Everybody seems to have a Toyota Corolla experience or memory. With more than 40 million Corollas sold globally in its lifetime, it’s one of the best selling cars in the world — this ubiquitous compact car has been a mainstay on roads everywhere and for a very long time.

Long a poster child for affordable and reliable transportation, the Corolla has now added style and luxury-car features to its repertoire, so it’s no longer the no-frills car you might remember. The popular car is now in its 12th generation and the first Corolla came out in 1966. The Corolla used to have the unfortunate reputation of being a boring car, but that’s just not true these days: It has a unique new style, an actual personality, and a ton of great features. A whole lot has changed during the Corolla’s lifetime, but one thing remains: The compact car is still the go-to vehicle for millions of people.

Currently available as a sedan and hatchback (and even a wagon in some markets), the Corolla Sedan is also available as a hybrid for the first time.

For the North American market, the Toyota Corolla is manufactured in Blue Springs, Mississippi, USA, and in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada..

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Toyota Corolla Specs

Toyota Corolla Sedan Specs

2020 Toyota Corolla XSE Sedan Review

There are two engine options for the traditional gas-powered Toyota Corolla sedan.

Engine: 1.8L 4-cylinder / 2.0L 4-cylinder
Horsepower: 139 / 169
Torque: 126 lb-ft / 151 lb-ft
Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
Transmission: CVT or 6-speed manual
Seating Capacity: 5
Cargo Capacity: 13 cubic feet

Toyota Corolla Hybrid Specs

Toyota Corolla_Hybrid_AG

The Toyota Corolla Hybrid is currently only available as a sedan.

Engine: 1.8L 4-cylinder plus 53 kW electric motor and 600V Ni-MH battery
Net System Horsepower: 121
Net System Torque: 105 lb-ft
Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
Transmission: CVT
Seating Capacity: 5
Cargo Capacity: 13 cubic feet

Toyota Corolla Hatchback Specs

Nine Things to Know About the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

The Toyota Corolla hatchback does not come as a hybrid and is only available with the upgraded engine. Toyota sees the hatchback as appealing to younger buyers or drivers who want something a bit sportier.

Engine: 2.0L 4-cylinder
Horsepower: 168
Torque: 151 lb-ft
Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
Transmission: CVT or 6-speed manual
Seating Capacity: 5
Cargo Capacity: 17.8 cubic feet

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Toyota Corolla Fuel Economy

All Toyota Corollas can run on regular, unleaded gas.

If you want maximum fuel economy, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid is the way to go, as it offers similar fuel economy as the famous Prius. The Toyota Corolla Hybrid is officially rated to get 53 mpg in the city, 52 on the highway, and 52 combined.

The Toyota Corolla Sedan with the base 1.8L four-cylinder engine and the CVT is rated at 30 mpg city, 38 highway, and 33 combined. With the six-speed manual transmission, the ratings are not that different at 29 mpg city, 39 highway, and 33 combined.

With the upgraded 2.0L engine and a CVT, the Toyota Corolla Sedan is rated at 31 mpg, city, 40 highway, and 34 combined. You can also get this engine with the six-speed manual transmission, which drops the fuel economy down to 29 mpg city, 36 highway, and 32 combined.

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback with the 2.0L engine and a CVT is rated at 32 mpg city, 42 highway, and 36 combined. With the six-speed manual, fuel economy drops to 28 mpg city, 37 highway, and 31 combined.

Toyota Corolla Safety Rating

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback has a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS. With standard forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, the hatchback even secured a Superior rating in the front crash prevention category of scoring. Besides that, it ranked Good across the board in the crash test categories and Acceptable for its headlights, though it got extra credit for having high beam assist.

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan hasn’t yet been rated by the IIHS, but we expect it to get a similar score to the Hatchback model because it’s built on the same platform and offers the same driver assistance and safety features.

Toyota Corolla Features

The big news for the new Corolla is that it comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0), the automaker’s suite of driver assistance and safety technology. It includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, full speed adaptive cruise control, lane tracing assist, and road sign assist. Other standard features include Apple CarPlay, an 8-inch touchscreen, Amazon Alexa compatibility, LED exterior lighting, and more. There is no Android Auto support yet.

