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The New Toyota Corolla Gets Some Attitude

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On: Wed, Jun 12, 2013 at 12:17PM | By: Chris Weiss

The New Toyota Corolla Gets Some Attitude

The Toyota Corolla has always been a lot of things. Affordable, reliable and strong selling are among the top few things that come to mind. Interesting to look at? No, we can't say that one follows closely. But Toyota is intent on changing our minds with the 2014 Corolla. Toyota calls it "exciting, impactful" styling, and we have a hard time disagreeing with that description. 

It's no secret that Toyota has been moving toward a sportier, fun to drive image under CEO Akio Toyoda. It's why we have the Toyota GT 86, and it's why the forever-dull Corolla gets the impressive makeover seen here.

When we first saw the newly introduced Corolla, we thought that it must be a new small sports sedan or concept car. Nope, that's the Corolla. It does, in fact, include some serious influence from the Corolla Furia Concept shown at the Detroit auto show in January. That concept is clearly where the bold grille and sharp, connected set of headlamps were born. The grille on the Corolla S trim (that's the purple people eater upstairs) creates what comes off like a set of fangs, splitting the body color bumper into two, sharply pointed appendages. They resemble the sharp cuts below the recently revealed 2014 4Runner's headlamps but are more successful in our opinion. The round fog lamps are another feature shared with the new 4Runner. The LE trim is a little less aggressive in its front fascia design but still shares a big, powerful grille and sharp headlamps.

Moving back from that semi-angry front-end, short overhangs give way to a long wheelbase, lending a more athletic look to the new Corolla. Clearly defined wheel arches, a character line shooting through the door handles and very purposeful surfaces give the sides definition while keeping things simple. Up higher, the roofline slopes faster toward the rear, creating a sporty, aerodynamic look. A set of squinty tail lamps mimics the lamp design from the front.

Inside, the Corolla gets a little more spacious, adding about 3 inches of length to the rear seat area thanks to the longer wheelbase. Toyota has also sought to raise the comfort and design levels of the interior, addingpiano black surfaces, metallic accents, decorative pin-striping, soft-touch materials, sound insulation, ornamental stitching and other refinements. Available equipment includes touchscreen audio, power moonroof, back-up monitor and SofTex seats.

The 2014 Corolla comes in four trim levels: L, LE, LE Eco and S. Thenew LE Eco grade is expected to get more than 40 mpg thanks to its combination of efficient 140-horsepower 1.8-liter engine with Valvematic technology, improved aerodynamics, and low rolling resistance tires. All three other trim levels come equipped with a 132-hp 1.8-liter engine. Transmissions include a CVT and six-speed manual.

Toyota will release pricing and other details closer to launch later this year.

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