For the past few decades, the Corolla has been as exciting as watching grass grow in real time. But this hasn’t hampered sales one bit. Most new car buyers don’t care about exciting style or an engaging drive. They just want an efficient vehicle that is as reliable as beer kegs being found at a frat party.
But for 2014 Toyota is throwing caution to the wind and has brought out a more exciting Corolla; sort of. All-new from the ground up, Toyota has infused the new Corolla with a sense of style heavily lacking in the model line since, well, forever.
The 11th generation of Corolla will feature an “Iconic Dynamism” theme first shown off on the Corolla Furia Concept at the North American International Auto Show. This is part of Toyota’s design-focused product strategy that includes the recently launched 2013 RAV4 and 2013 Avalon. Why the renewed focus on design? Well, consumers wanted more design presence in the Corolla; even they found it to be a bit too boring looking.
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GALLERY: 2014 Corolla
BIGGER THAN BEFORE
The 2014 Corolla will ride on a 3.93 inches longer wheelbase with fewer front and rear overhangs. Four trim levels will be offered initially; L, LE, S, and LE Eco. All versions of the Corolla will feature LED low beam headlamps with LED daytime running lights. Three wheel sizes will be offered in 15-inch, 16-inch and 17-inch diameters.
The interior of the 2014 Toyota Corolla is just as drastically changed as the exterior. A new horizontally dashboard design dominates the center stack and looks both more modern and more upscale than the outgoing model. The rear seat has been pushed back 2.95 inches and the front seat back is thinner adding more legroom for rear passengers. The rear floor is also much flatter now thanks to the exhaust pipe being routed beneath the vehicle.
Up front, the Corolla’s front seats have a lower cushion and now require less effort when manually sliding, reclining, or lifting them. Two different gauge clusters will be offered; one for L, LE and ECO, and one for S. Eight airbags are standard and things like a smart key system, push button start, heated front seats, and navigation will be optional.
OLD FRIENDS UNDER THE HOOD AND SOME NEW ONES
Powering the 2014 Corolla will be a choice of 1.8 L four-cylinder engines. The first engine is a carryover from the previous generation and will be equipped to the L, LE and S trims. It develops 132 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque. LE Eco trim level will be equipped a new version of this 1.8 L featuring Valvematic which Toyota claims gives a five-percent improvement in fuel economy and engine output. This motor is good for 140 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque.
The base model Corolla L will be offered with a six speed manual transmission, or a four-speed automatic; yes, it is still here. Only the Corolla S will also be offered with a six-speed manual along with a brand-new continuously variable transmission, named CVTi-S (i for intelligent, S for shift). The CVT will be the only transmission for LE and LE Eco Corolla models. The new CVTi-S simulates seven stepped “gears,” or shift points, into the car’s acceleration and deceleration curves at all times and can be adjusted for better fuel efficiency or a sportier drive.
LIGHT WEIGHT AND EFFICIENT
Toyota has also apparently made improvements to the Corolla’s handling and steering. All versions of the Corolla should come in under 2,900 lbs. which is quite light. Combined with a 0.28 drag coefficient on the LE Eco and Toyota predicts a 40 mpg highway rating
The 2014 Toyota Corolla is expected to go on sale later this year.
|Number of Cylinders/arrangement||4 cylinders, in-line||4 cylinders, in-line|
|Valve Mechanism||16-valve DOHC with Dual VVT-i||16-valve DOHC with Valvematic|
|Bore x Stroke mm||80.5 x 88.3||80.5 x 88.3|
|Max Output||132 Hp/ 6000 rpm||140 Hp/6100 rpm|
|Max Torque||128 lb-ft/ 4400rpm||126 lb-ft/4000 rpm|
|Basic Exterior Dimensions Compared to Current model (change in parenthesis)|
|Overall length||182.6 in. (+3.90 in.) 183.1 for S-grade|
|Overall width||69.9 in. (+0.63 in.)|
|Overall height||57.3 in. (-0.39 in.)|
|Wheelbase||106.3 in. (+ 3.93 in.)|
|Front Overhang||37.7 in. (+0.90 in.)|
|Rear Overhang||38.6 in. (-0.94 in.)|