2014 Toyota Corolla Preview

Jeff Youngs | Jun 07, 2013
FAST FACTS
  • Redesigned inside and out
  • Larger rear seat with more leg room
  • L, LE, LE Eco, and S trim levels
  • New transmission choices
  • New "Valvematic" engine technology for LE Eco
  • New Sport driving mode for Corolla S
  • Standard Bluetooth with music streaming
  • Standard LED headlights
  • Better than 40 mpg on highway for LE Eco

Introduction

In the 47 years since the first Toyota Corolla went on sale, the automaker has sold almost 40 million examples of the nameplate all around the world. Soon, the 11th-generation version, the 2014 Corolla, will arrive in dealer showrooms, wearing what Toyota calls "Iconic Dynamism" styling and available as a compact 4-door sedan in basic L, up-level LE, fuel-efficient LE Eco, and sporty S trim levels.

Exterior Features

During the 2014 Corolla's introduction in California, spokespersons from Toyota talked primarily about the car's new styling and interior design. Equipped with a longer wheelbase and a roomier cabin, the new Corolla is "sportier" and "athletic" according to Toyota, a "more advanced, modern-looking vehicle."

Interior Features

Inside, the new Corolla is equipped with a horizontally oriented dashboard that Toyota says adds to a "sense of spaciousness." New soft-touch materials and what Toyota refers to as "exquisite texture graining" to improve the interior's ambience, assisted by piano black trim, metallic accents, and strategically placed sound-deadening materials. Thanks to the car's longer wheelbase, the rear seating area is almost 3 inches longer than before, contributing to a big increase in rear-seat leg room. Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming is standard, according to Toyota.

Optional Features

Toyota plans to release full details regarding standard and optional equipment closer to the Corolla's on-sale date. For now, the automaker confirms that it will offer automatic climate control, a Display Audio touchscreen radio, Entune App Suite technology, a premium sound system, a navigation system, Smart Key passive entry with push-button ignition, a reversing camera, a power sunroof, a rear spoiler, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and SofTex leatherette upholstery. Optional equipment availability is subject to trim level choice.

Under the Hood

The new Corolla's standard engine is a 132-horsepower, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder equipped with a choice between a new 6-speed manual gearbox and a new continuously variable transmission (CVT). Toyota calls the CVT a CVTi-S (for  "intelligent shift") that features programming designed to make it feel like a traditional automatic transmission with stepped shift points. The CVTi-S is standard for the Corolla LE and LE Eco, and optional for the L and S trim levels.

The Corolla LE Eco is equipped with new "Valvematic" technology, and the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine generates 140 horsepower while returning more than 40 mpg on the highway, according to Toyota. This model also gets an ECO driving mode for its CVTi-S, aerodynamic enhancements, and low-rolling-resistance tires in order to maximize fuel economy.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Corolla S model's transmission is equipped with a Sport driving mode that provides a manual shift gate and paddle shifters that allow enthusiastic drivers to cycle through seven virtual gears, and to make the throttle response, transmission response, and steering response feel sportier, Toyota claims.

Safety

Toyota installs 8 air bags in the redesigned Corolla, but does not offer further specifics about safety equipment other than to confirm that a reversing camera system is available. Buyers can also likely count on a traction and stability control system, anti-lock brakes, and a Smart Stop system that is designed to prevent the car from accelerating if the brake pedal is pressed.

Technology

To attract younger buyers, the new Corolla is offered with standard Bluetooth hands-free calling and music streaming. Additionally, the Corolla is offered with a color touch-screen radio display, smartphone pairing system with in-car mobile applications and data services technology, navigation system, and a Smart Key entry system with push-button ignition.
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