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Redesigned 2014 Toyota Corolla priced under $17,000

Redesigned 2014 Toyota Corolla priced under $17,000

Toyota has announced that its redesigned Corolla sedan will start at $16,800—$570 more than the outgoing model. The general formula remains the same, with the compact Corolla emphasizing efficiency, although the styling is more dramatic, content more plentiful, cabin roomier, and execution a bit more upscale.

The Corolla will be offered in four trims: L, LE, LE Eco, and S.

Four trim levels will be offered. L, LE, and S models are all powered by a familiar 132-hp, 1.8-liter four cylinder engine. A new midlevel LE Eco model ($18,700) gets a 140-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, low rolling resistance tires, and other mpg boosting tricks to deliver an EPA-rated 42-mpg on the highway.

The base L starts under $17,000 with a six-speed manual. Price makes a modest increase to $17,400 for the four-speed automatic transmission. Notable standard equipment includes LED daylight running lights and low-beam headlamps, Bluetooth connectivity, front whiplash-reducing seats, and eight air bags. Destination charges add $810.

The LE trim begins at $18,300, marking just a $120 increase over the 2013 Corolla LE. Like the LE Eco and S, this popular trim level is equipped with a CVT that uses software to mimic the feel of a conventional transmission with seven separate ratios. Notable standard equipment includes a backup camera, cruise control, keyless entry, voice command, and six-speaker Entune infotainment system with a 6.1-inch screen and USB input.

Touting a $60 year-over-year price reduction, the sporty S trim brings a distinct front fascia, unique suspension tuning, sport gauges, black trim, sport seats, leather steering wheel cover, and available paddle shifters.

Beyond these core trims, there are several “plus” packages that bring alloy wheels, rear disc brakes, and other additional upgrades. A moonroof is available on many variations for an additional $850.

The Corolla has been one of the most fuel-efficient, non-hybrid cars on the market, returning 32 mpg overall in our tests. The redesigned 2014 model promises to improve upon that with a new engine variation, CVT, and improved aerodynamics.

We will see how it measures up after it goes on sale this fall.

Jeff Bartlett

Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers or sponsors on this website. Copyright © 2007-2013 Consumers Union of U.S.

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