When Toyota redesigned the Corolla for 2020, they made two notable changes.
First, the interior got a little bit smaller than the last generation model, and the second and probably biggest change is that we now have the availability of a hybrid drivetrain under the hood and that’s the model that we’re taking a look at today. But even though we finally have a Corolla hybrid, this is not quite the same thing as the Honda Insight or even something like the hyundai ioniq. That’s because for the moment at least the Corolla hybrid is available only in one trim. Exactly like we’re.
Looking at right now with this generation of the Corolla, they decided to give the sporty trims a slightly different front. End look, but we don’t get that in the hybrid. So the shares a little bit more with the rest of the Corolla lineup. They have that large total logo right there, because we do have a standard radar, adaptive cruise control sensor behind that full LED headlamps over here on this side, no fog, lamps or anything like that down below and again the standard grille that we find in most of The Corolla lineup, as with the rest of the Corolla lineup, the Corolla Hybrid, gets TSS 2.0 that’s towed as latest all inclusive active safety package.
It includes radar adaptive cruise control with full stop ability. We also have pedestrian detection, which is something that we don’t see in all of the competitive safety systems out there that’s part of the autonomous braking system. We also have Lane Keeping assistance and lane departure warning a lot of that’s provided by the mixture of the radar sensor and this camera right there. Behind the windshield at 23,000 $ 100.
The Corolla hybrid is now the least expensive, hybrid in Toyota’s lineup, and if you’ve been looking for a total hybrid that didn’t look like a Prius. This may be an excellent option for you, but the cruel, hybrid really is a one-stop shop. It comes just in this one trim that means that. Well, this is definitely a direct competitor to the base versions of the Honda Insight and the hyundai ioniq.
There is no Toyota corollary to the top in terms of the insight or the top-end trims of the ioniq, and that is a pretty big difference. So if you want features like leather on the inside, some of the flashier features that we see in those other models. You’re not going to find them in the Corolla at 180, 2.3 inches long. The Corolla is still very solidly a compact car in America.
This is three inches shorter, the new Volkswagen Jetta, so they didn’t really enlarge the exterior dimensions of the Corolla too much for this generation. But what surprised me a little in this generation is that we get a little bit less legroom on the inside than we had before, and that was always one of the strong selling points of the Corolla was especially the rear legroom. We find three inches less legroom. Overall in here than we see in the Honda Insight, for instance, but this is right about the same as the closely-related Toyota Prius, aside from the blue, highlighting in the total logo and that subtle, hybrid badge over there on the passenger side.
There’s nothing really to distinguish the hybrid Corolla from the non-hybrid Corolla model and Toyota tells us that’s exactly what shoppers were after. So, if you’re looking for something that gets 52 mpg but doesn’t look like a Prius, this is the total for you out back. We have partial, LED tail light modules. That means that the backup lights and the turn signals are still incandescent, but the brake lights are LEDs, and then we have a pretty hidden exhaust tip right there under the rear bumper to give the Corolla hybrid Prius like efficiency.
They decided to just give us the Prius drivetrain under the hood, so this is the same 1.8 liter four-cylinder hybrid system that we find in the current generation Prius. It produces 121 horsepower total and gives us 52 miles per gallon, combined as with the rest of the Toyota hybrid lineup in America. This uses their planetary, hybrid power, split transmission that incorporates two electric motors and one planetary gearset, to sort of imitate a transmission. I hear a lot of folks out there saying.
Well, I don’t like CVT s, so I wouldn’t like a hybrid from tota, but these hybrids do not drive like a traditional CVT. These are sort of somewhere between a vehicle of the CVT and an e V. As far as the overall driving nature, so, if you don’t like the way traditional CVT drives, you really ought to give this a whirl see how you feel about the way this drivetrain feels. Overall, fuel economy is pretty comparable to the Prius lineup.
If you get the absolute base model Prius the L eco version, then you get 56 mpg, but most of the Prius lineup on the dealer. Lot will get 52 just like this Corolla. If you’re wondering how the base prius gets 4 mpg better than this or the rest of the prius lineup, that just has to do with subtle tweaks to the vehicle, so it doesn’t have a spare tire. It doesn’t have a rear, windshield wiper.
