A compact icon turns twelve

The Corolla is a true benchmark for the compact segment, with over 46 million units sold over the course of five decades since its release in 1966. Now, the Corolla enters its impressive twelfth generation for the 2020 model year. Earlier in 2018, we got behind the wheel of the new 2019 Corolla hatchback and loved its raucous styling and shift-happy manual transmission. Now, the Japanese automotive behemoth is offering a brand-new sedan version, and it promises even more refinement, more technology, and a new look to boot.

2020 Toyota Corolla Exterior Styling

  • LED headlights
  • Spoiler and aero fins on SE and XSE models
  • 18-inch wheels standard higher in the range
  • 0.47 inches wider front track
  • 0.87 inches wider rear track
  • Front overhang 1.3 inches shorter
  • Rear overhang more than 0.5 inches longer
  • Overall height 0.8 inches shorter
  • New exterior colors
2020 Toyota Corolla Exterior
- image 804849
As expected, the 2020 Corolla offers a totally new exterior styling for its twelfth-generational changeover, once again drawing from Toyota’s latest design language palette.

The new look is also used with the latest Toyota Corolla hatchback, and features a low, wide stance, with lots of crisp edges and sharp lines throughout.

One of the most prominent styling elements is in the front fascia, where the Corolla comes equipped with a set of long, thin, J-shaped headlight housings, plus a pair of Bi-Beam LED lighting elements.

Further styling elements in the front fascia vary depending on the specific grade level, with unique details added to help differentiate across the lineup. For example, SE and XSE models get a “sportier” look, which includes a new chin spoiler that’s painted to match the body color, as well as “aero stabilizing fins” and an overall wider appearance. The SE and XSE models also utilize triple J-shaped clearance lights matched with LED light guides and LED turn signals.

On the safety front, the Corolla comes with an available Adaptive Front-lighting System as well, which helps illuminate the way forward by angling the projected light beam around corners while on the move.

2020 Toyota Corolla Exterior
- image 804840
Viewed from the side, the Corolla is now offered with 18-inch wheels from the factory, which is a first for the nameplate.

The 18-inchers come equipped as standard spec for the SE and XSE models, offering a multi-spoke design, a machined finish, and lightweight alloy construction. Lower in the lineup, the Corolla comes with 16-inch steel wheels for the LE grade, and 16-inch alloys for the XLE grade.

In back, you’ll find a pair of combination taillights, once again with LEDs equipped as the standard lighting element across the range. The specific taillight style varies depending on the model, with the sportier models equipped with smoked outer lenses. The sportier models also come with a subtle lip spoiler on the trunk lid.

To spice it up, Toyota added a new exterior color as well, throwing in a color dubbed Celestite Grey Metallic. Customers can also choose from shades like Super White, Black Sand Pearl, Blizzard Pearl, Barcelona Red, Blue Crush Metallic, Classic Silver Metallic, and Blueprint.

2020 Toyota Corolla Exterior
- image 808147
Exterior dimensions get a shakeup for the 2020 model year.

The wheelbase is once again measured at 106.3 inches, just like the outgoing Corolla, but the latest model also gets an extra 0.47 inches for the front track width, plus an extra 0.87 inches for the rear track width. The front overhang is now 1.3 inches shorter, while the rear overhang is more than half an inch longer.

The overall height is now 0.8 inches lower, and the hood is 1.4 inches lower as well, with the latter change implemented as a means to increase forward visibility. Further visibility enhancers include a lowered instrument panel in the cabin, a lowered outer cowl, and a lowered belt line. Finally, the Corolla also offers a more svelte design for the instrument panel and A-pillars, plus repositioned side-view mirrors.

2020 Toyota Corolla exterior dimensions

Wheelbase 106.3-inches
Track front/rear 60.77/61.27 inches
Height 56.5 inches

2020 Toyota Corolla Interior Design

  • Very few hard buttons on the dash
  • Digital inputs for the climate control
  • Cloth upholstery as standard, leatherette optional
  • Armrest 0.8 inches longer
  • Driver hip point 0.98 inches lower, 1.57 inches back
  • 2.4 inches longer wheelbase gives more space in back
  • Low ambient noise levels
  • Entune 3.0 infotainment
  • Standard 8.0-inch infotainment display
  • Latest Toyota safety tech included as standard
2020 Toyota Corolla Interior
- image 804834
One of the key areas for any sedan is the interior - how it coddles its passengers front to back, how it makes the miles fly by, how it keeps you entertained and at ease.

