By on February 26, 2019

2020 Toyota Corolla

I had a nickname for the Toyota Corolla once. Back in my days as an overly judgmental prepubescent teenage boy, I used to call Toyota’s honest economy car the “Crapolla.” Growing up in an affluent North Jersey neighborhood in the ‘90s, everyone and their mother had a Bimmer, Benz, or even a Bentley. If you drove a Corolla, you were either a maid at the McMansion down the street or the underpaid seventh-grade social studies teacher of the local school district.

Although a by-word for cheap, efficient, reliable, and honest transportation, I simply couldn’t see beyond its reputation as a soulless tin econobox. It was far from a total dog. Yet, it still clearly gave off the impression that it was for people who didn’t have a pulse and couldn’t care less about cars or driving them. And let’s be honest, with the Toyota Corolla surpassing the Volkswagen Beetle as the best-selling automotive nameplate in history – over 46 million Corollas sold over its 11 generations – the vast majority of the car-buying public might have a questionable pulse.

My teen years were almost 20 years ago and the Corolla has certainly changed since then. Up until 2012, the Toyota Corolla maintained complete anonymity and was more inconspicuous than a loaf of Wonder Bread. It was hardly any more exciting than the loaf in nearly every aspect.

With the emergence of the eleventh-generation Corolla, Toyota began slightly hinting at the prospect of injecting some cheerfulness to the Corolla’s cheap portfolio. In what seems like a perpetual upswing towards this goal, particularly with the recent reintroduction of the Corolla five-door hatchback, has Toyota finally swung a hit with the twelfth-generation sedan?

To find out, the Japanese auto giant flew me to Savannah, Georgia for the national media drive of its newest compact sedan, which includes a completely new hybrid model.

­(Full disclosure: Toyota paid for my flight to Savannah, my meals, and my hotel room.)

2020 Toyota Corolla

Previously, looking at a Toyota Corolla was just about as stimulating and exciting as watching paint dry. Its simple mission meant simple looks and with it, a reputation as an unremarkable transportation appliance.

For what seems like the first time ever, the Corolla now comes with actual styling – it no longer resembles a toaster oven on wheels.

The Corolla benefits from a relatively radical redesign. Its curvaceous roofline and swept-back profile is complemented by unique “double-“ or “triple-J” LED bi-beam headlights (depending on the trim), giving it a sporty and hip appearance. And it looks even more aggressive in top SE and XSE forms with 18-inch wheels, quad exhaust tips, and rear diffuser.

Proportionally, the only thing that remains the same as the previous model is its wheelbase. Otherwise, the new sedan is shorter in length and height by almost an inch, and about a third of an inch wider than the outgoing model.

2020 Toyota Corolla

The new sedan essentially adopts the same interior layout and appearance as the Corolla hatch. Top-notch and quality materials festoon the insides, given the price point and segment. The dashboard swoops outward for a more driver-centric angle, bringing the center console into easier reach. It also slopes downward, versus the previous model’s upright shape, giving the cabin a much airier feel. Overall, the Corolla’s interior remains functional, practical, and space efficient, making the most use out of every inch of the car’s compact dimensions.

All L, LE, and LE Hybrid models come standard with a seven-inch color touchscreen infotainment system, while the upper-tier XLE, SE, and XSE models gain a larger eight-inch interface. Standard kit includes all sorts of wireless and phone connectivity capabilities like Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay; and Toyota’s suite of safety systems, bundling pedestrian and bicyclist detection with automatic braking, radar-guided cruise control, and road-sign reading assist. Toyota representatives did say that Android Auto will roll out later in the Corolla’s product cycle. Choose the XLE, SE, and XSE cars, and the Corolla gets the option for a JBL premium audio system.

2020 Toyota Corolla

The outgoing model’s base 139-horsepower, 1.8-liter naturally-aspirated four-banger carries over as the base engine with 126 lb-ft of torque. A welcome addition is the new and more powerful 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated mill from the Corolla hatch with 169 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. And for the first time ever, a new hybrid model transplants the Prius’ 121-hp powertrain directly into the sedan. So you can enjoy the fuel-saving benefits of the Prius without the tree-hugging snobbery.