That gives it improved aerodynamics and they’ve bumped the tire pressure way up in order to help reduce road resistance, because the corolla hybrid comes in just this one trim. No leather upholstery no power seats. We do, however, have a six-way adjustable manual driver’s seat, no lumbar support adjustability there at all, and we do have a tilt telescopic steering column as well in terms of overall seat comfort. I do find the upper end.
Trims of the Honda Insight a little bit more comfortable than this, but if you’re comparing price to price, this is just about as comfortable as the base manual seats that we see in any of the competition. If you’re, looking for a generous for your seat in your hybrid, you may want to look at the Prius instead of the Corolla, because it does have more Headroom in the back and we find definitely more legroom in something like the Honda Insight as well. Three inches more overall legroom, but the real difference here is going to be the overall Headroom, especially if you’re going to compare the Corolla to the Corolla hatchback. Like many compact sedans in America, they’ve gone for a smoothie roofline right there and that does reduce the Headroom.
I’d have to kind of crane my head to one side in order to sit upright in the rear seat, and that’s not something we had to do in previous generations of the Corolla Headroom is about the same in the center seat. You have to my head to one side if I want to get anywhere close to that headrest in the rear, and if I move all the way over to the right side, you’ll really notice the loss of legroom inside this cabin. This front seat is all the way back in its tracks. I definitely have less leg room back here than in something like that.
Honda or it’s worth noting again then Toyota’s own Prius and the Prius is pretty closely related to the Corolla, just like other car companies. Toyota has really been focusing on streamlining their R & D when it comes to designing new vehicles, so the Corolla is very closely related to the Toyota Prius and, interestingly enough, also something like the Toyota Camry, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Corolla directly shares too Many parts under the skin with the Prius or the Camry. It just means that the overall design philosophy, the vehicle crash structures, drivetrains, etc. Those can be shared among models.
So that’s exactly why we find that Prius drivetrain under the hood, but at its heart the Corolla is a different vehicle and it’s a classic sedan shape right back here. So it’s not a lift back like we see in the Prius. That does result in a much smaller cargo area, even though this is overall longer than the Prius back here we find 13.1 cubic feet of storage space. That is definitely behind the 27 cubic feet that we find in the Prius.
If you know a person that owns a Prius, then you probably heard the stories before about how they can shove just about as much stuff in their Prius as they could a small crossover, and that’s definitely true. But it’s not the case with a traditional sedan like this, however, Tata has done an excellent job of making this cargo area as square as possible, and that’s how we got the same number of 24-inch roller bags back here in this trunk, as we did the last Time we tested a Camry, even though the Camrys trunk is theoretically a little bit larger, taking a deeper dive into the trunk. You’ll notice that we don’t have a spare tire, but Toyota has kept the spare tire well intact, and it’s a pretty deep one. So if you wanted a hybrid vehicle in America that got 50 mpg and you wanted to put a full spare tire back there, you could definitely put a full-size spare here aftermarket again as we look around the interior, keep in mind that this is available only in The one trim, so, if you want features like a moonroof, you will have to look at another vehicle out there, although we do have height, adjustable shoulder belts for the driver and front passenger, that is a nice touch.
All models have two-way adjustable headrests and the fabric seats that we see here with the quilted Center section, the bolsters on the seat, side and seat bottom cushion are fairly minor, so larger folks shouldn’t have any problem sitting in here. If we move over to the front doors, we find a decent percentage of hard touch. Plastics. Just did you expect in an entry-level vehicle like the Corolla, but moving over to the dashboard?
We definitely find more premium materials that we find in some of the vehicles in this segment. We find soft touch materials right here in reach of the driver and front passenger that includes this upper section and the lower section right there, depending on the Corolla trim. These may be in contrasting colors, but in the hybrid model, again we see just what we see here. We then have the color touchscreen infotainment system right here in the dashboard.
