2014 Toyota Corolla LE Plus 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)
I chose the Corolla over the 2014 Mazda 3. I have about 600 miles on mine now. In most ways, the Mazda is the better car - better handling, more power, better fuel economy, better build quality. But I don't regret my choice. The Corolla has more interior space, better visibility, and better features for less money, comparably equipped. Noise levels are on-par with the Mazda, but could be better (sadly, not close to the Chevy Cruze).The handling is well improved over previous Toyotas I've driven, and the seats are supportive and comfortable. Overall this is an easy, economical car to live with and I quite enjoy it.
LED Headlights - Excellent spread and brightness, and should last about 4 times as long as halogen lights. Michelin Primacy MXV4 Tires (on the 16" LE Plus wheels) - Rated for 60,000 miles. The Rear View Camera is great, and the large, easy-to-read instrument panel is well-lit and refreshing to view. The trunk is plenty roomy, and the back seat has copious amounts of leg room. Much improved build quality over previous generations Ride quality is good to excellent over most surfaces.
The engine could be more powerful, and probably still deliver the same fuel economy (or better). One review said, "noise pours in from everywhere." I agree - sound deadening could be much improved. I'm surprised road noise wasn't cited in the Consumer Reports review. Steering feel is fine, but could be refined yet. Build quality/trim pieces in some places could be better, but are on par for the segment. Sometimes the suspension is a little jarring over bad roads, but it's not too bad - mostly it's the fault of our nasty Midwestern roads, right after winter.
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