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The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Sedan Is The Smartest Pick In The Lineup

The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Sedan Is The Smartest Pick In The Lineup

The Corolla is now more fun to drive, but extra efficiency makes more sense

Toyota just introduced the twelfth-generation Corolla Sedan for the 2020 model year, and while the latest generational changeover brings a long list of updates, one of the biggest is the addition of a hybrid powertrain option. But why would the hybrid be our pick when there’s a new, more powerful 2.0-liter offered as well? Read on to find out.

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2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan - Driven

2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan - Driven

Forget the commuter penalty box - this sedan is packed with goodies

First rolling off the production line in 1966, the Toyota Corolla has been around for over five decades. In 2013, Toyota celebrated an astonishing 40 million units sold for the nameplate, which makes it the most popular car in history. Now there’s a new twelfth generation for the 2020 model year, and it offers refreshed styling, a new interior stuffed with a wide variety of technology and features, a new architecture, and a new Hybrid trim level, all at a reasonable price point. However, with SUVs and crossovers dominating the sales charts, does the 2020 Toyota Corolla have what it takes to carry the torch for the sedan segment? To find out, I flew out to Savannah, Georgia, to experience it first hand, all courtesy of Toyota.

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2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Adding more green to the compact commuter standard

Toyota just introduced a brand-new generation for the Corolla this year, with both a head-turning hatchback and a smart sedan making the body style lineup. Now, Toyota is adding yet another model with a new hybrid variant, ushering in an even-greener option for the compact four-door segment. Standout features for the 2020 Toyota Corolla hybrid include a comfortable ride, loads of technology and features, and as an added bonus, upwards of 52 mpg combined thanks to the drivetrain that’s borrowed from the Toyota Prius.

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2020 Toyota Corolla

2020 Toyota Corolla

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.

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2019 Toyota Prius

2019 Toyota Prius

Toyota has pulled the wraps off its refreshed Prius at the 2018 LA auto show which brings a more toned down appearance and optional all-wheel drive to the table. It isn’t any significantly more efficient or any faster, but its less aggressive styling will be a pleasing comeback for some, while the new all-wheel drive is apparently going to be really popular.

Projected sales for the Prius AWD-e say up to 25 percent of all cars sold will have the option, despite the fact that it does have a small negative impact on overall efficiency - the main reason you went for a Prius in the first place. The most frugal Prius, the L Eco trim, can still hit a claimed 56 mpg combined.

Aside from the subtle restyling and addition of all-wheel drive, the 2019 Toyota Prius also gets interior updates, extra tech, and a simplified trim structure to help buyers and dealers alike understand the range better.

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Toyota Aims to Add TRD and AWD Badges Across its Whole Lineup

Toyota Aims to Add TRD and AWD Badges Across its Whole Lineup

There goes the value of the TRD brand, right?

The TRD brand, aka Toyota Racing Development, was once reserved for a few models in Toyota’s range but, now, Toyota seems eager to bring TRD-infused packages to all the models it offers. That will most definitely dilute the feeling of exclusivity that came embroidered in TRD models. On a more positive note, Toyota also plans to bring AWD across the board.

Toyota officially presented the new Camry TRD and Avalon TRD models at the L.A. Auto Show. We knew they were coming since Toyota teased us with a few previews a couple of weeks ago but that doesn’t mean we didn’t feel like Toyota’s two sedans were the natural base for TRD to apply their magic to. Still, with what we know now, it seems less weird than, let’s say, a TRD-ized RAV-4.

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The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Gives You Prius Fuel Economy Without the Weird Hatchback Design

The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Gives You Prius Fuel Economy Without the Weird Hatchback Design

It’s a Corolla Sedan, A Hatchback, and Now a Hybrid Too

Expectedly, Toyota revealed a hybrid version of their latest (and quite handsome) 2020 Corolla. The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid takes the talents of the Prius and packs them in a far more alluring package. In short, the 1.8-liter four-banger is complemented by two electric motors for a combined output of 121 horsepower. Not exactly the most powerful thing out there, but it will get 50 mpg combined. Just like the latest Prius AWD-e.

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Toyota Finally Offers the Prius with AWD in the U.S.

Toyota Finally Offers the Prius with AWD in the U.S.

