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2014 Toyota Corolla Chases Younger Buyers Through "Iconic Dynamism"

2014 Toyota Corolla Chases Younger Buyers Through "Iconic Dynamism"

By Jeff Youngs, June 07, 2013
In introducing the redesigned 2014 Corolla, Toyota says the new car will "change consumer perceptions of this iconic compact." Based on the results of the J.D. Power & Associates 2012 Initial Quality StudySM, consumers perceive the existing Corolla as a quality compact car, and last year the model led its competitive segment in terms of initial quality. Plus, Toyota claims that 80% of all Corollas sold in the past 20 years are still on the road.

Clearly, Toyota isn't talking about changing consumer perceptions of the Corolla's quality. Rather, the automaker is hoping that its new "Iconic Dynamism" styling theme, previewed by the Corolla Furia Concept vehicle that debuted at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, and on display with the arrival of the redesigned 2014 Corolla, will appeal both to existing customers and younger people seeking a "more advanced, modern-looking vehicle," the company announced.

The 2014 Toyota Corolla possesses a longer wheelbase and shorter overhangs than the car it replaces, creating what the company characterizes as "an athletic stance with greater presence." Attached to a body structure that employs extensive use of high-strength steel in its construction, "the impactful simplicity of cleanly sculpted surfaces" and "pronounced flared wheel arches" lend the new Corolla "an exterior elegance," according to Toyota. Additional design details include a longer and faster roofline, a shorter rear deck, a body that tapers inward at the front and rear, and a sweeping character line stamped into the new 2014 Corolla's body sides.

LED low-beam headlights are standard equipment for the 2014 Corolla, which is sold in L, LE, LE Eco, and S trim levels. Standard 15-inch steel wheels are equipped with plastic wheel covers, and Toyota offers a range of aluminum wheel designs up to 17 inches in diameter. Three new paint colors also debut for 2014.

Inside, the 2014 Corolla is equipped with a new horizontally oriented dashboard design, 8 air bags, and Bluetooth connectivity with music streaming capability. Toyota promises "exquisite texture graining" and "premium materials" including piano black trim, metallic accents, and what the automaker characterizes as "decorative pinstriping." Soft-touch materials with "ornamental stitching" cover portions of the new Corolla's dashboard and are applied to key touch points within the car's cabin. Thanks to the Corolla's longer wheelbase, Toyota says the rear seating area is nearly 3 inches longer than before, contributing to "outstanding rear leg room."

Fabric seats are standard, with SofTex leatherette offered as an option. Toyota says the following features will also be available for the Corolla, depending on the trim level selected: Display Audio touch-screen radio, premium sound system, Entune App Suite and data services, navigation system, Smart Key passive entry with push-button starting, power sunroof, and a reversing camera.

Under the hood, the new 2014 Corolla continues to employ a 132-horsepower, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine in the L, LE, and S trim levles. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard for Corolla L and Corolla S, while the Corolla LE comes with a new continuously variable transmission called CVTi-S (intelligent Shift). The CVTi-S is optional for the L and S versions of the new Corolla.

Toyota says its new CVTi-S is designed to maximize fuel economy while at the same time improving drivability compared to other CVTs, claiming it will "mitigate the rubber band feeling associated with traditional CVTs under acceleration" by adding "discrete sequential shift points" to provide "character similar to a traditional automatic transmission during acceleration." In the 2014 Corolla S, a manual shift gate and paddle shifters are added to give the CVTi-S seven virtual gears, and this model also gets a Sport driving mode to make throttle response, transmission "shifts," and the electric steering feel sportier.

In the new 2014 Corolla LE Eco model, the CVTi-S provides an ECO driving mode that calibrates the throttle and transmission to encourage more efficient driving habits. Additionally, the Corolla LE Eco is equipped with a unique 140-horsepower, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine featuring new Valvematic technology. Combined with improved aerodynamics and low-rolling-resistance tires, the Corolla LE Eco is predicted to get more than 40 mpg on the highway, according to Toyota.

Toyota has not announced 2014 Corolla prices, detailed trim level differences, optional equipment, or when the new Corolla will go on sale, saying that those details "will be made available closer to launch."

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