Redesigned for 2014, the Corolla has landed right on target, and it now ranks among the top models in its class. It combines the practicality and frugal fuel economy that compact-sedan buyers want with more interior room, upgraded amenities, and a sorely needed shot of style. Overall, it's a reasonable alternative to a larger, midsized sedan.
The new Corolla is slightly larger than the outgoing model, which allows for a surprisingly spacious rear seat with ample leg room. Despite the bump in size, the Corolla remains small enough for easy maneuvering and parking. And it's one of the best-riding compact sedans we've tested, absorbing bumps with only muted impacts.
All Corollas are powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, with a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) replacing the antiquated four-speed automatic on all but the base L version. That combination delivers an excellent 32 mpg overall and stretches highway mpg to 43. Performance, though, was just adequate.