Car Buying Strategies
Search Car Buying Strategies Makes & Models Select a Make and Model Makes & Models Select a Make and Model New Cars Prices Buying Advice
Home / New Cars / Toyota Buying Guides / 2020 Toyota Corolla

2020 Toyota Corolla Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2020 Toyota Corolla Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: L vs LE, SE CVT vs SE 6MT, XLE & XSE

What 2020 Toyota Corolla Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

Few cars have had the history of this Toyota favorite. It has many rivals, but the Corolla still manages to stay in the top ten with critics and buyers alike. The 2020 Toyota Corolla is continuing the most recent traditions of the brand.

While many rivals now have standard crash avoidance systems, the Corolla was the first to make them standard. In the few years since, Toyota has managed to increase the safety suite. This has kept it ahead of competitors who are catching up with safety tech at this affordable level.

Likewise, the Corolla was one of the first in its price range to have a touch screen or a backup camera. Now it offers Scout GPS Link, which is a navigation system available on the most basic Corolla.

The automaker recently put an emphasis on improving the car's quality and style. While the car doesn't aspire to any premium level, the interior is more refined. This is especially true with the SofTex leatherette editions, such as the XSE and XLE. Furthermore, the exterior is sportier and less boxy.

Price Tip
Before you walk into a dealership, compare prices online first. Give the following pricing services a try:
• Rydeshopper

Compare the 2020 Toyota Corolla L vs LE Trims. What is the difference?

The Corolla L/LE engine generates 139 horsepower and 126 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable transmission helps make the most of the car's power. You can't really argue with the Corolla's fuel economy. It is rated 33 miles per gallon combined. That breaks down to 30 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the interstate.

L/LE dash technology includes Apple CarPlay, Siri Eyes Free, and Amazon Aleza connectivity. It has a USB port and Bluetooth audio to support its touch screen. Toyota includes six months of free Wi-Fi Connect. It also includes three-year trial of Scout GPS Link and a three-year subscription to Safety Connect. The backup camera shows the car's path.

For such an affordable car, the Corolla has many safety angles covered. The car has eight airbags and whiplash-injury-lessening seats. It earned a five-star NHTSA rating, Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is standard. Toyota's pre-collision system can detect cyclists as well as cars. Capability has been improved to recognize pedestrians in low light. Toyota's lane departure alert has an assist to straighten up the vehicle. New this year, the system includes a road detection system and a sway warning.

The full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control will slow and go with traffic. Lane tracing assist pushes this closer to an actual automated system, although it still requires plenty of attention on the part of the driver. It even has road sign assist, letting you know when the speed limit changes.

The L has a 6-way driver's and 4-way passenger's seat. For backseat passengers, the LE adds a center armrest and two cup holders. Other upgrades include chrome door handles, a multi-function key, an additional USB port, and heated power mirrors. LE models have automatic climate controls, allowing the driver to set the temperature.

The LE offers premium fabric in macadamia/beige, black and light gray. There are no options for L buyers. The L comes in only four colors: classic silver, black sand pearl, super white, and celestite gray. The LE has seven colors, but the additional choices add to the price.

A cute shark-fin antenna adds a bit of personality. As the least expensive, L models have plain intermittent windshield wipers and 15-inch steel wheels. LE steel wheels are an inch bigger and have wide vents for brake cooling and aerodynamics. The buyer can choose a package to get 16-inch alloys. On the LE and higher trims, variable intermittent wipers are the standard.

Compare the 2020 Toyota Corolla LE vs Hybrid LE Trims.  What is the difference?

The hybrid powertrain isn't as speedy as the regular Corolla. Directed by an electronically controlled CVT, output is 121 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. However, the fuel economy of the Corolla Hybrid LE easily makes the case for ownership. It earns 53 miles per gallon in the city and 52 miles per gallon on the highway. The combined fuel economy is 19 miles per gallon more than the already frugal Corolla LE.

Just like the regular Corolla, interior volume is 88.6 cubic feet, and cargo volume is 13.1 cubic feet. Rear seats split-fold for more space. The hybrid has a bigger 8-inch touchscreen. It also picks up the smart Key System. This works for the front doors and the trunk. Push button start is a trim standard.

The Hybrid's wheels are the same 15-inch size as the regular L. However, they are made of lightweight aluminum. Hybrids are offered in the same seven colors as the regular LE. However, the interiors are offered in only two colors: black or gray.

Compare the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE vs SE CVT. What is the difference?

The SE CVT has an upgraded CVT and a more powerful engine than the regular Corolla. It boosts horsepower to 169 and torque to 151 pound-feet. Even though the hybrid has better fuel economy, this regular engine will make commutes very affordable. It earns 34 miles per gallon combined. This breaks down to 31 miles per gallon in the city and 40 miles per gallon on the highway.

The CVT has normal and sport driving modes while the Hybrid LE has an Eco mode as well. SE models add paddle shifters to this automatic, allowing the driver to enjoy some manual driving fun.

