2020 Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla has been one of America’s favorite sedans for decades. For the 2020 model year, the Corolla has been completely redesigned with a more modern and sleek appearance. Now in its 12th generation, the Corolla gets plenty of standard advanced safety features, an intelligently designed and comfortable interior, and great performance coupled with exceptional fuel economy. It also has an affordable sticker price, which makes it undeniably one of the best overall values in its class.
The ’20 Corolla is offered in five trim levels: L, LE, SE, XLE, and XSE. The nicely equipped base L model includes 15-inch steel wheels, LED headlights with automatic high beams, 60/40-split folding rear seats, a 7-inch multimedia touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth audio streaming, a USB port, a six-speaker audio system, and adaptive cruise control, among other advanced safety features packed into the Toyota Safety Sense bundle. The LE trim substitutes 16-inch wheels and an upgraded interior upholstery and adds heated mirrors, automatic climate control, and a second USB port. Next, the SE upgrades to 18-inch alloy wheels and hotter looks, with a sporty exterior treatment, sport front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The SE with a manual transmission also comes standard with keyless entry and ignition, selectable drive modes, and a sunroof; these features are optional on the SE with the continuously variable transmission (CVT). Next, the XLE gets 16-inch alloy wheels, SofTex simulated-leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, an upgraded 8-inch multimedia touchscreen, and satellite radio. Finally, the loaded XSE trim is a cross between the SE and XLE, receiving the SE’s sport-themed features and engine, as well as the XLE’s multimedia and technical features.
The L, LE, and XLE models come standard with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, paired to a CVT. This powertrain puts out 139 horsepower and 126 lb.-ft. of torque, which is decent for a compact sedan. Upgrading to the SE and XLE trims get you a 2.0-liter engine with a specialized CVT with paddle shifters; the SE trim also offers an optional six-speed manual transmission. This stronger powertrain puts out an extra 30 horses for a total of 169 hp. Both engines also boast excellent fuel economy, as the base 1.8-liter engine gets an EPA-estimated 30 mpg city and 38 mpg highway, while the 2.0-liter engine receives a slight bump at 31 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.
Like most Toyotas, the Corolla proves to be above average when it comes to keeping its occupants safe. It was designated a “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and it received a 5 Star Overall Safety Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for outstanding results in government-issued collision tests. It’s easy to see why the Corolla is so highly praised for its safety factor, as even the base model comes standard with advanced safety features seldom available – never mind standard – on its rivals’ lower trims. A few of these desirable features are forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, road-edge detection, lane tracing assist, dynamic radar cruise control, and a traffic sign reader.