As such, the 2020 Corolla comes with the very latest interior spec that Toyota can muster, with some cues plucked from the high-end Lexus brand to help inform the overall look and layout (especially for those seated up front).

Standout features include a wide, sweeping dash design that connects directly with the door panels and ancillary trim. Speaking of trim, the Corolla offers a high-end feel thanks to goodies like glossy bits, silver accents, piano black surrounds, and optional contrast stitching for the upholstery. The button layouts was simplified, while the hard buttons that do remain appear to be minimized thanks to smaller gaps between the individual switches. The center stack also gets a digitized layout for the climate control.

Optional ambient lighting can be had for the front door trim, console tray, and front cupholder, while copious small storage cubbies are placed around the cabin to help keep track of items like your wallet or phone.

2020 Toyota Corolla Interior
- image 804833
Customers are sure to enjoy the new seats in the Corolla, which were redesigned for the 2020 model year.

The sitters now include a unique, sporty “bucket-like” design for the SE and XSE grades, as well as more comfort-oriented design for the XLE and LE grades.

Upholstery options include cloth coverings as standard, while higher in the range, there’s SofText leatherette. Color options include blue on black (Blue/Black), dark gray on light gray (Moonstone), and cream (Macadamia).

The Corolla offers new cabin measurements as well, with the armrest now extended by 0.8 inches longer compared to the outgoing model. The driver will also feel more comfortable thanks to an overall lower hip point, which was reduced by 0.98 inches and moved towards the rear by 1.57 inches compared to the outgoing model.

We have yet to drive the new Corolla sedan, but during our drive experience in the 2019 Corolla hatchback, we felt as though we had plenty of space up front. That said, the rear bench was get a bit cramped for taller passengers.

2020 Toyota Corolla Interior
- image 804838
Thankfully, the sedan does feel a bit more spacious when camped out on the rear bench, which is a crucial feature for a four-door sedan model.

The extra space is partly due to the fact the sedan has an extra 2.4 inches of wheelbase compared to the hatchback.

We also noticed that the sedan’s interior noise is quite low, which can be attributed to a plethora of sound-absorbing materials that were either added or improved throughout the vehicle.

Another interesting facet of the 2020 model year Corolla is a more-effective air conditioning system. It’s smarter too - for example, if it’s cold out, the system will automatically create dehumidified air for the upper windshield defogger, while warm air will get pumped out for the rest of the car.

2020 Toyota Corolla Interior
- image 804834
On the infotainment front, the Corolla comes equipped with Toyota’s latest Entune 3.0 Audio system, which includes six speakers as standard.

The system also includes Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, Amazon Alexa, Wi-Fi Connect with support for up to five devices, Safety Connect, Siri Eyes Free, Scout GPS Link Compatibility, and the Entune 3.0 App Suite Connect.

Further standout features include Bluetooth wireless support, USB 2.0 support, MP3/WMA playback, hands-free voice command, an auxiliary audio input, and weather/traffic info.

Optional equipment includes HD Radio, SiriusXM, and Remote Connect, plus a high-end JBL stereo with nine speakers, 800 watts of power, 6.7-inch subwoofers, Clari-Fi technology, Dynamic Voice Recognition, and Dynamic Navigation. There’s also the option for a Qi smartphone charging system.

In the gauge cluster, you’ll find a 4.2-inch TFT Multi-Information Display mounted between the tachometer and speedometer, which provides quick reference for a variety of system updates. Optional equipment tosses in a 7.0-inch display as a replacement for the 4.2-inch unit, as well as the option to switch between an analog and digital readout for the speedometer.

Further configuration for the Multi-Information Display can include custom readouts for the audio system, navigation system, the average fuel mileage, the current tire pressure, and driver assist system status such as Dynamic Radar Cruise Control activation.

Control over the various infotainment features and onboard technology is accomplished primarily via an 8.0-inch touchscreen on top of the dash, which comes as standard across the range, along with the Entune 3.0 multimedia system. The only exception is with the L grade, which comes equipped with a slightly smaller 7.0-inch touchscreen.

2020 Toyota Corolla Interior
- image 804835
One of the biggest standout features for any Toyota these days is the Safety Sense 2.0 suite of active safety systems, which comes as standard across the Corolla range for the 2020 model year.

TSS 2.0 tosses in features like a Pre-Collision System with automatic braking, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steer Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic High Beams, Road Sign Assist, and a Blind Spot Monitor, and it acts as a complement to more traditional safety features like eight airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, and ABS. All Corolla models also come with a standard backup camera.

