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Motor Trend on the '14 Corolla S-not a good review

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Old 09-05-13, 06:26 AM   #1
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Default Motor Trend on the '14 Corolla S-not a good review

First Test:
2014 Toyota Corolla S
S for Slow, not Sport
By Zach Gale | Photos By Julia LaPalme | September 04, 2013 | 160

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/..._s_first_test/

In a race to the bottom, the Toyota Corolla might be pulling ahead of the competition. No one expects the Corolla -- even in sportier S trim -- to set records in a straight line or around a track, but a few of the compact sedan's hundreds of thousands of buyers might actually test drive something other than a Toyota. And based on the test numbers we got from a 2014 Toyota Corolla S with the new CVT, the automaker had better hope they don't.
Even in spiffy Blue Crush Metallic paint matched with two-tone 17-inch wheels, the 2014 Corolla S remains a commuter car for those who care as much about driving excitement as Aventador owners worry about fuel economy. Buyers who want a car with a proven record for reliability and a surprisingly capacious interior will still be served well by the new Corolla, and should stop reading now. But there have never been so many decent compacts vying for consumers' money, and Motor Trend test numbers help us determine where in the segment the Corolla fits.




Unlike other 2014 Corollas, the Corolla S has available rear disc brakes and 17-inch alloys with a sportier suspension tuning. A low-volume Corolla S with a six-speed manual is available, but for a vehicle like this, we'd go with the CVT, which makes the most of the car's 132 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque. What sets the 2014 Corolla S apart from its compact-segment challengers -- and not in a good way -- is just how far behind it falls in instrumented test numbers. Testing director Kim Reynolds' suggestion? "Take the S badges off to save weight."
Whether you're talking about acceleration, braking, or figure-eight performance, the Corolla would have tied for or finished last against the five compacts in our recent Big Test. That comparison involved a 2013 Dodge Dart with an upgraded engine, a 2013 Honda Civic, a 2014 Kia Forte with an upgraded engine, a 2013 Mazda3, and a 2013 Nissan Sentra. The 2014 Corolla S' 0-60 mph time of 9.7 seconds would have put it behind all of those cars except the last-place Sentra, which also had a 9.7-second time. The new Corolla was, however, 0.1 second quicker than a 2011 Toyota Corolla we tested with the four-speed automatic and the same 132-hp engine. It's what happens below 60 mph that tells a more complete picture.







When entering a highway onramp, what the car does from a stop to 30-40 mph feeds most people's perception of a car's quickness. From 0-40 mph, the 2014 Corolla S' 5.3-second time is behind the 2011 Corolla (5.0 seconds), as well as everything in that five-car comparison, including the high-volume 2013 Honda Civic (4.6 seconds) and 2013 Nissan Sentra (5.1 seconds). The 2014 Corolla completed the quarter mile in 17.4 seconds at 81.8 mph, behind everything in the five-car comparison except the 2013 Sentra (17.4 seconds at 80.1 mph), and the 2011 Corolla (17.4 seconds at 80.0 mph).
"So what," you say. "Few Corolla drivers care much about acceleration." Fair enough, but 2014 Corolla drivers might eventually have to make a panic stop. As with most other compacts, disc brakes are available on higher-trim models but aren't standard across the line. With the 2014 Corolla S' 10.8-inch front disc and 10.2-inch rear disc brakes, the Toyota came to a halt from 60 mph in 135 feet. That's longer than the as-tested 2011 Corolla's 129-foot distance and all five cars in our Big Test, again including the high-volume Civic (119 feet) and Sentra (124 feet).
But there is one semi-bright spot.

Reynolds found the steering tuning "benign for normal driving" and noted that it "doesn't feel cheap." Toyota may now offer the Scion FR-S and a midsize Lexus sedan that twice earned first place in Motor Trend comparison tests, but the new Corolla is still just a basic compact four-door. Get a Mazda3 or Ford Focus if you want a fun-to-drive small car.
On the track, the tires (P215/45 R17s) overheated quickly, and if you drive the car too fast on a winding road or on a track, you'll be met with lots of understeer. About the Corolla S' special sport seats on the track, Reynolds said the "seat base cushion is not long enough for this kind of driving."
Without driving the 2014 Corolla S on the same roads as the Big Test compacts on the same day, and with the same set of drivers, it's impossible to determine a useful observed fuel economy figure. The estimated EPA ratings for the 2014 Corolla S with the 17-inch wheels are respectable, though not class-leading, at 29/37 mpg. The CVT helps make that happen, and, as we noted in the 2014 Toyota Corolla First Drive, the transmission mimics the feel of a conventional unit, even before you press the S mode button. Road test editor Scott Mortara has a suggestion for CVT-equipped Corolla S models: Borrow the LE Eco model's Eco mode and allow drivers to choose among Eco, regular, and S transmission settings. Perhaps as a mid-cycle change, the addition would make sense for a car that already has an Eco light in the instrument cluster.







