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Ponchatoula , Louisiana
January 9, 2014     The Ponchatoula Times
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January 9, 2014

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THE TIMES, JANUARY 9, 2014, PAGE 6 -- Like us at Facebook.com/theponchatoulatimes By BRYAN T. McMAHON Times On Wheels Columnist About four years back I was shopping for my first new car and . since I like and respect Toyota, I got behind the wheel of a then- , -D new Corolla only to find that I did not fit. It was a deal killer cer- .tainly. ,i :., So you can imagine my apprehension when I was told my up- coming test drive model was a 2014 Toyota Corolla LE Eco Plus. When the new Corolla arrived I gingerly eased myself in and 2014 Toyota Carollo LE ECO was relieved to realize that I fit, comfortably, all six-foot-two of me, shoulders as wide as a Texas Longhorn's. That was the beginning of a whole new relationship. Thanks to the holidays, I got to keep the Corolla longer than my standard one week, and I was happy to see that I never grew tired of driving this much redesigned Toyota, and at this writing I would be pleased as holiday punch if I could only keep it a few weeks longer. LE Eco Plus Corolla is rated at 40 miles per gallon on the inter- state, 20 mpg in city driving. That is about what I get with the Ford Focus I wound up buying after being literally squeezed out of the Corolla I had hoped to buy several years ago. Here at the newspaper our resident Louisiana alligator who has his own page one column tagged me with the nickname Ole Pinch- penny. I don't know about all of that, but I do love the gas mileage monitor that came with the Ford. It is useful in reminding me to stay focused on fuel savings by driving right, and yes, it does make a difference. Hard as I looked, I could not find a similar source of informa- tion on the Corolla which really didn't make sense, not with that telltale "Eco" moniker in the title of my test drive Toyota. As it turns out, progress had passed me yet again. To get that miles-per-gallon info these days, you simply sync your iPhone or Android with your new Corolla. The driver's seat I found to be incredibly comfortable, accel- eration is good enough not to cause ulcers when it comes time to merge on our busy interstates. As a matter of fact, the Corolla is quite peppy considering the standard engine is a 1.8 liter 4-cylin- der, and considering as well that I left it in the Eco mode nearly all the time. The "Ole Pinchpenny" in me was pleased. Toyoto considers the 2014 Corolla to be a "mid-size" automobile and perhaps that is what makes it roomier than previous year models, which I personally classified in the "compact" category. In terms of onboard safety gear, Toyota can't be beat and the long laundry list of these items on the Monroney label is what you would expect on a far pricier automobile. Eight standard airbags A driver and front passenger Advanced Airbag System, 16 front seat-mounted side airbags for the driver and front passenger, front and rear side curtain airbags, plus new driver knee and passenger seat-cushion airbags. They're all part of a system designed to help keep you safe. As a driver but more importantly, as a parent, I find attention to safety a real plus with the Corolla, because in terms of price and good rakish looks Corolla seems targeted to the young. Let's look at more highlights that should please all age groups: The Corolla looks sharp, and it should. The automobile's exte- will cost you an extra $850. The "blizzard pearl" special white paint job adds $395. So let's get down to the real nitty-gritty, the real price hiding in the clever mathematics of the price sticker which would have you believe on first reading that the base price is $19,400, and no, I do not believe that to be the real base price, which for me would have to include the $810 "Delivery/Processing/Handling Fee," (I mean, just try driving off the lot without paying that fee), bringing the true base price to the "inconvenient" total of $20,210. Then add-in the true "options" that you may or may not want to include (but in this case I would) Had the unseen somebody at Toyota not stuck the fee at the very end of the pricing list for the car instead of adding it earlier to the '%ase price" would have the true final price total to $22,965, including true options and the ubiquitous Delivery/Processing/ Handling Fee." I know Toyota wanted to be able to say you can drive off in the 2014 Corolla LE ECO Plus, without any options, for less than $20,000, and I don't blame them, given that they have cars to move. I'm just saying that $22,965 is a great price for this model Toyo- ta, and well worth every penny, and not worth running away from it or pretending we can get out of the showroom without paying all the real fees included in the purchase. Could we agree to keep our Monroney labels real? We auto buyers can take it, really we can. Let's let the last adjustment to the deal be that Toyota really does fill up the Corolla's gas tank before you leave the dealership, and it's on Toyota. Now that is a class act. rior has been completely redesigned for 2014. : i The low bean headlights are modern light emitting diodes (LED), with standard halogen lamps taking over for high,beam. Car lovers : Audiophiles (my people!) should, be :quite enthused over Co- David Gueldner (left) and Danny Elstrott talk cars at the rolla s EntuneTM Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite Cathy Allen Christmas Eve party. (Times Photo) Technology to make life easier and the cruising experience moreenjoyable. ' ]ACKSON VAUGHAN AGENCY INC: Or if music is really what is on your mind when buying a ve- o hicle, my advice is to buy the $1,510 Driver Convenience option Celebrating 90years of service to Tangipahoa Parish that brings a whole new level of tech and convenience to Corolla with a 6.1-in. touch-screen display, backup camera, navigation and a suite of apps to help you stay connected. I've got to give a shout out to the automatic climate control with dust and pollen filter and push-button controls. In our pollution challenging world this gives you another line of defense that our 985 386 32 2 parents and great grandparents didn't need in their day. Weneed _ _ it in our day and time, more so if you drive mostly in the city. The full list of electronic gadgets that come in this package is nothing short of mouth-watering. A power tilt and slide moonroof [l II Ill lllll l 386-8802 610 W. Pine-Ponchatoula Tune Ups Electrical Air Conditioning Fuel Injection Brakes Computer Engine Service Carburetor Hours: M0ndaythru Friday 7:30a,m, t06 Sheriffs Report AMITE - Independence resident Patrick Collins, 58, a Tangipahoa Parish Deputy as- signed to the parish jail, has been arrested for lct malfea- sance in office, 2cts introduc- tion of contraband into a penal institution, and possession with intent to distribute schedule 1 narcotics. Command staff at the jail developed information over the past few days indicating Col- lins would be introducing the contraband into the facility on January 6, 2014. The informa- tion was confirmed when a search of Collins' work space revealed 4 separate packages containing suspected tobacco and marijuana. In a subsequent interview with TPSO narcot- ics agents, Collins' admitted to bringing in the contraband and selling it to inmates. Collins' is currently being processed and will be housed in St. John Par- ish pending bond. "There is a fine line between working in a jail and being in a jail when you are willing to en- gage in criminal activity with those who you are charged with the custody and control of. Let this serve as a warning to oth: ers, the Tangipahoa Sheriff's office will aggressively investi- gate and prosecute any person who compromises the security of our facility, regardless of who they are." Sheriff Edwards. 121 West Pine- Ponchatoula 985.386.3511 Call Us ['or All Your Insurance Needs SPARKY WELLES - President & Manager - \ Over 42 Years of Quality, Custom Home Building Free Plan Customization Over 100 Free Home Plans Great Standard Features! Baton Rouge Building Center 14241 Airline Hwy Baton Rouge, LA (225) 366-6962