2020 Toyota Corolla Drivetrain And Performance

  • Offered exclusively with FWD drivetrains
  • 1.8-liter four-cylinder, 139 horsepower
  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 169 horsepower
  • Available hybrid powerplant on the way
  • Optional CVT or Six-Speed Manual
  • TNGA underpinnings
  • Independent suspension setup
  • Should ride quite nicely
  • Lower center of gravity
The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Actually Looks Great With A Huge Grille Drivetrain
- image 778825
Note: 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback pictured here.
The 2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan offers the same powertrains as the hatchback body style, all of which once again connect to a FWD drivetrain.

The model lineup starts with the L, LE, and XLE, all of which come equipped with a naturally aspirated 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. It’s the same 2ZR-FAE equipped in the previous generation Corolla, but this time around, it offers a bit more grunt and improved fuel efficiency as well. Peak output is rated at 139 horsepower.

Higher in the range, the Corolla comes equipped with a new naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder dubbed the M20A-FKS, which produces upwards of 169 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 151 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. Incredibly, this engine also offers a maximum thermal efficiency of 40 percent, which is surprisingly high for a mass-produced passenger vehicle application.

Finally, Toyota says it’ll offer the Corolla with a hybrid powertrain that will return upwards of 50 mpg.

It’ll mark the very first Toyota Corolla hybrid offered in the U.S., and it will come with the same powertrain as the current Toyota Prius. As such, it will feature a pair of electric motors, a 1.8-liter four-cylinder internal combustion gas engine, and a nickel-metal hydride battery pack.

Peak output from this setup will come to 121 horsepower, all of which will go to the front wheels exclusively. What’s more, the hybrid will get unique styling touches to help it standout amongst its ICE-only brethren, including new wheels and badging. Inside, the Corolla hybrid will get unique instrumentation as well, which will help the driver keep tabs on exactly how that battery-assisted energy is put to use.

2020 Toyota Corolla Exterior
- image 804849
Transmission options include a Dynamic-Shift CVT, which now comes with traditional first gear for more efficiency and quicker shifts.

The CVT also includes a simulated 10-speed Sequential Shiftmatic setup with a Sport Mode for a more traditional feel.

As a carryover from the Corolla hatchback, the Corolla sedan also gets a new six-speed manual transmission with an intelligent rev-matching system. We thought this system worked wonders in the hatch, and felt it was a fantastic three-pedal setup for any newbie to the clutch pedal.

Under the fresh body panels, the Corolla sedan once again utilizes the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) for the underpinnings. The TNGA structure features ultra-high-strength steel and a new structural adhesive to keep it from flexing, and comes with an impressive 60-percent increase in torsional rigidity compared to the outgoing model.

The suspension setup also includes a new multi-link rear end, which now offers more refinement and much better handling than the previous model’s archaic torsion beam setup. Up front there’s a MacPherson strut setup, which was revised for the 2020 model year. Overall suspension friction was reduced by 40 percent, as well.

2020 Toyota Corolla Exterior
- image 804825

Overall, we expect the 2020 Corolla sedan to soothe your backside on the road, as during our experience in the hatchback model, we noted how Toyota had created a ride that was “surprisingly even, handling bumpy pavement with aplomb and very little jostling.”

Indeed, Toyota claims this latest generation for the Corolla will offer the ‘smoothest, quietest ride’ ever experienced from the nameplate.

The Corolla sedan will also come with an available sport suspension setup if you’re looking for a splash of extra engagement in the corners. Overall, we found the hatchback to be a somewhat willing corner-carver when pushed with the right appointment, and we’d expect something similar from the sedan model.

To this end, the Corolla’s engine is mounted as low as possible up front, while the positioning of the passengers in the cabin gives it a more even distribution front to back. Finally, the Corolla’s overall center of gravity was lowered by 0.39 inches compared to the outgoing model, which, once again, helps with regards to handling.

2020 Toyota Corolla Specifications

Type, Materials 2.0-Liter Dynamic Force 4-Cylinder DOHC 16-Valve D-4S Dual Injection with Dual VVT-i 1.8-liter, 4-Cylinder DOHC in-line 16-Valve with Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), aluminum alloy block and head
Valve train DOHC, four-valve/cylinder 4-valve per cylinder with Dual VVT-i
Displacement 1987 cc 1,798 cc
Bore x Stroke 3.17 x 3.84 in. 3.17 x 3.48 in.
Compression Ratio 13.0:1 10.0:1
Horsepower (SAE Net) 168 hp @ 6,600 rpm 139 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 151 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm 128 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
Ignition System Electronic, Toyota Direct Ignition (TDI) Toyota Direct Ignition (TDI)
Fuel System Direct Injection, Port Injection Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)

2020 Toyota Corolla Pricing

2020 Toyota Corolla Exterior
- image 804832

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan will hit dealers in the Spring of 2019. Pricing is so far unannounced, but it is estimated to start at just under $20,000, and reach as high as $24,000 or $25,000 for a range-topper with oodles of trimmings.

