Written by Marco Carvajal
Photographs by Marco Carvajal & Al Vazquez
I travelled to Savannah, Georgia to test drive and learn more about the new 2020 Toyota Corolla. This popular sedan has been completely redesigned to become a best-seller. If you are familiar with the previous Corolla… forget everything you remember about it as the 2020 Corolla has been reborn, it is a new car.
The new Corolla 2020 is the first ever Corolla Hybrid. For the first time the Corolla is available with 18-inch wheels are standard on the sports SE and XSE grades. JBL premium audio is also available for the first time in several years.
The Corolla is one of the most successful automobiles in the history of Toyota. There have been 12 generations since 1996, with over 46 Million Corollas sold, this is huge! Part of the success of the Corolla comes from the great value it provides to its buyers. The Corolla has been a great entry level car into Toyota’s brand through several generations. Consumers know what to expect, great value for a great price, in addition to easy and low cost maintenance and repairs.
The Toyota Corolla is assembled at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Blue Springs, Mississippi where 1,500 Toyota workers are employed. The Hybrid trim is produced in Takaoka, Japan. In 2021 the new Corolla will start to be produced on the new Toyota plant in a joint-venture with Mazda, the new plant in Huntsville, Alabama. This new plant will be employing about 4,000 workers and producing about 300,000 cars per year.
It is difficult to find a driver who does not recognize the name Corolla, it is such a classic well known brand name.
The New Corolla 2020
The new 2020 Corolla is available for sale at Toyota dealers in the United States since February 2019. The new Corolla uses the new Toyota TNGA platform. Most will be surprised and impressed with the new Toyota Corolla, reimagined and reconfigured. It looks more premium now.
The basic Corolla comes with a 1.8L 4-Cylinder engine, the 2020 Corolla lineup includes 2 sport trims, the SE (automatic or manual) and the XSE with a 2.0L 4-Cylinder. There is a hatchback model available since summer 2018 and it has produced very good sales around 300,000 units so far.
Behind the wheel the new 2020 corolla sedan feels more premium than previous ones. One of the reasons why I like the new Corolla so much is because it has much better exterior view from the cabin. Toyota engineers and architects put serious work into creating a better extensive view from the inside.
As I test drive the Corolla through the historic and picturesque streets of savannah Georgia, I enjoy the great visibility on the new Corolla. Visibility is a winner point when I compare the new Corolla with other cars in its segment. Better view means a fresh and more enjoyable driving experience.
Toyota has been able to optimize the internal cabin and the position of the driver. New improved interior space and view, by positioning the driver’s hip point 0.91-in. lower and 1.57-in. Resulting in lower vehicle’s center of gravity by 0.39 in., and better weight distribution. The height of the new Corolla has been reduced 0.8 in., and the hood lowered by 1.4 in. producing much better forward visibility. To accomplish this goal, the engine had to be mounted lower. As a result of these engineering enhancements, a reconfigured lower beltline, slimmer instrument panel and A-pillars, and repositioned side view mirrors in a better position have resulted in a wider more extensive visibility.
One of the features that will attract a lot of young car buyers to the Corolla is the standard Audio with Wi-Fi Connect, Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay Compatibility. According to Toyota executives the idea is that while driving your Corolla you will be able to do all the same you can do at home with Alexa. This will make the ride more enjoyable for the driver and its passengers. I think this is a big plus on the new Corolla by having all these connectivity standard. Imagine how nice that you can turn on and off your new Corolla using Alexa? and much more functionality.
The 12th Toyota Corolla generation started to enter the US market with the all-new Corolla Hatchback arriving last summer, followed by the regular sedan trims and the first ever Corolla Hybrid. The three models are based on Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA), which is much more than a new body structure and brings together new approaches to engineering, design, assembly and materials. The new TNGA platform transforms the Corolla and gives much more possibilities to the development of the new Corolla generation.
The new Corolla 2020 sedan is becoming more premium focus on comfort and refinement. The new Corolla is completely new, from bumpers to bumper. The new TNGA platform allows for a new engine that produces more power than its predecessor and offers better efficiency in fuel consumption. The TNGA also produces higher quality in all material and surfaces, switches and controls.
Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is Standard
The TNGA platform brings more safety by using the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 package of active safety systems, which is standard on all Corolla sedan models. This Safety package is a great value into the new Corolla, as every sedan receive about $2,000 in safety features, all standard, free of charge.
