2020 Toyota Corolla checks every box but one.
John Goreham's picture

Toyota's New 2020 Corolla Has It all - Except For This One Important Thing

The all-new Toyota Corolla checks every box but one.

Toyota's all-new Corolla will be much better positioned as a true Honda Civic Competitor for 2020. The Corolla has been a great car, but as it aged it had fallen behind the Civic in many meaningful ways. The new Corolla brings gets an entirely different platform, all-new drivetrains, a new interior, and many more updates. Unfortunately for half of the adult population, it's not fully compatible with your smartphone.

First the good news. The new Corolla will have much more power in top trims. Base L trims and the LE and XLE continue on with the outdated 1.8-liter engine. It works just fine and has proven reliable, but it is short on power and torque for this class. The 2.0-liter normally aspirated engine that the Corolla Hatchback recently showed up with is the new engine. With 169 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque, it adds an important bump in power and twist. The 2.0-liter engine gets Toyota's new transmission that features a gear and a CVT. We've driven it and it works well. The stick shift option will remain, but Toyota didn't specify exactly which trims will have that option. The big news here is the shifter has automatic downshift rev-matching.

Like every new Toyota model, the Corolla will also get a comprehensive package of active safety features standard. Most safety syetms are included, but blind spot monitoring is by trim and option package. We didn't see rear cross traffic alert on the list. Expect the Corolla to be an IIHS Top Safety Pick.

2020 corolla

The infotainment system seems like the same one Toyota is launching its new models with. This includes Alexa and Apple CarPlay, but not Android Auto. How Toyota can still be launching new models without Android Auto is a complete mystery. Half of the adult population in America and about 80% internationally use Android Auto. Without this feature, integrating Google Maps, Waze, Pandora and other important apps to the Corolla's screens isn't possible. Android Auto is available in every other top-selling car in this class and has been for years. Toyota seems to be going backward with regards to infotainment overall.

2020 corolla

Toyota offered some hints at the size comparison of the 2020 Corolla to its previous model year. It rides on the same wheelbase and is slightly lower. Toyota did not offer any interior volume comparison, so we will assume it is unchanged, or slightly smaller. The new platform and other changes result in a new driving position that is lower and that helps lower the center of gravity. With the huge rise in crossover popularity is a lower seat really a benefit?

The new Corolla arrives at dealers in the spring of 2020. We look forward to a test drive to report on more of the changes.

Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.


With a recent test drive I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of features and handling of the 2019 Corolla hatchback. As mentioned in this article the lack of Android is rather shortsighted. Another detriment for me is the no-choice ridiculous 18" wheels/tires on the XSE model. Still waiting for competition to my 2012 RAV4 V6 – nothing currently out there that I'd considering buying.