The Toyota Corolla, best-selling car of all time, arrives next spring as a 2020 model. Sold in 90-plus countries, every Corolla gets the Toyota Safety Sense suite, “with specifications and availability refined for each country.” In the US, that means all Corollas get Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 and six standard safety features, including emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning. TSS on the Corolla does not include blind spot detection, but it’s either optional or standard depending on trim line.
The 2020 Corolla will likely sell for less than $20,000 in the least expensive form. Yet the Corolla will have more driver assists and safety features — standard, across the line — than many luxury sedans costing $50,000 and up. It’s a wakeup call to the auto industry that the two best-selling compact sedans, the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla, have standard safety suites on all grades. Note that Toyota and Honda are doing this not because of government mandates, but because they believe drivers are idiots (well, not exactly how they’d put it) and they can build in this much safety for only a few hundred dollars, making it a sales advantage.
The 2020 Corolla was unveiled at the Guangzhou Motor Show Friday morning (their time) and Thursday night at the California media drive of the 2019 RAV4 SUV.
The J-beam configuration of the SE and XSE’s LED headlamps and clearance lamps. (SE and XSE are the two sporty trim lines.)
The 12th-generation, 2020 Corolla is built around the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) on the inside and an edgier design on the outside. Toyota says the Corolla sedan is similar to the 2019 Toyota Corolla hatchback introduced in the spring. Both use TNGA and a pair of four-cylinder engines. But the Corolla hatch is more than a foot shorter than the sedan and snug in the back seat, where the sedan is reasonable for adults for several hours. The new sedan measures 183 inches long, 70 inches wide, and 57 inches high, with a wheelbase of 106 inches. It’s about a half-inch longer and 0.8 inches lower, with lower seating points to retain similar headroom.
The L, LE, and XLE trim lines (grades) use a modified version of the 1.8-liter, non-turbo four of the previous Corolla sedan. The sporty SE and XSE grades get a new 2.0-liter, direct-injection “Dynamic Force” four with 13:1 compression yielding 169 hp. The Corolla uses a Dynamic-Shift CVT with a physical first gear to take the force of initial takeoff; from there the car runs on the CVT pulley system. A six-speed manual will be offered