2020 Toyota Corolla Competition

Honda Civic Sedan

2016 Honda Civic High Resolution Exterior
- image 651061

While the Corolla might be the big name compact four-door in Toyota’s lineup, the Civic is arguably just as iconic. First put into production in the early ‘70s, the Honda Civic entered its tenth generation in 2016, and now comes with a range of body styles and powertrains to fit just about any buyer’s needs. Outside, you get sharp styling and a sporty attitude, while the cabin offers standout features like a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto support. Automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control are all standard. Engine options include a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 158 horsepower and a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder making 174 horsepower, with both a CVT and a manual six-speed on the list for transmission options. Mileage slots in at about 32 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway. If you want a true jack-of-all-trades sedan, the Civic fits the bill. Pricing starts at $19,450.

Read our full review on the Honda Civic Sedan.

Mazda3 Sedan

2016 - 2018 Mazda3 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 639281

Style and fun are hallmarks for the Mazda brand these days, and that’s most definitely evident with the latest Mazda3 sedan. Recently redesigned for the 2019 model year, the 3 is as head-turning as ever, employing Mazda’s latest Kodo design language to great effect. Inside, things are simple and streamlined, with a horizontal dash and top-mounted 8.8-inch infotainment screen. Safety tech isn’t as extensive as what you get with the Corolla, but the Mazda does include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and a driver monitoring system. The big draw, though, is the way this thing drives, with Mazda’s legendary suspension tuning keeping you looking for the long way home. The setup is complemented by stout engine and drivetrain packages as well, including a muscle-bound 2.5-liter four-cylinder and, for the first time ever, available AWD. A six-speed automatic and six-speed manual round out the drivetrain options. If you want a little more flash and smile-inducing pleasure behind the wheel, then this might be the one for you. Pricing is so far unannounced, but the latest Mazda3 is expected to start at roughly $18,000.

Read our full review of the Mazda3 Sedan.

Final Thoughts

2020 Toyota Corolla Exterior
- image 804827
On balance, the latest Toyota Corolla looks to double down on the things we expect from the nameplate.

That means it will offer good value for the money, and come equipped with loads of tech for safety, infotainment, and convenience. With the latest hybrid model, fuel efficiency will be segment leading as well.

The cabin will be quiet and comfortable, and with the latest redesign, it’ll look pretty good too.

Sounds like a win across the board, no? Well, not so fast.

While the Corolla will handle the daily commute without issue, it will feel a bit out of place when it comes time to put the hammer down. For now, the engine lineup isn’t exactly all that exciting, with the top trim making just 169 horsepower. That said, with an available manual transmission and the optional sport suspension, it isn’t a total snooze fest, either.

In the segment, the Corolla stands out as a solid choice for those who prioritize comfort, features, reliability, and mileage. If that sounds like you, it’s definitely worth a test drive.

  • Leave it
    • Engine packages a bit lackluster
    • Not as exciting as some of the competitors

Further Reading

Watch Out Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf Fans - Toyota has a New Corolla Hatchback Heading to the New York Auto Show Exterior
- image 775063

Read our full review on the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback.

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Actually Looks Great With A Huge Grille Exterior
- image 778813

Read our full driven review on the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback.

2014 Toyota Corolla High Resolution Exterior
- image 509686

Read our full review on the previous generation Toyota Corolla.

Jonathan Lopez
Jonathan Lopez
About the author

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. (Nov. 15, 2018) — With more than 46 million Toyota Corollas sold globally since its introduction in 1966, it would be difficult to find a driver who did not recognize the name. Everyone, it seems, has a Corolla story. Many, though are going to be doing double takes when they see the re-imagined and reconfigured 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan. And that’s exactly the point.

The 12th-generation Toyota Corolla made its arrival in two chapters: the all-new Corolla hatchback arrived earlier this year, and now comes the current best-selling Corolla body style, the sedan. Both are based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), which is far more than a new body structure, bringing together new approaches to engineering, design, assembly, and materials.

TNGA transforms both Corolla styles into drivers’ delights while also bolstering the model’s renowned value and reliability. Both draw from the same DNA and share powertrains. It’s no surprise, then, that the 2020 Corolla sedan dramatically elevates this model’s focus on comfort and refinement while also infusing it with the Corolla hatchback’s feisty personality.

