2014 Toyota Corolla: Great Car, Not for Drivers

October 7th, 2013

2014 Toyota Corolla

It may not be all that fun to read about, but 40 million people can’t be wrong.

Considering it has been around for 45 years, the Toyota Corolla is an impressive feat of engineering. It’s also the definitive appliance of transportation.

As plain as it is, the Corolla is a rock star of the auto world. With more than 40 million cars sold and a nearly impeccable reliability record, the Corolla remains a solid choice for the crowd who appreciates understated transportation.

The stylish new 2014 version hitting the market is bigger, wider, longer and sleeker, but uses the same engine as the outgoing model. Along with a crash-test score that’s nothing short of questionable, is the new Corolla worth it?

Aside from the fact that the new Corolla looks like a Hyundai, it’s far better looking than any other Toyota, ever.

Why, then, would Toyota use the same 132-hp 1.8-liter 4-cylinder, which felt underpowered before, to propel the new, bigger car?

Car and Driver answered that question pretty well:

Efforts were made to minimize mass, but curb weight rises with the added length. You might anticipate a commensurate loss of performance, but the car feels a tad livelier. Credit the pair of new transmissions: a CVT for the shiftless, which offers a “stepped seven-speed” function in S models, and a fresh six-speed manual.

The manual is available only in base trims or the sporty S, unfortunately. The car also uses electric power steering, which is known to hinder feel of the road through the wheel. Plus, CNN Money posted a story about the new Corolla’s “marginal” performance in a crash test, so the case for the new model isn’t all that compelling.

However, drivers of the Corolla don’t care about feeling the road through the steering wheel or about quick performance or about a single crash-test result. They care about a car that provides mile after mile of dependable transportation. With fresh new looks and a proven engine, the new Corolla will continue to do just that.

Could you see yourself driving a new Corolla?

-tgriffith

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