2014 Toyota Corolla Joins NHTSA Five-Star Safety Club

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After scoring poorly earlier this year in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's stringent small overlap frontal crash test, the 2014 Toyota Corolla received a bit of redemption from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency today announced that the redesigned-for-2014 compact sedan earned its five-star overall safety designation, receiving individual scores of five stars in both frontal- and side-impact crashes and a score of four stars in the rollover test.

In October, IIHS announced that the 2014 Corolla had scored marginal in its small overlap crash test, which is only one step up from poor — the lowest rating — preventing the car from earning the institute's Top Safety Pick Plus credentials. The small overlap test simulates a car striking an object such as a tree or light pole at 40 mph. The Corolla earned good ratings in IIHS' other four tests and was named a Top Safety Pick (a step down from Plus designation), falling behind competitors including the Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra sedan.

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By Matt Schmitz | December 16, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Toyota Corolla Video

With its 2014 incarnation, the Toyota Corolla pleads its case as to why it's no longer dull and drab. While Cars.com reviewer Jennifer Geiger likes much of what the redesigned compact sedan has to say, a lot of it is drown out by road noise and vibrations the Corolla can't manage to keep out of the cabin. Still, the makeover boasts an easy-to-use multimedia system, upgraded interior materials, great fuel economy and an effective new continuously variable automatic transmission. Watch the video above.

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By Matt Schmitz | November 27, 2013 | Comments (4)

2014 Toyota Corolla: Explaining the Trim Levels

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A redesigned Corolla sedan hit the market this fall with larger dimensions, edgier styling and higher fuel economy estimates.

The front-drive Corolla competes in the crowded compact car segment against the Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Sentra and others.

Toyota retained the previous Corolla trim levels, including a base L, upscale LE (the most popular version) and sportier S, and it added a higher-mileage LE Eco that includes an Eco driving mode that limits acceleration and air conditioning use to improve fuel economy.

In addition, all models except the L are available in Plus and Premium trim levels.

Here is how the various trims break out, with all prices including an $810 destination charge:

By Rick Popely | November 4, 2013 | Comments (13)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: October 2013

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As experts largely predicted, car shoppers shook off any hesitation from the federal government shutdown and bought enough new cars in the second half of October to drive the auto industry up about 11 percent by Halloween, judging by numbers from the largest seven automakers.

The Detroit Three led the pack, with sales up 13.9 percent. Nissan, Toyota and Honda gained 9.5 percent, while Hyundai-Kia were nearly flat with a 0.6 percent increase.

"Consumers showed resiliency in October with steady auto sales despite headwinds caused by the government shutdown," Toyota division GM Bill Fay said in a statement. Sales for the automaker's best-selling Camry ebbed, but a redesigned Corolla lifted Toyota's numbers. Honda saw a larger boom in the Civic, while shoppers shied away from the Accord; both cars had a strong October 2012. Nissan's popular Altima, meanwhile, fell 11.5 percent.

By Kelsey Mays | November 1, 2013 | Comments (11)

2014 Toyota Corolla Cars.com Review

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Christmas is still two months off, but something about the 2014 Toyota Corolla had Cars.com reviewer Jennifer Geiger feeling awfully Grinchy — namely the NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! It's not the Whos down in Whoville to blame, but road noise, wind noise and engine noise, as well as accompanying rumbles and vibrations, all conspiring in a sensory assault. However, if you can hear yourself think long enough, you'll notice improvements in the compact sedan's cabin design, interior materials, fuel economy and exterior style. Read Geiger's review below.

2014 Toyota Corolla Review 

By Matt Schmitz | October 25, 2013 | Comments (8)

Ford Focus on Pace to Retain Global-Sales Crown

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For the first half of 2013, Ford is on track to hang onto its title as global-sales leader, and it has China to thank for the early lead. According to a Ford analysis of vehicle-registration data from automotive-industry information provider R.L. Polk, the Ford Focus was the best-selling nameplate in the world for the first half of the year, putting it in a good position to snag the title for a second consecutive year. Meanwhile, the Fiesta ranks as the fourth-best-selling vehicle overall, potentially giving Ford additional bragging rights of having the most-popular subcompact in the world, as well as the only automaker with two vehicles in the global top five.

According to Polk, Focus sales surged by 20 percent in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2012, with 589,709 registrations. The spike is largely attributable to increased demand from China and other Asian nations such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, Ford stated. "Focus in China is up 137 percent from 2012, to a total of 202,380 vehicles, making China the single biggest global market for the car with one-third of Focus sales," the automaker said in a statement.

By Matt Schmitz | October 24, 2013 | Comments (3)

2014 Toyota Corolla: Car Seat Check

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The Toyota Corolla is one of the best-selling sedans in the compact class, so chances are many moms and dads rely on it for family transport. The Corolla was redesigned for 2014 with flashier styling and better fuel efficiency, but it's not the most family-friendly sedan in the class. Difficult-to-access Latch anchors and a tight backseat kept this sedan from acing our Car Seat Check.

While we normally use a Britax Roundabout convertible car seat in our checks, we used a Britax Marathon convertible in this one. The Marathon is roughly the same width and height as the Roundabout, but the Marathon's depth is 21 inches while the Roundabout measures at 24.4 inches.

By Jennifer Geiger | October 22, 2013 | Comments (5)

2014 Toyota Corolla Starts at $17,610

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Toyota's compact sedan enters model-year 2014 fully redesigned with edgier styling, a revised powertrain and affordable prices. When the 2014 Corolla goes on sale this fall, it'll start at $17,610, including destination. That's $570 more than the 2013 Corolla in base L trim, but prices for other trims decrease for 2014. 

Available models include base L, LE, S and the new LE Eco trim. Under the hood is a revised version of the 2013's 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. It's standard on L, LE and S trim levels. The LE Eco uses the same engine but with a new type of continuous valve timing to improve efficiency. Toyota said in a statement that the LE Eco will return 42 mpg on the highway, "giving it the best highway fuel economy in the class for a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission," (excluding EVs, hybrids and diesels). This marks a big jump from the 2013 Corolla's disappointing fuel economy: 26/34/29 mpg city/highway/combined.

The base price is for the L model with the new six-speed manual transmission; standards include LED low-beam headlamps and daytime running lights, Bluetooth connectivity and eight airbags. A driver-knee airbag and passenger seat cushion airbag are new this year. The L version with the four-speed automatic starts at $18,210.

By Jennifer Geiger | August 27, 2013 | Comments (3)

Toyota Cancels Matrix

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Citing a renewed focus on its redesigned-for-2014 Corolla sedan, Toyota confirmed that model-year 2013 will be the last year for its Matrix hatchback.

"With a strong lineup of both Scion and Toyota compact and subcompact hatchback models available, along with the new Corolla this fall, both brands will be well equipped to address a wide range of consumer needs in their respective segments," Toyota spokesperson Maurice Durand told Cars.com.

By Jennifer Geiger | August 8, 2013 | Comments (10)

2013 Toyota Corolla Video

We'd say the ever-popular Toyota Corolla is a leader in quality, comfort, style and driving — if this were 2003. But it's 2013, and Cars.com reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder says the past decade hasn't been kind, as competitors have surpassed the stalwart compact sedan in everything from interior materials and controls to cabin space and cargo volume. Moreover, despite reliable ride comfort, a returning four-speed automatic transmission in a crowd of better-accelerating five- and six-speeds makes it seem like the 2013 Corolla is content riding on its rep. Let's hope the newly announced redesign feels otherwise.

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By Matt Schmitz | June 10, 2013 | Comments (3)

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