Well into its fourth decade of production, the compact Toyota Corolla is the best-selling nameplate in automotive history. And with good reason: This is the quintessential economy car. It's small, inexpensive, fuel-efficient and reliable. Put gas in it, give it the occasional oil change and it will provide dependable transportation well past the 100,000-mile mark. That's why it's typical for more than 200,000 Americans, from high schoolers to retirees, to buy Corollas every year.
Since its 1968 introduction in the U.S., the Toyota Corolla has come in a variety of body styles, including a sedan, coupe, hatchback and wagon. More recently however, it has only been available as a sedan. It is also more expensive than earlier models, but still provides most of the usual benefits of Corolla ownership, along with a substantially more refined driving experience. The latest Corolla boasts significant increases in fuel economy and rear passenger room, and also has more distinctive styling. Although rivals have sportier designs and more entertaining driving dynamics, a Corolla nonetheless makes an excellent choice for those seeking a comfortable, reliable and economical compact car.
Current Toyota Corolla
Introduced for 2014, the current Toyota Corolla represents the 11th generation of this compact sedan. Along with edgier styling, the newest Corolla is also slightly larger. Key improvements include much greater rear-seat room, higher fuel economy, better quality cabin materials and a few new high-tech options, including a keyless ignition and smartphone app integration.
There are four main trim levels: L, LE, LE Eco and S. The L's standard highlights include power windows/mirrors, air-conditioning, Bluetooth phone connectivity and an audio system with a USB/iPod interface. LE upgrades include keyless entry, cruise control, power door locks, automatic climate control, a rearview camera and Bluetooth phonebook downloading. The LE Eco optimizes fuel economy via low-rolling-resistance tires and enhanced aerodynamics. The S trim features foglights, a rear spoiler, front sport seats, upgraded instrumentation and a trip computer. Notable options include upgraded upholstery, smartphone app integration, keyless ignition/entry and a navigation system.
A 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine powers every Corolla, and in all but the LE Eco model, it produces 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. For the LE Eco, the engine is tweaked for more efficiency and makes 140 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the L and S trims. Optional on the L is a four-speed automatic transmission, while a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional on the S and standard on the LE trims. Fuel economy is rated as high as 35 mpg combined for the LE Eco.
In reviews, we've found that the latest Toyota Corolla provides comfortable, economical and low-stress -- if uninvolving -- transportation. Driving enthusiasts will find it rather bland dynamically, but excitement has never been the Corolla's forte. The larger driving population, however, should be pleased with its easygoing demeanor and high level of day-to-day practicality.
Read the most recent 2014 Toyota Corolla review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Toyota Corolla page.
For more on past Toyota Corolla models, view our Toyota Corolla history page.