Regardless of the engine, fuel economy remains a hallmark for the Corolla, with the lowest figure bottoming out at 29 mpg in the city cycle. Highway ratings top out at 38 mpg for the gas models. The Corolla Hybrid is rated for up to a whopping 53 mpg.

A continuously-variable automatic transmission (CVT) with 10 preprogrammed, imitated gears remains the sole automatic choice for the gasser engines. It’s smoother than previous versions, dialing out nearly all of the “rubber-band feel” associated with CVTs, except at throttle levels above 60 percent. A slick-shifting six-speed manual is available on the SE models only.

2020 Toyota Corolla

Like the manual in the Corolla hatch, it comes with a clever “iMT” rev-matching program that smooths out upshifts and downshifts with automatic throttle blips. It can be disabled if you want to heel-toe your own downshifts. Sure, such tech can also be found on a Chevrolet Corvette or a Nissan 370Z. But on a car like the Corolla, it’s a neat function to have. Though I wish the gearing or final-drive ratio were shorter; and the clutch engagement is a bit vague, with light pedal feel.

Thanks to Toyota’s latest rendition of its “TNGA” modular architecture, the Corolla benefits from a 60 percent stiffer chassis than the outgoing model. Gone is the cost-cutting and rudimentary rear “beam” axle in favor of a far superior four-way multilink fully-independent suspension setup for all models. A MacPherson arrangement remains up front.

Without beating around the bush, the new Corolla undoubtedly sets a new benchmark for handling for the nameplate. This is single-handedly and by far the best-driving and best-handling front-wheel drive Corolla, ever made, full-stop.

2020 Toyota Corolla

When compared to the competition, it might not be as sharp as the outgoing Mazda3 sedan, or as perfected as the slightly more expensive Honda Civic. But again, by Corolla standards, the sedan, especially in sport SE and XSE form, is a road-hugging revelation, with excellent brakes to boot.

Opting for the SE or XSE models reveals an observable difference when compared to the non-sport L, LE, and XLE models. The latter experienced more lane wandering at speeds, but a suppler ride due to the smaller 16-inch wheel and softer tire combination on the non-sport models. With the sport models’ 18-inch wheels and stiffer rubber, the Corolla felt like it stuck to the road better with more stable straight-line tracking and less tramlining.

For the first time ever, it’s safe to say that the Toyota Corolla finally climbs up on my list as a top recommendation for compact economy sedans. No longer is it the “Crapolla” I grew up dreading as a life-long car enthusiast. Prior, it was far easier to recommend its competition for just being more interesting as a package and from behind the wheel.

But thanks to extensive revisions, attention to detail, and a desire to inject some character and personality into its cars, the new Corolla sedan joins the hatchback in Toyota’s bid to shed its beige reputation. And it does so with a very solid effort.

[Images © 2019 Chris Chin/TTAC, Toyota]

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80 Comments on “2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan & Hybrid – Finally Getting Cheerful...”


  • avatar
    mechimike

    It would be difficult for Toyota to worse than the outgoing model. I rented a 2018 for a week on a recent trip. Despite being burdened only with transporting myself and my laptop bag, the thing was an absolute dog to drive. The transmission felt like it was run off of vacuum cleaner drive belts, and the seats were….minimalist. Dashboard do-dads had a distinct 80’s PC vibe to them- and not in a good way.

    When I finally got home, and plopped down in my 2018 Mazda 3 hatch, I felt a wave of happiness come over me.

    • 0 avatar
      NiceCar

      During a five-day trip to LA last September, I almost got a Corolla off he Hertz lot. But sitting in it, it just had a bad vibe, didn’t like it. I drove it around the lot a few times and then switched it out for an Elantra. I know it may be ridiculous to make distinctions at this level, but the Elantra proved to be everything I could wish for in a rental car.