This currently features apple carplay, but we expect to see Android auto coming soon, because Toyota has finally announced that there will be vehicles with this same software that will support Android auto now I don’t know whether you’ll be able to upgrade this to Android auto support later, But coming in 2020 or perhaps 2021, you should expect to see Android, auto support with this particular system. If you’re not a fan of touch buttons for controlling the system, then you’ll like the physical buttons on either side of that screen as we work our way down. The center console we find two large air vents and then the controls for the single zone, automatic climate control continuing down from there. We find a single USB input right there, it’s a little awkwardly placed, if I’m honest right there, sort of in the passenger footwell and that’s where we can plug in our smart phone or other device.
There’s a little storage bin right there. Without a lid we have a pretty traditional console, shifter. Another reason that you might want to get this over the Prius. If you don’t like that joystick, we still have the increased engine braking mode down there B.
We also have an AV mode button, a button for the traction control system and then a drive mode selector button. If I move down from the shifter, we find an electric parking, brake and auto brake hold and then two decently sized cupholders behind the steering wheel. We find the same partial LCD instrument cluster that we see in the rest of the Corolla lineup. It combines that full color LCD with a physical gauge for the tech, commoner fuel level and then the inch temperature over there on the right moving out from there.
We see Toto’s latest steering wheel design again. This is not leather wrapped. It is just a urethane wheel on the right side of the steering wheel. We find the buttons for that multifunction instrument, cluster, back button phone button, voice, command volume, up/down and then on the right side.
We have tracked forward backward mode and then the controls for the radar, adaptive cruise control system and the lane-keeping assistant, with the same hybrid system, under the hood as the Toyota Prius, and about the same curb weight as the prius as well. Performance is pretty similar to the prius. Zero-To-Sixty happened in this model in 10.6 seconds. That is notably slower than something like the Honda Insight.
The insight has a great deal more power and more torque available, because Honda was a little bit differently focused with their hybrid system than towed. It was with this particular system. The insight in our last test went 0 to 60 in seven point nine seconds and in our 60 to zero braking test. The insight also fared a little bit better at 121 feet versus 130 feet for this particular model here so again.
This is definitely very similar to the Prius in terms of overall behavior. That also translates pretty directly into the handling, although handling in the Prius is actually pretty good in this generation. A lot of folks give the Prius a hard time, but in this last generation, Toyota really dialed things up when it came to overall suspension, tuning and overall handling ability. The biggest problem for a hybrid like this or like the Prius, is the fact that we have low-rolling-resistance tires on this model in order to help improve overall efficiency, and that really does reduce the overall grip.
But this is pretty similar to something like the Prius and, of course, the Honda Insight as well when comparing handling in this segment. The biggest thing to remember is the size of the tire that we have on this model. They are pretty skinny and we do find wider tires available in some of the petition, for instance Toyota’s own Prius. It does have available 215 tires and that’s going to handle a little bit better than the Corolla Hybrid.
And if you want one of the better handling options in this segment, oddly enough, that would be the hyundai ioniq. You can get wider 225 with tires that are a little bit less economy focused in that model, because they’re really trying to improve overall handling performance. In that top-end model out on a rougher road like we’re on here, we get a ride. That’s pretty similar to a lot of other compact stands in America and I would say very comparable to Honda’s insight.
I’m going to give this an A-, because this is not quite as comfortable as something like an absolute base, Camry, which is definitely within the same price range as this particular Corolla model. But it’s still definitely more comfortable than some of those firmly sprung entries in this segment. Although those wouldn’t be direct competition to this, those would mostly be the sporty or entries one of the benefits to making a lot of vehicles that are closely related to one another. Like this and the Toyota Prius is that Toyota was able to put more money into the individual components like the design of the suspension system, the design of the dampers etc, and that results in a more polished ride in the Corolla in the Prius and in the Rest of the Toyota product line than before when they had to had to develop individual components for each vehicle.
