2014 Toyota Corolla Takes Some Risks With Redesign | Edmunds.com

2014 Toyota Corolla Takes Some Risks With Redesign

Just the Facts:
  • Toyota steps out of its conservative comfort zone with the redesign of the 2014 Toyota Corolla.
  • The Corolla, one of the most popular products in its segment for more than four decades, gets a new chiseled look and standard LED headlights.
  • The 2014 Toyota Corolla goes on sale in the fall; pricing will be announced closer to launch date, Toyota told Edmunds.

TORRANCE, California — The redesigned 2014 Toyota Corolla debuted on Thursday with a new chiseled look and standard LED headlights, underscoring Toyota's willingness to take some design risks with one of its mainstay products.

Toyota said it is hoping to make "a much stronger design statement" with the 2014 Corolla, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Toyota Corolla Furia Concept that debuted in January at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.

The 2014 Corolla goes on sale in the fall; pricing will be announced closer to launch date, Toyota told Edmunds.

Toyota also appears anxious for the 2014 Corolla to join the 40-mpg club.

A new 2014 Corolla LE Eco model targets over 40 mpg in highway driving, the automaker said. The Corolla LE Eco adds underbody covers, a color-keyed rear spoiler, low-rolling-resistance tires on 15-inch wheels, a more efficient 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission.

The base 2014 Corolla is equipped with a carryover 132-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. The base Corolla L is equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual transmission. The six-speed manual is also available in the Corolla S.

The EPA has not yet rated the 2014 Corolla. The 2013 Toyota Corolla with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission returns 27 mpg in city driving and 34 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA. The 2013 Corolla with the same engine and a four-speed automatic transmission returns 26 mpg in city driving and 34 mpg on the highway.

The Corolla has been one of the most popular products in its segment for more than four decades with a look that Toyota has seemed reluctant to tinker with in the past.

However, Toyota apparently is hoping to avoid the painful lessons learned by Honda with its disappointing redesign of the 2012 Honda Civic, a Corolla competitor. The 2012 Civic's interior layout and materials were widely criticized and Honda hustled to launch a relatively unusual mid-cycle change just about 18 months after the car's debut. General Motors was forced to take a similar approach with the recently redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Malibu.

The risk is that Toyota may alienate some of its conservative audience with the changes to the 2014 Corolla. But the reward is that it may win over younger buyers. The redesign of the 2014 Corolla may be the most important product moment for Toyota this year, since the Corolla is the main entry point for the brand. Toyota calls the car the "best-selling car nameplate on the planet," with nearly 40 million units sold. "Corolla is our #2 selling model in the U.S., behind Camry, and the best-selling vehicle globally," said Greg Thome, a Toyota Motor Sales USA spokesman, in response to an Edmunds query.

The Corolla faces increasingly stiff competition from compact cars with more design flair. They include the Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra.

"Customers emphasized the overwhelming importance of vehicle design on product perception in the marketplace," Toyota said. "The 11th generation Corolla makes a much stronger design statement, with more compelling exterior and interior executions that challenge the preconceptions about Corolla."

The 2014 Corolla rides on a longer wheelbase that has been stretched nearly 4 inches compared to the outgoing model. Rear-seat passengers gain more legroom thanks to the redesign.

The cabin gets upscale materials, including piano-black gloss trim and metallic touches.

Edmunds says: It shouldn't take too long to figure out if the 2014 Toyota Corolla is a hit or miss with consumers.


  • kyolml kyolml Posts:

    those wheel gaps are sure the new design features?

  • rbsrt rbsrt Posts:

    Wow Toyota really did it this time. The front looks like a cross between a Hyundai and a VW. the back looks like it was stolen of an older Honda Civic. Way to go if you can't beat them just mash up ideas from three different cars, ha.

  • mani_o_ mani_o_ Posts:

    I was thinking about getting a new Camry this year. But how am I going to do that with people in Corolla's lookin better than me! Every other Toyota now looks like at least they are trying, but not the Camry. The front looks like a mini Avalon. I like it.

  • corollamike corollamike Posts:

    Have to say that this new generation reminds me of my wife's 2009 Ford Focus. In terms of overall shape, this 2014 Corolla looks--to me--as a refreshed version of her car. I am quite disappointed.

  • fortstring fortstring Posts:

    ^Doesn't look anything like that year Focus. Check out pictures on Toyota's website. These photos don't seem to be very good. Looks a lot better than before.

  • dfelix70 dfelix70 Posts:

    Like the RAV4 update, this is a good update considering the previous model, but the design already looks dated. Since it uses elements that have already been used for years by other brands/models, it doesn't come off as fresh. And the interior, again, like the RAV4, has taken a step backwards in design. It looks like it belongs in a car from the 80s.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    The front looks a bit like a Saturn Ion with a Mazda 3 lower jaw. Further back I see some Kia Forte in the window shapes and the back is mostly Civic with some more Ion thrown in. The wheelarch gap police are going to have kittens if the US production cars look like these pictures. That ride height looks just like the way Ladas were delivered in the UK, still sporting their Russian cart track suspension settings. This must be a market test model as carrying over that old 1.8 motor is a bad joke.

  • bayoujay1 bayoujay1 Posts:

    That 132 hp engine is getting pretty long in the tooth, no? And the way those tires (don't) fill out the wheel wells reminds me of the current Versa sedan. At least this Corolla looks lightyears better than the one currently sold in Japan. That one is just sad....

