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A better Corolla with less beige
by Mike Schlee

Over 40 million Corollas have been sold worldwide since 1966. That makes it the number one selling nameplate in history; more than the Volkswagen Beetle, more than the Ford F-150.

It’s safe to say it’s a pretty popular vehicle. Or at least it is with the car buying masses.

But ask a self-proclaimed ‘car person’ and chances are they’ll roll their eyes at the thought of a Corolla.

Toyota needn’t worry too much about this small demographic. Still, even the Japanese auto giant knows shedding the ‘beige’ image in favor of something (anything) more interesting wouldn’t hurt.

TIME TO TURN DOWN THE BORING

To do that, the 11th generation Corolla required a complete redesign from the ground up, and, for the most part, received it. A few months ago we first laid eyes at the new Corolla and it was obvious the 2014 model finally had a little style behind it.

The front-end receives standard LED headlights and a large, gaping lower grill that adds an angry look to the car; a theme with compact sedans these days. The sportier S model receives an even larger, angrier grill as well two-tone 17-inch wheels. From the rear the design is admittedly less dramatic and viewed from that angle it could easily get lost in a sea of modern compact sedans like the Hyundai Elantra or Honda Civic.

Viewing it from a profile doesn’t do the Corolla any favors either, with vast amounts of wheel gap that throw the overall proportions of the vehicle off, even with the optional 16-inch or 17-inch wheels.

Still, the 2014 Corolla does exude a more upscale appearance thanks to revised body proportions that have the car slightly lower, slightly wider and nearly four-inches longer.
Read the complete 2014 Corolla First Drive at AutoGuide.com


 

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TBH, I don't get what's so "stylish" about it. The doors look like a 1st-gen Prius and the overall appearance looks disjointed and still bland. The car does not look newer than the current Elantra.

I'm not hating because it's a Toyota. I'm just hating because it's still boring.
 

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Why was everyone in the comment section of YouTube complaining about the 4-speed auto? I mean, aren't the people who are really following car releases and watching these reviews and such mostly people who would opt for a manual anyway?

Unless there is a decent tiptronic system in it, most automatics are inherently disappointing. (IMO)

Also, I saw someone saying the new corolla has 'more lines' than the new Mazda 3. I shook my head; the Mazda 3 has amazing lines that really define the car as a sporty vehicle. The same person said Mazda 'doesn't care about making sporty cars. They just want to sell cars as commodities.' This person has clearly not spent much time at the track. There are more Mazdas at the track w/ Mazda sponsorship than even the BMWs (of which there are many). In fact, I believe the SCCA (sponsored by Mazda) said that on any given weekend there are more Mazdas being raced than any other make.

Anyway, not a huge deal or anything but that comment section had me a bit peeved. But I dare not refute them because I don't think I've ever seen anyone experience any kind of epiphany or mind-change in real time through YouTube comments, ya know?

But I think i'm agreeing with the majority on this one-- it looks better than before, but still boring. The absurd Monster-Truck ride height doesn't help either. But I think the tuner crowd could do a few things to make it look pretty good. Some wheels and lowering springs and you could have a decent looking car. One thing that really bothers me about a lot of new cars is they all have the same large protruding door handles. What happened to the old days where companies would be inventive about their door handles? Remember the old RX-7? The door handle was alongside the window. And even in my Celica the handles are shaved even with the door. Nowadays it looks like they all use the same ones my Accent has-- large clunky handles. It may be a personal thing, but it bugs me.
 

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TBH, I don't get what's so "stylish" about it. The doors look like a 1st-gen Prius and the overall appearance looks disjointed and still bland. The car does not look newer than the current Elantra.

I'm not hating because it's a Toyota. I'm just hating because it's still boring.
It's still a Corolla. there are no creases in the doors and the front looks like a Civic but it doesn't matter to the mass, they will keep selling millions.
 

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Looks like a squared off Dart with some Scion Tc styling thrown in. They'll sell millions.
It's true. The more geriatric and boring, the more mass appeal. I've had the chance to ride in and drive a 2012 (SIL's) and it was nothing special nor life-altering. I'm sure the 2013 won't be quite as sleep-inducing, but probably not a thriller, either.

Why was everyone in the comment section of YouTube complaining about the 4-speed auto? I mean, aren't the people who are really following car releases and watching these reviews and such mostly people who would opt for a manual anyway?