It’s really noticeable out on a rough road like this, where we have large pot holes in the ground, etc that this suspension doesn’t become as upset as the last generation Corolla could back out here on the paved road. The Corolla suspension definitely has a higher level of polish in this generation than in the last, and that again translates right here to the hybrid model as well. This doesn’t get upset over road imperfections. The same way that the previous generation model did.
It doesn’t feel quite as crashy, sometimes either overall has a slightly more substantial feel in our cabin noise test. We measured 72 decibels in here at 50 miles an hour which is basically the same as the Honda Insight. It also is not very far off the Prius or the ioniq, and that surprised me a little bit. I thought that this might be a little bit quieter than the Prius out on the road, but depending on the Prius version you get, it could be substantially similar to this Corolla here.
The reason I was surprised is that the Prius, like the ioniq, is a lift back, and that means that we just get a small cargo divider between the trunk area and the cabin area, and that generally makes for a slightly louder cabin. As we’ve come to expect. A totus, hybrid systems, fuel economy has been absolutely excellent, we’ll be getting well over 50 mpg over a week of mixed driving in here. According to the EPA, you should be getting 52 mpg in this vehicle, and I don’t see a problem with that.
If you’re driving in a lot of slow and go traffic or a lot of steady state, highway, travel you’re, probably going to be right around that 52 to 54 mpg range. Remember the tow does hybrid systems do very, very well and slow and go traffic. So, although the Delta between this and the regular Corolla hybrid is about 20 or so mpg out on the open highway, if you’re going to be driving this and stop and go or slow and go traffic, the Delta is going to be massive, because this isn’t going to be running the engine all the time compared against the Honda Insight, the fuel economy in the Corolla is markley better. We averaged about 44 mpg in our last week with the insight and some folks are surprised by that.
But the real reason for the insight, slower fuel economy performance is the Delta between EPA testing and real world driving out in the real world. Folks, drive 72 to 74 miles an hour all the time and at those higher speeds, the insight really doesn’t do terribly well when it comes to fuel economy, that’s all down to the overall design of the Honda hybrid system at higher speeds, especially speeds over about 70 Miles an hour, the fuel economy really seems to drop off a cliff and we don’t see that same level of drop in the total hybrid systems. So the Corolla, even though obviously you’re, going to be getting lower fuel economy at 74 miles an hour than 64 miles. An hour, the difference is much much smaller than what we see in the Honda hybrid system.
Without a doubt, if you drive the insight very gently, you could get 50 mpg on average, but if you were driving this vehicle that same way, you’d probably be getting even higher out on the road. The Corolla is exactly what Toyota Hybrid shoppers have been asking for: a no-nonsense hybrid sedan that gets over 50 mpg. This isn’t quite as quirky as a Prius, either out on the road behind the wheel or looking at it from the outside, but it definitely has the fuel economy of a Prius. Now, on the downside, it also has the performance of a Prius if you’re willing to give up a little bit of fuel economy in order to improve that overall performance.
That’s where we find the Honda Insight, the ionic and the Prius are a little bit of a different twist because their fuel economy and their performance are going to be pretty similar to this. But they’re going to be that quirkier styled vehicle for 2020. The Corolla hybrid is about a thousand dollars less than the Prius hybrid. Even though gets the same hybrid drivetrain under the hood.
That makes the Corolla the least expensive, hybrid in the total lineup at the moment, but unlike the recent Camry Hybrid and RAV4 hybrid, the Corolla isn’t quite the same sort of no compromises, hybrid that we see in those other two models. Performance definitely drops below the regular versions of the Corolla and it’s a pretty decent bump in terms of MSRP. It’s about a three thousand dollar upgrade from the le trim. Now, admittedly, we do get some extra content in the hybrid that we don’t see in that LE alloy wheels a different version of the LED headlamps, a cabin air filter, keyless entry and keyless go and the seven-inch LCD cluster, but that doesn’t add up to $ 3,000 Worth of difference, even if you were to be generous and say that that extra content is worth about $ 1,000, that’s still a $ 2,000 jump over the base Corolla model, and that means that the payback time, depending on how you want to look at that jump, Is four to six years, which is very different than we see in the Camry or in the rav4, where the payback time is maybe a year to 18 months?
