By on November 9, 2018

If you lose sleep this weekend, we’ll know why. Toyota plans to debut its next-generation Corolla sedan at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition on November 16th, completing a product revamp that began with this year’s introduction of the Corolla Hatch (formerly Corolla iM, formerly Scion iM).

It’s expected the sedan, now swapped to the TNGA platform, will appear with a familiar face and upgraded mechanicals borrowed from its five-door sibling. With compact cars on the decline, Toyota needs its aging Corolla gone in order to better compete with the Honda Civic. Both models, however, are alike in one way: they’re falling out of favor with consumers.

The 2020 Corolla won’t be alone when it launches next week. A gussied-up version, the Levin, will also appear, built to tempt discerning Chinese near-luxury buyers. Judging by other Corolla variants not found on this continent, the new sedan’s front end should closely mirror that of the Hatch (see above).

2017 Toyota Corolla LE - Image: Toyota

Despite selling in huge numbers, the current-gen Corolla never wowed with its power levels, nor were the front seats capable of not causing pain in this writer’s lumbar region. If the same seats from the Hatch make their way into the new sedan, you’ll be just fine. They’re comfortable chairs. Power shouldn’t be much of an issue anymore, either, as the Hatch debuted with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder boasting 168 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. Whether or not we’ll see a transmission carryover is debatable. The hatch model carries a Dynamic-Shift CVT with a physical launch gear to get things moving; after that, it’s a conventional continuously variable experience. While the hatch also comes with a six-speed manual, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the new Corolla sedan dispense with this fading piece of technology.

Due to the new platform, expect the 2020 model to grow slightly in size, with more cabin volume and rear-seat kneeroom a given.

Corolla sedan sales fell 11.9 percent in October, year over year, and volume over the first 10 months of 2018 show a volume loss of 12.7 percent. With its main rival, the Civic, sells in greater numbers, it’s also on a downward trajectory. Civic volume through October is nearly that of last year’s Corolla sedan volume over the same period. American buyers saw fit to give the Civic a 26 percent sales decline in October, with year-to-date volume down 11.8 percent.

[Images: Toyota]

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11 Comments on “Next-generation Toyota Corolla Sedan to Bow in China...”

  • avatar

    I think the stick shift Corolla sedan is dead in the US already. While there is a rating for it on the EPA’s website, there is no mention of it on the Toyota website. Perhaps it was dropped mid-year?

    The hatch has some (mildly) sporting intentions, so you can get a stick. The sedan is just a… car.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      No, you can still get a 6-speed manual, but only in the SE grade. The SE 6MT is a specific trim level.

      That said, I’m sure it’s not nearly as good as what you’ll find in the Civic, and I doubt it will live to 2020.

  • avatar

    I heard somewhere that a hybrid with more HP was a potential variant. Very relevant to my interests. But the rear seat is tight, which is not. Hopefully they keep the current sedan’s cavernous rear accommodations.

  • avatar

    Toyota is the shining example of bold/refreshing car design. Mazda, while handsome, is a bit reserved. Honda, on the other hand, is an untempered explosion of creative energy.

    When you factor in their Truck/SUV lineup, no other full-lineup manufacturer is even close…stock prices tell the same story.

  • avatar

    Huh, what, huh? A new Corolla? Sorry, I fell asleep.

  • avatar

    This is the best commuting car in America. Super reliable, efficient *and* fitted with standard adaptive cruise control with stop and go, and lane tracing so you don’t even need to steer in traffic jams. Plus you get phone activated remote start. No competition.

  • avatar

    I drive a ‘17 LE Eco. I’ve put 30,000 on it. Seats are not comfortable but the ride is. Driving extremely conservatively, I once managed over 45 mpg on a tank. Overall I get about 40. All systems work with zero drama. Bluetooth has not dropped out once. Came standard with driving assists. I don’t transport adults in the back but I’ve tested it myself and it’s spacious for my knees but a little tight on top at 6’1”. All three kids fit fine. Trunk seems huge to me. Paint seems thin. CVT drones but I’ve never had one before so don’t know if that’s typical or not. Engine power is perfectly adequate. On the rare occasion I have to launch into traffic, there’s no issue. Would buy again if I weren’t planning on it giving it to my kid in three years and going back to driving a Miata.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s a good car for giving to the kids. My daughter drove a 2015 until someone pulled out in front of her and folded it up like crushed Coke can. No injuries to her though which is another plus for this car. The paint was indeed thin. It flaked off like dandruff around the door edges. And, yeah, “CVT drone” seemed more apparent to me than in my Outback but not a huge deal. Corolla is a fine, drama-free, reasonable, driving appliance. Natch, enthusiasts hate them but for lots of folks they fit the bill. The new TNGA-based one will probably do just swell.

  • avatar

    I hear this is the best selling car in the world.

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