Dressier than the lower trims, SE CVT models have a different premium cloth upholstery on its premium sport seats. Leather upholstery covers the multi-function steering wheel. Like the hybrid, it has tabs for Bluetooth, the multi-information display, and the safety systems. However, the hybrid has a seven-inch color display behind the steering wheel while the SE CVT has the standard 4.2-inch screen.

The SE exterior looks different from the hybrid due to its sport mesh gray metallic grille. This replaces the more typical black grille. Along the sides, there are gray metallic sport rocker panels. The rear spoiler is the same color as the body, which is offered in seven colors. Sporty 18-inch alloys wear a dark gray accent. Interiors come with sporty light gray/moonstone or all black fabric choices.

Compare the 2020 Toyota Corolla SE CVT vs SE (6MT) Trims. What is the difference?

There are just a few differences between these two trims. The biggest is the six-speed intelligent manual transmission on the SE (6MT). Lane Tracing Assist, a Corolla standard, isn't included because it is related to the CVT. A Smart Key is optional on the regular SE, but it is standard for the manual SE.

You can get a variety of packages on the SE CVT that aren't offered on the SE (6MT). These include a connectivity package with a premium JBL Audio system. A premium package adds a moonroof and Push Button Start. You can also get the advanced lighting package with adaptive headlights and interior ambient lighting.

Compare the 2020 Toyota Corolla SE vs XLE Trims.  What is the difference?

When a buyer steps up to the XLE, the driver's seat and upholstery are upgraded. An eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat has power-operated lumbar support. Toyota's special SofTex has sport fabric inserts like the SE. The front seats can be power-heated. Color choices are black or macadamia/beige.

Behind the steering wheel, the XLE has the larger seven-inch TFT multi-information screen. The Smart Key and Push Button Start are standards. This includes a two-stage unlock system and a trunk release. Continuing the trend toward a dressier Corolla, this one has a moonroof with power tilt and slide. You can get ambient lighting which casts a warm glow at night. At this level in the Corolla lineup, you can finally add a Qi-compatible wireless charger.

Like the SE, the XLE upgrades the LED headlights. It adds adds LED daytime running lights, but it doesn't have the accent lighting you'll find on the SE. Instead its LED lights have a smoked sport trim. There's also a sport mesh insert in its black grille. The 16-inch alloy wheels are upgraded to the sporty 18-inch wheels with dark gray painted accents.

A blind spot monitor is an XLE standard while it is an SE option. You'll want this system which shows up as icons in your side mirrors. It warns you about side traffic. There's a companion rear cross traffic alert which helps in busy parking situations.

Compare the 2020 Toyota Corolla XLE vs XSE.  What is the difference?

The XLE has the regular CVT with intelligence while the XSE gains the Dynamic-Shift CVT which is standard on the SE. This system has a physical first-launch gear. This helps the XSE do better on fuel economy. Rather than the XLE 32 miles per gallon combined, the XSE earns 34 miles per gallon combined. With 31 miles per gallon in the city, the XSE has a two-gallon advantage. It has a one-gallon advantage on the highway.

XSE models are dressed more like SE models. The cars have a sport mesh gray metallic front grille, rocker panels, and accented LED running lights. It does have the smoked sport trim you find on the XLE. Toyota offers all eight color choices, including barcelona red metallic and blue crush metallic. The SofTex color choice includes black, like the XLE. However, the XSE offers an exciting blue and black combination as well.

These two trim levels offer the most sophisticated dashboard system. In this connectivity package, Dynamic Navigation helps you find the best way to your destination. It has Dynamic Voice Recognition for better responses to driver commands. Dynamic POI Search helps you find places faster, whether it's a restaurant or the nearest dog groomer. This package also puts the Qi-compatible wireless charger on the dash.

The advanced lighting package adds an adaptive front lighting system. This allows the car to alter the headlights to match the trajectory of the vehicle. Ambient lighting improves your mood at night.

Buying Tip: To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Rydeshopper,   Edmunds,   CarsDirect,   NADAguides  &  Motortrend. These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.

Which Trim to Choose?

If you must have today's must-have technology, you really don't have to go beyond the entry level L. It will appeal to many people on a budget.

The new hybrid is such a frugal choice that shoppers will see it as a less expensive alternative to the Prius. This should attract many people to choose the Corolla Hybrid LE.

Perhaps the sweet spot in the line up is the Corolla SE. It has more power than the regular trim model or hybrid. This makes it more competitive on the highway. The price is still in line with a tight budget's requirements.

This leaves the XLE and XSE. The cabins are definitely more handsome in these two, and the exteriors are more distinct. When it comes to the top of the line technologies that some buyers want, the only way to get them is to pick one of these two and add a package. Still, for the money, these cars represent an investment. Corollas have good resale values and a reputation for durability.

Save Money on a 2020 Toyota Corolla:
Are you Shopping for a New Vehicle? Find the Best Deals with "Free - No Hassle" Prices Quotes.
Save money on new vehicles

Get up to 4 local dealers to compete for your business by offering free, competitive pricing. Know before you go to the dealer.

Every dealer offers a secret price. Find yours here.

Previous Toyota Corolla Trim Configurations:

Compare the 2019 Toyota Corolla Trim Levels