2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid - MPGs for the Common Man

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
2020 toyota corolla hybrid mpgs for the common man

Toyota followed its November debut of the twelfth-generation Corolla with a November debut of the twelfth-generation Corolla. This time around, we’re looking at the new Hybrid sedan — a model which seems like it probably should have gone on sale years ago, though we aren’t positive who the intended demographic would be. Prius owners?

While the Corolla Hybrid already exists in Toyota’s expanded universe, this is the first time the automaker has seen fit to bring the variant stateside. The hybrid system unites a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle internal combustion engine (2ZR-FXE) and two electric motors for a combined output of 121 horsepower. Those are rather tepid specs, but the automaker was likely much more concerned with achieving the model’s estimated 50 mpg average fuel economy than tuning the motor for the racetrack.

Consider it sort of a Diet Prius, if that helps.

Of course, Toyota doesn’t want you to think the Hybrid will be a snail. The company claims the electrified setup gives the powerplant some added oomph at low speeds. It also has a sport setting for when you want to wring out every last drop of performance from your economy-focused, CVT-equipped, front-wheel drive sedan.

Alternatively, there’s the default normal, Eco, and EV modes for drivers to choose from during their daily commute. While it’s easy enough to guess how they change the vehicle’s priorities, it should be said that the EV mode allows for electric-only driving only when the vehicle’s nickel-metal hydride battery holds a sufficient amount of energy.

That’s the same power cell that occupies the new Prius AWD-e, if you were wondering. Toyota, which has wisely placed the battery beneath the rear seat to avoid losing interior volume, equipped the model with a braking system that prioritizes regenerative braking as it works in tandem with hydraulic clamps. Intended as a way to send otherwise wasted energy back into the battery, the system also boasts a slick brake hold setting that could be useful in heavy traffic.

Beyond that, there really isn’t much to distinguish the Corolla Hybrid from the standard model. Both will have automatic braking, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep with assist, sign recognition, and automatic high beams as part of the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of safety aids. They’ll also share nearly identical exteriors, as the electrified model doesn’t really wear much telltale badging.

In fact, it might be easier to look for the 15-inch alloy wheels and low rolling resistance tires if you’re out car spotting. The only other sure-fire way to tell is to actually hop into one and check to see if it recommends adjusting your driving to maximize efficiency.

Currently on display at the LA Auto Show, the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid goes on sale in the spring of 2019. Expect pricing and additional details to be announced closer to its launch.

[Images: Toyota]

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2 of 22 comments
  • Ttacgreg Ttacgreg on Nov 28, 2018

    Interesting. I'd take this Corolla's front end styling over the '18 Prius any day, but now that the '19 Prius is out, I'd take that because it has slotty grill and slender squinty headlights, which I have always liked on any vehicle. The big mouth bass grille on the Corolla is a bit over the top. From what this article says, it sounds like they just put the current Prius drivetrain in the Corolla. So essentially this a Prius without being a red hot lightning rod for hatred and stereotyping. Not bad!

  • Vehic1 Vehic1 on Nov 28, 2018

    Probably smart, to produce an economical car without the oddball Prius styling - unless there are truly all that many buyers who feel the need to strongly/loudly advertise their hybrid purchase. Honda's been running those "Meh"- mobile ads for the Insight (obviously mocking the Prius look).

  • CEastwood Seven mil nitrile gloves from Harbor Freight for oil changes and such and the thicker heavy duty gripper gloves from Wally World for most everything else . Hell we used to use no gloves for any of that and when we did it was usually the white cloth gloves bought by the dozen or the gray striped cuff ones for heavy duty use . Old man rant over , but I laugh when I see these types of gloves in a bargain bin at Home Cheapo for 15 bucks a pair !
  • Not Previous Used Car of the Day entries that spent decades in the weeds would still be a better purchase than this car. The sucker who takes on this depreciated machine will learn the hard way that a cheap German car is actually a very expensive way to drive around.
  • Bullnuke Well, production cuts may be due to transport-to-market issues. The MV Fremantle Highway is in a Rotterdam shipyard undergoing repairs from the last shipment of VW products (along with BMW and others) and to adequately fireproof it. The word in the shipping community is that insurance necessary for ships moving EVs is under serious review.
  • Frank Wait until the gov't subsidies end, you aint seen nothing yet. Ive been "on the floor" when they pulled them for fuel efficient vehicles back during/after the recession and the sales of those cars stopped dead in their tracks
  • Vulpine The issue is really stupidly simple; both names can be taken the wrong way by those who enjoy abusing language. Implying a certain piece of anatomy is a sign of juvenile idiocy which is what triggered the original name-change. The problem was not caused by the company but rather by those who continuously ridiculed the original name for the purpose of VERY low-brow humor.