Toyota isn’t new to the hybrid game. In fact they’ve had multiple models in this market for several years. From the Toyota Highlander or RAV4 to the Camry and Prius —this auto manufacturer knows a thing or two about hybrid technology.
As of 2020, Toyota has decided to give the Corolla some hybrid love. The Corolla Hybrid (only available in the LE trim level) is the first-ever Corolla Hybrid in the US. Not only is it mileage efficient, at up to 53 MPG, it’s lower and wider, with a more aggressive design. The Corolla Hybrid LE boasts a 1.8L 121 horsepower engine with 105 ft.-lb. of torque. Various drive modes include normal, power, and sport selections.
Because of the optimized battery placement is beneath the rear seat in this particular model, it doesn’t reduce cargo space in its truck. Even though it rolls on 15-in. alloy wheels with low resistance P195/65R15 tires, its stance and sport mode makes driving it closely related to Corolla’s top trim level XSE; its performance has added sportiness and an engaged driving experience. It’s refreshing that a hybrid finally has a zesty and fun sport mode option.
Starting at $22,950 MSRP, the roomy 2020 Corolla showcases features like an available JBL stereo system, 8” touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Wi-Fi hotspot, Amazon Alexa, and climate control.
Also included are items like triple-J LED headlights and EV mode button (allowing an all-electric mode at speeds under 25 MPH, for short distances), and the standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 system which includes the following:
- Pre-Collision System
- Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
- Automatic High Beams
- Road Sign Assist
- Lane Tracing Assist
Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0) is designed to protect occupants, as well as others using the roads from harm. This system exemplifies their commitment to create advancements in safety technology to help prevent vehicle crashes.
The Corolla Hybrid incorporates smooth acceleration, with barely visible noise or vibration when the gas engine turns on. Handling was solid and braking responsive. The hybrid’s sport mode gave me smiles. Yes, I did just say that. It’s a great choice for folks who want an engaging experience but don’t want a noticeable hybrid run-about. It doesn’t have crazy far-out styling or odd accoutrements, plus it drives like a normal gasoline grocery getter. It’s very similar in looks to its gasoline brothers, but it has smaller alloy rims and blue-accented Toyota hybrid badging.
You can obviously still drive this four-door sedan in eco mode to save some cents, but if you’re looking for a spirited hybrid commuter that has great features for the price, the 2020 Corolla Hybrid should be looked at.