Friday, March 27, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

A stylish, roomier Toyota Corolla for 2014

By
From page C1 | January 17, 2014 |

The Toyota Corolla, the fifth best-selling nameplate in the United States, is a larger, roomier sedan for 2014 with improved ride and better gasoline mileage than its predecessor.

But it doesn’t look like a Corolla. The conservative character is gone, replaced by contemporary styling outside and an intriguing, almost retro, dashboard design inside.

Plus, there’s so much legroom now — 42.3 inches in the front seats and 41.4 inches in back — that car buyers looking for a family sedan might want to consider the new Corolla. In fact, while Toyota press materials refer to the 2014 Corolla as a compact, the car now is listed by the federal government as a mid-size four door.

Best of all, the 2014 Corolla earned overall five-out-of-five stars in government crash tests and is a recommended buy of Consumer Reports magazine, where predicted reliability is above average.

Base pricing has gone up a bit, though.

Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $17,610 for a base, 2014 Corolla L with a six-speed manual and $18,210 with an automatic. This base model, with carryover 132-horsepower four cylinder from last year, does not include a rearview camera, cruise control or steering wheel-mounted radio controls.

But the base, 2014 Corolla has eight standard air bags, air conditioning, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, fabric-covered seats, hands-free phone capability, AM/FM radio with CD player, USB 2.0 port with iPod connectivity plus Bluetooth music streaming and four speakers.

Standard low-beam headlights on the Corolla are even light-emitting diodes this year — a feature not usually found on sedans in this class.

Note the automatic on the base Corolla L is a traditional, four-speed auto that, while rating a commendable 27/36-mpg in fuel economy from the federal government, ranks lowest among the 2014 Corolla models.

Buyers wanting to maximize gasoline savings can move up to higher-priced models with more fuel-saving equipment.

The lowest-priced of these, the Corolla LE, has a starting retail price of $19,110 and comes with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that works to optimize fuel economy. The result: An LE government rating of 29/38 mpg.

And, Toyota offers other 2014 Corolla models with “Eco” in their names that rate a bit better.

Shoppers have many choices in the Corolla’s affordable sedan segment.

They include America’s third best-selling car, the Honda Civic, which has a starting MSRP, including destination charge, of $19,180 for a 2014 Civic four door with five-speed manual and $19,980 with automatic.

This base 2014 Civic LX sedan comes with a 143-horsepower four cylinder, six air bags, standard rearview camera, cruise control, air conditioning, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, hands-free phone capability, AM/FM radio with CD player and four speakers, USB audio interface, Bluetooth music streaming and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.

Note that the Corolla and Civic are front-wheel drive cars.

But, another competitor, the 2014 Subaru Impreza, comes standard with all-wheel drive and has a starting retail price of $19,190 with five-speed manual and $20,190 with automatic. The base Impreza 2.0i has a standard 148-horsepower, four-cylinder engine.

With bolder front styling and designed side “creases” in the metal, the new Corolla seeks young buyers. But the tester, in bright Blue Crush paint and with 17-inch, dark alloy wheels, did not get second looks.

Inside the test car, the black, plastic dashboard was well-arranged but surprised with its tall and upright design that seemed inspired by 1960s cars.

With the base four cylinder developing a maximum torque of 128 foot-pounds at 4,400 rpm and power coming through a CVT, the test Corolla droned into high revs frequently.

Power was acceptable in most city driving situations, but there was little fast acceleration. That is, until sport drive mode, activated by a button, was turned on. It improved response by allowing the transmission to eschew its more fuel-saving habits.

Even with a mix of economy and aggressive driving, the tester averaged 32.1 mpg, which was on par with the government rating of 32 mpg.

From bumper to bumper, the new Corolla is 3 inches longer than its predecessor. Wheelbase, which is the distance from the middle of one wheel on one side to the middle of the other wheel on the same side of the car, has grown even more — by 3.9 inches. This helps account for the newfound legroom and larger trunk.

In comparison, the Civic sedan offers 42 inches in the front seats and only 36.2 inches of rear-seat legroom.

The test Corolla’s shaped front seats provided good support with cushioning. But back-seat cushions were short and supported only to mid-thigh.

The Corolla’s 37.1 inches of rear-seat headroom is the same as that in the Civic and can affect the comfort of tall passengers.

Everyone in the new Corolla sits a bit lower to the pavement than in the previous Corolla. But it was still comfortable getting into and out of the test car. Just watch the wheel wells that impinge on rear-door openings.

Rear seatbacks are split one-third and two-thirds and fold down to expand the trunk’s already commendable 13 cubic feet of space. But the pull-up knobs to unlatch the seatbacks are placed inward, not at the outward-most top of the seatbacks. These knobs also are close to the seatbelt attachments, making it clumsy and awkward to pull the knobs up.