Other available features include blind spot monitoring, remote connect (that works with an Apple Watches or a smartphone app), adaptive front lighting, a six-speed manual transmission with automatic rev matching, a sport mode, 18-inch wheels, wireless phone charging, 2.0 USB ports, a JBL nine-speaker audio system, and more.

Toyota Corolla Pricing

The Toyota Corolla Sedan starts at $19,500 for the L trim. Going up from there, the LE starts at $19,950, the Hybrid LE at $22,950, the SE CVT at $21,950, the SE 6MT at $22,650, the XLE at $23,950, and the topline XSE at $24,450.

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback has a simplified pricing structure, as there are only two trims available. The SE starts at $19,990 and the XSE starts at $22,990. The Hatchback is not available as a hybrid.

These prices do not include the $930 delivery and processing fee.

Toyota Corolla Competitors

The Toyota Corolla competes with other compact cars like the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Chevrolet Cruze, Mazda3, Ford Focus, Nissan Sentra, Volkswagen Golf/Jetta, Subaru Impreza, and more. Most of these cars come in both hatchback and sedan body styles and are priced very similarly. The Corolla is the only one of the bunch that’s available as a hybrid, although the Honda Insight is positioned kind of like a Honda Civic Hybrid.

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Future Toyota Corolla Plans

In the near future, we are expecting Toyota to come out with a performance-oriented hot hatch TRD version with 200+ horsepower to compete with the Honda Civic Si. We also wouldn’t be surprised if an AWD version of the Corolla came out to better compete with the new Mazda3 and the Subaru Impreza, which both have AWD.

2020 Toyota Corolla Review

By Craig Cole

2020 Toyota Corolla XSE Sedan Review

What comes to mind when you think of the Toyota Corolla?

Adjectives like affordable, efficient and dependable are likely top of mind. Undoubtedly, the automaker probably wishes you’d recall some the exciting performance-tuned models of decades past, but it’s unlikely most drivers associate any sort of pulse-quickening with the venerable Corolla.

In a bid to make its longstanding compact four-door appeal to more folks than ever, the automaker has overhauled it this year, focusing on technology and style like never before.

A Corolla for All

Borrowing design cues from the spicy-looking hatchback model that launched last year, the latest Corolla sedan, now in its 12th generation, is more visually interesting than perhaps it’s ever been, with a large grille, dagger-like headlamps and wheels spanning up to 18-inches. It’s a looker to be sure, though the Kia Forte is arguably a more handsome choice.

Ensuring there’s a version of this Corolla for every buyer and budget, Toyota is once again offering a broad range of models. The series is roughly split in two, with L, LE and XLE variants serving more mainstream customers while SE and XSE variants are sportier, dressed up with a few visual enhancements including special mesh grille inserts and smoked taillight lenses. They also benefit from a sport-tuned suspension.

In addition to these offerings, a hybrid model will be available to American drivers for the first time. This fuel-sipping variant branches off from the midrange LE trim level, though it’s only estimated to account for about 10 percent of deliveries, at least initially. Leading the sales charge are LE and SE trims, the anticipated volume leaders.

Bigger and Better

The new Corolla sedan and the hatchback version that debuted last year are, obviously, related. They share the same TNGA underpinnings, plus similar styling, interiors, powertrains and more. But you might be surprised to learn some of their key dimensions are significantly different.

The four-door’s wheelbase, for instance, is 2.4 inches (61 mm) longer, totaling 106.3 (2,700 mm). This is identical to the outgoing sedan’s. The body is also 12.4 inches (315 mm) longer than the hatch’s, a significant difference. Other dimensions like width and height remain essentially the same.

ALSO SEE: Top 5 Best AWD Hatchbacks: 2019

As for trunk space, the sedan offers 13.2 cubic feet (374 liters), a far cry from the hatch, which has 18 (510 liters) with the seats up.

Large-Car Refinement

Thanks to that new architecture, which is shared with larger Toyotas like the Avalon and RAV4, the 2020 Corolla sedan offers big-car refinement. There’s a solidity to it that’s lacking in the outgoing model and that’s no surprise since it has 60 percent greater torsional rigidity. The ride is also free from harshness and its interior well shielded from intruding wind, road and tire noise.