The Corolla sedan’s bold new look is a perfect reflection of the bumper-to-bumper, wheels-to-roof transformation that has taken place. The TNGA platform means an available engine that produces more power than its predecessor yet delivers better fuel efficiency. TNGA imbues the Corolla sedan with greater agility, yet also with its smoothest, quietest ride. TNGA also means an elevated feeling of quality in every surface, switch and control the driver sees and touches. And, critically, TNGA delivers on Toyota’s commitment to driver and passenger safety with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of active safety systems – standard on every Corolla sedan model.

Design Transformation
Toyota shook up the midsize sedan ranks with the new-generation Camry, and now the compact sedan segment is in for a jolt with the 2020 Corolla sedan. From every angle, the new Corolla sedan looks lower and leaner, tauter and tighter. Powerful fender flares and generously curved fender top surfaces accent its sculpted, athletic core.

The design team called its working concept “shooting robust,” because they were shooting for a robust, confidence-inspiring stance. Yet, they had to maintain ample space for practical, real-world use. That’s why people buy sedans, after all.

The 2020 Corolla sedan rides on a 106.3-inch wheelbase, like its predecessor, yet any commonality ends there. Corolla sedan’s dynamic performance and stance benefit greatly from wider front (+0.47 in.) and rear (+0.87 in.) track dimensions. The front overhang was shortened by 1.3 in., and the rear overhang extended by more than half an inch. Height was reduced 0.8 in., and the hood lowered 1.4 in. for better forward visibility, made possible by mounting the engine lower. Those changes, plus many others, reduce the center of gravity by 0.39 in. That’s just one part of the transformation that has turned the Corolla sedan into a highly nimble, engaging machine to drive.

The bold front fascia details vary by model grade, with the SE and XSE putting on the sportiest face, including a body-color chin spoiler and aero stabilizing fins to emphasize the wide stance. The slim, J-shaped Bi-Beam LED headlamps wrap deeply into the front fenders and give the Corolla sedan a steely stare and a distinct nighttime signature. The sporty SE and XSE grades use triple J-shaped clearance lamps with LED light guides along with LED turn signals, creating a unique design signature.

The available Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) provides a wider field of light and steers the low beam in the direction of the turn, based on steering angle and vehicle speed.

The rear leaves a distinct lighting impression as well, with narrow combination lamps that wrap deeply into the fenders. All 2020 Corolla sedan models use LEDs, the type and style varying by model grade. The sporty grades feature smoked outer light lenses.

What better way to showcase the Corolla sedan’s dramatic new sheet metal than with a dramatic new color? The new hue is a highly iridescent Celestite Grey Metallic. The rest of the palette includes Blizzard Pearl, Super White, Classic Silver Metallic, Black Sand Pearl, Barcelona Red, Blue Crush Metallic and Blueprint.

Big Wheels Keep on Turning
The Corolla sedan transformation continues where the rubber meets the road. For the first time, 18-inch wheels are on the menu, standard on the SE and XSE grades. These multi-spoke alloys get their great looks from a complex machining technique paired with deep surfacing and dark accents. The LE grade rides on 16-inch steel wheels with covers. The XLE grade gets new 16-inch alloy wheels with three-dimensional twisted spokes.

Cabin Fever
Simple. Warm. Inviting. Sensuous. These descriptors, seemingly from the luxury car realm, inspired designers’ efforts when visualizing Corolla sedan’s cabin. The result is called “sensuous minimalism.” It’s equal parts sporty and elegant, and, as always, Corolla-comfortable and durable.

A neat instrument panel lends an open, harmonious feeling thanks to its slimmer upper surface, with character lines that interlock with the door trim to convey an airy atmosphere. At the center of the instrument panel, within easy view for the driver and front passenger, sits a high-resolution 8-inch multimedia touchscreen for the standard Entune 3.0 multimedia system on all grades except the L grade, which gets a 7-inch multimedia touchscreen.

The center stack screen provides access to vehicle settings, audio controls, navigation, and Entune 3.0 apps. Climate controls, located below the multimedia portal, are fashioned in a bright, highly visible digitized configuration. The center stack flows into a wider console, with an armrest that’s nearly 0.8-in. longer than in the previous model, for greater comfort.

The cockpit provides an engaging interior space that surrounds the driver while offering a spacious environment for all passengers. Compared to the previous Corolla sedan, the instrument panel, cowl, hood and beltline height are all lowered to increase visibility and create the interior’s open feel.

