Sunday, January 25, 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

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Nursing students take next step in higher education

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

     
    Friend seeks justice for 1982 Vacaville homicide victim

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 12 Comments | Gallery

     
    Solano GOP welcomes address from King niece

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

     
    Biggest Little Car Show returns for 31st year

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Solano Safety Net Summit set in Fairfield downtown

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

    Wine, chocolate pairing comes to downtown Benicia

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Local gas prices dip below $2 a gallon

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Be heart smart all year long

    By Gerald Bourne, MD | From Page: C4

    Kindergarten Readiness Roundup enlightens parents

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Weather for Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

    Crews respond to residential fire

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    CHP seeks witnesses to I-80 crash

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    City seeks input on downtown plan

    By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7, 2 Comments

    Fairfield police log: Jan. 23, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    Suisun City police log: Jan. 23, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Privatized housing tenants to feel BAH pinch

    By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

     
    Suisun City police log: Jan. 22, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Airman with Fairfield tie completes training

    By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

     
    .

    US / World

    Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    It’s a hoot hanging out with owls at this Tokyo cafe

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2 | Gallery

    Man searching by plane finds body of missing son off Mexico

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Kia recalling nearly 87,000 Fortes because of fire risk

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Elon Musk’s SpaceX drops lawsuit against Air Force

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    California’s public-worker payroll increased post-recession

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Avian flu confirmed in commercial turkey flock in California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Boy, 13, arrested in fatal stabbing near Los Angeles school

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Abortion opponents express renewed hope at SF rally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    School: Sea otter conceived in wild is 1st born in captivity

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Company seeks rights to names of iconic Grand Canyon lodges

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Expert says King Tut mask can be restored after epoxy used

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Obama to cut short India trip to pay call on Saudi Arabia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    1st attempt to lift fuselage of crashed AirAsia plane fails

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Tens of thousands protest after president resigns in Yemen

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Thousands march against socialist president in Venezuela

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Opinion

    Plea for return of stolen statue

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Not all police are bad

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 10 Comments

    Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 25, 2015

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Sound off for Jan. 25, 2015

    By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

     
     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: Jan. 25, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Jan. 25, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    The gift of a new beginning

    By Dalia Adams | From Page: C3, 1 Comment

     
    Mennonite group to build houses in tornado-damaged town

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

    Yearbooks bring Jewish, Catholic groups together

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

     
    Horoscope Jan. 25, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

    My dad can’t get over the bad first impression of my boyfriend

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

     
    .

    Entertainment

    PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

     
    Mariel Hemingway working on memoir and young adult novel

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

    Jonathan Franzen to appear at BookExpo America

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

    .

    Sports

    Thompson’s record 3rd quarter leads Warriors past Kings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Belichick on deflated balls: ‘We try to do everything right’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1, 4 Comments | Gallery

    25 years of trying to get it right

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1, 3 Comments | Gallery

     
    Sharapova, Bouchard into quarterfinals at Australian Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    2 Williams sisters, 2 Madisons into 4th round at Aussie Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Hall of Famer Ernie Banks mourned in sports world and beyond

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    AP Interview: Selig says MLB could expand internationally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Could Super Bowl be Lynch’s finale in Seattle?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sherman, Seahawks take the trash-talk lead over Patriots

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki’s surgically repaired hip on mend

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Buckeyes celebrate their title at Ohio Stadium

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Carroll, Belichick excelled after failing the first time

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Luck-led Team Carter vs. Romo-lead Team Irvin in Pro Bowl

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    AP Explains: The Pro Bowl, unlike any other All-Star game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Abdullah leads North to 34-13 win over South in Senior Bowl

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    As Brady, Gronk know, pre-Super Bowl injury talk always big

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Upstart wins $400,000 Holy Bull at Gulfstream

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Mischief Clem wins California Cup Derby in photo finish

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    World Cup of Hockey tournament set for 2016

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Hometown report: Bowling

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

    Ashley Wagner wins 3rd US title with record-setting scores

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Weber’s 108.5-mph blast gives him hardest shot at NHL skills

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Jimenez, Mediate share lead in Champions Tour opener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Grace wins Qatar Masters by 1 stroke

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Matt Kuchar stumbles in, gives away Humana Challenge lead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    For streaking Atlanta Hawks, it’s all about the balance

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Sports on TV for Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

     
    This date in sports history for Jan. 25, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    .

    Business

    Anheuser-Busch to buy craft beer company

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Higher standard deduction, other breaks for older taxpayers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

    Booking a trip to the ER on your smartphone? It’s a breeze

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

     
    Recalls this week: cleaners, fitness machines

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Tiny Cokes: Less guilt means more money for makers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    First Look: Apple’s HomeKit could help smarten up your home

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

    .

    Obituaries

    Sheila Margery (Smith) Luxenberg

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics