By Cars.com EditorsJuly 10, 2015
About the video
Editor's note: This review was done in November 2013 about the 2014 Toyota Corolla. Little of substance has changed with this year's model.
This cars.com video shows a 2014 model that got very few changes for 2015. You can compare the two model years on cars.com. Thanks for watching and enjoy the video. (upbeat music) Hi, I'm Jennifer Geiger with cars.com.
The old Toyota Corolla suffered from dull styling and a drab driving experience. The 2014 version got a make over, but is it still behind the times? Let's take a closer look. The cabin's controls have a more streamlined look this year. Upgraded materials and more comfortable seats also make it a significant step up from last generation. I also like how Toyota included this pop of color trim this year. The cabin is far from class leading and just can't compete with the Hyundai Elantra's more appealing design and nicer materials. I do think it's better than the cheap feeling Ford Focus and the kind of boring looking Honda Civic, however. The controls themselves are easy to use and the touchscreen is a decent size. The menu structure is also fairly intuitive. I was able to easily connect my Android phone, launch Pandora through the app suite, and then control the Pandora functions through the touchscreen. Power from the 1.8 liter is fine, but what's really impressive is the new continuously variable automatic transmission. It's quieter and more responsive than a lot of vehicles in this class. What's standard, however, is the six speed manual transmission and then an ancient four speed automatic is also available. Where the Corolla really shines is in the fuel economy department. Base models with the manual are EPA rated at 31 miles per gallon combined. I spent 200 miles in an LE eco model with the CVT and got 38.3 miles per gallon in combined driving. But here's where the Corolla's big misses really start to add up. Ride quality really needs work. It's on the firm side and not very composed, feeling jittery over bumps. Road isolation is also very bad, you feel and hear every part of the road with lots of noise and vibration. Along with the high levels of road noise, wind noise is also intrusive, as is the core sounding engine node from the CVT. Add them all together and the Corolla is easily one of the loudest sedans in the class. Front seat head and leg room are generous, and the backseat got roomier for 2014. Passengers are going to have a hard time getting comfortable on this cushion, however. It's really flat and pretty hard. You will also find a bottle holder in each door and two kind of flimsy pop-up cup holders. (beeping) The trunk has a decent space opening, but many competitors, in this class, offer more room. And these hinges steal luggage space. The 2014 Toyota Corolla starts at $17,610, including destination, making it one of the most affordable vehicles in its class. Although the new model is better than the outgoing model, in terms of fuel efficiency and interior materials, an uncomfortable ride and high noise levels keep it from rising to the top of the class. (engine revving)