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2020 Toyota Corolla Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2020 Toyota Corolla?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 Toyota Corolla? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

Car buyers looking for something that stands out in the compact car category will no doubt take note of the all new 2020 Toyota Corolla. The compact car category is loaded with entries that offer fuel efficiency and a practical, low cost vehicle for daily use. The Corolla has been around a long time, and the 2020 version takes the mundane compact car concept to exciting new heights. The 2020 Toyota Corolla has been completely redesigned with marked improvements in many areas. The all new offering builds upon what was already a popular and intelligent choice in 2019. It features a modern take on the compact car with upgraded interior and exterior styling. It also offers cutting edge technology found mostly in luxury vehicles.

What’s New for 2020?

The list of updates for 2020 starts with an optional hybrid engine available for the first time in a Corolla. The Corolla also sports a modern, minimalist inspired interior. To catch the eye, the Corolla also has a more aggressive exterior with a lower, wider stance and a sport inspired grille. The Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 package is standard on all Corollas for the first time in 2020. This package offers a very generous list of safety technology.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 Toyota Corolla – The Pros

1. Perfect predicted reliability rating

For the second year in a row the Corolla has received a five out of five rating for predicted reliability from J.D. Power. The confidence that the buyer gets when it comes to the reliability of the Corolla is truly a game changer. Buyers can be sure that they are going to get the most out of their purchase when they choose a Corolla.

2. Standard safety features

Every 2020 Toyota Corolla is equipped with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. This suite of active safety features includes adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, forward collision warning and many other features to make driving the Corolla as safe as possible. Some trim levels also include sign recognition and lane tracing with the Safety Sense 2.0 suite.

3. New Hybrid model and great fuel efficiency

New for 2020 is the Corolla Hybrid. This is the first Corolla Hybrid offering. The fuel efficiency numbers for the Hybrid top 50 mpg in the city. The fuel efficiency for the gas models of the Corolla are also impressive with ranges around 31 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway depending on the powertrain configuration.

4. Exciting exterior design

The 2020 Toyota Corolla has an aggressive exterior appearance with a low stance and prominent sport inspired grill. It also features standard LED headlights and taillights with a low profile design. It can be upgraded to include a power moonroof, dual tipped chrome exhaust and heated mirrors with turn signal indicators. The aggressive styling is sure to catch the eyes of buyers looking for more of a statement from their compact car's exterior.

5. Many trim levels

The 2020 Toyota Corolla comes in six trim levels. The variety allows buyers to mix and match upgrades and optional equipment. The base model Corolla L is loaded with standard features like a seven inch touchscreen display, the Safety Sense 2.0 security package, WiFi hotspot and Apple CarPlay. From there the buyer can choose from the LE, SE, XLE and XSE trim levels. The Corolla Hybrid is also listed as a trim level with unique features all its own.

6. Multiple powertrain options.

While all Corollas have front wheel drive, there are three available transmissions as well as two gasoline engine options. The L, LE and XLE all have the base engine. It is a 1.8 liter four cylinder engine that puts out 139 horsepower. These trim levels also have a standard CVT transmission with shift mode. The SE and XSE trim levels feature the upgraded 2.0 liter engine. The more powerful engine is paired with CVT transmission and gets 169 horsepower for added acceleration. Also available at the SE trim level is a six speed manual transmission.

7. Modern Interior features

The Corolla comes with a standard seven inch touch screen that is mounted high in the center of the dash. It is a large feature of the interior and stands out against the minimalist interior design. The interior is sleek and simple with few buttons and gadgets to complicate the driving experience. It also comes standard with a WiFi hotspot. Each Corolla also comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Siri voice recognition. The trim on the interior is accented with piano black features to add to the sleek feel.

8. Premium upgrades

The Corolla comes with excellent standard equipment, but also offers outstanding upgrades. Buyers that are not happy with the base Corolla L can add premium equipment and styling features. The infotainment system can be changed to an eight inch touch screen with a customizable homepage. The climate control system can be upgraded to include automatic functions. There are also smart key capabilities, sport seats with premium upholstery, wireless device charging and ambient lighting.

9. Advanced Apple mobile device compatibility

For Apple mobile device lovers, the 2020 Toyota Corolla offers excellent options to connect the vehicle to Apple devices. The standard Apple CarPlay and Siri HandsFree options allow buyers to make the most of their Apple products. Also available is the Remote Connect feature. This premium addition to the Corolla allows Apple watch owners to locate, start and operate some functions of the vehicle. The Corolla also has compatibility with other mobile devices for non Apple users.

10. Fun to drive features

The 2020 Toyota Corolla has plenty of available features for buyers that like an exciting driving experience. It comes standard with an updated suspension system that makes the ride smoother and more comfortable. Some trim levels offer sport tuned suspensions to increase sportiness while driving. The Corolla can also incorporate paddle shifters on the steering wheel and an optional sport driving mode to enhance the more powerful engine's capabilities.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 Toyota Corolla – The Cons

1. Limited passenger and cargo space

The Corolla has less rear passenger head and leg room than the previous year model. While it seats five people, adults may feel cramped in the back seat. The trunk offers a below average 13 cubic feet of cargo space, and the 60/40 split rear seat does not fold down fully which also limits cargo hauling capability.

2. Under powered base engine

The base engine for the Corolla struggles to perform well in driving situations. The vehicle feels under powered to many drivers which prompts the buyer to upgrade to the more potent 2.0 liter engine.

3. CVT transmission is not for everyone

While the transmission in the Corolla is not incapable, the driving feel of a CVT can be off putting. The Corolla also comes in an optional manual shift transmission and dynamic shift CVT configurations to compliment the more powerful engine option. Again, buyers may feel uncomfortable with the base powertrain option.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

The Corolla makes an excellent option for buyers exploring the compact car category. Its biggest strength is the complete redesign for 2020. The Corolla has a much more modern design than competitors. Other leading compact cars include the Kia Forte and the Honda Civic.

Compared to the Forte, the 2020 Toyota Corolla offers superior predicted reliability standard. While the Corolla costs more than the Forte, it sets itself apart with a very generous standard safety offering. The Safety Sense 2.0 package that comes standard with every Corolla greatly exceeds the offerings made by the base model Forte. The Corolla also has a more refined standard suspension and offers an additional sport tuned suspension. The Forte has a stiffer ride and no optional upgrades. The Forte is newly redesigned in 2019, and offers a superior warranty to buyers, but the Corolla will definitely attract buyers with its mix of standard features and optional upgrades.

The Honda Civic is a very strong entry in the compact car category. It offers a sporty driving experience, more cargo space and excellent fuel economy compared to the Corolla. Many buyers will have a hard time choosing between these two vehicles due to the similarities. They are similarly priced and offer similar warranties. The Civic was refreshed in 2019 so it has some updated styling, but it is not as modern and technologically advanced as the Corolla.


Toyota put a lot of thought into making the 2020 Toyota Corolla stand out in the compact car category. It offers buyers plenty of options to choose from with a variety of trim levels and multiple powertrain options. The Corolla hybrid will also attract many first time buyers of the Corolla. The sleek, modern design on the interior and the aggressive exterior appearance makes a bold choice for compact car buyers. It also has a very generous list of standard features including the Safety Sense 2.0 technology suite, WiFi hotspot and standard LED headlights.

When buyers combine these features with the perfect predicted reliability score and reasonable price tag, the Corolla is tough to beat in the compact car category.

Previous Toyota Corolla Buying Guides:

Why buy a 2019 Toyota Corolla? w/ pros vs cons