High-gloss materials are paired with matte elements – silver accents with piano black and available contrasting stitching – to accentuate a premium look and feel. Minimized gaps between buttons and switches, along with the elimination of unnecessary lettering on switchgear, adds to the high-class ambience. Consistency in all materials’ and elements’ shape, color, grain, and gloss maximize continuity and aesthetic quality.

Available ambient lighting illuminates the front door trim, console tray and front cupholder. The tray can hold small items such as a smartphone or wallet, or, when so equipped, houses the optional Qi wireless device charging pad. Terraced cup holders adapt to various-sized beverage containers.

Digital Tools
The Corolla sedan comes standard with a 4.2-inch thin film transistor (TFT) Multi-Information Display (MID), with an available 7-inch MID located between the high-grade tachometer and speedometer. With the larger display, the driver can switch between analog and digital speedometer styles.

Featuring rich graphics, the easy-to-read MID can be custom configured by the driver and offers intuitive operation to access information for the audio and multimedia systems, navigation system, vehicle information including fuel efficiency and tire pressure, the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), and other important parameters and system settings.

Front Row Seating
From behind the wheel, the 2020 Corolla sedan feels quite different than its predecessor. Positioning the driver’s hip point 0.98-in. lower and 1.57-in. further rearward yields an optimized driving position. The result not only improves comfort, but also helps to lower the vehicle’s center of gravity and improves front/rear weight distribution.

These changes, along with the reconfigured lower beltline, slimmer instrument panel, slimmer A-pillars, and repositioned side view mirrors, result in more expansive outward visibility.

The front seats of the XSE and SE grades debut a new design featuring a unique shape with a headrest that nestles into the shoulder area, while the XLE and LE grades offer a seatback with a new U-shaped pattern. This major departure from a conventional square seatback design creates a sense of youthful, sporty appeal while improving comfort. The SE and XSE grades’ front seats offer thin, yet broad shoulder supports, evocative of a competition bucket seat, which overlap solid and thick side bolsters to achieve enhanced holding performance.

Seating materials include standard cloth or, in higher grades, SofTex. New interior color schemes include several striking two-tone accents. Choices include Blue/Black (black as the main color with blue highlights), Moonstone (light gray as the main color with dark gray highlights) and new Macadamia (a warm, inviting cream color).

Lots of Room, Not Noise
The Corolla sedan may break tradition in the styling department, but it keeps to Toyota tradition when it comes to passenger room and comfort. The rear seat area retains excellent headroom, despite the lower roofline. Legroom is also plentiful, fulfilling a basic mission of sedans.

What you don’t get in the 2020 Corolla sedan is noise. Powertrain and road noise have been culled thanks to revised drivetrain efficiencies, plus the widespread implementation of sound-absorbing materials, including Thinsulate, sealants, foams, and silencers. The TNGA structure utilizes additional seals in its body panel gaps to insulate noise penetration and enhance air-sealing performance. As one example, the floor silencer pad is now one large piece, instead of many smaller elements. The inner and outer dash silencers are thicker. Combine all that with Corolla sedan’s quieter powertrain, and it’s one tranquil ride.

Cooler Where It Counts
Corolla sedan’s fully redesigned air conditioning system is more compact, more efficient and more effective. One example of the smarter climate control is the innovative twin-layer recirculation/fresh air induction unit: In cold climates, it will automatically send dehumidified fresh air to the upper cabin to reduce glass fogging while promoting recirculation of warm cabin air in lower areas.

System controls, located below the multimedia portal, are fashioned in a bright, highly-visible digitized configuration. The climate control interface features a piano black background with satin and silver accents for a premium, high-quality look and feel.

Multi-choice Multimedia
The 2020 Corolla sedan comes ready to pair with the driver’s digital life. The standard Entune 3.0 Audio includes an available 8-in. touchscreen display; six speakers; Apple CarPlay compatibility; Amazon Alexa; Entune 3.0 App Suite Connect; Safety Connect; Wi-Fi Connect; Scout GPS Link Compatible; Siri Eyes Free; auxiliary audio jack and USB 2.0 port with iPod connectivity and control; AM/FM; MP3/WMA playback capability; hands-free phone capability; voice recognition and music streaming via Bluetooth; customizable home screen; and weather/traffic info via Entune 3.0 App Suite.

The LE and SE grades get Entune 3.0 Audio with an 8-inch touch screen and 2 USB ports.

Entune 3.0 Audio Plus, standard on XSE, XLE and optional on SE CVT, adds an HD Radio and Weather/Traffic info; SiriusXM with Cache Radio; Entune 3.0 Connected Services; Service Connect, and Remote Connect.

