When it came time to present the twelfth age Corolla, Toyota settled on the irregular choice to disclose it as a hatchback first. The 2019 Toyota Corolla hatchback, with its expressive styling, redesigned lodge materials and Apple CarPlay combination, remained as a distinct difference to the remainder car. Despite the fact that sold under a similar nameplate, the bring forth and the car were completely unique autos.
But the Corolla didn’t become the best-selling vehicle of all time by upending expectations, and the redesigned model is finally available in a sedan body style for the 2020 model year. Not only does the 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan gain the hatchback’s improvements over the previous Corolla, but the sedan’s additional trim levels make it feel a little more customizable than the hatchback’s two-trim lineup.
A Marked Advancement
The most notable improvements are inside. As with the hatch, the sedan’s interior design is far more distinctive, with more upscale materials on upper-trim models than you would ever have expected from a Corolla. On the tech front, every Corolla is equipped with a suite of advanced driving aids called Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. Features include automatic high-beam control, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and mitigation, and lane centering. There’s even a camera that reads road signs (such as “Do Not Enter” and the speed limit) and displays the information in the instrument panel. Toyota also finally, albeit partially, embraced smartphone connectivity with standard Apple CarPlay functionality, as well as Amazon Alexa support. Unfortunately, Android Auto is not included.
Though the Corolla has a laundry list of changes and improvements, some of the basics stay the same. Most trims come with the 1.8-liter four-cylinder and continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) combo found in the majority of last year’s Corollas. At 139 horsepower, it’s slightly more powerful than last year, but Toyota says it’s also more fuel-efficient. The 2.0-liter engine that’s standard in the hatchback is available in the sedan as well, on the sporty SE and XSE variants. It increases output to 169 hp and 151 pound-feet of torque, making the Corolla feel more fleet-footed than its last outing. Buyers looking for a more engaging driving experience will be happy to learn that the six-speed manual transmission option returns for the SE model. All other trim levels rely on a CVT automatic, with 10 simulated gears in manual mode.
Although final pricing has not been released yet, we know the sedan will launch in L, LE, XLE, SE and XSE trims. The base L will include features such as the 1.8-liter engine, Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay. LE and XLE models continue with luxury-themed upgrades, while SE and XSE models add the 2.0-liter engine and other sporty enhancements.
While recent generations failed to move the compact-car market forward in any meaningful way, the 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan is poised to be one of the most competitive Corollas in years. Look for our full review closer to the 2020 sedan’s on-sale date of spring 2019.