2014 Toyota Corolla Tested by autoevolution

2014 Toyota Corolla 8 photos
Photo: autoevolution
2014 Toyota Corolla2014 Toyota Corolla2014 Toyota Corolla2014 Toyota Corolla2014 Toyota Corolla2014 Toyota Corolla2014 Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla’s story started with the Japanese needing a simple trusty sedan to move people around their twisting roads and the first model exited the assembly line in October 1966, being powered by a 1.1-liter gasoline engine.
Following its success in Japan, the automaker tried to offer it in America too, but the first models were underpowered and too small for the US market, being unsuitable for their long straight highways and customer demands. Toyota learned fast and then returned on the US market with a bigger, more powerful Corolla that seemed to make sense and started to slowly gain a part of the market.

The ball grew bigger, Toyota started to import the Corolla world wide and now, after over 40 million units sold, it is the most known nameplate in the world, being almost impossible not to spot one on the streets.

Although, the Corolla offers bulletproof mechanics, utility, good fuel economy and decent comfort, it lacked personality and looks, making it fade in the traffic background.

But all that changed now with the introduction of the eleventh generation Toyota Corolla, specially designed to be attractive while offering the same reliability that made it famous.

We tested the Euro-spec Corolla in its top trim Sol level, fitted with a 132 hp 1.6-liter gasoline engine mated to a CVT.

Design wise, the 2014 Corolla bears the new Toyota Keen Look and Under Priority style, having sleeker headlights, reunited through a three-lined chromed grille, while a thin stripe on the tip of the bonnet covers the whole assembly while giving it a more pronounced V-shape. The somehow trapezoidal grille’s side lines are continued downwards to create a bold lower air intake, guarded from both sides by foglamps.

The overall shape of the car is now sharper, sleeker and longer, while the rear fascia adopted the same chrome-stripe style to reunite the taillamps and the trapezoidal plate number continuing into the rear bumper, giving it a planted-on-the-road look.

As the exterior received a fashionable, new age look, the interior followed the same ingredients, coming with more upscale materials and rethought shapes. The whole dashboard has been redesign in a more American way, using horizontal lines, easy to read dials and big buttons, all placed in reach for the driver. Passenger space also got attention, growing considerably due to the increased wheelbase and thin front seats. Our version came with premium textile/faux leather trimmed seats, which provided plenty of support, comfort and upscale feeling.

New tech was added too, our Sol tester benefiting from the Touch 2 with Go multimedia unit, Simple Intelligent Park Assist (SIPA), rear camera, parking sensors, cruise control, steering wheel controls, automatic wipers and headlights and more.

As the new Corolla will spend much of its time in urban areas, city driving feels very easy and comfortable, thanks to the 1.6-liter engine’s torque available at low revs, the good suspension and the light electric assisted steering.

On the open road, the 132 hp engine provides plenty of power, the downside being the CVT bolted to the engine that encourages you to take it easy and put it in cruising mode. However, you can switch the transmission in sequential shifting and use the simulated seven gears as you wish.

Conclusion? The 2014 Toyota Corolla retains all the time-proven mechanics while adding more comfort, convenience and way better looks to attract younger generations. It is a well balanced sedan which offers more for almost the same amount of money as with the outgoing model. So, if you need a cheap, functional and good looking car, I see no reason for not suggesting you the 2014 Corolla as a top choice.

Read the full 2014 Toyota Corolla test drive here and don’t forget to check the photo gallery.
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