Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Community News Network

January 21, 2014

Corolla gets a makeover

Popular Toyota compact car more efficient, enjoyable for 2014

For decades now, the Toyota Corolla has been the default choice for millions of people who want a dependable little car.

In fact, the Corolla’s long-term reputation for reliability is a big reason people think of Toyota as a quality brand. It’s a foundational car for Toyota, one that sells in huge volume in the United States and around the world, which sets the tone for the entire global company.

And that’s what makes this car, the all-new 2014 Corolla, incredibly important.

This year marks the start of a new generation of Corolla, and this fresh version feels dramatically different from the old one when you get behind the steering wheel.

For one thing, it addresses the outgoing Corolla’s only two weaknesses in my mind — fuel economy and driving enjoyment — while also getting a fresh look inside and out.

The fuel economy issue may come as a surprise to many buyers who think of the Corolla as an efficient, economical car, but it had actually fallen behind its competitors by the end of the previous generation’s lifespan. Last year’s Corolla was rated for 34 mpg on the highway, which was unimpressive when many of its competitors could brag about ratings of 40+ mpg.

That changes with this next-generation design. The new Corolla is available in a special Eco version that is rated for 42 mpg on the highway, and even the non-Eco Corolla gets a 38 highway/29 city rating — a nice jump over the outgoing model.

For me, though, the bigger news is that Toyota has actually managed to fix one of my longstanding, picky complaints about the Corolla: its dull driving feel.

My test car — an S model that comes with a firmer, sportier suspension than the base version — is more fun to drive than I can ever remember a Corolla being. Its suspension has an almost Honda-like tautness, providing the kind of precise, dynamic feedback to the driver that make small cars enjoyable on winding roads.

And if you prefer the previous Corolla’s soft, compliant ride, the ordinary suspension is still tuned for comfort and smoothness. Basically, you can choose whether you want your Corolla softly or firmly sprung.

Another thing I like about the new design is that Toyota’s engineers paid close attention to tuning their new continuously variable transmission (CVT).

CVTs are good for improving gas mileage on small cars like the Corolla, so they’re getting more popular these days. They come with a downside, though: an often-criticized “rubber band” driving feel that can drain any sense of fun from the driving experience.

The Corolla’s CVT is better than most because the designers built it to emulate shift points like traditional transmissions. It offers a better sense of acceleration and control as a result.

An all-new cabin and prettier sheetmetal make the Corolla more attractive than before. I love the material choices and overall design, with refined surfaces and careful use of accent colors in the cabin, but I miss the solid, heavy, carved-from-granite feeling in the old Corolla. The new version is considerably lighter to save on gas, and you can feel it.

Overall, though, the new Corolla is a great match for today’s drivers. The new S model’s serious sportiness is a pleasant surprise, and the improved fuel economy is a good fit for the times.

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

House Ads
Hendricks County Marquee
Email News Sign Up
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Should the government continue to use military bases to house illegal immigrant children?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Must Read