    • 0 avatar
      salmonmigration

      At the airport I’ll pick a rental Corolla over everything except a Soul (best rental car in the world) or an Elantra (best rental sedan).

      They’re okay inside, the Toyota head unit is garbage, they usually smell good, and they drive fine. What else do you expect from paying Hertz $37/day? It’s still a better car than a Cruze, Focus, 200, Verano, or Altima, god forbid.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      On the 80s vibe comment. I had a 2017 Corolla S as a rental and the stand-alone digital clock ala 1980s is still there. I figure Toyota will be done going through that parts supply from the accidental over order in 1987 at some point. ;-)

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        I love Toyota’s old school digital clock. Much easier to see at a quick glance than the time imbedded in my uconnect screen on my Chrysler, for example (or the analog clock)

  • avatar
    theBrandler

    It’s till slow. I mean come on Toyota, you’ve got that 184hp 4 banger from the Camry. Shove that in here like you did in the Scion Tc and make a real winner!

  • avatar
    syncro87

    TTAC, formerly one of my favorite sites, is increasingly disappointing lately. Am I the only one? Review quality has declined as have other things on the site. Ace of Base, and a couple other tidbits keep me showing up, but man, it seems like a lot of good contributors have departed, and overall article quality has gone down a bit.

    Today’s beef slash rant slash TRIGGERED (lol):

    The tree hugging snobbery comment about the Prius…really? Aren’t we over that tired stereotype yet? And is it necessary in a Corolla review?

    I (we) own a Prius. Yep, flame away. Trees were the last thing we considered when buying it. Environmental impact wasn’t even on the radar. My wife drives a lot of miles, a car is an appliance to her, and she wanted maximum FE and good safety features, with a hatchback. We generally drive, if anything, too fast (need to work on this), and frequently in the Prius and our other car, I find myself in the passing lane behind the guy in a much more powerful car, doing exactly the speed limit, but won’t move right.

    Anecdote two. My folks also own a Prius, the last gen, unlike our current gen. Republican, gun owners, et cetera. Pretty much the antithesis of what you are insinuating about Prius owners. By the way, they are about the least pretentious people on the planet. They also, by the way, own a Dodge 2500 quad cab 4×4 diesel pickup with a manual transmission…not exactly what the typical Sierra Club member drives.

    Boring anecdote three. The third person I can think of offhand who I know and who owns a Prius is a male RN who is a coworker in the ER at a local hospital. The guy is a hunting fanatic, forges his own knives, and goes on hog hunts in OK and TX regularly where he and his buddies kill the things with said knives, not guns. The guy is, to a fault probably, a massive Trump supporter and hard core conservative. Pretty sure he has a whole arsenal of guns and probably enough ammo hoarded to fight a small war. Nicest guy you’ll ever meet, too.

    Anyway, just had to chime in that I found the Prius comment to be silly.

    • 0 avatar
      jatz

      Dude fell out of the twerp tree and hit every cliche on the way down.

    • 0 avatar

      The comment may be silly but that’s the perception.

      I, for one, am glad you are who you are and run counter to that stereotype. AND provided two other examples of people who buck the stereotype.

      FWIW my reservation in the beginning was with the longevity of these and similar vehicles. but it seems whether Prius or Volt, they’re holding up as well as an ICE one.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        The stereotype is tired and as pointed out above, often not the case. Then again, I’ll take the tree hugger image over that of a brain-dead lifted diesel truck owner any day of the year.

    • 0 avatar
      A Scientist

      I get your frustration, and I agree, but honestly, is there anything you can drive these days that DOESN’T come with some tired, cliched, and inaccurate stereotype? Partial list of ones just off the top of my head:

      Corvette: Middle-aged balding man going through a midlife crisis

      Camaro: Redneck wearing Oakley sunglasses

      Mustang: Look out, we’re all about to die

      Full-size truck (x10 if lifted): “Awww, sorry about your small PENIS bro!”

