The world’s best selling car, the Toyota Corolla, has been completely revised for 2020 with fresh new bodywork and a host of performance and convenience upgrades. When it comes to enhancing a car with the popularity of the Corolla, you can bet that Toyota explored every avenue to come up with a small sedan that would maintain this car’s solid reputation. More than 45-million Corollas have been sold worldwide since the car’s 1966 introduction.
Toyota is also the best selling car in Canada in any size category, though now and again, the Honda Civic creeps past to take those accolades. The Corolla nameplate is an enduring one, having been around now for 50 years. There are millions in service in Canada, some going back decades, and the car’s reliability and build quality are legendary. If you want to know what Canadians think of the Corolla, try and find one on the used market. If you find one at all, you’ll be surprised at how well the prices hold up, even after many years of service.
The 2020 car is a bumper-to-bumper makeover and is built around Toyota’s new Global Architecture platform and powertrain. So in fact, it’s a lot more than some new sheet metal and an upgraded interior. According to Toyota, adoption of the new platform means bolder styling and a lower profile and wider stance. Weight has been fine tuned to boost rigidity and aid the development of a more responsive Corolla with an enhanced driver experience. It’s certainly a handsome small sedan from every angle and bolder than earlier, more conservative, styling jobs.
Toyota is offering several trim level choices starting with the L at less than $19,000. Other grades include LE, XLE and SE. At the top of the lineup, starting at $28,490, is the lavishly equipped XSE, which comes close to “compact luxury” status. Even the entry level Corolla has a six-speaker 7-inch display audio system with connectivity services, keyless entry and radar cruise control. All versions come with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 – as comprehensive a safety package as you’ll find anywhere in the market. There’s also something new for Corolla – a gas/electric hybrid version starting at a reasonable $24,790 and including a long list of premium features plus the amazing fuel economy that comes with cars in that category. As before, a hatchback variant is available for buyers who prefer that configuration.
L, LE and XLE models use a 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine that’s similar to previous generation powerplants but has more horsepower and better efficiency. XSE and SE grades boast an all-new 2.0-litre engine that’s the top performer in the range. The 2.0-litre delivers just under 170-horsepower. Automatic Corollas use a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that combines smooth shifts with fuel economy benefits. On some models, a manual 6-speed transmission is available so purists still have that choice with this new car.
The cabin is all-new for 2020 with a fresh approach to comfort and roominess for all occupants. The seatbacks have been reimagined to deliver optimum comfort to front passengers and some more room for people in the back of the car. The cabin is quieter thanks to extensive work on sound deadening and noise penetration. Also improved is the air conditioning system that was tuned to deliver highly efficient air circulation resulting in ideal conditions for occupants year round.
The 2020 Corolla is a great example of how Toyota is able to rethink a popular model and bring all kinds of fresh ideas to the concept without departing too much from the appeal the model has built up over the years. The car may be all-new, but that Corolla DNA is still very much to the fore and that’s exactly what faithful buyers look for in the brand.
SPECS AT A GLANCE…
BODY STYLE: Four-door, five-place sedan plus hatchback alternative
ENGINE: 1.8 or 2.0-litre four-cylinder plus hybrid option
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual or CVT
PERFORMANCE: Zero to 100 km/h in approx. 8-secs (2.0-litre)
FUEL ECONOMY: Not yet available
PRICE: Starting at $18,990 MSRP (manual)