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Two of the most well-known sedans out there have to be the Toyota Corolla and Camry. These two vehicles have both been around for quite a while. In fact, the 2020 model of the Corolla is kicking off its twelfth generation. As for the Camry, it is currently in its eighth generation, which debuted back in 2018.
Both options have advantages over the other. The smaller Corolla offers outstanding more cutting-edge safety features and impressive fuel economy, making it a great commuter. It also has a hatchback variation to consider. At the same time, the Camry is available with all-wheel drive and has a more spacious backseat and trunk.
Those are just a few differences between the two. In this guide, a detailed comparison will be made between the Corolla and Camry, addressing all of the major vehicle components. The goal is to simplify choosing between the two.
Size and Styling
Interior volume is a measurement that gives buyers an idea of how roomy the cabin of a vehicle will be. For the Corolla sedan, this number is 88.6 cubic feet. The Camry gives passengers a bit more breathing room with its 100.4 cubic feet. Legroom is more or less identical for the front rows of these two vehicles. In the backseat, however, the Camry has a little over three more inches of legroom when compared to the Corolla.
The Camry is roomier when it comes to the shoulder and hip room in both rows of seats. In the front, the Camry has 57.7-inches for shoulder and 55.4-inches for the hip. The Corolla measures in at 54-inches for shoulder and 53.9-inches for the hip. Moving to the back row, the Camry has 55.7-inches for the shoulders and 54.7-inches for the hips, while the Corolla has just 51.7-inches for shoulder and 51.3-inches for the hip.
On top of offering more room for people, the Camry has some extra cargo space. In the base model, buyers will find 14.1 cubic feet. All other models jump up to 15.1 cubic feet. The Corolla, on the other hand, has 13.1 cubic feet in all 2020 sedan models. Buyers can always go with a Corolla hatchback, which will give them 17.8 cubic feet behind the second-row and a maximum capacity of 23.2 cubic feet.
The Corolla is classified as a small sedan. Drivers will have an easy time maneuvering it around busy city streets and fitting it into tight parking spaces. The vehicle is approximately 183-inches long, 70-inches wide, and 57-inches in height.
As for the Camry, it is both longer and wider. This vehicle is approximately 193-inches long and 72-inches wide. It is more or less the same height as the Corolla, however. The Camry is classified as a midsize sedan.
Both the Corolla and the Camry are offered in paint colors that are more classic than fun. The Corolla has a total of eight options, including Black Sand Pearl, Blue Print, and Blizzard Pearl. Buyers will find they have nine different paint colors to choose from if they go with the Camry. Examples here include Midnight Black Metallic, Supersonic Red, and Super White.
Those who are after power are going to prefer the Camry. The Corolla's redesign for 2020 gives it a more efficient engine than in years past, however. Ultimately drivers will need to see which combination of fuel economy and power is the most appealing.
The Corolla has two engine choices. For the first three trims, Toyota goes with a 1.8L four-cylinder that makes 139-horsepower and 126 lb-ft of torque. It works with a continuously variable transmission.
The top two trim levels get more power with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine. It generates 169-horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. This engine also has a CVT, but it is more advanced and includes paddle shifters. For the SE trim only, a six-speed manual transmission is available as well. The Corolla is only available with front-wheel drive.
Similarly, the Camry has two different engines. The standard is a 2.5L four-cylinder that makes 203-horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque for most models. When this engine is underneath the hood of the XSE, it manages to pump out 206-horsepower along with 186 lb-ft of torque instead.
Optional for the XLE and XSE models is a 3.5L V6 engine with the ability to make 301-horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. No matter which engine is selected, an eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. Front-wheel drive is also standard, but all-wheel drive can be had on the LE model or higher if it is equipped with the smaller engine.
Fuel economy numbers vary for both the Corolla and Camry depending on the engine. Both vehicles offer up phenomenal numbers, however. For the standard Corolla engine, buyers get 30mpg in the city and 38mpg on the highway. The more powerful engine actually manages to do a bit better, getting 31mpg city and 40mpg on the highway when paired with the CVT. The SE with the manual transmission gets 29mpg city and 36mpg highway.
The Camry does better than most cars in its class when comparing fuel efficiency. The base engine gets 29mpg in the city and 41mpg on the highway. Opting to go up to the V6 will reduce these numbers significantly, down to 22mpg city and 36mpg highway. Going with all-wheel drive and the four-cylinder engine will mean getting 25mpg city and 34mpg highway.
