now, the Accord is just like the Civic (and a lot of other cars) in that THE TINTED BAND ON THE WINDSHIELD has been left on the altar of penny-pinching! :-(

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Yes my wife’s Vibe has EXACTLY the same rear seat cup holder and it is a 2005 model. I think that the cup holder could have been improved at some point.

  • avatar
    donutguy

    Test drove one of these, specced almost exactly the same, no heated seats in the Toyota, the Hyundai Elantra had them (heated seats are a must here in the Northeast)

    It was okay, I ended up buying the Elantra with pretty much the same features for 1500 dollars less.

    The Hyundai just felt more solid and it has a ton of rear leg room and I liked the interior of the Hyundai more. The Toyota was like sitting in a cave, while the Hyundai’s dash seemed like it was lower and more open.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    My sister bought one of these. She preferred the Mazda3, but the Toyota dealer threw cash at her and made the price difference impossible to ignore. She’s not an enthusiastic driver, came from an old Hyundai without any tech toys, and is happy with it.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    Does TTAC employ a moderator for comment? Because there has to be someone xing out the many comments there MUST have been posted complaining about the fact that in this “total” redesign, Toyota is using the same engine they’ve used for 10 years running now.

    I think it’s pretty funny that the reviewer had to avoid ANY mention of engine performance in order to produce a largely positive review.

    Of course he owns a Scion xA – the car that ruined Smart’s plan to dominate that niche, so that has to be taken into consideration…

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      The Corolla got a new engine for the 2009 model year. The 1ZZ (what you are referring to) and 2ZR share displacement, but that was it. The 2ZR was a completely new engine when it went on sale in early 2008 as a 2009 model. The Eco version of the Corolla gets a version of the 2ZR with variable valve lift that is supposed to improve torque across the range where the original 2ZR was a little on the peaky side. So, they’ve actually put out 2 new engines in the time frame you are talking about. The Prius and Prius v have an atkinson cycle version of the 2ZR that was new for model year 2010.

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        OK, so they have put out 2 new engines that make no more power than the one from 10 years ago and are completely outclassed by the competition in performance and technology.

        I stand corrected.

  • avatar
    miketype1each

    The dash is too much with its height and piano black bits. The author mentions the deletion of the coat hooks at the rear upper grab bars. Also missing is the upper glove box, center stack side pockets (deleted in 2011), center stack cubby hole door, trunk package tray (deleted in 2011), and the spare change box. What you get to replace them are LED headlamps, a CVT, longer wheelbase, “better-quality” interior appointments, the dash height of an old GMC truck, marginally more trunk space, more rear legroom, and less rear headroom.

    They say the styling is better, but I disagree–especially when it comes to the design of the dash. At sub-S levels, the front fascia looks like a vehicle from some old sci-fi movie.

    Seems to me Toyota have taken a step backward by removing the excellent storage of my 2009 S model. Seeing as how Corollas are supposed to last for years, it looks like I’ll have no need for this new one. And if I did, I’d buy an Elantra based on its looks alone.

    Oh, and this new ‘Rolla really doesn’t do well in the IIHS small overlap crash test. Toyota knew of the test, so why isn’t this new generation Corolla capable of scoring higher than the test’s “marginal” rating? Just asking…

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      I at least give ‘yota props for the LED headlights; after having lived with them for over a year on my 2013 Accord Touring, they are a “must-have”: great white, bright output of xenons without the glare and color-shifts.

      • 0 avatar
        miketype1each

        Oh, I’m sure LED headlamps are awesome. But did you know that women, in particular, will decide if they like a car based on where the interior door pulls are located? They like them near the hinge point of the door, so that when the door is open, they needn’t reach out very far to pull it closed. It’s true.

        Likewise, certain people like a certain amount of storage space. They also prefer certain locations for buttons, knobs, and so on. I especially appreciate a certain amount of what I call “lateral knee room”, whereby I can stretch my legs out sideways. Ford’s Fiesta, for example, is woefully inadequate in this area. So too is the Focus, and especially the Escape. The Fiesta’s door pull is attached to the door at precisely where my left knee would rest, IF I had any room for it. The Focus and Escape both have such huge center stacks that lateral knee room–and more especially, room for my right foot to rest on the accelerator pedal–is virtually nonexistent.

        Neither my ’09 or this new Corolla disappoint in the lateral knee room department. But did you know the new Japanese Corolla, called the Corolla Axio, retains the upper glove box AND the spare change box? Yep, it sure does. Granted, it’s nothing like the ‘Rolla sold here, but that’s beside the point; Toyota Japan realize that a Corolla should have innovative storage to be considered above offerings by other makers. We’ve simply come to expect a Corolla to have certain appointments as standard. Good heavens, they’ve also deleted the coat hooks! What? Really, Toyota? Do you think that’s wise?

        So, yes, LED headlamps are cool, but are they so very cool as to delete the goodies I expect from a vanilla daily-driver? I think not. And given as I’ve only seen about 4 new 11th-gen ‘Rollas on the road, perhaps others view Toyota’s new design philosophy as I do: High on flash; low on substance.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    C&D tested the S and its performance is lousy. Best run, 0-60 in 10.5 and 24 mpg overall. That’s slower than the LE ECO and does no better on the skidpad than the same. The ECO also stops better.

    So, the “S” doesn’t mean better perf, it just offers faster steering.
    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-toyota-corolla-s-automatic-test-review

    Craptastic.


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