  • robertfahey robertfahey Posts:

    So now the Avalon, Corolla and Camry are much closer in size than before. Seems a threat to Camry sales. Not to mention the Camry folk who migrate to new RAV. And then the Prius line. Hmmm. Makes me wonder how long the Camry will hold onto its annual sales crown.

  • darda71 darda71 Posts:

    OMG more hideous than before.. the side view looks like something from the 80's and whats up with Toyotas new dash layouts? not very flowing.. I am sure this will be recalled soon enough.

  • nsbio1 nsbio1 Posts:

    I do not believe the design will make any difference in sales. Corolla will still outsell anything else in its class even if they put a turd into every new car: most people do not consider any choices other than the Corolls when car shopping. The only item that will make a huge difference is the badge.

  • financeman2 financeman2 Posts:

    I think the new design is refreshing...and more appealing than the outgoing model or even the Camry. I am surprised engine technology has not been updated however. 4 speed auto transmission....sounds like something from 10 years ago.

  • emajor emajor Posts:

    There are sharper cars in the segment, but the exterior is not bad. The dash is continuing Toyota's current design theme, which can be a bit jarring but is at least distinctive. Here's the show stopper for me: carryover 132 hp engine with 4 speed auto, or you can upgrade (!) to a CVT. One, two, three strikes right there. You're out. I don't care what you did with the interior or if you can squeeze 40 mpg out of this thing. If you attach 2 soul-sucking automatics to a weak old engine, I'm not buying it. Only the Jetta S makes less horsepower, and you can at least get 6 gears with that one.

  • wdrauch wdrauch Posts:

    Nobody does ugly better than Toyota! But the legions that make the current blandtastic Corolla a top seller won't care....

  • frank908 frank908 Posts:

    It's an economy car, thank God it looks like an economy car. That's the way it used to be and it was whole hella vo lot cooler to just be what it is instead of what it is not. You want a sideshow? get a Hyundai; you want smoke blown up ya butt? buy a Focus; you want an automotive mishap? buy the Civic; you want basic reliable decent looking transportation that's not trying set the world ablaze? buy a Corolla.

  • hank39 hank39 Posts:

    Like LED DRLs, this wave of black-accented rims is killing me. Seems like EVERY company has that now. Is it really that good looking? I don't get it.

  • fandsw fandsw Posts:

    Wow, and I'm the one who usually hates cars that are slammed to the ground, but this has got to be the first 4x4 Corolla in existence. That ride height is WAY too high!

  • nukedetroit nukedetroit Posts:

    It matters not one whit what all the little pro-Detroit apologists have to say about this car. The voice of the consumer is all that matters, and in that metric Toyota will continue to dominate this class. But yeah, if you don't like it, by all means drive your Daewoo Cruzes and Fiat Darts.

  • gloss gloss Posts:

    This is an improvement, but I suppose it doesn't take much. I do like the brighter color palette, though.

  • The very old 4 speed automatic is back again. This redesign is just lipstick on a pig. Really sad!

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    Toyota hasn't built a Corolla that I would consider since the 1980's GT-S models and this one won't break the 25+ year long streak. But they have sold millions of Corollas without me and I would bet that there are plenty of senior citizens looking for a reliable compact that will buy this one too.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    Speaking strictly from a specs standpoint, Toyota revised everything (except for the base model's powertrain combination... yikes), and it should ride and handle a heck of a lot better compared to the current car. I think the rear room and improved interior will mean more to consumers than the outside, but it's a pretty nice design- nothing overwrought. I'm not sure what's up with the fender flares. But overall, let's be real: The Corolla doesn't need a ton of updates to continue to be #1 in sales, and I don't think this generation will be otherwise different in that regard.

  • guano guano Posts:

    I like this. Especially the interior. For Toyota, this is a risk. Now, fix the steering feel that you killed in 2008. What I really want from you is a wagon version to replace my aging Vibe. Make it the sport model. I have no interest in sedans. The beauty of the Vibe/Matrix was it was useful, attractive, sporty to drive and oh yeah, had absolute rock solid reliabilty for 200k miles plus. You don't need to make it a seperate model. Just a "Corolla Sport Wagon."

  • msminkck1 msminkck1 Posts:


  • jederino jederino Posts:

    Better to look at inside and out, so kudos for trying!

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    So it has the drivetrain of the old car matched with a previous-gen Focus body, with front fenders that look like they took a hefty hit to a pole. Sadly, it will still sell like crazy here because Americans have awful taste in cars.

  • jbrown08 jbrown08 Posts:

    Now this is the Corolla I would drive ! great job Toyota!!!! All I heard was standard LED Headlights and that was the kicker, but the design is above mazda3 and Hyundai Elantra. Lets hope they deliver on steering, that numb steering is something I can't live with.

  • etanretla etanretla Posts:

    the corolla basically evolved into a civic

  • hondabenz2 hondabenz2 Posts:

    The new interior is really nice, but as far as style goes, that's the only thing that stands out. The Furia, which was the teaser of the new Carolla looked somewhat the same, but the confirmed version, shown above, is way uglier. Toyota needs to fix this in the midcycle refresh.

  • fortstring fortstring Posts:

    A lot of people here are really biased against the Toyota Corolla based on preconceived stereotypes and are jumping the gun. Nobody even knows how she handles yet, and yet there are already people judging, calling it a "turd," a "lipstick on a pig," or whatever clichés their poor imagination can come up with. Toyota will still sell a ton of these and make bank while these people keep mindlessly whining. Under Akio Toyoda's earnest rehaul of the brand, it might even handle better and be fun to drive. SMH @ haters who just want to hate regardless of what Toyota does. But keep commenting, it's free advertising for Toyota.

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