Also available on the SE CVT is Entune 3.0 Audio Plus with JBL.

Topping the range is Entune 3.0 Audio Premium that’s optional on XSE and XLE. The package includes a JBL nine-speaker, 800-watt system with Clari-Fi; Dynamic Voice Recognition; Dynamic Navigation; Dynamic Points of Interest Search; and Destination Assist Connect.

JBL Audio system highlights include:
Next-Generation HID8 amplifier creates 800-watts of total power
Free-standing horn tweeters located in the A-pillar at ear level for optimal high-frequency performance
6.7-inch door subwoofers for powerful deep-bass response
Sealed inner door panels promote cleaner, more powerful bass
Midrange speakers provide full-range sound for rear passengers
Clari-Fi technology analyzes, rebuilds, and restores audio signals that were lost in the digital compression process
Featured apps for Entune systems include:
Safety Connect®
In the event of an accident or other emergency, assistance can be dispatched directly to the vehicle’s GPS location. Other connected services available on the Corolla include airbag-linked Automatic Emergency Notification, Manual Emergency Notification (SOS button) and Stolen Vehicle Locator.
Service Connect
Provides updates on everything from fuel level and mileage to maintenance alerts and more via email or the mobile app.
Remote Connect
Can lock and unlock doors, start the engine, locate the vehicle in a parking lot and monitor guest drivers.
Wi-Fi Connect – powered by Verizon
Connects up to five devices using the in-vehicle 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
Destination Assist Connect
Directions and destinations delivered by a real person with 24-hour, en-route navigation assistance.
Dynamic Navigation
Provides the most up-to-date map data, routes and POI on its embedded system. (Available with Entune 3.0 Premium Audio.)

Dynamic Force is with You
The 2020 Corolla sedan L, LE, and XLE grades will use the 1.8-liter engine (2ZR-FAE) found in the previous generation, yet with more horsepower and better fuel efficiency. The XSE and SE grades are powered by a completely-new 2.0-liter Dynamic-Force direct-injection inline four-cylinder engine (M20A-FKS). This new engine delivers more performance while using less fuel. Remarkably, the new Corolla sedan engine is physically smaller and lighter, helping to lower the car’s center of gravity and improve its overall balance.

Here are some of the tech bits on Corolla sedan’s new available engine:

The new Dynamic Force engine gets it high power and efficiency from a combination of high compression ratio (13:1), Toyota D4-S fuel injection combining direct and secondary port injectors, high-speed combustion, VVT-iE intelligent variable valve-timing on the intake side and VVT-i on the exhaust. VVT-iE uses an electric motor instead of oil pressure to control the variable valve timing.

A two-discharge port oil pump and a variable cooling system with electric water pump help maximize engine performance and efficiency. The more efficient cooling system also ensures quicker cabin heating on cold days and quicker cool-down when the air conditioner is used.

All of those technologies, along with ultra-low internal friction, yield a maximum thermal efficiency of 40 percent, very high for a passenger vehicle engine. You can’t feel thermal efficiency, but you can feel the effects of 169 peak horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 151 lb.-ft peak torque at 4,800 rpm.

Shifting Smarter
Sedan buyer trends are shifting, and the 2020 Corolla sedan is right there with them. The new Dynamic-Shift CVT (continuously variable transmission) combines the smooth, fuel-efficient performance of a CVT with a more direct driving feel of a traditional geared automatic. The key to its distinct performance feel is a physical first gear used for start-off acceleration, before handing off to the CVT’s pulley system.

Because the launch gear is handling the higher input load at launch, the size of the CVT’s belt and pulley components could be reduced, yielding shifting speeds that are 20 percent faster than in a conventional CVT.

High-speed, high-response gear-shifting technology, using a multiplate wet clutch, switches power from the gearset to the CVT’s belt and pulleys. The Direct Shift CVT has simulated 10-speed Sequential Shiftmatic steps along with Sport Mode. Synchronization of the increasing engine revs and vehicle speed gives a linear acceleration feel.

For those who want to shift for themselves, the 2020 Corolla sedan offers an intriguing choice with the all-new 6-speed iMT (intelligent manual transmission). Like some premium sports cars, it features downshift rev-matching control, automatically detecting when the driver is shifting and quickly rev-matching to make any driver a stick-shift pro.

New control logic improves acceleration feel when starting off, and improved shift feel makes this a stick shift you want to use. Increased use of micro polishing on gear teeth reduces cabin noise. Standard Hill-start Assist Control (also on the CVT models), helps prevent the dreaded roll-back when starting off on an incline.

