Reprising The Recipe For A Perfect Slice Of Toast My toaster broke the other week. Halfway through the process of cooking my gourmet Pop-Tart breakfast, the thing crapped out with a small bang, leaving my delicious morning treats trapped inside. To rectify the situation, I ventured out to a big box store, located the toaster aisle, and ran a couple of questions through my mind. Do I need two slots or four? Do I need to spend more than 20 bucks on this thing? Should I just buy a toaster oven to give me a wider range of bachelor-pad cooking functionality? After no more than two minutes of contemplation, I grabbed the cheapest one on the shelf, paid and left the store. The new toaster works just fine. This sort of unemotional shopping experience is how I suspect people decide to purchase the Toyota Corolla. It's a perfectly fine appliance, and to a good number of people in the world, the bond between a car and a driver is no more important than the connection I feel to my toaster. Does it seat four people relatively comfortably? Does it get decent fuel economy? Is it easy to drive? Reliable? Safe? The Corolla checks all of these boxes, and because of that, Toyota managed to move just under 300,000 examples of the tenth-generation car in 2012 (though that number does include sales of the Corolla-based, now-deceased Matrix) – a vehicle that, at the time, was already six years old. From a business perspective, that means the Corolla is a massive winner, and so to no one's surprise, Toyota hasn't rocked the boat too much in the creation of its eleventh-generation 2014 Corolla. It seats four people comfortably. It gets decent fuel economy. It's easy to drive. It's (predictably) reliable. It's safe. And hey, it sort of looks good now. The new Corolla is actually a whole lot nicer than its predecessor. But it still doesn't, shall we say, toast my bagel. The most noticeable shakeup with the new Corolla is how it looks – it's rather handsome, even in base trim. Customers told Toyota that the current model "lacked the excitement" they desired, and the new "Iconic Dynamism" design language (first seen on the company's Furia concept) certainly fixes that. All S models like the car pictured here feature piano black accents on the front fascia and rear lip spoiler, and the optional 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in P215/45R17 Firestone FR740 tires – available only on S Plus and Premium trims – definitely give off the impression that the new Corolla has a sporting bone or two in its body. It's rather handsome, even in base trim. Sticking with the S trim for a moment, this is where Toyota's design work has probably formed the most cohesive overall package. In previous generations, S cars were always set apart by what often looked like bolt-on bodywork – the final package never quite looked as all-of-a-piece and uniform as it should have. This …
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|MPG||29 City / 38 Hwy|
|Transmission||2-spd CVT w/OD|
|Power||132 @ 6000 rpm|
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