It’s also worth noting that the hybrid drivetrain is available only in the one trim on the Corolla. So this is not like the Honda Insight where you can effectively equip your insight and your Honda Civic very similarly, you can’t do that with the Corolla hybrid. If you want those extra features, you have to leap up into the Prius line. That brings us along to the Honda Insight, which starts just a little bit less than the total hybrid.
That surprised me a tiny bit, because the insight is the better performer here we get notably more power and more torque out of the tonda hybrid system. On the downside, fuel economy is definitely lower in the insight in real world driving 52. Mpg is what honda says you should be able to get, and if you treat it gently, you can get 52, but in real world driving. You should end up below the Corolla.
In our last real-world driving test, we were running between 42 and 48 miles per gallon in that Honda Insight, even when driving it gently and the main reason for that is the overall efficiency at speeds around 70 miles an hour or above the way that that hybrid System is designed, your fuel economy will really drop off a cliff if you start exceeding about 65 miles an hour or so, and most of us out there in the real world do drive at those higher speeds. This is going to be especially noticeable if you live in a state like Texas that has very high speed limits where you could be going 80 miles an hour in your hybrid at 80 miles an hour. The Corolla is going to be significantly more efficient than the insight now. On the flip side, I think the insight is the more attractive vehicle.
It’s the more comfortable vehicle. It’s also the option with more options, because you can add a lot of stuff to the insight that you just can’t get in the Corolla Hybrid. For instance, if you want leather upholstery, a leather wrap steering wheel, leather, wrap, gearshift, etc. Those are all available in the insight they’re not available in the Corolla.
I think that’s a pity for the Toyota. I would have liked to have seen the Kuril available in different trims, especially some of the upper end trims, so that shoppers could get some of those comfort, oriented or luxury oriented features that they might be interested in in a Corolla. Now again, I realize we’re talking about a corolla here, but there are Corollas out there that feature things like the leather wrap steering wheel. It definitely has a nicer feel to it if you’re driving for long distances and, of course, the more comfortable and more adjustable seats.
That starts about the same price as the Corolla as well at twenty two thousand four hundred dollars, but it gives us 58 miles per gallon, not fifty two miles per gallon. Now, like the Honda Insight, the ioniq has fallen a little bit below those EPA numbers in our real-world tests, but still very, very impressive, running around 55 to 56 mpg, so definitely above the Corolla in our particular testing. Now, overall performance is not going to be better than the Crowell. It’s pretty similar, if not a little bit slower, depending on the exact situation that we’re talking about.
Some of that has to do with the way that it’s designed, because it does use a 6-speed DCT. So it feels more like a traditional automatic transmission out there, rather than the planetary hybrid power split system that we see in Toyota’s hybrids. The big deal for the ionic is the roomy trunk. It is a lift back design like the Prius and has very Prius like cargo capacity behind it, and because of that overall design, it also gives us a roomy and accommodating backseat.
I did find the backseat and the ionic and the Prius a little bit more comfortable than what we see in the Corolla because of the overall roofline profile that we see in the Corolla handling is also surprisingly good in the ionic. Because of the rear suspension design. Especially, which is definitely different than what we see in the Elantra now again on the downside. Overall, acceleration is not going to be any better than the Corolla.
A solid reason to buy the day over the toda in this particular segment would be the warranty, especially if you’re concerned about the hybrid battery system, because Hyundai does give us a lifetime battery warranty on all their hybrids in America. But in my book the next two vehicles are probably the toughest competitors for the Corolla hybrid, and that would first be the Toyota Prius hybrid. It’s obviously right there on the same dealer lot it’s right about the same size, vehicle overall and it’s right about the same price overall as well. Twenty four thousand two hundred dollars that gets you the fifty six miles per gallon version of the Prius.
