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2020 Toyota Corolla Review

The 2020 Toyota Corolla is a compact sedan that’s a major best-selling vehicle for Toyota, only behind its big sister, the midsize Camry, and the RAV4 in sales. This is impressive, especially in a market that’s favoring crossover SUVs. One reason that the Corolla does so well might be that its starting price under $20,000 includes Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, Toyota’s newest advanced active safety package.

2020 Toyota Corolla pricing and trims

The basic 2020 Corolla starts out at a manufacturer’s recommended price (MSRP) of $19,600, which is almost $1,000 more than the 2019’s starting price. The jump in price could be explained by the now-standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, which has more features than the previous standard safety package on the 2019 Corolla.

Note that to help keep the prices down, Toyota doesn’t necessarily include all of the features an upgraded trim from the trim(s) that came before it. For example, the XLE doesn’t have a 2.0L engine. It drops to a 1.8L engine, the same as that in the basic model, in exchange for a power moonroof and other niceties.

2020 Toyota Corolla Pricing and Trims
Trim L LE SE CVT SE (6MT) XLE XSE
Base MSRP $19,600 $20,050 $22,050 $22,750 $24,050 $25,550
Standard Features Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 Suite, LED Headlights, Apple CarPlay/Amazon Alexa 8″ Touch Screen, Remote Keyless Entry, Available Upgrades 18″ Alloy Wheels, Normal and Sport Driving Modes, Paddle Shifters, Leather Trim 6-Speed Manual Transmission, Smart Key System, Push-Button Start Power Moonroof, 16″ Alloy Wheels, Premium Audio, Heated Front Seats, Navigation XLE Features Plus a 2.0L Engine
Engine 1.8L 4-Cylinder 1.8L 4-Cylinder 2.0L 4-Cylinder 2.0L 4-Cylinder 1.8L 4-Cylinder 2.0L 4-Cylinder

What about sales pricing? You do not necessarily have to pay MSRP for a vehicle. Depending on where and when you shop, you may be able to find a 2020 Toyota Corolla for less than MSRP due to dealership sales or manufacturer rebates. Shop around and use industry guides, like NADAguides or Kelley Blue Book, to see what the fair market price is in your area.

What about the hybrid or the hatchback? Toyota also offers the Corolla as a hybrid and a hatchback, but treats these versions more like separate vehicle models.

  • The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid has a starting MSRP of $23,100. It is only available in the LE trim and gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 52 combined/53 city/52 highway.
  • The Corolla hatchback is currently still available only as a 2019 model. It is offered in two trims, the SE and XSE, and has a starting MSRP of $20,140.

What’s next? Once you pick out the car you want, a car loan is usually next. Potential lenders could include Toyota financing, a local bank or credit union or an online lender. You could also fill out an online form at LendingTree and receive up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders, depending on your creditworthiness.

2020 Toyota Corolla safety

The 2020 Corolla has not yet been rated for safety by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, the 2019 Corolla earned five stars from the NHTSA, which is its highest safety rating, and was a 2019 Top Safety Pick by IIHS.

The Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite is standard on all trims of the 2020 Corolla and includes the following technology features:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection. The car could warn the driver audibly and visually, and apply the brakes if it senses a possible collision with a vehicle, pedestrian or bicyclist in front of the vehicle.
  • Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist and Road Edge Detection. The car could warn the driver if it senses it is drifting out of the lane and make minor adjustments to help keep the car in the lane.
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). The car can adjust its pre-set cruise control speed to match the speed of a slower vehicle in front of it and then go back up to the pre-set speed when appropriate. This feature is not available on vehicles with manual transmissions.
  • Lane Tracing Assist (LTA). Available only on Corollas with automatic transmissions, LTA can continually help steer the vehicle to keep it in the lane when both LDA and DRCC features are engaged.
  • Automatic High Beams. The car is able to toggle between high and low beam headlights according to how it senses on-coming traffic.
  • Road Sign Assist. The car can detect speed limit signs, stop signs, yield signs and do-not-enter signs and display them to the driver.

However, be aware that no matter how many safety features the vehicle has, you should still practice safe driving methods.

Additionally, all-wheel-drive (AWD) is not available on the Corolla, so if you’re likely to face bad weather in your car, take a look at our best cars for snow.

2020 Toyota Corolla competitor comparison

The Corolla’s biggest competitor is the Honda Civic — both are best sellers in the U.S. with annual sales over 183,000 in the last two years. Outside of each other, both vehicles also have plenty of competition from other automakers in the compact sedan market. Here are some of the 2020 Toyota Corolla’s highest-rated competitors.

2020 Toyota Corolla vs. Competitors
Vehicle 2020 Toyota Corolla 2019 Honda Civic 2019 Chevrolet Cruze 2019 Subaru Impreza
Base MSRP $19,600 $19,450 $17,995 $18,595
Expert Scores NA 4.4 4.3 4.0
Standard Technology Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, LED Headlights, Apple CarPlay Honda Sensing Suite, Bluetooth, Audio USB Port Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 7″ Touch Screen All-Wheel Drive, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
Body Sedan, Hatchback Sedan, Coupe, Hatchback Sedan, Hatchback Sedan, Wagon
Fuel Economy Combined / City / Highway 32/28/36 MPG 32/28/38 MPG 33/28/38 MPG 27/24/32 MPG

*Chart data is for base models. Expert score averages Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds expert ratings as available. Standard technology refers to features included in the lowest trim level for each model at no extra cost (not an exhaustive list). Fuel economy is as defined by the EPA for the least-expensive base model trims.

What about warranty? Most automakers, including the specific ones listed above, have a three-year, 36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year, 60,000 mile powertrain warranty on all of their new vehicles. And if you’d like something longer, you could look at getting an extended warranty.

The bottom line on the 2020 Toyota Corolla

If you’re loyal to the Toyota brand and are in the market for a sedan, it’s hard to go wrong with the 2020 Corolla. As far as bang for your buck for a sedan with similar features, perhaps the only vehicle that could beat it is the Honda Civic, which won Kelley Blue Book’s Small Car Best Buy award for five years in a row due to its high resale value.

If you’re open to a used car instead, here are the eight best used cars in 2019.

 

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