Toyota is getting closer to competitors like Kia and Hyundai that offer too many standard features. I think this is a very good step and strategy for Corolla, as car buyers prefer to buy a fully load car without having to buy several additional packages and options.
In general males buy more Corolla with manual transmission and more hatchbacks than regular Corolla sedans. The hispanic market is increasing for Toyota, it is a third of the Corolla Market. The Corolla is one of Toyota’s brand at entry level. The Corolla usually satisfies its customers that become Toyota repeated buyers. About 65% of previous Corolla owners return to the brand, they buy Corollas again. This is huge! Corolla drivers are very satisfied with the Corolla and keep coming back to buy a newer model.
JBL Premium Sound System Available
The new 2020 Corolla has a great audio system standard, it sounds very good. You can hear low and high frequencies with great definition and a very good volume. However for those who want something more premium, the new 2020 Corolla offers for the first time premium optional audio by JBL. The quality of this JBL audio is just great! It will make your new Corolla rock through the streets. Combining this JBL premium with Alexa functionality will impress any of your guests onboard.
The 2020 Corolla entry model, the L, is $700 more expensive than the 2019 Corolla, but it gives you much more safety and other features standard. All the new trims are a little bit more expensive on the 2020 line up. It is totally worth it to pay more for the 2020 compared to the previous model, as you will receive about $2,000 more value in standard features on the new Corolla, plus you are getting a new redesigned Corolla.
MSRP Starting Price. Excludes the $930 approximate Delivery, Processing and Handling Fee.
The First Ever Corolla Hybrid
The new Corolla 2020 offers for the first time, the first ever Corolla Hybrid with a very good price around $23,000 and great fuel economy of 52 Miles per Gallon.
The Corolla Hybrid shares the same power train with the Toyota Prius, another successful hybrid for Toyota. Now that the Corolla lineup includes a Hybrid, Toyota should see an increase in sales. However some Toyota buyers who used to buy the Prius, now may switch to the Corolla Hybrid. The new Toyota Corolla Hybrid is a little bit cheaper than the Prius, what probably indicates a marketing strategy from Toyota to attract more attention to the Corolla Hybrid.
Better Fuel Economy and Efficiency in all versions
Most Corolla sends can produce around 38 to 40 MPG on the highway. This are not the hybrid versions but the fuel economy is amazing. All versions of the Corolla 2020 have better combined fuel efficiency estimates than the previous Corolla generation. The L and LE trims have an estimate average of 33 MPG fuel efficiency. The XLE has a better estimate of fuel efficiency with 37 MPG average.
A new Dynamic Force engine, which adds 37 horsepower to the SE and XSE versions over previous models.
The Toyota hybrid Corolla is the less expensive Toyota hybrid you can buy and it is also produces the second best miles per gallon compared to any other Toyota automobile with an average of 52 MPG. This is a great performing hybrid at a very low price.
If we compare the other trims in the Corolla line, they also have very good fuel economy with averages around 33 MPG for the non-hybrid. Driving a Corolla, hybrid or regular will save you a few thousand dollars in gas per year.
Let’s compare the fuel economy MPG City/Highway/Combined for each trim of the new 2020 Toyota Corolla:
The new 12th generation 2020 Toyota Corolla has been complete redesign, it is based on the new Toyota TNG platform, it offers more features standard, greater visibility and a more premium style.
The new line up brings efficiency in all its versions, the new Hybrid and Sport Trims will help Toyota reach a wider market. Now there is a Corolla for every taste. Do you want a Corolla hybrid? or a sportier model? or a hatchback? manual, automatic, JBL premium audio? whatever is that you are looking for the Corolla will help you find it.
Pricing for the new Corolla is good for all budgets with more features standard. From around 19K to $25K, new car buyers can enjoy a beautiful value car for a very affordable price.
The new Corolla has more standard features now, like Audio with Wi-Fi Connect, Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay Compatibility. Also more safety features with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 standard and tons of features standard. The new 2020 Toyota Corolla includes Safety Features like Active Cornering assist ACA and more, that normally could cost you more than $2,000 additional to the base price, but you don’t have to pay for it, as it is all included standard in all the new Corolla sedans.
Toyota is trying to provide more value, better visibility, and a more luxury touch to the classic well-know Corolla. The new baby is born now is up to you the car driver to decide if this newborn will be as successful as the previous generations.