2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

2020 Corolla Hybrid Photos
When the Toyota Corolla Hatchback was introduced, it didn't take long behind the wheel to know that it was an entirely different and better brand of Corolla. Actually, you didn't even have to drive it – its expressive, coherent styling told the story. Yet, in the back of my mind was a little voice saying, "The sedan probably won't be this good." The styling would be toned down (it was), and as the version for the masses, it wouldn't be as sharp and borderline fun to drive. Well, surprising as it is, the Corolla XSE sedan actually does match its hatchback sibling. The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid, on the other hand, does not. Driving it on my mountain road evaluation route wasn't particularly enjoyable, acceleration is merely sufficient, and the XSE sedan and hatchback remain the superior driving machines. Aesthetically, this Hybrid suffers for its dorky door guard trim, big poofy tires and a cabin bereft of the richer materials found in the Hatchback. So no, the hybrid sedan is not as good. That said, it is still so much better than the Corolla it replaces. Though driving it on a mountain road wasn't particularly enjoyable, it handled the task ably. The 2020's suspension is so much more poised, especially in mid-corner bumps, and the result is a higher degree of composure and competence. By contrast, the old car was dreary and depressing. I remember driving on my previous mountain evaluation route in Los Angeles, and partway through the portion of Mulholland Highway known to locals as "the snake," saying to myself "this is hopeless" and just finishing the route going at a granny's pace. I might as well have been asking it to navigate the Marianas Trench. The improvements in the new Corolla have everything to do with the change-over to Toyota's new TNG platform, which has transformed everything from the RAV4 to the Lexus ES into a substantially better vehicle to drive. The Corolla Hybrid is certainly one of the least engaging applications, but you can absolutely feel through your hands and seat of the pants that the bones have been given a serious upgrade. That goes for the ride quality too – it's still comfortable, but the damping is superior and the Corolla no longer bounds about. [slideshow id='1292778'] Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive has also been upgraded from past iterations. The gas engine engagement is so much smoother and quieter, while throttle response is quite good and consistent with what you'd get in a good electric car. Yet, it was also pretty easy to keep that gas motor off, or at least purring near idle, while driving it normally (you know, as in everywhere but a mountain road). Shared with the Prius, the powertrain consists of a 1.8-liter four-cylinder and a 53-kW electric motor that together produce 121 horsepower. That's a far cry from the regular Corolla 2.0-liter's 169 horsepower and every other compact sedan. Off the line, you might not notice it given the extra jolt …
Full Review
When the Toyota Corolla Hatchback was introduced, it didn't take long behind the wheel to know that it was an entirely different and better brand of Corolla. Actually, you didn't even have to drive it – its expressive, coherent styling told the story. Yet, in the back of my mind was a little voice saying, "The sedan probably won't be this good." The styling would be toned down (it was), and as the version for the masses, it wouldn't be as sharp and borderline fun to drive. Well, surprising as it is, the Corolla XSE sedan actually does match its hatchback sibling. The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid, on the other hand, does not. Driving it on my mountain road evaluation route wasn't particularly enjoyable, acceleration is merely sufficient, and the XSE sedan and hatchback remain the superior driving machines. Aesthetically, this Hybrid suffers for its dorky door guard trim, big poofy tires and a cabin bereft of the richer materials found in the Hatchback. So no, the hybrid sedan is not as good. That said, it is still so much better than the Corolla it replaces. Though driving it on a mountain road wasn't particularly enjoyable, it handled the task ably. The 2020's suspension is so much more poised, especially in mid-corner bumps, and the result is a higher degree of composure and competence. By contrast, the old car was dreary and depressing. I remember driving on my previous mountain evaluation route in Los Angeles, and partway through the portion of Mulholland Highway known to locals as "the snake," saying to myself "this is hopeless" and just finishing the route going at a granny's pace. I might as well have been asking it to navigate the Marianas Trench. The improvements in the new Corolla have everything to do with the change-over to Toyota's new TNG platform, which has transformed everything from the RAV4 to the Lexus ES into a substantially better vehicle to drive. The Corolla Hybrid is certainly one of the least engaging applications, but you can absolutely feel through your hands and seat of the pants that the bones have been given a serious upgrade. That goes for the ride quality too – it's still comfortable, but the damping is superior and the Corolla no longer bounds about. [slideshow id='1292778'] Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive has also been upgraded from past iterations. The gas engine engagement is so much smoother and quieter, while throttle response is quite good and consistent with what you'd get in a good electric car. Yet, it was also pretty easy to keep that gas motor off, or at least purring near idle, while driving it normally (you know, as in everywhere but a mountain road). Shared with the Prius, the powertrain consists of a 1.8-liter four-cylinder and a 53-kW electric motor that together produce 121 horsepower. That's a far cry from the regular Corolla 2.0-liter's 169 horsepower and every other compact sedan. Off the line, you might not notice it given the extra jolt …
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Retail Price

$23,100 - $23,100 MSRP / Window Sticker Price

Smart Buy Price

$1,868 Nat'l avg. savings off MSRP
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Engine I-4
MPG 53 City / 52 Hwy
Seating 5 Passengers
Transmission CVTi-S 2-spd CVT w/OD
Power 96 @ 5200 rpm
Drivetrain front-wheel
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