Car Review 2014-Corolla_main

Published on February 14th, 2014 | by Jo Borras

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2014 Toyota Corolla Gets the Chicago Winter Test, 51 MPG

2014 Toyota Corolla

If you read lots of car blogs, you already know how fashionable and trendy it is to call Toyota’s Corolla a bland, “beige” sort of A-to-B appliance and make sophomoric comments about how no enthusiast would ever seriously consider buying one. After spending a week with the new 2014 Toyota Corolla, however, let me assure you: if you’re not considering the Corolla, you’re probably stupid.

Don’t get me wrong- I bought into the automotive media’s frat-like hive mind before driving the new Corolla. I didn’t expect to like it. I expected it to be competent, reliable, fuel-efficient transportation, of course (that’s what Toyotas are), but I didn’t expect it to be quite this competent.

2014 Toyota Corolla 51 MPG

That’s right, kids. The new, decidedly not a hybrid, diesel, or even manual transmission even 2014 Toyota Corolla, in a 20+ mile drive that involved zero active hypermiling techniques from yours truly, gave back 51.8 MPG. In freezing temperatures. The whole time, too, the HVAC system was churning along to keep the surprisingly roomy interior warm and toasty.

Seriously impressive, in other words.

That 51.8 MPG run wasn’t the only stellar “green car” performance out of the 2014 Corolla, either. Throughout the week, I averaged 38.7 MPG over mostly city surface roads in nasty, snow-filled city traffic. When the traffic cleared and I had a few chances to open it up, the car motored along happily. It wasn’t the most exotic sports car I could be driving, but it was a willing partner that seemed to be up for whatever I had in mind- which, as you get older, you’ll realize is a much, much better thing than slinky curves.

In addition to the fuel economy, the Corolla offered a solid, obvious build-quality. Granted, the Toyota lacked the heavy vibe of the sturdier-feeling (and $10,000 more expensive!) Chevy Cruze I drove back in November, but it also had a much more open-feeling cabin that benefitted from an excellent interior palette and a general feeling of “airy-ness” that, somehow, eluded the Cruze. The dashboard also contributes to the feeling of roominess by gently swooping away from the driver, and the low center console stayed respectfully away from my knee, as well.

Here’s what my 2014 Toyota Corolla looked like on the inside …

… and, as you can see, the Corolla I had was well-equipped with power goodies and a decently-sized center screen. As such, driving the Corolla was a totally positive experience. On top of that: 51.8 MPG! Wow!

Here’s a few more pictures of the new 2014 Toyota Corolla taken on one of this winter’s warmer mornings (it actually got up into the 20s), and I think the little Corolla actually looks kind of OK. What do you guys think? Is it still just an appliance, or do the roomier interior and hybrid-like fuel economy make the new Toyota something more? Go drive one, then let us know what you think in the comments, below.

 

Original content from Gas 2.




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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.



  • Leo S.

    Is that 51.8 MPG or 58.1 MPG? A typo?

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      51.8.

  • Matteroffact

    Yeah, and I got over 100 mpg on my g500 going down hill. Look at the average MPG not just the best MPG. Your article is pointless and your headline is misleading at best!

    • mn_test347

      It is trip-average.

      • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

        Trip average was 51.8 on my best trip, high 28s on my worst in pretty aggressive driving. Overall was 38.7.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      I did. Avg. was 38.7, as stated in the article.

  • jameskatt

    The Corolla is very competent. It doesn’t hit above its class. It isn’t exciting nor does it look expensive. The Mazda 3 looks better. But the Corolla will be extremely reliable and will last forever.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      I agree 100%. The Mazda 3 is quite a bit better-looking.

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  • mn_test347

    “That 51.8 MPG run wasn’t the only stellar “green car” performance out of
    the 2014 Corolla, either. Throughout the week, I averaged 38.7 MPG
    over mostly city surface roads in nasty, snow-filled city traffic”

    Did you verify these numbers at the pump? Because the Corolla seems a tad optimistic about its fuel economy. I wonder why it would do that…

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      The 38.7 was verified by some quick math at the time. As for your conspiracy theories, there are meds for that.

      • mn_test347

        > The 38.7 was verified by some quick math at the time

        If you did, you would have found that it was not accurate to three decimal places. I suppose responding with an insult is easier than fessing up to not checking your work.

        And you might want to check on lawsuits against Hyundai, Ford and Honda regarding fuel economy, it seems there are fuel economy conspiracies after all.

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          You’re right- I just did a quick mental calc and it was about 40. 38.7 jived with that, so I went with it. That’s not 3 decimal points, no … what’s the point you’re trying to make, exactly?

          It sounds like you’re butthurt about something, but I can’t figure out what. Are you a Ford/Hyundai employee or something? Why does a positive review if a Corolla threaten you so much?

          Wait, don’t answer- I don’t care. You’re more entertaining nutty like this.

          • mn_test347

            The point being that you’ve written an article about the Corolla’s fuel economy, yet you don’t really know if it gets 40 mpg, 38.7 mpg or 35 mpg. And when I asked you about it, you replied with an insult. The photos give it away – you’ll figure it out.

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            That’s correct- I think verification to 3 decimals is insane.

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  • robbypyn

    I bought this car about a month ago and so far have been happy with it. That said, I am not sure where you get your numbers. I am getting an overall average of 26.8 MPG according to the car’s own computer.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      As you can see in the photos, I’m using the car’s computer. Your route, how you drive, even the weather and fuel can be factors. That’s one reason Ford keeps getting in trouble and another reason that Mitsubishi is trying something new altogether: http://gas2.org/2014/03/06/mitsubishi-publish-real-world-mpg/

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