Powertrain: 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 139 hp. 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 169 hp. 1.8 liter 4 cylinder engine with hybrid drive rated at 121 hp. Standard continuously variable transmission. Manual transmission available on SE, XSE.
JUST LAUNCHED: 2020 Toyota Corolla
Technology: Standard LED headlights, daytime running lights and taillights; Upper trims feature LED turn signals. Standard 4.2-inch multi-function display in instrument cluster. Optional 7-inch digital screen allows driver to switch between digital and analog gauges and can be configured to display audio, navigation, fuel information, and other operating data. Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatible. Optional 8-inch touch screen provides access to audio controls, navigation, apps and other vehicle settings.
Safety: Toyota's suite of safety gear is expanded and made standard across the board -- pre-collision warning with vehicle and pedestrian detection, bicycle detection, lane departure alert, intelligent cruise control, forward emergency braking, lane and road sign assist; optional blind spot warning. Rear seatbelt warning. Automatic collision notification.
Competitors: Honda Civic, Mazda3, Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Jetta, Nissan Sentra, Kia Forte.
Strengths: New engine choice, including a hybrid powertrain for the first time, with improved fuel economy. Improved noise, vibration and harshness and enhanced forward visibility.
Weaknesses: On cars with 18-inch wheels and low-profile tires, more noise is transmitted into cabin. No Android Auto available at launch. No plans to offer a turbocharged engine or all-wheel drive.
Bottom line: Arguably the best Corolla to date, and more fun to drive, and a solid entry-level car with abundant safety gear and connectivity. But as the compact car segment shrinks, will Toyota keep investing as much to keep a firm grip on the segment?
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