Toyota Corolla is a well loved car world over. Even in Nigeria, you can not count 15 cars in a traffic without seeing at least one of any models of Toyota Corrolla. It has proven reputation for reliability, efficiency, affordability, and holds it’s value well.
The 2020 Toyota Corolla is based on the Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA), and there is a new optional engine – hybrid powertrain.
As with the new Corolla hatchback, what’s most commendable about the Corolla sedan is the vast, across-the-board improvement over its predecessor. It looks better, drives better, and feels better inside. Although, the sedan is more comfortable than the Corolla hatchback, which is sportier and has a shorter wheelbase.
The car’s wheelbase, which, at 106.3 inches, is the same as former model but The TNGA platform is new to the sedan. Toyota claims a “big increase in rigidity, and the rear suspension switches from its old torsion-beam arrangement to a new, more sophisticated multilink setup”.
While the Corolla’s ride-and-handling balance is more confident in feel than before, this newest model won’t trouble sportier compacts such as the Mazda 3, Volkswagen Golf, or Honda Civic.
There are seven trims of this model: L, LE, Hybrid LE, SE CVT, SE, XLE and XSE.
L, LE, And XLE: It is still is the carryover base engine that’s standard on L, LE, and XLE models. This 1.8-liter inline-four is an ancient powertrain that has been featured in the past several generations of Corolla with minor upgrades. Its 139-hp is on the low end of the compact segment it doesnt perform better than the powerful 2.0L engine that gets better EPA fuel-economy ratings than the base engine.
SE (6MT): The six-speed stick, which even has standard rev-matching capability, comes only in the SE model and mates with the more powerful of the two engine options, a 169-hp 2.0-liter inline-four that’s standard in the sporty-ish SE and XSE trims and 1.8L, 139HP engine.
SE CVT: In the Sport Edition Continuous Variable Timing, a 2.0-liter motor is lashed to a continuously variable automatic transmission, which exacerbates noisiness at higher revs. The combination of the bigger 2.0-liter four and CVT and it takes 8.0-seconds to move from zero-to-60-mph but this is slower than much of the competitors.
Hybrid Model: is a new addition to the Corolla trims and it is a good compromise between the two engines. The hybrid powertrain uses a 121-hp Atkinson-cycle 1.8-liter inline-four and a pair of electric motors, with the drive motor generating 71-hp. This gives an impressive 52 mpg combined, nearly 20 mpg more than other petrol Corollas and right on top of its closest rival, the Honda Insight (which is, essentially, a rebranded Civic hybrid). However, the little disadvantage of choosing the Corolla hybrid, other than its $3000 price difference to the base model is that due to the placement of the battery pack under the rear seats, it has the same amount of trunk space as the conventionally powered model, and the rear seatbacks even fold flat, creating a pass-through from the trunk to the interior for longer cargo.
Press “EV mode” to get more throttle response on hybrid mode.
XSE Model: This comes standard with what Toyota lists as a sport suspension, paired with 225/40R-18 Yokohama AVID GT all-season tires. While its steering and chassis behavior are improved, they’re still nowhere near sharp enough to encourage aggressive driving – skidding etc.
Fuel Efficiency: the XSE average fuel economy over 900 miles amounted to 28 mpg. Toyota claims that the average mpg for this model is 31 city/38 highway (estimated).
Interior: Rear-seat space is one of the few areas where the new car doesn’t at least beat the old one. Rear legroom drops by more than six inches (the old Corolla had a positively more amount of space in back), so it’s not quite as Uber-friendly, but the rear quarters are still more spacious than in the Corolla hatchback model. Interior materials are average for this class of sedan— cheap plastic interior materials are kept to a minimum, and the dashboard layout is attractive — the infotainment setup is easy to use, with volume and tuning knobs and standard Apple CarPlay capability. (Android Auto is not available).
Pricing: The starting price of this model (excluding shipping and customs duty) is $19500 (NGN7,039,500, exchanged at 361/$1) of L trim. The LE trim costs $19950, Hybrid LE trim costs $22,950, SE CVT trim costs $21,950, SE manual drive (6MT) costs $22650, XLE trim costs $23,950 and the top-of-range trim, XSE costs a whopping$25,450 (N9,187,450).
Safety Features: The 2020 Corolla comes with 8 standard airbags, pre collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, steering assist, road edge detection, blind spot monitor, remote control (you can use to locate your car if you forgot where you parked), automatic highbeams, full speed range dynamic radar cruise control, lane tracing assist, and road sign assist.
Colours: There are 8 colours to choose from viz: Celeste, silver metallic, Black sand pearl, Barcelona red metallic, super white, blizzard pearl, blueprint, blue crush metallic
The Corolla sedan remains a compact Car that this model significantly better than the last few generations of Corollas.
While Toyota succeeded in removing most of the reasons not to buy a Corolla by making the 2020 model more pleasant to drive, they still maintained all the signature design that already made it good choice.