Unless there is a decent tiptronic system in it, most automatics are inherently disappointing. (IMO)

Also, I saw someone saying the new corolla has 'more lines' than the new Mazda 3. I shook my head; the Mazda 3 has amazing lines that really define the car as a sporty vehicle. The same person said Mazda 'doesn't care about making sporty cars. They just want to sell cars as commodities.' This person has clearly not spent much time at the track. There are more Mazdas at the track w/ Mazda sponsorship than even the BMWs (of which there are many). In fact, I believe the SCCA (sponsored by Mazda) said that on any given weekend there are more Mazdas being raced than any other make.

Anyway, not a huge deal or anything but that comment section had me a bit peeved. But I dare not refute them because I don't think I've ever seen anyone experience any kind of epiphany or mind-change in real time through YouTube comments, ya know?

But I think i'm agreeing with the majority on this one-- it looks better than before, but still boring. The absurd Monster-Truck ride height doesn't help either. But I think the tuner crowd could do a few things to make it look pretty good. Some wheels and lowering springs and you could have a decent looking car. One thing that really bothers me about a lot of new cars is they all have the same large protruding door handles. What happened to the old days where companies would be inventive about their door handles? Remember the old RX-7? The door handle was alongside the window. And even in my Celica the handles are shaved even with the door. Nowadays it looks like they all use the same ones my Accent has-- large clunky handles. It may be a personal thing, but it bugs me.
Haha...SO right. :laughing: Putting one's two cents into a YouTube video is like putting a gem into a muddy pigsty and expecting a return on your investment. Instead, your gem gets lost in a proverbial sea of shi* and one is left asking, "Why did I even bother?"

As the saying goes, you can't fix stupid. :rolleyes:

AND...I'm totally with you in that the doors on the Corolla are not at all exciting, and that the Mazda3's are much more expressive and stylish. One thing I will say about flat doors, however (my Leaf has no door creases, either), is that they're less worrisome if forced to park next to someone and risk door dings. Door dings on an Elantra or other car with creased doors stick out like nasty pimple. :(

It cracks me up that people think the Corolla is sporty. Like I've said, I've babysat my SIL's 2012 Corolla S, and it was nothing to write home about. In the same hour, I'd gotten back into my Elantra and felt so much more love about the ride, interior, drive feel...everything.

It's still a Corolla. there are no creases in the doors and the front looks like a Civic but it doesn't matter to the mass, they will keep selling millions.
Yep. I'll see plenty of "angry faces" on the road in the next year, I'm sure. Camrys are everywhere already, so I'm sure the Corolla will be no less popular.
 

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Most people who get this car probably don't know or care how many gears the transmission has. The Toyota and Corolla reputations are strong enough that Toyota doesn't have to dazzle buyers with 5 and 6spd automatics. This is a basic economy car where other things like fuel efficiency, price and low overall ownership cost are way more important than transmission design. If it gets decent mileage with 4 speeds, so be it.
 

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I owned a Corolla between 2003 and 2009 and I'm still surprised that Toyota hasn't really updated this car all that much since the mid-00s. This latest model update is more cosmetic than anything else with only tweaks to the decade old 1.8 engine. I think the difference between Honda's poorly received 2012 Civic and the significantly changed 2013 model is that Honda was stung by the bad press when they attempted to be more "Toyota-like". Toyota, on the other hand, sells the same package with the expectation that it'll likely BE the same package. They're selling reliability/mileage versus anything that will take it out of the realm of transportation appliance.
 

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Sorry, but the new Corolla's styling looks like Toyota's design team took every other car in the segment, tossed them into some sort of blender and made a bland smoothie of a pure economy car. Dartish body, Elantra-ish sort of headlights (with eyelines), Focus-ish taillights and (on the base models) the Mitsubishi Lancer's widemouth bass grille. (And the Corolla S looks like what the engineers really wanted was a Mazda 3 but were afraid to say so).

As Alex Dykes over at The Truth About Cars put it in his review of the new Corolla: "The Corolla is probably the only car on the market that is deliberately designed to be average and Toyota nailed it."

First Drive Review: 2014 Toyota Corolla (With Video) | The Truth About Cars

Thanks, but no thanks. If I were in the market for a replacement for my Elantra, this would be almost at the bottom of the list. (The Chevy Cruze would be my absolute last choice in the compact segment.)
 
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