Platform: The Strong, Silent Type
A super-rigid structure, lower center of gravity and highly refined suspension tuning endow the Corolla sedan with exemplary handling agility and ride comfort, along with a distinctive driving personality. This high-strength platform is fortified through the increased use of ultra-high-tensile steel as well as the application of new structural adhesive technology for enhanced body rigidity and occupant safety. Specifically, torsional rigidity is improved by 60 percent compared to its predecessor.

The new body uses a totally new multi-load path front structure to absorb frontal collision impact forces and disperses collision energy to help prevent deformation of the occupant compartment. High-tensile steel in the rocker panel reinforcements and the upper kick panel; wider underbody side members; strengthened rear bumper reinforcements, and thicker dashboard panel, floor panels, and underbody tunnel all improve energy dispersion in the event of a collision.

A squared figure-of-eight reinforced ring-shaped structure around the door openings, along with larger-diameter impact beams for the front and rear doors, are designed to help in the event of a side collision.

Sport Sedan Handling, Sedan Comfort
The 2020 Corolla sedan looks the part of a fun-to-drive sport sedan, and the chassis delivers on the promise. The multi-link rear suspension is a major advance over the torsion beam setup used in the previous model, more adept at comfortably absorbing bumps while also ratcheting up agility.

The MacPherson strut front suspension, totally revised for this platform, uses sophisticated techniques, including a strut bearing mounted coaxially with the kingpin axis. This feature allows smoother upward suspension travel, especially while traversing bumps, resulting in more comfortable steering feel.

Overall, front and rear suspension friction has been reduced by 40 percent. Newly developed shock absorbers have been tuned to provide optimal damping force for dynamic handling and stability with exemplary ride comfort.

Foundation for Safety
The 2020 Corolla sedan features eight standard airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology. All Corolla sedan models come equipped with a standard backup camera.

Toyota Safety Sense 2.0
Significantly, all 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan models are equipped standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, an advanced suite of integrated active and pre-collision safety features.

PCS (Pre-Collision System): Uses both a millimeter wave radar sensor and a forward-facing camera sensor for highly accurate detection of objects such as a vehicle or pedestrian or bicyclist in front of the vehicle. If the PCS determines there is a high probability of a collision, or if it deems a collision is unavoidable, the system is designed to automatically activate the brakes to help avoid the collision entirely or mitigate the impact force.

DRCC (Dynamic Radar Cruise Control): Designed for highway use, has a vehicle-to-vehicle distance control mode that utilizes a millimeter wave radar sensor and camera sensor to maintain a pre-set follow distance from the preceding vehicle. The Full-speed DRCC version, standard on CVT models, is also capable of low-speed following, including stop-and-go traffic. The Corolla sedan is designed to stop when the vehicle ahead comes to a stop, maintaining an appropriate distance to it. The driver enjoys more relaxed driving in situations that can be annoying and fatiguing, while also gaining a measure of safety.

LDA (Lane Departure Alert) with Steer Assist: Provides the driver with audible and visual warnings (vehicle positioning warning image shown in the Multi-Information Display) and, if necessary, is designed to provide steering assistance if it determines the possibility of deviation from the driving lane. It is also designed to detect vehicle sway (excess weaving within the driving lane) that might indicate driver distraction, inattention or drowsiness.

LTA (Lane Tracing Assist): LTA, available on CVT-equipped models, is enabled when LDA and DRCC are both on and active. LTA employs a lane centering function that is designed to make constant steering inputs to help the driver keep the vehicle in the center of its lane. LTA is designed for uses on relatively straight highways to preemptively avoid unwanted lane departures and reduce driver fatigue.

AHB (Automatic High Beams): When enabled, the AHB system uses an in-vehicle camera to help detect the headlights of oncoming vehicles and taillights of preceding vehicles, then automatically switches between high and low beams as appropriate.

RSA (Road Sign Assist): Designed to recognize speed limit, Stop, Yield, and Do Not Enter signs and displays them on the vehicles MID to help assist the driver.

Blind Spot Monitor is a standard or optional feature, depending on model grade. When an approaching vehicle is detected, the system is designed to alert the driver using indicators on the outside mirrors.
Brake Hold, when engaged, is a convenient technology that helps reduces driver workload while waiting at a traffic light or while driving in traffic. When the driver depresses the accelerator pedal, Brake Hold releases.

The 2020 Corolla will be available at dealerships Spring 2019.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release

Related Articles

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

2020 Nissan Sentra

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: