The all-new 11th generation 2014 Toyota Corolla S Premium represents a bolder, more compelling version of the best-selling car nameplate on the planet. Powered by Toyota’s carry-over 1.8-liter DOHC in-line 16 valve 4, the 2014 Corolla S Premium produces 132 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque while earning a respectable 29 mpg city and 37 mpg highway.
Thanks to the 3.9-inch longer wheelbase, the 11th generation Corolla is a better handling, roomier vehicle. The driver will notice the smoother ride quality and better connection to the pavement. Rear seat passengers should appreciate the 41.1 inches of legroom, more space than many of today’s full size sedans.
Almost every aspect of the 2014 Corolla’s aesthetics have been touched. The exterior redesign continues the momentum started by the new Avalon, Camry and RAV4, featuring a sleeker chiseled body. The tapered nose and rear of the car emphasize the wheel arches and wheels-to-the-corner stance. The Corolla S Premium’s aggressive front fascia utilizes high gloss black accents and standard to all 2014 models, segment leading, LED headlamps.
The interior of the 2014 Corolla S Premier has also undergone substantial updates. The padded dash and soft touch plastics are attractive and the contrasting bright color lines that run throughout the cabin are whimsical and fun. The easy to maintain Softex-trimmed heated front seats might be a bit too soft to be true sport seats, but they are comfortable and look great.
Unlike many of the audio systems found in compact cars, Toyota’s Entune premium audio with 6.1” touch screen sounds excellent. I have a few songs on my iPhone that I like to listen to in every car that I review. Toyota’s Entune premium 6-speaker multi-media system delivers balanced sound with appropriate bass and clear highs, even at low volumes. I would contend that the $1,510 Driver Convenience Package option would be worth the money if only for the audio experience, never mind the navigation, traffic, weather, satellite radio, Bluetooth, push button start, and integrated smart key system.
The 2014 Corolla’s continuously variable automatic transmission CVT may be uninspiring to the driver but it does avoid the low rpm drone that I have grown accustomed to in many of the CVT equipped cars that I have reviewed. I frequently used the steering wheel mounted shift paddles to simulate rev-matched downshifts when approaching stoplights around town or to prepare for highway passing.
During my review I discovered that the all-new 2014 Corolla S Premium is excellent for daily driving around Jacksonville, parking at the St. John’s Town Center, and taking a road trips to Brunswick, GA. Pricing starts at $20,400, with the $1,510 Convenience Package, moonroof and fees, $23,520.