Our $23,570 tester was as loaded as the Corolla S gets, with Softex leather-like seats (real leather isn't available), a moonroof, navigation on a 6.1-inch touch-screen display, hands-free keyless entry, satellite radio (with a cheap-looking non-body-colored black antenna), power front seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler, leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, and turn signal indicators in the side mirrors.
As Toyota tiptoes forward with the new Corolla, others in the segment may eventually start eating into the automaker's compact-segment market share. It won't happen for the 2014 or 2015 model year, but if Toyota ever needs to expand the Corolla's appeal beyond consumers whose car search starts and ends at a Toyota dealership, there's plenty of room for improvement. Until then, if you're a commuter who is satisfied with Toyota reliability and a carpool-ready backseat despite the driving dynamics, your ride has arrived.
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Old 09-05-13, 06:45 AM   #2
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What's wrong with having a reliable car? Most likely, a majority of compact car owners could care less about 0-60 times.
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Old 09-05-13, 07:09 AM   #3
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What's wrong with having a reliable car? Most likely, a majority of compact car owners could care less about 0-60 times.
yep, its a Corolla. As long as the thing gets close to 40mpg and is reliable, nobody cares about 0-60 times in this car.
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Old 09-05-13, 08:10 AM   #4
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What's wrong with having a reliable car? Most likely, a majority of compact car owners could care less about 0-60 times.
everyone likes to hate on Camry and Corolla... too bad for them that this new one will sell like crazy, lol.
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Old 09-05-13, 08:13 AM   #5
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they didnt say a single word about anything else on this "test drive" except for acceleration numbers.

wtf, lol.

no suspension, no exterior, no interior, no quality, no nvh, or anything else.

Do they really think people buy Corolla because they misunderstood it for Corvette?
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Old 09-05-13, 08:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by spwolf View Post
they didnt say a single word about anything else on this "test drive" except for acceleration numbers.

wtf, lol.

no suspension, no exterior, no interior, no quality, no nvh, or anything else.

Do they really think people buy Corolla because they misunderstood it for Corvette?
Did u even read the review????

They talked about Acceleration, Braking and Handling.
These are important elements when merging on the freeway or for emergency stops.

They also hit on all of Corolla virtues of Reliability, interior features, roomy cabin etc.

MT also said it will sell like crazy but that doesnt mean its the best car in its class.

Similar how the MB Eclass sells like crazy but know one would rate it better than a GS!
Most ppl buy things just bec of the name or certain brand.
This is why certain models are bulletproof no matter how ****ty they are - Eclass, 3series, Camry, Corolla

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Old 09-05-13, 08:48 AM   #7
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everyone likes to hate on Camry and Corolla... too bad for them that this new one will sell like crazy, lol.
Basically and people LOVE to spread that news and not positive Lexus news. Oh well, Corolla sucks on internetz, Corolla is best selling car ever made.

I think Toyota will take the latter
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Old 09-05-13, 09:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by RNM GS3 View Post
Did u even read the review????

They talked about Acceleration, Braking and Handling.
These are important elements when merging on the freeway or for emergency stops.

They also hit on all of Corolla virtues of Reliability, interior features, roomy cabin etc.

MT also said it will sell like crazy but that doesnt mean its the best car in its class.

Similar how the MB Eclass sells like crazy but know one would rate it better than a GS!
Most ppl buy things just bec of the name or certain brand.
This is why certain models are bulletproof no matter how ****ty they are - Eclass, 3series, Camry, Corolla
yes, i have read it and i cant find anything about all of that you just wrote. I carefully looked several times. They dont mention interior, suspension, NVH, quality, boot, space... nothing... All they mention is their acceleration tests.

Apparently 0.3s difference in acceleration on the highway is huge deal for Corolla buyer?

lol.

