2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Hatchback Canada – Prius-rivaling fuel efficiency will now be one of the reasons consumers can buy a Toyota Corolla. EPA recently released fuel economy estimates for the 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan, and hybrid variant tops the lineup at 53/52 mpg (4.4 / 4.5 L / 100 km) city / highway. Powered by the same hybrid system in the Prius, the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid pairs an Atkinson Cycle 1.8-liter I-4 with two electric motors, an e-CVT, and a nickel-metal hydride battery.
Toyota’s Corolla sedan has long been one of the most popular cars in Canada, competing head-to-head with the Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra for top-seller status year after year. The company’s Prius hatchback, meanwhile, is one of the world’s first and best-selling hybrids. The all-new 2020 Toyota Corolla hybrid marries the two models in an efficient and practical sedan that offers impressive value. It’s not an enthusiast driving machine, and it doesn’t pretend to be, but it delivers good road manners and a quiet comfortable ride along with another form of driving excitement – the kind that comes from skipping another fuel stop.
The Corolla has never been a car styled to set the world on fire, but from certain angles the previous generation sedan seemed styled to promote heartburn. The latest Corolla sedan tones down some of the previous generation’s stylistic excesses, so while the radiator grille is still too big in my opinion, the overall look is crisp, clean and modern. The Corolla hybrid is virtually indistinguishable from the regular Corolla sedan, with blue-accented hybrid badging, unique 15-inch wheels equipped with low rolling resistance tires, and active shutters hiding behind the radiator grille. What really stands out about the Corolla hybrid is that it doesn’t look anything like the self-consciously futuristic (Read: “peculiar look”) Prius, though like the Prius, Corolla hybrid wheels are alloys equipped with plastic covers-a strange and somewhat redundant combo .
You can’t knock Toyota’s efforts when it comes to safety: complement a full complement of basic mandated safety equipment, the Corolla hybrid gets all of Toyota’s Star Safety and safety Sense 2.0 gears. It adds up to an impressive array of equipment, including Auto High-beams, Lane Departure Alert and Lane-Keeping Assist, pedestrian and bike detection pre-collision system, stability control, brake assist and more. The car’s basic structure is solid as well, earning it a 2019 top safety pick from IIHS, with good crash ratings across the board. Only the LED headlights leave little to be desired, with the IIHS giving poor marks for High-Beam performance.
When equipped with my test car’s $ 2,000 Premium package, the Corolla hybrid makes a properly comfortable commuter car. The standard kit includes automatic climate control, dynamic cruise control, smart key with push button start, Auto-up power windows, heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and an AM / FM / CD / MP3 / WMA audio system with six speakers with 8 “touchscreen display , Bluetooth compatibility and USB / Auxiliary inputs The premium package adds a heated leather wrapped steering wheel, leather wrapped shift button, SofTex faux leather upholstery, power adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, wireless smartphone charging, heated rear seats and ambient interior lighting. The infotainment system is decent-sounding and easy to navigate, but is somewhat hobbled by a lack of Android Auto compatibility (it’s Apple CarPlay compatible, though). Cannot mirror my Android phone, I downloaded Toyota’s Entune suite of apps and Scout GPS Mapping, and was unimpressed, change is rumored to be coming in this regard, and it may not be soon enough for Android users.
If practicality was measured solely on the basis of fuel-stingy commuting and Errand driving, the Corolla hybrid would score a solid 10. In terms of pulling things, it does lose a little to its Prius hatchback cousin, but it doesn’t lose much. The 341 liter stock is not huge, but it is easily large enough to fit a week’s worth of family groceries. I managed to fit a two-person inflatable kayak and a well-filled sailing bag in there, which I thought was pretty impressive. If you have larger items for transport, fold the back seat flat into a 60/40 Split, although their cabin interior release locks mean you have to open the back door to fold them, which also ruins the safety benefit of having a sedan versus a hatchback (I prefer trunk-mounted release locks, which make the trunk even in a bit of a strong box).
