New Drive: 2014 Toyota Corolla LE Eco
Toyota’s top selling model receives a significant update.
The Toyota Corolla is all new again, as the 11th generation model has rolled out for the 2014 model year. Corolla is the best selling vehicle in the world and has been part of the American marketplace for more than 45 years. Its bold, refreshing style is a welcome contrast to earlier models, a compact sedan sold in L, LE, LE Eco and S trim levels. And with a base price from $16,800, it just may be the kind of a new car that college students and recent graduates will consider.
2014 Toyota Corolla Models
A new trim level, the LE Eco, has been introduced to the Corolla line. The Corolla L retails from $16,800, the Corolla LE from $18,300, the Corolla LE Eco from $18,700 and the Corolla S from $19,000. Each model is powered by a 1.8-liter four cylinder engine, but the LE Eco’s engine has been enhanced to include valvematic timing, what increases horsepower slightly and enables this vehicle to achieve a model best 42 mpg.
Three transmission choices are available including a six-speed manual, a four-speed automatic available with the base model only, and a continuously variable transmission. The CVT is new to Corolla this year, what helps this sedan achieve improved fuel economy across the board.
Exterior and Interior Enhancements
Toyota says that the Corolla has a “dramatically elevated design” and that statement is an accurate one. Its new fascia includes a sporty, blacked-out grille flanked by LED headlamps and LED daytime running lights. A more curvaceous body, creases along the profile and sporty, wraparound tail lamps give this vehicle a more upscale look. Choose the LE Eco Plus and your sedan is outfitted with 16-inch alloy wheels, integrated fog lamps, a chrome belt line and an eco driving mode. The Eco Premium model takes these enhancements and adds 18-inch alloy wheels and Softex seats.
Inside, the cabin is roomy, bright and updated. In extending the Corolla by three inches and changing the shape of the front seats, the 2014 Toyota Corolla offers rear seating leg room that rivals what some midsize sedans offer. The dashboard is clean with controls sensibly placed and are easy to comprehend. The instrument panel is modern and Toyota’s selection of materials has also improved. Keyless entry and push button start are new features with the 2014 edition.
Corolla LE Eco Equipment
Standard equipment with the LE Eco includes low-rolling resistance tires, a rear spoiler and improved aerodynamics. This model also comes equipped with climate control, a height adjustable driver’s seat, a tilt and telescoping steering column, steering wheel mounted controls, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, an Entune audio system, a USB port and an audio jack. Power windows, power door locks, a rear view camera, and eight air bags are included. Buyers can also opt for package upgrades that bring in a navigation system, a power tilt and sliding moonroof, and an upgraded Entune audio system.
The driving experience for the new Corolla is roughly the same as with previous models. Notably, the CVT does not present the “rubber band” pull that some drivers complain about when accelerating. The engine is reasonably quiet, making less noise than the competing Nissan Sentra, itself equipped with a CVT. The driver’s seat is comfortable and supportive; the rear seat can fold down in sections or completely, providing access to the trunk for additional storage space. Toyota provides ample storage room inside the Corolla too with beverage and cup holders, in-door pocket, seat back pockets and a storage compartment between the front seats.
Recent College Grads
If you are a recent college graduate, you may qualify for a $750 rebate that goes over and beyond whatever other offers Toyota has available at the time that you shop for a new Corolla. The deal is available through your local Toyota dealer and when you choose Toyota Financial Services to finance your new car.
The compact segment is a competitive one with the Corolla battling the Honda Civic for top sales. Other models to consider include the Ford Focus, Nissan’s Altima, the Volkswagen Jetta, Chevrolet’s Cruze, the Mazda3, the Dodge Dart, Kia’s Forte, and the Hyundai Elantra.
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