If the cars of the world were entered in a popularity contest, it would be hard to beat the Toyota Corolla. We recently got an exclusive, up close and personal look at the newest version, the 2014 Toyota Corolla, at the automaker's USA Automobile Museum in Torrance, Calif.

It's not that Corollas past and present are amazing at any one thing (except maybe reliability), but they have a well-rounded reputation and are appealing across the globe. They offer good value, are long lasting and have enough convenience options to keep most buyers happy.

Driving enthusiasts would rather have a Mazda3. Hip, young families would likely opt for a Ford Focus. College kids who want the Corolla's reliability -- but with a little edge -- would probably get a Honda Civic Coupe.

But the Corolla appeals to so many precisely because it's not too dramatic. It's not too much of any one thing. Some think the Corolla is reliable but a little bland. That's exactly what Toyota wants to change with the 2014 model.

At first glance, it's clear Toyota wants this new Corolla to really stand out. The exterior look is sharp, and the interior has a more contemporary look. There's also a lot more space.

The 2014 Toyota Corolla will come in four trim levels: base L, mid-grade LE, sporty S and efficiency-biased LE Eco. The first three will share the same engine, a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder from the previous Corolla. It's rated at 132 horsepower. However, the LE Eco gets more power.

The LE, S and LE Eco offer a new CVTi-S transmission that will help the car go farther on a gallon of gas.

Check out the video for more about the 2014 Toyota Corolla's expected fuel economy and horsepower, as well as the new transmission.

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