Toyota Prius AWD-e With An Electric Motor At The Back

Toyota just unveiled an all-wheel drive Prius for the North American market. Not only that, the new Prius looks a tad finer (actually, less bizarre than before) and gives us the AWD technology that dispenses with the usual torque converters and driveshafts. The Toyota Prius AWD-e actually introduces us to an extra electric motor rigged to the rear wheels. It will apply power as needed up to 6 mph when accelerating and up to 43 mph when the computer senses that additional torque is needed (when the front wheels slip basically).

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The Toyota Corolla Hybrid Looks Sporty and Delivers 50 MPG

The Toyota Corolla Hybrid Looks Sporty and Delivers 50 MPG

Toyota gives birth to Prius’ twin

In less than a month after launching the next-gen Corolla, Toyota follows it up by launching a new hybrid version of the popular sedan at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. The new Corolla Hybrid will be Prius-derived powertrain and is expected to arrive in showrooms in the second quarter of 2019.

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2020 Toyota Avalon TRD and Camry TRD

2020 Toyota Avalon TRD and Camry TRD

Showing The Path Toyota Is Audacious Enough To Take

In its continuous pursuit of excitement that started sometime with the introduction of the latest Camry, Toyota revealed two cool cars - the Toyota Avalon TRD and the Toyota Camry TRD. These may be some of the most important products Toyota has ever unveiled. Not per se in terms of sales or market, but in terms of something far more important for us - car enthusiasts. The Avalon TRD and the Camry TRD are what the company wants to show the world - audaciousness.

See, before the latest 2018 Camry, Toyota’s car development process was always led by the engineer. The engineer was at the top of that imaginary car development food chain. For the latest Camry, it was the designer.

"We actually started with that 2-inch doodle," Ian Cartabiano, Toyota California Chief Designer said, "And it became sketch, bigger sketch, bigger sketch, model. But that original intention followed all the way through to the cars. It was totally new for us. There’s always been a designer, but the chief engineer has been the top guy. It was always just 100 percent engineering."

Obviously, not for the latest Camry.

Well, the Avalon TRD and the Camry TRD are basically an ultimate expression of the flamboyance Toyota wanted to express with the latest line of its cars. That was the main idea behind Akio Toyoda’s, Toyota CEO, comment back in January 2017. He said,

“Until now, there were times when Toyota’s cars were called ‘boring’ or were said to be lacking in character,” Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda told reporters of USA Today. “But I now feel that, in terms of driving and design, our customers have begun to favorably evaluate our cars.”

He said it just months after the unveiling of the latest Toyota Camry, a bold design exercise that seemed kinda risky compared with the Toyota styling habits of the past.

So, what do the tricked-out Avalon and Camry TRD bring to the table then?

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Toyota Brightens Its 2020 Lineup with a Redesigned Corolla That's More Powerful and Safer Than Ever

Toyota Brightens Its 2020 Lineup with a Redesigned Corolla That’s More Powerful and Safer Than Ever

The brands best-selling nameplate enters a new stage of life

This is the all-new Toyota Corolla sedan that is set to reach no fewer than 150 different markets as of next year. It looks better than before, drives better than before, and packs plenty of new tech features lacked by its predecessor - it is expected to reach showrooms around the world as of Spring 2019.

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2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan Will Debut This Week

2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan Will Debut This Week

Will it be as hot as the hatchback?

The sedan version of the new Toyota Corolla will officially debut this Thursday, November 15, according to a tweet from the Japanese automaker’s American account. Unveiled in hatchback form at the 2018 New York Auto Show, the four-door Corolla will make its first public appearance at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 30.

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Toyota Set To Drop More Nightshade Lovin' at The 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show

Toyota Set To Drop More Nightshade Lovin’ at The 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show

Special edition versions of the Camry and Highlander follow similar versions of the 4Runner, Tundra, and Tacoma

Toyota is once again rolling out a lineup of special edition Nightshade Editions, this time at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Months after introducing Nightshade SE versions for the 4Runner, Tacoma, and Tundra, the Japanese automaker is giving the Camry sedan and the Highlander SUV the same treatment. Both special edition models will be in attendance in Los Angeles before going on sale in 2019.

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