There is almost nothing about the Corolla hybrid that is strange, difficult or quirky, making it very easy to live with on a day-to-day basis. The fact that it is a hybrid is well hidden (the gearshift is quite normal, unlike the odd little magic wand in the Prius), so the driving experience is quite familiar and the keyless entry and push button start is the icing on the user-friendly cake. The only thing holding back the Corolla hybrid from full marks here is its lack of Android Auto compatibility and the fact that the hybrid drive’s crawl mode can be a bit abrupt when you release the brakes, making it difficult to be smooth while parallel parking in dense spots.
Overall, the Corolla hybrid is a great place to spend time. The freestanding infotainment screen is sure to put a few people’s stylistic feelings on edge, but from an ergonomic perspective it works well and the rest of the interior style is simple and comfortable. Materials in my Premium Package Tester were generally at or above par for the segment, and Premium Package seats are nicely supportive, if a little sticky in the summer heat.
The Corolla hybrid may be a brand new model, but its driveline is well proven that has been lifted directly from the Prius. So you get the same 1.8-liter Atkinson Cycle gas engine and 53 kW main electric powertrain, working with the same CVT transmission to produce 121 net horsepower. Off the line and around town, the electric motor instant torque makes the Corolla hybrid feel reasonably bouncy (especially if you opt for sport mode, which sharpens up initial throttle response). That means keeping up with the flow of city traffic is a cinch. When accelerating hard at higher speeds, however (such as when passing on the highway or climbing steep hills), the limitations of the Corolla hybrid 121 horses become apparent. The gas engine drones away mightily, but the speed is slow to build past about 50 km / h (sprints from 0 – 50 km / h are shipped for about four seconds flat, but the drive to 100 km / h takes 11 seconds).
When powered with a bit of restraint, Powertrain Control gets high points for smoothness and silence — the contact between el-only and hybrid gas-electric operation is hardly noticeable, and when not accelerating the hard gas engine is extremely well damped. At least in terms of fulfilling its fuel efficiency mission, there is little to fault with the Powertrain.
The 2020 Corolla hybrid is based on Toyota’s newly developed Toyota new global architecture, which has a multi-link rear suspension (replacing the previous torsion bar suspension) and a stiffer structure than the previous generation car. Along the way, I found the Corolla hybrid ride to be firm and well-controlled, yet nicely compatible. Steering feels through the electric steering is not very good, but the car handles safely and easily on the highway.
Fuel economy is the Corolla hybrid calling card and it does not disappoint. Official fuel consumption ratings are 4.4 / 4.5 L / 100 km (city / highway), landing Corolla hybrid right between Hyundai Ioniq hybrid (at 4.2 / 4.0 L / 100 km) and Honda Insight (at 4.6 / 5.3 L / 100 km).
My test car showed a long-term average of exactly 4.4 L / 100 km when I picked it up, and I easily matched that rating myself while driving in my normal (which means mildly aggressive) mode. During two of my days with the car, I just paid a little extra attention to my acceleration and braking and had no problem achieving 3.8 L / 100km in mixed city / suburban driving. Short of going full electric or buying a small motorcycle, it’s the kind of efficiency that just can’t beat.
Priced at $ 24,790 for the base model, and $ 26,790 for my Premium package tester, the Toyota Corolla hybrid represents excellent value. A base Prius runs $ 27,990, with Prius technology (which has similar equipment upgrades to the Corolla Premium package) checking in at $ 32,490. Honda’s insights start at $ 28,090 or $ 31,990 in touring trim. Only the Hyundai Ioniq comes close to matching the Corolla hybrid value, at $ 24,399 for the base model or $ 29,849, when equipped with the Corolla hybrid Premium package (you get genuine leather with Hyundai, mind you, though the Ioniq hybrid luxury model loses some fuel efficiency, coming in at 4.3 / 4.4 L / 100km city / highway).
For shoppers looking for the ultimate in a thrifty and easy-to-live new car, the 2020 Toyota Corolla hybrid is a must-see challenger. There are cheaper cars out there and there are more efficient all-electric options like the $ 42,298 Nissan Leaf. But with the exception of the Hyundai Ioniq hybrid, there is really nothing as efficient or user-friendly for the price as the Toyota Corolla hybrid.
I felt that the front seat could be a little longer (I have fairly long legs) while in the back standing height is at a premium (at 5 ’11 “my hair was just brush taken). The heated rear seats are a nice touch and the armrest has cup holders in it, but there is no outlet or fresh air vents left there.