We get that much bigger cargo area in the rear. It is a huge, huge difference, even though we were able to fit a decent number of bags in the Corolla. It’s still a traditional trunk, so the opening is much smaller and the cargo area itself is smaller and not as practical as what we see in the Prius. Now, in the downside, the Prius is styling is a little eccentric, a little bit unique and that’s one of the big reasons that toto shoppers were asking for a Corolla hybrid as they wanted that sedan.
That looked a little bit more normal and that’s not exactly the Prius at this point now on. The flipside toad has recently given the prius a little bit of a facelift, so it definitely looks a little bit more normal and we have the availability of an e all-wheel drive system, which i think is a pretty big deal for the prius. As i noted in our recent review, putting a tiny electric motor in the back of the prius affects the handling more than i had given it credit for it really really helps improve traction in adverse weather situations and, of course, the big deal there is that it Doesn’t have much of an impact on overall fuel economy and the price tag is still pretty reasonable and not a huge jump over what we see in the Corolla hybrid and now, let’s move on to the competitor that i think is going to cause the most soul. Searching for potential corolla, hybrid shoppers and that’s the Camry Hybrid now I realize that the Camry Hybrid is notably more expensive at twenty eight thousand four hundred dollars.
It’s about a five thousand dollar jump over the Corolla hybrid and a five thousand dollar jump over twenty. Three thousand dollar car is a pretty big leap. It’s going to cost the average consumer. That’s financing their car out there about a hundred extra dollars a month, but the Camry is a much bigger, more comfortable, more premium vehicle and it’s going to handle better and accelerate faster than the Corolla hybrid as well.
That’s because the Camry Hybrid has towed is perhaps most impressive, hybrid system at the moment. It’s their all new, larger four-cylinder hybrid system that produces 208 horsepower and somehow still manages to give you 52 miles per gallon in the Camry. If I’m honest, the hybrid system that we see in the Camry and the Toyota RAV4 is probably the most impressive hybrid system out on the market right now, not because it manages to give us 56, 58 or 60 miles per gallon in a small vehicle, but because It manages to give us the same overall fuel economy, 52 mpg as the Corolla in a midsize family sedan, and I think that’s much more impressive, but more impressive than the 52 miles per gallon is the fact that it gives us 208 horsepower and better zero-to-sixty performance Than the base engine in the Camry and that’s why the hybrid system that we see in the Camry and the related hybrid system that we see in the RAV4 are true no compromises hybrids in America. We also don’t see a very big price jump over the regular Camry into the Camry Hybrid.
It’s a much smaller leap than we see in the Corolla now in real world driving. The Corolla hybrid is going to give you better fuel economy than the Camry Hybrid, but the difference is not going to be enormous and the Camry is going to be more comfortable. It’s going to be quieter on the inside. It’s can handle better.
It’s going to accelerate, significantly faster and it’s going to accommodate child seats and adults much much better than we see in the Corolla. The downside, of course, is the price tag, and that is a pretty big leap, but that’s why I say that it’s the model that’s going to give us the most soul-searching, because is the Camry Hybrid worth the Delta? I would argue yes, the Camry Hybrid is also going to give us a few more upgraded features versus what we see in the Corolla Hybrid and the availability of getting different option levels and different trim levels. So you can get more feature content in that Camry.
On paper, the Corolla hybrid sounds like a great idea. We get Prius fuel economy in a more traditionally shaped wrapper, but when you start scratching the surface, there are definitely better options out there. In my opinion, and the real trouble for the Corolla hybrid is that two of those better options are right there on the tow to dealer lot with it. The first of those options is very obviously the Prius itself, but the other one is again that Camry, Hybrid and the third is the all new, totally I’ve four hybrid.
So you have the choice of getting 40 mpg in your RAV4 or 52 mpg in your Camry. For about the same price – and I think that both of those are definitely worth the jump over the Corolla hybrid and it’s noting that the RAV4 hybrid is going to give you 40 mpg and have all-wheel drive standard for that same price jump over the Corolla. Like this, I realize again that it’s a pretty big jump from a Camry to a Corolla, but I do again think that the Camry is worth the extra cash. Not us I’ll, see you next week.