AVANNAH, Georgia—One argument for changing the long-in-the-tooth Toyota Corolla with an all-new version is this compact sedan is such an icon for the logo. More than 46 million had been sold globally when you consider that manufacturing commenced at Japan’s Takaoka plant in 1966, effortlessly topping the Ford Model T and the original Volkswagen Beetle. Then there are the years and hundreds of thousands of greenbacks spent growing the new, 53-metropolis-mpg hybrid version that would have helpfrtged the model glide via the Obama management’s now-canceled Corporate Average Fuel Economy general of 2025. And of course, there’s the desire that the 2020 Toyota Corolla will scoop up those first-automobile purchases left at the desk through the departures of the Chevrolet Cruze and Ford Focus.
Arguments in opposition to? The manufacturing capability on the vegetation that builds the hybrid (Takaoka) and the massive majority of North American fashions (Blue Springs, Mississippi) could be better utilized assembling extra RAV4s, which has turned out to be the bestselling non-pickup in America. At least Toyota plans to shift Corolla production from Blue Springs to a new Alabama joint-challenge manufacturing facility with Mazda in 2021, releasing potential for more RAV4s in Mississippi.
In case first-time shoppers about to enter the brand new-car market are equipped to show this SUV trend round, although, Toyota is ready with a compact sedan that’s once again competitive in its unexpectedly shrinking section.
Indeed, the 2020 Toyota Corolla is a great development, even though it stays a conservative counterattack towards its largest rival, the Honda Civic, and the formidable new Mazda three. The new lineup is break up into “sporty” and mainstream trim stages, with the SE and XSE covering the former and the L, LE, and XLE making up the latter. There’s also the LE hybrid. The new automobile rides on Toyota’s TNGA platform and is alleged to be 60 percent stiffer in torsional tension.
For ’20, the Corolla switches from a torsion-beam rear axle to a multilink setup, and the chassis additionally takes advantage of Active Cornering Assist, Toyota’s marketing call for brake-based totally torque-vectoring with a view to gradual an internal wheel to mitigate understeer. The non-sporty variations are powered by means of the acquainted 1. Eight-liter 2ZR-FAE inline 4-cylinder engine, upgraded through 7 horses to 139. It makes 126 lb-toes of torque. The SE and XSE scorch the pavement with the 169-hp, 151-lb-toes 2.0-liter M20A-FKS 4. The hybrid combines a 1.Eight-liter 2ZR-FXE with an electrically powered motor for a total of 121 general horsepower and one zero five lb-feet.
The mainstreamers and the hybrid get a well-known continuously variable transmission tuned for, well, mainstream riding, at the same time as the SE and XSE’s CVT consists of bodily first equipment that upshifts to the transmission’s belt to offer stepped forward off-the-line response. The SE is the most effective Corolla to provide a manual, in this situation a six-velocity unit with rev-matching and hill-maintain capabilities. While the take charge for the six-speed manual transmission is about 10 percent on the Corolla SE and XSE hatchbacks, which released for the 2019 model year, Toyota expects simply five percent of customers to shift for themselves in the Corolla sedan.
SE and XSE additionally add smoked LED taillamps, twin chrome-tipped exhaust, color-key side view mirrors with turn signal repeaters, sports mesh grey metallic grille and 18-inch machined alloy wheels with P225/40R-18 tires, which have been Yokohama Avids, inside the case of our check automobile. Toyota’s spec sheet notes that SE, XSE, and XLE additionally upload variable intermittent windshield wipers, which looks like something that has to be fashionable across the Corolla board. But Toyota surely has been counting pennies on the sedan’s improvement, with the famous LE version beginning at just $20,880 and the LE Hybrid at $23,880.
There are Apple Car Play and Amazon Alexa capability, however no Android for Auto. Safety Sense 2.0 includes a pre-collision machine with pedestrian detection, bicycle detection in sunlight hours, full-speed variety of dynamic radar and lane-departure alert with steering help.
We started out in an XSE. The roads leading out of captivating, ancient Savannah aren’t conducive to wringing out something, even a small automobile with little power, even though we were capable of deciding on the few curves that the XSE is taut and nimble, with respectable compliance at flip-in and pretty minimal understeer (which may additionally or might not have emerged as mild had we been on a greater hard avenue). The steering, notwithstanding the truth that the electronic power assist remains on the column and now not the rack, is top notch. It transmits all styles of road sense, despite the fact that there’s also numerous road noise coming in thru the Yokohama Avid 225/40R-18s.
The XSE’s two-tone, fake-leather-based recreation seats are handsome and more relaxed, with more bolstering than the ones within the “L” models. (The SE gets the same primary seats with fabric upholstery.) The XSE comes with paddle shifters, with 9 steps in the CVT-plus-first-gear transmission, even though we normally stored self-shifting for the SE manual. Sports mode affects the throttle response and turns the virtual speedometer image from blue to crimson, though there was a minimum seat-of-the-pants difference. The CVT doesn’t hold a “gear” and “upshifts” mechanically on the redline even when the use of the paddles.