      Any CUV (formerly any minivan): Suburban soccer mom

      Mercedes: Desperate housewife of a plastic surgeon

      BMW: Ahole (ok even a broken clock is right twice a day)

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      Reading back through my original post, perhaps I was a bit salty this morning.

      It might be the world in general. Seems like everyone is becoming more polarized, more likely to buy into preconceived notions of people with different views / lifestyles than themselves. You’re either one of “us”, or one of “them”, and “they” are all (insert negative term of choice here).

      So, anyway, sorry for being testy this AM, but the whole thing of people categorizing others (usually negatively) due to political affiliation, what they drive, etc, is irritating me a bit lately, and the Prius comment touched a nerve.

  • avatar

    Along with the Camry the Corolla is the car that regulated Detroit to a truck and SUV producer. In many ways it is the most influential car of the last half century.

    Is there anything Toyota cannot do?

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      They haven’t been able to put out a full size pickup that really put any pressure on the US domestic manufacturers. The Tundra seems pretty much like an also-ran.

      • 0 avatar

        Maybe, but Toyota has not given up on trucks and large SUVs. In fact the RAV4 is the country’s best selling CUV. Toyota does not surrender entire market segments like the big three.

        Toyota is now almost as large as both Ford and GM combined. GM is 30% smaller than it was in 2009. GM lost a huge chunk of their market share after they left Europe last year.

        • 0 avatar
          syncro87

          Fine…what you say is correct about the RAV4, but my comment had nothing to do with the RAV, with Toyota in general as a company, or with how big GM, Ford, or Toyota are worldwide.

          You asked if there was anything they (Toyota) can’t do. I listed one specific example of something they have tried and failed at, in response to your question. They may or may not be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but they have failed at that one thing.

          Two Toyotas in my driveway, so I’m not anti Toyota by any means.

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            I’m not sure I’d call the Tundra a failure. Here in Ground Zero for pickups (Texas) I see plenty of them. I don’t think Toyota had hopes of taking over the pickup market like they’ve done with the Corolla, Camry and RAV-4; the pickup crowd is highly loyal to their brand. Toyota just wanted in on the action and they’ve done that. My FIL is on his 3rd Tundra (trades in at 300k, which he achieves every 4 years); he’ll buy nothing but after a long career driving Ford and GMs.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Despite their best efforts Toyota still cannot make hydrogen powered vehicles a thing.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Toyota doesn’t seem to be able to stop the decline of sedan sales, despite bold proclamations that the Camry would do just that. Yep, still in the red after a brief reprieve when the all-new model hit showrooms. Now, it’s back to stuffing rental fleets to prop up sedan sales. At least they have a million-sales-a-year cash cow like the F-150. Wait…

      But, AS ALWAYS, please dont let facts get in the way of your trolling.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        Do keep in mind that the Camry is built on flex lines and can easily be shifted to Highlanders as needed. Yes the sedan market is dwindling; Camry will remain the best seller.

        • 0 avatar
          Peter Gazis

          Dave M.

          Plenty of room in Indiana for Toyota to build Highlanders. Moving production to Kentucky would be pointless.

          I think Toyota will move Camry production to the small factory their building in Alabama, and give their Georgetown KY megafactory to Tesla.
          It happened before in Freemont CA.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    I grew up in northern New Jersey as well Mr. Chin – and I remember your type.
    Personally, I would rather hang out with the Corolla drivers.

    • 0 avatar
      jatz

      Thank you.

    • 0 avatar

      Didn’t grow up in NJ, but that’s universal.

      The kid was just riding in a fancy car. The fancy car was owned by his parents and the kid was just along for the ride. Kid, you didn’t buy that, your parents did. You had nothing to do with the ride, nothing.

      “My dad is going to something about this, it’s not fair.” I had that happen to me mowing the lawn for the summer at the corporate headquarters of a company where my old man worked in the factory mixing chemicals all day. There were 3 of us, all there because dad worked for the company. The other 2 dads were executives. It was decided they didn’t need 3 but only 1. I was kept and one of the other Elois said that to my face.

