The 2014 Corolla's wheelbase and overall length are nearly 4 inches longer, yet tight overhangs and a subtly lower, wider stance give the new sedan a leaner and more elastic look. The new Corolla retains an independent front and torsion-beam rear suspension, but the growth spurt promises increased rear legroom.
Toyota also stamps the Corolla with its recent design obsession, an exaggerated front end that looks like an angry carp (also see: new 4Runner SUV). But LED headlights -- adopted to minimize the mass of headlight housings -- come standard, a nice, high-end touch for this segment. The Corolla will come in four trim levels, including the sportier S model that offers 17-inch aluminum wheels.
Depending on trim level, other features include premium vinyl upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, navigation and the Entune smartphone integration system.
A new LE Eco model aims for 40 mpg by using 15-inch wheels, low-rolling-resistance tires, a CVT and the 1.8-liter with a specialized valvetrain that actually boosts output to 140 hp.
The compact economy class doesn't lack for choice and makes the 2014 Toyota Corolla's exterior design something of a gamble for Toyota. The Honda Civic has rebounded from its own design missteps, while the Mazda 3 and Ford Focus remain well-stocked drivers' favorites.