For 2020, the Corolla has a redesigned suspension that has done wonders for its ride quality. This suspension is on the stiffer side, but it feels appropriate for the sporty feel that the Corolla is going for. The Camry also offers up a fun drive, complete with direct steering and sporty handling. Both vehicles do a good job of absorbing bumps and blocking out wind and road noise.
J.D. Power gives vehicle ratings based on their predicted reliability. The Camry receives 3.5 stars out of a possible five. This is slightly above average. The Corolla was awarded a truly impressive 4.5 stars out of five.
Comfort, Options, and Performance
There are five versions of the Corolla sedan for buyers to look at. Those who want the hatchback have just two trim options. As for the Camry, there are a total of six variations for the buyer's consideration. Both call their trim levels the L, LE, SE, XLE, and XSE. The Camry also has a TRD model.
The entry-level L trim of both the Corolla and Camry is well-equipped. They both feature a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, and a WiFi hotspot. Buyers will also find Apple CarPlay compatibility on both. Android Auto, on the other hand, is standard on the Camry and not even available for the Corolla. This is especially surprising considering that the Corolla just underwent a redesign.
When comparing the LE trims, the Corolla gains an edge. It comes standard with an upgraded infotainment system that includes an 8-inch touchscreen. This is merely optional for the Camry LE. The Corolla also adds automatic climate control, heated outside mirrors, and remote keyless entry to this model. Alloy wheels and power-adjustment for the driver's seat are the two main upgrades made by the Camry LE.
The exterior of the SE trim of both the Corolla and Camry is sportier looking than other models. This where Toyota adds automatic climate control to Camry's list of equipment. Both models also get interior upgrades such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
At the XLE level, the Camry finally upgrades to the larger touchscreen. It also gets genuine leather upholstery. The Corolla XLE, on the other hand, has synthetic leather. Heated front seats are standard for both. While the Corolla upgrades with things like a 7-inch driver information display, the Camry gains wireless device charging and dual-zone automatic climate control.
For the top-of-the-line Corolla XSE, Toyota gives the vehicle all the luxury features in the XSE, plus the larger engine. The Camry XSE gets a sport-tuned suspension and squeezes a bit more horsepower and torque out of the four-cylinder engine. It is also eligible for the V6.
The Toyota Camry TRD gets the V6 automatically. It rides on 19-inch alloy wheels and adds an aerodynamic body kit. Also setting this trim apart is its specialized suspension and braking, as well as stylistic touches like aluminum alloy sport pedals. While certainly exciting, the TRD is unlikely to have broad appeal. The Corolla is not missing out by skipping this trim level.
As for the Corolla hatchback, it is available in the SE and XSE trims. It can only be had with the 2.0L engine option. The hatchback versions are equipped the same as their sedan counterparts.
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The 2020 Camry comes equipped with Toyota Safety Sense-P. Due to its recent redesign, the Corolla has the more advanced Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. This alone may sway some consumers to go with the smaller and less expensive Corolla.
All trim levels of the Camry come with lane keep assist, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. They all also have forward-collision warning complete with pedestrian detection as well as automatic emergency braking. A variety of driver aids are available for select trims, including a blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, a head-up display, and a surround-view camera system.
As for the Corolla, it has all of the same standard features as the Camry. It further adds lane trace assist and traffic sign recognition. This vehicle also has a more advanced pedestrian detection system. Both blind-spot monitoring and adaptive headlights are available on higher trims.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash-tested the 2020 models of both vehicles. For the Corolla, they awarded five out of five stars overall. The vehicle got five stars in frontal and side crash testing and four stars for rollover testing. Buyers may be interested to know that the Camry did even better. It received five out of five stars overall, plus five stars in all three individual categories.
Another trusted source in safety testing is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Both the 2020 Corolla and Camry got a "good" in the six different crash tests performed. They both also earned a "superior" rating for the effectiveness of the frontal crash prevention systems.
Which Model to Choose?
Both the Corolla and Camry have starting prices that are a little high for their respective class. That said, buyers can get a Corolla for around $4,500 less than the Camry. Factoring in its extra safety features and all the modern touches, this may be enough to convince some buyers.
On the flip side, the Camry is more spacious. It offers families more room to stretch out and more cargo space than the Corolla sedan. The fact that it comes standard with Android Auto is also highly appealing. It is also important to remember that the standard engine for the Camry is more powerful than any engine offered by the Corolla.
Ultimately, the 2020 Toyota Corolla is the way to go for anyone looking to spend as little as possible. It makes a great daily driver. Families, on the other hand, will be better served by the 2020 Toyota Camry.