      I guess the chosen one wasn’t used to not getting his way. Hopefully his old man said “Shut the blank up” to him. I wouldn’t be surprised, the executives were pretty decent people.

  • avatar
    jatz

    Preserve this article as Exhibit A for everything wrong with today’s auto journos.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Yep.

      “For what seems like the first time ever, the Corolla now comes with actual styling – it no longer resembles a toaster oven on wheels.”

      I stopped reading after this.

      Classic autojournalist BS: ‘Let’s be honest guys, the old one sucked! This new horribly ugly one is exciting!’

      Imagine growing up in affluence only to end up as a second rate grifter of press trips and freebies.

      • 0 avatar
        jatz

        Truth.

        It’s one thing to produce a spoiled snot; it’s quite another to let them venture into the world on their own.

        • 0 avatar
          Nick_515

          It’s the first paragraph that got to me. That paragraph was one of those, are you being honestly self-deprecating and trying to correct the bias of social class, or are you using that as a cover to continue poking fun at “the social studies teacher”?

          Lost between the lines is the fact that the Corolla of the 1990s was one of the best Corolla’s ever, and arguably had more dignity that many other iterations of the nameplate. G*d forbid some of that actual analysis made it through.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            yeah, my eyes glaze over. what is it with guys (and it’s always guys) who can’t stop talking about their adolescence/teenage years? I’m glad I left those behind decades ago.

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            I understand his perspective. The “creme-de-la-creme” of Corollas was 20+ years ago in the early 90’s…since then they have pretty much been an appliance; I’ve rented a few. I’ve never been one to discourage Corolla buyers, much like Camry buyers. Some people just need a reliable appliance on a daily basis, something that’ll last 10 years with minimal input. That’s not me but I’m ok with that. I recommend them to people who ask me for a suggestion and an appliance is all they need.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        There’s a reason why they’re circulating a dark grey sedan as a press car.

        Saw new Corollas at the auto show, and the plastic triangles bookend the side windows front and back in a way that looks unbelievably cheap and half-baked, as if the platform was made for something else and incompletely adapted for this car. Given that the new platform is shared with the Camry and Prius, that’s perfectly possible here.

        As for dropping the current Prius powertrain into this car, the real win is rear headroom. Perhaps because the multilink rear suspension takes up more room than the old beam axle, the new Prius has no rear seat room, especially for heads. The old Prius with the beam axle didn’t have this problem.

  • avatar

    The Corolla sedan is redesigned for 2020, not 2019.
    The Corolla is still missing Android Auto, which I want. Most all other compact cars have Android Auto. Toyota says they are working on it for seamless integration. Why is Android Auto difficult to integrate? They integrated Apple CarPlay.

    • 0 avatar
      jatz

      It simply staggers this Boomer that whichever infotainment software a car does or doesn’t support could influence a buying decision.

      That’s not at all a knock on you young ‘uns; it’s merely a bemused appreciation of how vastly divergent is the public a manufacturer has to cajole.

      For me, fat tires and a tall greenhouse would sell me even if the only tech were an AM radio.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        I’m hooked on CarPlay, so it’s a must-have for my next vehicle. but by then everything should support it anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        sirwired

        I’m over 40 (and the wife’s over 50), and we’ll never own another car without CarPlay/Android Auto. It lets you pretty much ignore whatever awful, badly-written, unresponsive garbage the automaker put on the stereo, gives you free (high-quality, constantly-updated) navigation, and makes every vehicle you drive consistent.

        When the wife experienced it on our ’17 CR-V, she had me upgrade the Head Unit in her ’06 Solara.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      You’re right and I should’ve caught that while editing. I made an error and have subjected myself to a 90-day Fiat 500L loan.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      I’m ancient Gen-X (late 40’s) and didn’t know I wanted this until I rented a *gasp* hamster-powered Malibu. That fairly useless LCD screen suddenly became the NAV unit, podcast and music player, and tele-communications center, even with my admittedly cheap phone. And it all just worked!