Comfort is another high point. The front buckets are supportive yet plush and there’s plenty of stretch-out room in the aft compartment, however, it can be a little awkward to clamber back there because the rear doors don’t open quite wide enough. If you want maximum backseat legroom and overall interior volume the Volkswagen Jetta trumps this Toyota in each department, trunk space, too.

Like the Corolla hatchback’s interior, the sedan’s cabin is cleanly styled and upscale, with ample amounts of soft plastic and other high-quality materials. Fit and finish, a traditional Toyota strong suit, is predictably peerless.

One minor quibble about this interior is the center console’s paucity of storage space. The under-armrest bin, as well as the forward cubby, are both minuscule, pretty much spoken for by a wallet and sunglass holder. A few more nooks and crannies for stashing stuff would be greatly appreciated. Larger climate controls would be nice as well.

Tech for All

Other big-car features include standard Wi-Fi with high-speed internet offered by Verizon (in the U.S. — it won’t be available in Canada). You’ll find optional Qi wireless charging as well.

All 2020 Corolla sedans, save the entry-level L model, feature a standard eight-inch touchscreen. This display is home to the company’s confounding Entune 3.0 infotainment system, an offering that lags far behind what some competitors offer these days. Rectifying this potentially catastrophic connectivity situation, Apple CarPlay is standard, as is support for Amazon Alexa. Sorry, Google fans, Android Auto is not available, at least not yet. Its integration is a top priority for Toyota and the service will be available at a future date.

Giving the Corolla a leg up on rivals, Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is standard equipment across the board. It bundles myriad useful driver-assistance aids into one package, including things like adaptive cruise control with lane centering, automatic high beams, road-sign recognition and more. Blind-spot monitoring is standard on certain models, optional on others.

Letting you rock out to your favorite tunes is an available 800-watt JBL sound system. In addition to its nine speakers, this arrangement is augmented by Clari-Fi, a music-restoration technology that can make highly compressed digital audio files sound much better.

Nuts, Bolts and Greasy Bits

The 2020 Corolla sedan’s base powerplant is a carryover 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. It will see duty in L, LE and XLE models. Mildly retuned, it cranks out 139 horses and 126 pound-feet of torque.

Available in SE and XLE trim levels is an enticing 2.0-liter engine. With port and direct fuel injection, a 13-to-1 compression ratio and variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust sides it delivers an impressive 169 horsepower with 151 pound-feet.

A continuously variable automatic transmission is essentially standard in the 2020 Corolla sedan, though SE models can be had with a slick six-speed manual gearbox. Augmented by automatic rev-matching it should provide more miles AND smiles per gallon than the CVT.

The fuel-sipping hybrid model is motivated by a version of the base 1.8-liter engine that’s paired with two motor-generators to form a continuously variable transaxle. A nickel-metal-hydride battery captures electrons as required and enables the car to drive solely on electrical power for very short distances, up to about half a mile. Total system output is 121 horses.

The Drive

Thanks to its new multilink rear suspension, the 2020 Corolla feels much more sophisticated than its predecessor, which featured an old-fashioned torsion beam. This advancement provides a smooth, well-controlled ride without any side-to-side jostling over larger bumps.

Acceleration with the base 1.8-liter engine quicker than you might expect but there’s no joy with this powertrain. Under heavy throttle, it sounds sick enough for intensive care and buzzes like a back massager.

On the other hand, Toyota’s new 2.0-liter engine is a delight. Smooth, potent and even husky sounding, it helps the Corolla feel light on its feet. The base engine is adequate but if you can afford it, the 2.0 is the one to get.

The Corolla’s CVT makes the most of both engines’ output while minimizing fuel burn. Fitted with a physical first gear, it’s supposed to provide a more direct feel when taking off from a stop, although this is debatable. Once the vehicle is moving, a multi-plate wet clutch hands torque shuffling duties over from those gears to the transmission’s belt and pulleys. Usually, this changeover is seamless, though occasionally a small judder is can be felt.

It may be better than ever, but this Toyota still trails the Honda Civic in driving dynamics and interior design.

