2020 Toyota Corolla: the all-new inside and out
Tested model: 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE
Final assembly point: Toyota, Aichi, Japan
Engine: 2.0L 4-cylinder
Horsepower: 169 hp
Torque: 151 lb-ft
MPG: 31 city / 38 highway
Tested average MPG: 33
Fuel tank capacity: 13.2 gal
This all-new 2020 Toyota Corolla is not just a “visual makeup.” It’s been completely redesigned, now boasting a lot more stylish and sophisticated looks. In the new lineup, you now have seven trim levels to choose from, and despite the overall market trend of killing manual transmissions, we’ve got a 6-speed manual still available, along with the brand new Hybrid addition, which we’ll be reviewing as well so be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see it first.
New character all around
With the 2020 Corolla we clearly see the bold statement Toyota was going for. Proudly boasting its new character and feel, right off the bat you can tell that suspension is stiffer and the car handles corners way better than it used to. The 2.0L engine produces 169 hp and 151 lb-ft, and makes a statement that it’s not only “alive,” but also fully ready for the road. Great response, and more than enough power and motivation for over a 3100-pound car. Fun fact: the hybrid version weighs 300 pounds less.
Toyota was able to improve the CVT transmission up to the point where it simply feels like a regular 6-8 speed automatic, and that deserves some respect, ladies and gentlemen! If you wouldn’t read the specs you probably wouldn’t be able to even tell it’s a CVT. After driving it for a week it’s was a pleasant surprise to see 33MPG average on the dash, while also keeping in mind that it can do around 38MPG on freeways.
Safety first, and second, and third.
Besides the fresh looks, the new generation brings you a host of safety features, including back-up camera and pre-collision system with pedestrian detection. Now lane departure alert comes with steering assist as well as road edge detection, so from now on it won’t only bug you, it’ll also help you to avoid trouble. Full-speed radar cruise control, road sign assist that reads speed signs using the front camera. For some reason, there were no blind-spot monitors in our trim but I guess when you already have a $26K price tag this is something that would be reasonable to leave for the Camry. Interior in the new XSE boasts the SofTex® sports seats as well as a piano-black accent on the doors with some aluminum trim. To us, it felt like I was sitting in the first Mazda CX-5 a few years ago when they completely revamped all of their lineup. The new Corolla got better driving dynamics, better exterior and interior, and you see the new character all around. After all, even Toyota commercials got more creative! It was hard to imagine being surprised by a Corolla just a few years ago, but they’ve done a lot to make it a really well-built car.
When it comes to tech, in the new 2020 lineup you can already see Apple CarPlay, however, sadly no Android Auto. Great stereo without any fancy “JBL” logos, and knowing that this is an entry-level car I won’t even bother for an upgrade. For you all my fellow Android users I should say Bluetooth still works great to stream your music, however in this case the “old dog” still knows the “old tricks.” For instance, it won’t update titles of what’s playing on the screen so the name of the first song you’ve played will be there all the time. I’m glad to see 2.4 amp USB in the armrest but I would trade “Alexa” support any given day to get Android Auto.
The world keeps moving forward, and Toyota is in the game. Think about it: in 2006 they’ve sold 387,000 Corollas. What you saw in the 2006 generation was nothing if you would compare it with this all-new 2020 Toyota Corolla. Now it doesn’t feel like an entry-level car. It looks good, it drives way better than before, and finally, it brings more and more technology and features to make your everyday commute safer and more enjoyable. This is the 2020 Toyota Corolla, introduced bold and proud. I would be really surprised if they wouldn’t beat the 2006 record.