Many people pan the Corolla's aging platform saying it has drum brakes etc. Well the Ford Focus has drum brakes and people think it is the best ever. I drove both cars, owned the new Dart and sold it, driven the Chevy Cruise and Noisy Mazda 3. Out of all the cars I did like the new Civic the most, however their price premium at dealer lots is not worth what you get on Civic Vs. Corolla. The new 2014 Corolla doesn't change much from the old and I didn't feel the need to wait for the newer model. The car is quiet, smooth, and build quality compared to the Dart isn't even close. The Focus was small on the inside compared to the Corolla and I would buy another Corolla in the future.
Touch screen radio ( would like to see XM standard across the board if it is not for 2014). Cruise control which is a must have. And the tinted windows from the factory are nice.
5-6 Speed auto transmission. Not a big fan of CVT even though the new Corolla except for L has 7 "shift points" it isn't the same as a traditional 5-6 speed unit. The four speed is o.k. but noise on the highway and full consumption would improve with just one or two more gears. Otherwise the 4 speed is reliable and smooth most of the time.