2020 Toyota Corolla Review

2020 Toyota Corolla - Hybrid added to Toyota's Corolla lineup


Toyota's Corolla continues to vie with Honda's Civic for most sales annually in the small sedan market.

Civics are noted for their hot, sporty engines. Corollas will not match
Civic performance abilities. Even so, Corollas have economical traits
that serve them
well. This year Toyota has added even more economy  to the Corolla with
a hybrid model.

solely in the LE trim line (L, LE, SE, XLE, XSE are other trims), the
hybrid has the same measurements as the  gasoline-only Corolla, but
differs in weight
and size of fuel tank. The gasoline Corolla weighs  several hundred
pounds more than the hybrid and the hybrid's fuel tank is two gallons
less in size.

reason for the smaller 11.4-gallon tank in the hybrid is fuel
efficiency. If the gasoline Corolla averages 35 miles per gallon, which
it can do, the hybrid
model will average more than 50 miles per gallon. Officially, according
to the federal government's Environmental Protection Agency, the hybrid
will average 53 mpg in the city and 52 on the highway. During a test
week in the hybrid, those figures became  even
more impressive with 58.8 mpg in the city and 54.4 mpg on the highway.
That was with one and occasionally two adults aboard with the car in Eco
mode. An alternate drive mode is Power.

in Eco mode, this small car exhibited spirit and dodged in and out of
Interstate traffic with ease.  It quickly reached highway speed limits
and jumped fast
from a dead stop into the roadway ahead.

hybrid Corolla has a suggested manufacturer's starting price of
$23,100. The front-wheel-drive, four-door, five-occupant hybrid is ideal
for families with
one to two children or simply as a second car for work-related
commuting purposes.  Prices for the six trim levels  rise from $19,600
for the L to $25,450 for the top-of-the-line XSE.  The hybrid is priced
right in the middle.

a recent more sporty redesign, the Corolla looks nicer and more
adventurous than past models. The first-ever Corolla hybrid  not only
has the efficiencies
of the combination of an electric-gasoline power pairing, but also has
Corolla's new more engaging look. The LE does not have all the exterior
glamour of an SE, XLE or XSE. The LE hybrid wears 15-inch alloy wheels
and not 16- or 18-inchers. Unlike the gray-painted
accents and chrome-tipped double pipe exhausts on the XLE and XSE, the
LE has a plain single exhaust pipe . Also, unlike the rocker panels and
rear spoiler of metallic gray on the upgrade XLE and XSE, the LE is less

handles and heated power exterior mirrors  are color-keyed. Headlights
and daytime running lights are LEDs as are taillights. Above the black
front grille
is a sport mesh insert.

2020, Corolla's redesign includes replacing a torsion beam with an
independent rear suspension. It is a stiffer platform with a front
suspension, too, of coil
springs and shock absorbers.

features in the LE hybrid, in addition to exterior mirrors, are
pushbutton start, express windows and door locks. There will be no power
moon roof on the
LE hybrid as standard equipment,  nor are there power front leather
seats. The seats move manually and are covered in patterned cloth.

seats hug tightly and are comfortable for anyone not too heavy (excess
of 225 pounds) and less than six feet, two inches in height.

Controls are easy to reach.

rear seat is tight. Adults of the six-foot variety will have heads
almost touching the ceiling with knees pushing against front bucket
seats. The rear split
seats fold and open to a 13.1 cubic foot trunk. Storage possibilities,
thus, are extended.  For families with small children, parents will
appreciate the  updated latch system for child-car seats. It is super
easy to put these seats in and out.

Corollas are loaded with technological gadgets.

the safety category they include lane tracing and road sign assist,
lane departure alert, blind spot monitor, smart key system with
pushbutton start, backup
camera, pedestrian detection, radar cruise control and rear seatbelt
warning. During the test week the Corolla rode nicely on uneven
roadways, steering was tight but not too tight, sight lines were good to
the sides and the rear.

navigation system,  smartphone charging port and a more extensive sound
system are optional.  Check with a dealer for details. Apple CarPlay is
standard. Working
with the iPhone, Apple CarPlay allows for getting directions, sending
messages and making calls with your voice through Siri Eyes Free. All
this plus listening to music, ballgames or talk shows while focusing on

a recently tested XSE model, the LE has a small open tray in which to
temporarily place  items such as car keys, note pads or gum sticks. That
tray is under
the dashboard at the head of the center console.


Vehicle: LE hybrid model of 2020 Toyota Corolla

Type: four-door, five-passenger, front-wheel-drive compact sedan

Price: $23,100

Power: nickel-metal hydride battery with  1.8-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine for 121-horsepower

Transmission: continuously variable

Fuel: unleaded regular

Fuel tank:  11.4 gallons

Weight: 2,850 pounds

Trunk: 13.1 cubic feet

Leg room: 42 inches front, 34.8 inches rear

Tires (195), wheels (alloy): 15-inch

Wheelbase, length, width, height, ground clearance in inches: 106.3, 182.5, 70.1, 56.5, 5.1

Turn circle: 35.6 feet

Suspension: struts front, multilinks rear, stabilizer bars

three years or 36,000 miles, five years or 60,000 miles powertrain,
eight years or 100,000 miles hybrid system components

Assembly: Japan




Jerry Kuyper

Born on a southwestern Minnesota farm, Jerrold E. Kuyper quickly became familiar with tractors, pickup trucks and related agricultural equipment. He left that behind to graduate from Augsburg College in Minneapolis and attend graduate schools in Evanston and Chicago. He was hired as a reporter for the Kenosha News, a daily newspaper in Kenosha, WI. After a stint of a dozen years at the Kenosha News, he became a columnist, layout, page and sections editor at the Northwest Herald, a daily newspaper based in Crystal Lake, IL serving northwest Chicago suburban communities.

While with the Northwest Herald he helped create, write reviews and opinion columns as well as edit the newspaper's Wheels section, a 16- to 40-page broadsheet that appeared weekly in the newspaper's Friday edition. Wheels was devoted to reviews of new vehicles, looks at automotive history, current trends in the automobile world and columns by automotive enthusiasts. Midwest Automotive Media Association members who contributed to reviews and columns included Mitch Frumkin, Phil Arendt, Matt Joseph and James Flammang as well as photo journalist Doug Begley and dragster specialist Fred Blumenthal.

Kuyper, who lives in Salem Lakes, WI, is a founding member of MAMA, is married, has three children and six grandchildren.