2014 Toyota Corolla is stylish, inside and out
2014 Toyota Corolla S
MSRP: $19,215; As tested: $23,354
The good: Packed with standard features like Bluetooth connectivity. Great looks. Super cabin.
Room for improvement: Harsh ride. Poor slow-speed steering.
The new Corolla is a great looking car, inside and out. Bland is banished in favour of a sharp, cleanly styled body, fierce face and superb interior. The cockpit of this car is simple and clean, with long, straight lines, an interesting mix of surfaces and few distractions. The effect is suave, European and masculine. The tester version had two-tone cloth and leatherette seating surfaces covering what are by far the most comfortable seats in the class.
The rear seating area has tons of legroom, but the ceiling height is a bit low for those who are long in the torso. The passenger seat also does not slide back as far as it should, leaving long-legged right seat riders cramped up against the glovebox. The trunk is large and has an easy-access opening.
The engine is a 1.8L 4-cylinder, making 132hp. This S model was optioned ($985) with the electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (CVT) with manual override, paddle shifters and sport mode. The car whined and groaned through the gears, and was annoyingly noisy in reverse. Handling was acceptable, but at slow speeds the car feels awkward, making reversing a chore.