2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid: “new boy in town” making statement

Tested Model: 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE

Final assembly point: Japan, Takaoka plant

MSRP: $23,100

Engine: 1.8L 4-cylinder engine with Hybrid Synergy Drive®

Horsepower: 121 hp

Torque: 105 lb-ft

MPG per manufacturer: 53 city/52 highway/52 combined

Our tested average MPG: 55-56

Fuel tank capacity: 11.4 gal

It’s hard to tell you about the all-new 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid without referring to our recent 2020 Corolla review. With MSRP starting at $19,600 for the new lineup, you can go all the way to $25,000 if you want to save more gas and get more features. What do you get in the end? Incredible gas mileage, driving dynamics, and more fun than you would expect from a hybrid. It looks like Toyota broke its stereotype and proved that a great hybrid should not necessarily be a Prius.

“The great suite of safety features, incredible gas mileage, and no sacrifice for looks or space”

We will not repeat ourselves with what’s been said about the new Corolla, you can read and watch our Corolla XSE review for that. We will focus on the hybrid model. Plus, it’s got so much to talk about!

The idea behind the all-new Corolla Hybrid is to allow you to put 8-9 gallons in the tank and see over 500 miles range on the dash. To do our test, we asked viewers to tell us where they want us to go (traffic in downtown Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco), and guess what you picked? Our test drive to San Francisco proved that it can provide you right around 51-52 MPG on freeways and to be honest we were not trying to save gas at all. When it comes to the city driving it gets even better MPG and we’ve seen over 55-56 MPG on average so I guess we’re better hybrid drivers than the folks from EPA that rated this car at 53 MPG.

Toyota has been known for good quality hybrid systems and that’s why Toyota Prius is the world’s most popular hybrid. Plus, you’ve got 8 years / 100,000 miles warranty on the battery, the most expensive part of this car. So you have nothing to worry about. 

Another important detail to mention – with the Toyota Corolla Hybrid you never feel a “sacrifice” you would normally see in other savvy hybrids out there, especially when it comes to interior space and driving dynamics. The new Corolla Hybrid is a regular-sized sedan and it also drives like one. Driving on pure EV mode or having the engine kick in while you accelerate is smooth. Oh yeah, it’s also got good quality insulation and inside you don’t get a lot of road noises. Not a performance vehicle and it may feel too light on the front losing the front grip but in comparison to other hybrids, it’s way better than you would expect. 

It comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. What does it mean? Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beams, Road Sign Assist, and Lane Tracing Assist. The safety system overall works and does provide you with additional confidence on the road. The only downside we’ve experienced is that from time to time Lane Tracing Assist was fighting with our decisions on lane position and “beeped” multiple times when there’s one lane splitting into two highway ramps. It still does its job to help you keep the lane, it works great when it comes to Radar Cruise Control (great distance keeping), and still a great suite of safety features for the price tag. Trunk space is surprisingly big and it won’t change if you pick regular Corolla or Hybrid – 13.1 cu.ft. 

Is there anything we didn’t like about the new Corolla and Corolla Hybrid?

  1. It’s got a gas tank hose that’s too flexible so you have to hold it on every single gas station to refuel. It gets inconvenient at times, especially if you were planning other things instead of holding the nozzle.
  2. No Android Auto. C’mon it’s a 2020 model lineup. 5 years back it was a new technology and we all know Google is slow when it comes to helping automakers to make it happen, but even on their pace, it’s been far too long not to have Android Auto. 
  3. Number 3 comes from number 2. Since I cannot use Android Auto I have to mount my phone and look at the phone screen. But guess what? Now every vent-mounted phone holder doesn’t stay in place and you can only mount something on the windshield. It’s a minor thing that you probably wouldn’t notice until you drive one of those without a phone mounter for an extended period of time. 

Even though Corolla Hybrid is a “new boy in town,” Toyota proved yet again it can surprise you. The great suite of safety features, incredible gas mileage, and no sacrifice for looks or space – all starting with a $23,100 MSRP. With the new Toyota Corolla Hybrid, you get the best gas mileage for the lesser price tag. In our opinion, this could be a way better option than a pricey Prius, especially when it comes to how it looks, and how it drives, and at least for these reasons alone, you have to check it out!

About The Author

Dennis Bindarau While changing the world of information, Dennis manages to find time for reviewing the newest cars and bikes, and also travel. He likes coffee, morning walk, and winter (spoiler alert: one of these is not true).

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