Pricing and Fuel Economy

Keeping costs in check, the base price for an entry-level Corolla L is $20,430 including $930 in delivery fees. If you fancy parking a hybrid variant in your garage, plan on spending $23,880. The top-shelf XLE model goes for right around $26,380.

As you might expect, this car is supremely efficient, with most models delivering slightly different fuel-economy figures. Rather than laboriously spelling everything out, here’s a handy chart.

Trim Level MPG, City/Highway/Combined
L 30/38/33
LE 30/38/33
LE Hybrid 53/52/52
XLE 29/37/32
SE 6MT 29/36/32
SE CVT 31/40/34
XSE 31/38/34

The Verdict: 2020 Toyota Corolla Review

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan breaks no ground in the compact-car world. Even with its swanky new interior and exuberant styling, this four-door is still a classically conservative effort from Toyota, one prioritizing comfort, efficiency and anvil-like reliability over more ephemeral attributes. Simply put, the automaker is playing to its base. In today’s world of hyper-partisan politics that sounds like a bad thing, but here it’s an asset because smoothness and dependability will never go out of style.

No, the Corolla is still not the most exciting thing on four wheels, but this car will have no trouble appealing to legions of drivers around the world, just as it has for the last 11 generations and five-plus decades.

ALSO SEE: Top 10 Best Cars for Teens – The Short List

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2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Review

By Craig Cole

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Adding a new body style to a popular nameplate, the Toyota Corolla Hatchback takes all the qualities millions admire about the popular car and gives it an extra helping of practicality.

Like other recent models, this versatile small car rides on a version of Toyota’s new global architecture, the TNGA C platform. Along with a new multi-link rear suspension, this underlying structure gives the car 60 percent more torsional rigidity than the current Corolla iM hatch, which is a huge increase and one that pays numerous dividends, from greater safety to enhanced driving dynamics.

Dimensionally, the ’19 model is slightly lower, wider and longer than its forebear, while the tracks both front and rear have been increased, as has the wheelbase. For improved forward visibility, the hood has been dropped by about two inches. Curiously, the rear hatch is composite, made from a combination of ABS plastic and a proprietary material, Toyota Super Olefin Polymer.

Aiming at the more premium end of the compact-car segment this car will only be offered in two trims, at least for the time being. The SE model serves base duty, though don’t let that scare you; it offers ample standard equipment. Stepping up from there is the XSE variant, which comes with even more goodies.

Furious Four-Cylinder

Motivating the new Corolla Hatchback is a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-banger, the M20A-FKS in Toyota parlance. Technologically advanced, this engine is fitted with both intake and exhaust variable valve timing, three dedicated oil jets per cylinder for enhanced efficiency and reduced noise as well as direct and port fuel injection, because if one fuel-delivery system is good twice that many must be better!

With an under-square design, meaning the bore (80.5 mm) is smaller than the stroke (97.6 mm), this engine delivers plenty of torque, cranking out a maximum of 151 foot-pounds; horsepower clocks in at 168, increases of 25 and 31, respectively. Aside from greater output, this new engine also has smaller exterior dimensions and is lighter than the 1.8-liter unit found in today’s Corolla iM. How’s that for progress?

Choose Your Own (Transmission) Adventure

Despite the lack of engine choice, Toyota is offering two transmissions in this hatchback, and the one that will undoubtedly be most popular is an all-new Dynamic Shift CVT. This advanced “gearbox” features numerous innovations designed to improve both performance and efficiency.

For starters, it offers 10 simulated ratio steps to help reduce the dreaded slipping sensation inherent to continuously variable transmissions. It also benefits from a dedicated launch gear, the first application of this technology in a passenger-car CVT. This fixed gear is used when taking off from a stop, helping improve launch performance and low-speed efficiency, it also reduces input loads, which allowed engineers to reduce the size of the belt-and-pulley assemble, further improving efficiency.

If you prefer dancing the three-pedal shuffle (And let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), a six-speed manual transmission is also available in the 2019 Corolla Hatchback. The so-called iMT is 15 pounds lighter and physically shorter than the unit it replaces. This gearbox also has a few clever tricks up its sleeve, including automatic rev-matching for perfectly executed downshifts. It also fine-tunes engine rpm for smoother gear changes and reduced stalling, things that are ideal for novice drivers.

