Slightly longer, lower and wider than last year's model, the 2014 Corolla has a more aggressive-looking exterior. The exaggerated front-end design will likely polarize consumers (those who care about styling anyway), but at least it's edgier and more interesting than the forgettable forms of the past. In addition, all 2014 Toyota Corollas come standard with LED low-beam headlights, an unexpected feature in this segment.
One key improvement this year is fuel economy. Any Corolla you look at will sip less gas than last year thanks to a variety of tweaks and a new continuously variable transmission (CVT), which takes the place of a conventional automatic transmission on some versions. Also, there's a new fuel economy-themed trim level called the LE Eco. Equipped with a revised version of the standard Corolla's 1.8-liter engine, the Corolla LE Eco earns best-in-class mpg numbers (for gasoline-fueled, automatic transmission-equipped compacts), achieving an EPA combined rating of 35 mpg along with a highway rating of 42 mpg.
Another functional upgrade on the 2014 Corolla is roomier seating. Rear passengers, in particular, enjoy nearly 5 inches more rear legroom, which will also make it easier to fit rear-facing child safety seats. Toyota has also restyled the instrument panel to impart a more contemporary feel. The company also used higher-quality interior materials and added a few new features, including keyless ignition/entry.