The economical Toyota Corolla ECO

Toyota is known for its fuel efficient vehicles. The 2014 Toyota Corolla LE ECO comes with a newly overhauled design that bumps this common compact up a few notches in the attractiveness department. The version we got had Evergreen Mica paint and a saddle brown fabric interior – an interesting combination for a vehicle not meant to live in the wilderness, but perhaps it was meant to be a reminder of its environmentally friendliness.

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Image credit: Toyota

The Corolla ECO is an easy car to drive. The handling is much improved over the outgoing model.  it has a surprisingly tight suspension (for a Corolla). The best feature about this car, besides the 35 miles per gallon we averaged, is its price tag. The Corolla came in at just under $20,000 – a price point that’s becoming less and less achievable for buyers entering the new car market.

We appreciate that the car is simple, almost bare in the technology department. It doesn’t have many of the bells and whistles, but we think that makes the Corolla an attractive buy for the consumer who really can’t put the extra budget toward those features, or the novice driver who should focus primarily on gaining driving experience and not having their text messages read to them while driving.

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Image credit: Toyota

That doesn’t mean the Corolla is completely devoid of technology; Toyota gives us the necessities, including a pretty easy-to-use interface and a rear backup camera. Drivers can plug in their devices and use the car’s system to stream their personal music collection.

While this is an economical choice for the new car buyer, waiting a few years to buy a used Toyota Corolla is even more affordable. This is a car you may want to wait to buy after a few years of depreciation, when your price point is in the mid- to low teens. As a reliable car brand with low maintenance costs, a used Toyota isn’t likely let you down. This car will drive for a very, very long time.

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Image credit: Toyota

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Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.