The XSE’s 2.0-liter is the standard engine in the hatchback and presents the same easy power here, although the shift from first tools to the CVT’s belt became fairly substantial under heavy throttle. In truth, this 169-horse engine ought to be the entry-stage powerplant in this vehicle from Toyota, an organization which continues to eschew the turbocharging that is now ubiquitous.
A Corolla XLE with Dunlop Enasave 205/55R-16s that we drove next changed into much quieter and the street experience nonetheless was appropriate, even though the low-rolling-resistance tires delivered a piece of twitchiness, requiring regular steerage corrections that we didn’t need to make within the XSE. 139-hp 1. Eight-liter doesn’t feel that a lot down on the two.0-liter four until you attempt full-throttle acceleration. While up the front the seats are heated and function 8-way power on the motive force’s facet, in case you’re contemplating it as an analog to, say, the Civic’s semi-top rate Touring model, you’ll come away disappointed. In reality, the XLE is barely less high-priced than the pinnacle-trim sporty version.
All the Corollas we drove had cheery, pleasant interiors, despite the fact that there’s a piece of inconsistency proven in stuff just like the dashboard stitching on the XSE, that is blue on the black upper portion of the two-tone sprint and cream-colored on the cream-colored portion of the dash. The rear seat is capacious sufficient for a compact, with properly outward visibility, although the bottom cushion is located excessively to have enough money higher legroom at the rate of headroom.
The motive force’s version is the 2020 Toyota Corolla SE. It’s to be had with the CVT, even though most effective the six-speed-manual model comes with a general moonroof and proximity entry and ignition; it’s priced $seven hundred better as an end result. And in a nod to purists, the SE manual has real gauges with real needles, not the virtual readouts of different fashions we drove.
The guide is a piece notchy, but it’s easy to use and has a nice, innovative grab; it’s perfectly first-class in case you’re not spoiled by using Miata or Honda stick-shifts. The iMT—for “wise manual transmission”—button turns on the rev-matching downshift characteristic.
We also were able to sample the fuel/electric Corolla, which the automaker positions as an affordable traditional hybrid that gives incredible fuel mileage and a sticky label fee south of $25,000. It’s a Toyota hybrid, so the transitions between full battery electricity and the ignition of the 121-hp 1.8-liter 4 are pretty clean. It’s still the type of car you won’t feel compelled to pressure fast or fast, and sitting as it will in showrooms with hybrid versions of the Camry, Avalon, RAV4, and Highlander—to mention nothing of the Prius, which additionally has a Prime plug-in version—keeps the normalization of the powertrain kind that the automaker helped popularize.
In truth, with such a lot of hybrids, it’s in all likelihood time to make the Prius Prime the bottom version of that automobile. And we’ll repeat our opinion that the two.0-liter the engine has to be the engine across the conventional Corolla lineup. When each is prepared with the CVT, it beats the 1.8-liter’s gas financial system each within the town and at the highway, which means the old 1. Eight is simply there to preserve the price down. Does Toyota really need a base version that starts just above $20,000 on the sacrifice of gasoline performance? Perhaps fleet buyers may be charmed by that one.
But the rest of the lineup should appeal lots of civilian buyers. The 2020 Corolla is a capable, good-looking compact that, ought to its popularity maintain, will pay off with years of virtually problem-unfastened using. The new sedan isn’t as expressive or as a whole lot amusing to force as the Honda Civic or the brand new Mazda three, however in most every other way it’s inside the hunt, and the hatchback model broadens the lineup and gives enough a laugh and style to hobby fans. In any case, each automobile that Toyota sells that’s a Corolla in preference to an SUV is an internet high quality in our ebook.
2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan Specifications
ON SALE Now
BASE PRICE $20,430–$26,380
ENGINES 1.8L DOHC 16-valve inline-4, 139 hp @ 6,a hundred rpm, 126 lb-ft @ three,900 rpm; 2.0L DOHC sixteen-valve inline-four, 169 hp @ 6,600 rpm, 151 lb-feet @ 4,400 rpm; 1.8L DOHC sixteen-valve inline-4 with electric powered motor, 121 hp @ five,200 rpm, one hundred and five lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
TRANSMISSIONS 6-speed guide, constantly variable automated
LAYOUT 4-door, five-passenger, front-engine, FWD sedan
EPA MILEAGE 29–31/36–40 mpg (town/hwy, nonhybrid), 53/52 mpg (city/hwy, hybrid)
L x W x H 182.3 x 70.1 x fifty six.5 in
WHEELBASE 106.3 in
WEIGHT 2,950–three,one hundred lb
0–60 MPH 7.8–8.6 sec
TOP SPEED 112 mph (mfr)