2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid First Look
- Estimated 50-plus MPG fuel economy
- Standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0
- Standard Entune 3.0 Audio with Apple CarPlay
- On sale next spring
- Pricing should start in low- to mid-$20,000s
Mere weeks ago, Toyota announced that a hybrid version of the Corolla was coming. We now have more information about the gas/electric compact sedan. When Toyota’s all-new Corolla goes on sale next year, it is going to be based on a version of the TNGA architecture, the same sporty yet comfortable platform as the Corolla Hatchback. The same will go for the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid. However, the hybrid one-ups its gas-only sedan sibling with fuel economy that’s projected to meet or exceed the 50-mpg mark.
Adding Efficiency Without Losing Space
Since the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is going to use the latest version of Toyota’s hybrid system, it benefits from smaller packaging. This means that those who choose the hybrid over a gas-only sedan won’t sacrifice interior space in the process. The new hybrid uses an Atkinson-cycle 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine, with two motor/generators with output routed through an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (CVT). The system provides a total output of 121 horsepower. In addition, the nickel-metal hydride battery pack is small enough to fit under the rear seat, maximizing trunk and interior space, yet offers better performance than previous battery packs. This packaging also means the rear bench offers a 60/40-split folding seatback.
While we haven’t driven the Corolla Hybrid just yet, Toyota tells us the driving experience is expected to offer quick acceleration off the line. There is also an EV mode, which allows you to drive the car in electric mode only for short stretches, depending on how much charge the battery has. This is a feature that can be useful when driving in a parking garage looking for a space, keeping you from having to burn fuel in the process. When in EV mode, the Corolla Hybrid’s Vehicle Proximity Notification feature alerts pedestrians that the car is there. There will also be three drive modes to choose from: normal, with a mix of ideal fuel efficiency and power for the situation; eco, which is fuel-economy biased; and sport, which leans toward performance. Regenerative braking also helps maximize fuel economy.
Features, Features, Features
Also aiding fuel efficiency are the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid’s unique wheels and tires. The Hybrid comes with 15-inch alloy wheels with low-rolling-resistance tires. Exclusive to the Hybrid is a 7-inch multi-information display that in addition to the speedometer, shows a hybrid system indicator and a real-time battery charge status indicator. It also offers ECO accelerator guidance to help a driver improve fuel efficiency based on changes to his/her driving style.
The Toyota Corolla Hybrid comes standard with an Entune 3.0 Audio bundle that includes an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay compatibility, 6-speaker audio, Siri Eyes Free, a USB 2.0 port, Bluetooth phone use and audio streaming, and more. There is also an extensive list of standard safety features: The Hybrid comes with eight airbags, the Star Safety System, and the Safety Sense 2.0 suite of advanced safety equipment, including radar-based adaptive cruise control, a pre-collision system, lane departure alert, lane tracing assist, automatic high beams, and road sign assist.
While Toyota hasn’t yet announced official pricing for the 2020 Corolla Hybrid, we expect it’ll cost only slightly more than the gas-only 2020 Corolla, estimated to run in the low-$20,000s. It’s expected to go on sale next spring. The Corolla Hybrid could be just the right car for someone who wants Prius-like fuel economy with more conventional sedan styling.
What is the fuel economy for the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid?
Toyota expects fuel economy for the all-new Corolla Hybrid to be at or above 50 mpg combined. That puts fuel economy just below that of the current Prius, which offers 52 mpg combined fuel economy (54 mpg city, 50 mpg highway). It’s also competitive with the fuel economy of the Honda Insight, which has 48-52 combined mpg depending on trim level.
How much will the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid cost?
Toyota hasn’t yet announced pricing for the 2020 Corolla or Corolla Hybrid, but we anticipate the new Corolla will continue to start around $20,000, and the Corolla Hybrid to start around $22,000-$24,000.
When will the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid go on sale?
The 2020 Toyota Corolla goes on sale in March 2019, and we estimate the Corolla Hybrid will go on sale around May 2019.
2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid at the 2018 LA Auto Show