2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan Review: The Small Sedan Lives!

2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan
The 2019 Toyota Corolla Sedan. [Photo: TFLcar]

Small economy sedans, like the 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan, are not selling as well as they used to. Crossovers, trucks and SUV demand are eating into their sales. Still, when you look at the North American sales for the top small sedans (Civic, Elantra, Corolla, Jetta, Sentra – etc.), around a million small economy sedans were sold in North America in 2018.

They are still popular.

The 2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan has always been a top contender and a solid choice among the competition. Now they offer more varieties, including a hybrid and a sporty XLE model. Add to that the new looks and a well laid out interior, the newest Corolla is bringing the fight back to the competition.

2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan
Testing the new Corolla sedans. [Photo: TFLcar]

2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan: the good

  • The base model “L” starts at $19,500. The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan is available in L, LE, Hybrid LE, SE CVT and XSE trim. A well equipped XSE can come in under $30,000.
  • The 1.8-liter 4-cylinder makes 139 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid makes 121 hp and 105 lb-ft. The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder is the most powerful making 169 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque.
  • Interestingly, while the Hybrid gets 52 mpg combined, the 1.8 CVT and 2.0 6-speed manual both get a respectable 32 mpg combined. That’s according to Toyota.
  • Every 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan comes with an independent rear suspension – that includes the hybrid. This helps with ride (its highway ride is top-notch) and handling (better than before). Steering is light, but overall handling is very reassuring.
2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan
The interior is pretty good, but not best in class. [Photo: Toyota]


Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, a complete package of safety enhancements, is included with every new Toyota Corolla. These enhancements include:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
  • low light pedestrian detection and daytime cyclist detection
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist 
  • Road Edge Detection
  • Automatic High Beams Road Sign Assist
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

The not-so-good

Back seat space and cargo room are not best in class. While the back seat is not-too shabby, the equivalent Honda Civic is better. While Apple Car Play is (finally) available – Android Auto is not.

2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan
[Photo: Toyota]

2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan: Driving impressions

While my drive with each vehicle was brief, I was able to get a few impressions from each vehicle. One thing I immediately noted, the Corolla is not quite as rewarding to drive as the Honda Civic. Nor is it as luxurious feeling as the Mazda3. It is, in many ways, a little bit of both.

The six-speed manual is a welcome addition and it works well. The clutch is very light and throws are longer than the equivalent Honda or the Mazda3 hatchback. Power is so-so, but the stick helps make the little Toyota downright fun to drive.

The best part was the highway ride. Suspension tuning is an excellent tradeoff between comfort and handling. It’s truly like a baby Toyota Camry and that’s a good thing.