Anyone who buys car like a Corolla because of 0-60 tests that M&T did here would be insane.
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Old 09-05-13, 09:09 AM   #9
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Click the image to open in full size.

here is the interior from Motortrend pics... it looks awesome. It is so much better than before. Other reviews mention NVH and interior quality being much better as well... it gets up to 42 MPG. This is what people want from Corolla... imho, it is best Corolla ever built.

It also just completed EuroNCAP crash test, it got best result ever for Toyota.

It is going to sell like crazy not because people are stupid, but because it has features that people want in the car... people caring about 0-60 acceleration can buy a lot other cars, people who want 42 MPG, great interior, exterior, NVH, legendary durability and reliability get Corolla.
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Old 09-05-13, 09:34 AM   #10
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Wow what a stupid review by Motor Trend. So what, the Corolla is. .7 seconds slower on the on ramp than a Civic. Or the quarter mile is a bit slower.

Motor Trend needs to understand that the Corolla does its job well, it is reliable, low coat and easy to maintain.

Car and Driver and Motor Trend are perhaps the worst of all magazines and their readership is declining.
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Old 09-05-13, 09:38 AM   #11
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Wow what a stupid review by Motor Trend. So what, the Corolla is. .7 seconds slower on the on ramp than a Civic. Or the quarter mile is a bit slower.

Motor Trend needs to understand that the Corolla does its job well, it is reliable, low coat and easy to maintain.

Car and Driver and Motor Trend are perhaps the worst of all magazines and their readership is declining.
Car&Driver didn't give the Corolla S as bad a review but both MT and C&D like the Mazda3 much more.

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...t-drive-review
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Old 09-05-13, 09:52 AM   #12
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Car and Driver and Motor Trend are perhaps the worst of all magazines and their readership is declining.
To be clear, a massive reason their readership is declining is because of the presence of internet reviewers with free content, not because of their journalism. There's so many options now.

In any event, Motor Trend's new "style" is that make hardline and controversial reviews so that they're talked about more often. Just look at any of their recent comparison tests.
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Old 09-05-13, 09:53 AM   #13
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yes, i have read it and i cant find anything about all of that you just wrote. I carefully looked several times. They dont mention interior, suspension, NVH, quality, boot, space... nothing... All they mention is their acceleration tests.
I see what ur saying but this is a First Test - meaning its not a thorough review like a comparison.
I agree they should of focused more on other aspects of the car useful to ppl that drive these things.

Buyers who want a car with a proven record for reliability and a surprisingly capacious interior will still be served well by the new Corolla, and should stop reading now.

Reynolds found the steering tuning "benign for normal driving" and noted that it "doesn't feel cheap."
The estimated EPA ratings for the 2014 Corolla S with the 17-inch wheels are respectable, though not class-leading, at 29/37 mpg.
On the track, the tires (P215/45 R17s) overheated quickly, and if you drive the car too fast on a winding road or on a track, you'll be met with lots of understeer. About the Corolla S' special sport seats on the track, Reynolds said the "seat base cushion is not long enough for this kind of driving."
Until then, if you're a commuter who is satisfied with Toyota reliability and a carpool-ready backseat despite the driving dynamics, your ride has arrived.
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Old 09-05-13, 09:55 AM   #14
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I see the point of, "hey, it's a Corolla, people don't want to go fast" but for me, it becomes more about the other cars in this segment doing all of the same stuff as the Corolla - reliable, comfortable, decent interior, 40+ MPG, tech packages - and more, for the same amount of money. In my eyes, that car is the Mazda 3.

Is the Corolla a bad car? Nope, but it is very far from being the best car in the segment, because cars like the 3 do everything the Corolla can do plus so much more, for the same amount of money.

Toyota's approach here was similar to the Camry: Do what we need to do to maintain the top sales spot. NOT "do what we can to innovate and lead the segment," which I find to be a bit sad.
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Old 09-05-13, 09:56 AM   #15
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I see the point of, "hey, it's a Corolla, people don't want to go fast" but for me, it becomes more about the other cars in this segment doing all of the same stuff as the Corolla - reliable, comfortable, decent interior, 40+ MPG, tech packages - and more, for the same amount of money. In my eyes, that car is the Mazda 3.

Is the Corolla a bad car? Nope, but it is very far from being the best car in the segment, because cars like the 3 do everything the Corolla can do plus so much more, for the same amount of money.

Toyota's approach here was similar to the Camry: Do what we need to do to maintain the top sales spot. NOT "do what we can to innovate and lead the segment," which I find to be a bit sad.
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