Review: 2014 Toyota Corolla LE Premium

Monday January 13th, 2014 at 11:11 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

Hypes: Refined Seating Area, Fresh Aero Face, Vast Rear Seat Legroom
Gripes: No Paddles on LE CVT

Corolla is Toyota’s Gold Glove Shortstop, in other words, their Franchise Player. With a completely redesigned entry for 2014, Toyota will almost certainly sell close to 300,000 Corollas in the coming year. Buyers will queue in droves for this most affordable and value rich Toyota of them all. Its base price, in mid-range LE form, is just $19,400.

Part of Corolla’s appeal lies in its seemingly endless choice of power train and trim combinations. There are 4 model lines (L,LE, LE Eco and S), subdivided into 11 drive and gearbox mutations. The LE range, subject of this test, is available in 3 flavors, CVT, CVT Plus and CVT Premium. The CVT designation refers to the transmission used across the LE range, a constantly variable transmission (hence “CVT”) coupled to a 1.8 liter inline 4 that is standard in all LE models. This double overhead cam engine, refined with variable valve timing, produces 132hp and 138lb.-ft. of torque. If you desire an up rated “Eco” motor, you can opt for the Eco or S model Corolla, and thereby gain 8 extra horses.

The 140hp S Plus is available with a 6 speed manual transmission, making it the only new Corolla with a gearbox containing real gears. If you enjoy the art of driving, the 6-speed S Plus will be your best option. The CVT in our test LE proved long on noise and short on performance. With only 3 range choices available (Drive, Sport and Braking), the base model CVT is constantly making decisions for you about engine speed that you would be better off making yourself. If you’re determined to go automatic, at least consider upgrading to the S model range, which includes paddle shifters and a “Sport” driving range to give you some manual control in optimizing engine performance.

Our LE Premium included the following improvements over the base model LE: 16 inch alloy wheels, integrated fog lights, SofTex trimmed, heated front seats, 8 way power adjustable driver’s seat, and 4 way adjustable front passenger’s seat with map pocket in the seat back. It’s curious that even in the Premium combo pack, Toyota didn’t see fit to include a map pocket in the driver’s seat back as well. The new for 2014, SofTex material, which Toyota touts as “elegant with the environment in mind,” is leather-like, but washable. It’s also very comfy. In fact, the redesigned interior is pleasingly benign and unobtrusive. A handsome beltline pinstripe of celestial blue garnishes the dash and door panels. Automatic Climate Control is standard on the LE Premium, operated with a simple, oversized single knob that’s a pleasure to use.

Parents buying children Corollas will love the fact that this entry level sedan contains 8 airbags to protect their progeny. On the other hand, the progeny will find that the strongest selling point of the new Corolla is Toyota’s suite of built-in Apps.

Of course, the connectivity costs extra, $1,510 for the “Driver Convenience Package” which brings you every conceivable manner of input: Entune Navigation and App Suite, AM/FM CD Player with MP3 and WMA Playback capability, USB 2.0 port with IPod connectivity, Hands Free Phone capability, Music Streaming via Bluetooth Wireless Technology, and 90 day free trial of XM Satellite Radio. This package includes so many distractive nuisances that it ought to be renamed the Driver Inconvenience Package. For staid old folks, the package also includes Smart Key Keyless Entry with push button remote for trunk unlatching.

Thus, the LE Premium, enhanced with the “Driver Convenience Package,” is going to be ground zero for buyers seeking an affordable living room on wheels. The fact that those 16 inch wheels are a little small for great handling, and shod with unimpressively diminutive all weather tires (Michelin Primacy MXV 205/55R16)) won’t matter a whit to symphonic sycophants more concerned with music playlists than apex angles.

2014 Toyota Corolla LE Premium

  • Engine: 1.8 liter DOHC inline 4 with VVT-i
  • Horsepower: 132hp
  • Torque: 128lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 29 MPG City/38 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $22,570
  • Star Rating: 7 out of 10 Stars

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2011 Toyota Corolla Review – A demure compact car with esprit de corps

Monday May 23rd, 2011 at 2:55 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

By contributing editor David Colman


  • Big car feel, little car price
  • Superior quality furnishings


  • 4-speed automatic one gear short
  • Electric window lifts lack auto-up function

I love this car more from the back seat than from the front seat. That’s because it’s more rewarding to be a passenger in the Corolla than its driver. The back seat is commendably spacious and comfortable, with a slouch-inducing backrest angle that makes you feel like you’re lounging on your sofa at home. Even the rear windows retract completely into the doors, an unusual and welcome occurrence for back glass on hot days.

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Toyota Halts Sale of 8 Models

Wednesday January 27th, 2010 at 9:11 AM
Posted by: Derek

Toyota logo

Updated Jan. 28

Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. is telling dealers to suspend sales of eight models, and halting production of those models, after a recall to correct a problem that could cause the accelerator pedal to stick.

The Japanese automaker said the sales suspension includes the following models:

  • 2005-2010 Avalon
  • 2007-2010 Camry
  • 2007-2010 Tundra
  • 2008-2010 Sequoia
  • 2009-2010 Matrix
  • 2009-2010 RAV4
  • 2009-2010 Corolla
  • 2010 Highlander

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2009 Toyota Corolla Review – The unrecognized middle-class champion of the world

Monday December 8th, 2008 at 8:1212 AM
Posted by: Derek

2009 Toyota Corolla
Review and photos by Derek Mau


  • 30 miles per gallon!
  • Comfortable ride
  • Steering wheel grip is excellent
  • Best seats in its class


  • Mediocre engine power keeps you humble on the roadways
  • Electric power steering feels numb
  • Hard to find at the mall amongst all the other Corollas and Civics

(Continued on page 2)

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Toyota unveils 2009 Corolla and Matrix

Thursday November 1st, 2007 at 3:1111 PM
Posted by: Derek

November 1, 2007 – 12:01 am ET

2009 Toyota Corolla

LAS VEGAS — Toyota pulled the covers off the 2009 Corolla sedan and Matrix sport wagon today at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show here.

The new Corolla, the 10th generation of the world’s best-selling compact sedan, stays about the same size, but its appeal could be greater because of an expanded lineup.

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First Impressions: 2007 Toyota Corolla CE Review

Monday August 6th, 2007 at 1:88 AM
Posted by: gmchan_66

By Gary Chan

2007 Toyota Corolla

Below are my impressions of the base model Corolla after spending a brief time test driving Toyota’s icon for conservative and economical transportation

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2007 Toyota Corolla Review

Tuesday June 5th, 2007 at 1:66 PM
Posted by: twain

The following review was written by contributing editor Twain Mein.

2007 Toyota Corolla

This is a brief review of a 2007 Toyota Corolla CE. The Corolla in CE trim offers a lot of practicality and value for the money with fantastic gas mileage; claimed 32 city, 41 hwy. The 5-speed we tested was a base model that stickered at little over $15,000. For that, you get a car that offers a quiet ride, room for four, a large trunk and excellent gas mileage.

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Upcoming reviews for June ‘07

Friday May 25th, 2007 at 2:55 PM
Posted by: Derek

It was Toyota week for us at I spent some quality time driving and evaluating the 2007 models that are gas misers. A special thank-you goes out to Goeff and his team at Stevens Creek Toyota for trusting me with the keys to any car I chose on the lot. The people at Stevens Creek Toyota were very helpful with finding the right vehicle and getting the cars cleaned up for the photos.

Reviews soon to be published are the Camry Hybrid, Corolla and Yaris. Click on the photos to access the reviews.

2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid

2007 Toyota Corolla

2007 Toyota Yaris

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