Drivers familiar with older Corollas will notice the more structurally rigid feel of the new Corolla. With a longer wheelbase and suspension improvements, the ride is smoother, and the test S Premium model traveled comfortably. Steering was responsive while retaining a mainstream feel. There was some road noise, but not as much as expected.

In October, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported one safety recall for the 2014 Corolla.

The windshield wiper assembly might short circuit, leaving the wipers inoperable and potentially reducing driver visibility.

2014 Toyota Corolla S Premium

BASE PRICE: $16,800 for L with manual; $17,400 for L automatic; $18,300 for LE; $18,700 for LE Plus and LE Eco; $19,000 for S; $19,400 for LE Premium and LE Eco; $19,700 for S Plus; $20,400 for S Premium.

PRICE AS TESTED: $23,570.

TYPE: Front-engine, front-wheel drive, five-passenger, mid-size sedan.

ENGINE: 1.8-liter, double overhead cam, inline four cylinder with Dual VVT-i.

MILEAGE: 29 mpg (city), 37 mpg (highway).

TOP SPEED: NA.

LENGTH: 182.6 inches.

WHEELBASE: 106.3 inches.

CURB WEIGHT: 2,865 pounds.

BUILT AT: Tupelo, Miss., and Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.

OPTIONS: Driver convenience package (includes smart key system, push button start, remote keyless entry, Entune premium audio, navigation system, USB 2.0 port with iPod connectivity and control, SiriusXM satellite radio) $1,510; power tilt/slide moonroof $850.

DESTINATION CHARGE: $810.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Everyday life inspires model’s music

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Hosting gig for comic, birthday party on weekend schedule

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Brasher new president, CEO of Jelly Belly

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Rio Vista singer ready for Rancho Cordova show

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
 
 
Spring Fling set to return to Rancho Solano

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Kids fishing day events return

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: March 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun police log: March 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Co-pilot believed to have purposefully crashed plane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Lawyers dispute hoax claim, boyfriend says he was drugged

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
L.A. river revamp to cost double previous projections

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
State to alter ban on where sex offenders can live

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Governor awaits $1B drought relief bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
US drops graphic leaflet to possible Islamic State recruits

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

AP Exclusive: Special ops troops using flawed intel software

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Talent agency wants Matt McConaughey speaking fee secret

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Grateful Oklahomans salvage belongings after killer storm

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
US: Chicago-area cousins planned US terrorist attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Report: Teen says mom killed her siblings found in freezer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
House OKs bipartisan Medicare doctor bill; fate up to Senate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Tunisians assure Star Wars sets safe from Islamic State

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
US Thunderbolt II attack planes on training in Poland

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Syrian government shells kill 18 in south, activists say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Turmoil in Yemen escalates as Saudi Arabia bombs rebels

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Russian, American ready for a year in space

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Living

Today in History: March 27, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: March 27, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Parents may be enabling son’s drinking and hurting his employment chances

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview March 27 to April 3, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
‘Downton Abbey’ to end after upcoming 6th season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

With ‘Downton Abbey’s coming demise, here are 5 past deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ken Burns unravels the mysteries of cancer in PBS film

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: Animated alien adventure ‘Home’ lands with a thud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Entertainment Calendar: March 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Marleau, Niemi lead Sharks past Red Wings 6-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Warriors can match franchise record for wins at Memphis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Prep swimming preview: City teams look to make big splash

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Notre Dame races by Wichita State 81-70 for Elite Eight spot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Kentucky overwhelms West Virginia 78-39 in NCAA Sweet 16

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
San Diego city, county join forces on bid to keep NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Labor, developers reach deal on proposed Inglewood stadium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Italians will pull out of America’s Cup if boats downsized

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Fiancee of Aaron Hernandez to be called to testify Friday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Stanford’s VanDerveer, Notre Dame’s McGraw to face off

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Former Germany coach Berti Vogts joins Klinsmann’s US staff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Officials OK demolishing Irwindale Speedway for outlet mall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Signups for Friday, March 27, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B8

 
Sharks sign 2 college players

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Top-seeded Wisconsin hangs to beat North Carolina 79-72

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
49ers waive OL Jonathan Martin after 1 season with team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

This date in sports history for March 27, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Mirim Lee leads LPGA Tour’s Kia Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Charley Hoffman takes PGA lead in wind-swept Texas Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

.

Business

Range Rover offers an exclusivity that’s rich with irony

By The Washington Post | From Page: C1

 
Google’s new CFO gets $70M for defecting from Morgan Stanley

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Bankruptcy hearing could decide fate of RadioShack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Microsoft wants US suppliers to give employees paid time off

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Lawmakers unhappy with new fracking rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

 
Authorities go after crooked car deals in national crackdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Oil prices jump almost 5 percent as tensions mount in Yemen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
New Samsung, HTC phones coming April 10 in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9