Filed under: Sedan , Toyota Depending on who you ask, the best-selling car in the world is either the Ford Focus or Toyota Corolla . Not surprisingly, Toyota claims it’s the Corolla. Either way, we’re talking around a million individual units per year, and over 40 million over the car’s lifetime on the market, so the redesign of Toyota’s compact sedan is big-time news for the Japanese automaker that it needs to get right. The Toyota Corolla was last redesigned way back in 2008, meaning the 2014 model is a long-overdue update to the C-segment sedan. Its age shows when compared to newer rivals like the Honda Civic , Chevy Cruze , Hyundai Elantra and the aforementioned Ford Focus when comparing technology features, fuel mileage and interior roominess. In an effort to solve those demerits, Toyota has added nearly four inches to the 2014 Corolla’s wheelbase and will offer a new continuously variable transmission with seven simulated gear ratios. Engine choices consist of two available 1.8-liter four-cylinder units, one with 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque, and another more efficient version that uses Toyota’s new Valvematic technology to offer 140 horses and 126 lb-ft of torque. Eco and Sport modes will be selectable by the driver. Fuel mileage jumps to an estimated highway rating of “over 40 miles per gallon,” says Toyota, when properly equipped. We take that to mean the CVT, as the base L model is still saddled with an old-as-dirt four-speed automatic.
Filed under: Minivan/Van , Paris Motor Show , Hatchback , Toyota The seven-seat Toyota Verso mini-MPV was introduced at the 2010 Paris Motor Show , two years on its successor will be introduced in Paris in about a week. The mid-cycle changes include more than 300 new parts with threefold aims: bringing the exterior design in line with the just-refreshed Auris , upgrading the fit and finish and improving the driving dynamics. That means a redesigned nose with elements that emphasize the length and width of the car, like narrower headlights with daytime LEDs, tweaked taillamps above a rear bumper with an integrated diffuser, and in a reversal of trend, smaller door mirrors with integrated turn signals. Inside, a black satin finish and soft-touch surfaces ease up the eye and finger appeal, highlights are noted in satin chrome trim, lighting and graphics have been harmonized and been given better dimmer switch controls. There are also new seat fabrics and colors, and Nappa leather makes an appearance in some Verso models. Engines get a little extra engineering, too. The 2.0-liter, 175-horsepower D-4D engine is quieter and provides more torque at low rpm, the 2.2-liter D-CAT diesel puts out 148 hp, and both diesels get higher tow ratings. On the gasoline side, 1.6-liter and 1.8-liter Valvematics remain available. All of them will make better use of their power through the Verso’s increased rigidity, an effect of more welding points used in production, and noise and vibration have been decreased through the use of more sound-deadening in the A-pillars and bulkhead. A press release below lays it all out while we wait for the Verso’s intro in Paris.