A Premium Small Car

In case you haven’t noticed, the new Corolla hatch is dressed in tastefully aggressive styling. There’s an elegance to its design that’s been lacking in other recent Toyotas. For once the brand’s big-honkin’-grille motif doesn’t seem grossly out of proportion. Its triple-element headlamps look great as does the expressively sculpted rear.

But what impressed me even more is the interior. The dashboard is elegantly simple with strong horizontal cues. The surfeit of soft plastics have luxury-car squish and are attractively textured. The rear seat is also unexpectedly spacious, able to accommodate a pair of six-footers without cramping.

If this car’s interior falls short in any area it seems to be practicality. Lacking an official figure, the cargo area seems pretty tight. Short and shallow, there’s just not much real estate here, though the rear backrest does fold flat, opening up significantly more space.

Satiating today’s tech-hungry drivers, this new Corolla offers abundant features. For starters, an 8-inch touchscreen is standard, though two different infotainment systems are available: Entune 3.0 Audio and Entune 3.0 Audio Plus. Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa integration is baked right in like chopped filberts in a brownie. An upscale JBL audio system, automatic climate control and Qi wireless charging are all optional. LED head, tail and back-up lights are standard.

Dual-zone climate control is included in the XSE model as are heated front seats, an eight-way power driver’s chair and a seven-inch color display in the instrument cluster.

The Drive

Likely thanks to its TNGA underpinnings, which are shared with a variety of other Toyota models like Camry and Prius, this new Corolla Hatchback offers big-car refinement. Underway, surface imperfections are absorbed and digested nicely, with minimal harshness or noise making its way to the cabin. Snaking through corners, it always feels sturdy and planted, with no shudders or rattles to cheapen the experience.

Unfortunately, this upscale feel doesn’t translate to the steering, which could be livelier. It’s too light and isolated, transmitting little feel from the front tires. Honda’s new Civic, the Mazda3 and even Ford Focus, as old as it is, all seem to provide a more engaging drive.

The second generation of Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver aids is standard in every version of this small car. It bundles things like adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, road-sign recognition and much, much more into one neat little package. These are welcome additions to any vehicle, let alone a compact model.

With class-competitive power, the Corolla Hatchback accelerates as quickly as you’d expect, sprinting to 60 miles an hour probably toward the higher end of the eight-second range, though no official figure has been released. Acceleration is certainly adequate, even if the engine feels a bit gritty at higher rpm; more giddy-up would be appreciated. Perhaps Toyota can shoehorn its larger 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine in here to give buyers a bit more choice.

But the tradeoff for somewhat slower acceleration should be excellent fuel economy. Official figures for this 2019 model have yet to be announced, but we expect them to be competitive for the segment.

The Verdict: 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Review

Even though it’s affordable, efficient and more reliable than the weather Southern California, the Corolla wasn’t always exciting, but that has changed. Overall, the 2019 hatchback model is a pleasantly surprising piece of work, roomy, premium and loaded with great features. To me, it’s the first Corolla worth owning in years.

Base price for an SE model with a manual transmission is $20,910, including $920 for delivery. Expect to get a loaded-up XSE model for around 25 grand.

Detailed Specs

Engine / 1.8L 4-cylinder / 2.0L 4-cylinder
Horsepower / 139 / 169
Torque / 126 lb-ft / 151 lb-ft
Drivetrain / Front-wheel drive
Transmission / CVT or 6-speed manual
Seating Capacity / 5
Cargo Capacity / 13 cubic feet

Our Final Verdict

The Toyota Corolla offers drivers many options for body styles and powertrains and even goes a step beyond its competitors by offering a hybrid model. A reliable, efficient, comfortable, and practical car, the Corolla is much more luxurious, stylish, and fun-to-drive than you might remember and now offers a lot of excellent technology that was once reserved for more expensive models. While the Toyota Corolla isn’t the absolute best car in its segment, we can easily recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable and reliable car but doesn’t want to sacrifice tech and style.