Skip to main content

2020 Toyota Corolla Trim Levels Explained

The world’s best-selling car is getting a big upgrade. Yes, the Toyota Corolla is being redesigned for the 2020 model year. Customers can expect to begin seeing them at their local dealerships in just a couple short weeks.


One of the most challenging parts about car shopping is narrowing down what trim/grade level you want. Corolla is divided into 6 trim/grade levels, with luxury (L, LE, XLE) and sporty (SE automatic, SE manual, XSE) as the categories to start with. I can help you decide what Corolla level is best for you!

Before we know the differences, it’s important to know what’s standard across the board. All 2020 Corolla levels come with Toyota’s newest safety package Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. In addition to pre-collision system, lane departure alert, full-speed range dynamic range cruise control and auto high beams, drivers get road sign assist, daytime and low light pedestrian detection, daytime bicycle detection and also land tracing assist. Also standard is Apple CarPlay and a minimum 7” touch screen with Entune 3.0. Sorry Android users – Android Auto will not be available in the 2020 Corolla.

Watch what to expect of the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube channel for daily automotive news analysis.

L model – An entry model with strong features.

The 2020 Corolla begins with the L model, and it’s a strong choice for those consumers who are budget-driven. It comes with a 1.8L 4-cylinder engine that delivers 139hp (increase from last year’s 132hp). One of the nice perks is even the L level comes with Bi-LED headlights and LED taillights and stoplights. The multimedia system is Entune 3.0 Audio with a 7” touch screen. This includes Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa commands. There is 1 USB port in the car for charging. Wheel size and appearance is very important to buyers. Expect to see 15” styled steel wheels in the L grade level. The L model will not have keyless entry standard, but you can get this as an option.

LE model – Popular with buyers for a reason.

When you select the LE model, you’re going to expect a few basic essentials. You’ll be driving around on 16” wide vent steel wheels for one thing. Also, you’ll be getting keyless entry standard. The Entune 3.0 Audio multimedia system increases to an 8” screen as well. With the L model, you get climate control with knobs to turn, but the LE has auto climate control with push button controls.

XLE – The classiest of the luxury side.

If you’re one to choose luxury over sporty, and you want the absolute most features, I suggest you test drive the XLE. This is the first level that has alloy wheels – 16” alloy wheels at that.

Buyers will see many standard features here, including softex seating with heated front seats and a power driver seat. Look for a leather steering wheel and shift knob as well. For safety, you’ll get peace of mind with blind spot monitor. Entune 3.0 Audio Plus gives you the gift of SiriusXM and HD Radio with an 8” touch screen.

Look also for moonroof, high grade LED headlights, turn signal indicators in your side mirrors, smart key with push button start and 7” multi-information display..

NOTE: The next 3 sporty levels come with a 2.0 4-cylinder engine giving you 169hp.

SE 6-speed manual – For those who can still drive a stick!

This model is high-performance with 6-speed manual transmission with sport suspension and a sport drive mode. You’ll really enjoy its 18” alloy wheels with dark gray accents. The front grille has a sport mesh style so you know you’re looking at a Corolla Sport.

Expect to see sport seats with sport fabric, color-keyed rear spoiler, side mirrors with turn signal indicators, moonroof, push button start, single exhaust with dual chrome tips, auto climate controls and leather steering wheel and shift knob.

2020 Corolla SE automatic – It’s sporty and it’s great!

The SE automatic is nearly the same as the SE manual. It comes with 18” alloy wheels like it’s manual counterpart. Instead of 6-speed manual transmission, though, you will be choosing continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Other features in the SE automatic are paddle shifters and a radio upgrade to Entune 3.0 Audio Plus with SiriusXM.

XSE – The top of the sporty world

The XSE model is the sporty grade level with the most features. With this level you’ll have sport premium heated fabric seats with softex lining. Your standard multimedia system is Entune 3.0 Audio Plus with SiriusXM and 8” touch screen. Look forward to standard blind spot monitor, 7” multi-information display, push button start and leather steering wheel and shift knob.

Exterior features of note are dark gray rear spoiler, single exhaust with dual chrome tips and moonroof.

Now that you’ve read the breakdown of the grade levels, let us know what 2020 Toyota Corolla is best for you and your family!

You can reach Jeff Teague on Twitter at @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories.


Steven R Weiss (not verified)    March 10, 2019 - 4:56PM

I have an objection. The 2.0 Corolla engine. This engine is a collaboration between Toyota and none other then BMW. I object to a German maker of BMW's sticking its business in Toyota cars-period!
Why does Toyota need BMW in the first place?
It is bad enough, that a Toyota 86 is no Toyota at all. Does Subaru ring s bell with you? Is the new Supra not bad enough, being BMW-ized? A big BOO for Toyota. What are they thinking of, before they leap into bed with BMW? An unholy alliance-just like WW 2? I think this is in retaliation for dropping THE BOMB on Hiroshima and Nagasaki! Some wounds never heal. I will for now, continue to drive my Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T.