Like many other reviewers I spent quite a bit of time test driving the many competitors on the market today.
I started my search by reading through the Consumers Digest car review edition that came out in February.
Based on these results I concentrated on the Hyundai Elantra, the Ford Focus 2012 edition, and the Mazda 3 Touring.
I ended up choosing the Toyota Corolla because it had all the features I was looking for at the right price.
The interior was larger than the others with more space for backseat passengers and the actual fuel economy held up when compared to both the Elantra and Focus despite their 40 mpg claims.
The ride is smooth and quiet, I just wish it had more power.
I purchased the S Model with the sunroof option.
I actually really like the styling and both the exterior and interior color scheme.
Mine is dark metallic blue with black interior which goes very well together.
Overall my favorite features are the smooth and quiet ride as well as the fuel economy.
The fit and finish of the car is also very good.
I recommend that Toyota get rid of the gigantic dead pedal for the left foot and add a little more room for driver leg room.
If you are close to 6ft tall you absolutely need to remove the dead pedal.
It is a huge piece of cheap styrofoam that can be easily popped out.
It adds about 3.5 inches of leg room and makes all the difference in the world when it comes to comfort.
After 3 more weeks of ownership I find that the 4 speed automatic transmission does not behave properly and have reported this to Toyota.
Apparently this is a known issue and appears of several other blogs as an issue that Toyota has failed to address.
I am not amused.
Unless you don't mind your automatic transmission dropping in and out of gear when you are travelling between 42-65 mph don't buy this car.
I'm into month two and I am totally dissatisfied with the behavior of the 4-spd auto transmission.
Despite demonstrating that the transmission drops in and out of gear while driving on a flat straightaway at a constant speed I am told that this is "normal".
I will be lodging a complaint with the NY State Attorney Generals office.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.