      If you need a car to be a long-distance traveling companion (regardless of performance, totally separate discussion) that software really fills the role. The Millenials and Gen-Z really have a point there.

      • 0 avatar
        Rick T.

        I’m a mid-Baby Boomer in his mid-sixties and I would never buy another car without Car Play. From free navigation integrated into Yelp, Estate Sales.net, etc. to the ability to play podcasts instead of listening to the radio it’s a must have.

        • 0 avatar
          quickson

          My wife is a realtor, and my mother a home-health nurse. In both their cases, the car has to function as a mobile office, so seamless phone integration is a necessity, especially for safety.

          For me, it really doesn’t matter. I’m 40 and I still refuse to answer the phone in the car, even with modern bluetooth. I just don’t like talking on the phone and driving.

          Then again, my commute is a pretty straight 50 miles at 75mph. No stops, only goes. 30% of the people are driving 60mph in the left lane, 30% are driving 100mph all over the road, and the rest of us are just trying not to get caught between them.

  • avatar

    Sometimes I dream that GM is still the worlds largest carmaker. Unfortunately, when I wake up I realize GM is now in fourth place and still slipping. I could live with GM mediocrity when they were the worlds top selling brand.

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    The first Corolla in a long time that actually looks good. Might be due to the small, crappy overcast photos though.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    “If you drove a Corolla, you were either a maid at the McMansion down the street or the underpaid seventh-grade social studies teacher of the local school district.” I really got a kick outa this. The parking lot of the San Diego Unified School District schools where my children attended had no Corolla’s in them – the lots looked like the reserved parking spots for physicians and surgeons at the local medical center as there were numerous M-B’s, BMW’s, a couple of Jag’s, and vehicles of similar ilk. The Corolla’s, Hyundai Excel’s, Chevette’s, etc. were driven by us parents.

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      Yeah, the local high school near my house has an interesting parking lot. Most of the cars there are fancier / more expensive than my personal car, and I’ve been a working adult for quite a while. Granted, I could afford a fancier car, and could get a fat loan for a really fancy car compared to what I have, but just saying.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      I dated teachers in the San Diego Unified School District. When one of them was upset about a break up, the others would take her to Hawaii for the weekend to cheer her up. They also claimed to believe the union when they were told that 60% of their jobs were on the line every summer. They’d fill up their new Grand Cherokees and RX350s with picket signs and get on the news about how hard they worked in their struggling schools. “I’ve got 35 kids in my classroom and most of them need special treatment.” they’d lament in public. What they didn’t say was that they also had a full-time reading specialist in their classroom, a teaching aid in their classroom, and that they shared those 35 kids with another classroom with similar resources. It’s a good thing that California is such a wealthy, well-run state that they have budget surpluses every year and no poverty problems. Otherwise, it would be odd that public employees have six figure compensation packages and retire with all the toys in their forties.

      • 0 avatar
        Willyam

        The difference between there and here is kind of startling. I live in the land of oil overlords (not complaining, they bought the Thunder on a whim) and they refuse all education spending until the kids are literally on the street because the building fell down. If you teach here, you have to be married to someone with a much larger income if retirement is to be in your plans. It finally got to the point last year that many rural schools dropped to 4-day weeks as they couldn’t gas up the buses anymore. Our legislators recently proposed laws to make 5-day weeks mandatory (as it made us look bad to possible corporate relocation) and to make it mandatory to post a huge bond in cash before protesting any of this in the capitol. Many of our teachers get a couple years of experience and immediately cross the border to Texas.
        I guess the real question is can anyone define which approach is more effective?

        Oh, and back on point, there are a lot of new, lifted pickups and Camaros and such in our High School lot, but the teacher lot is mostly used Korean budget cars. New Corollas are out of their loan qualification range.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Same deal here in Colorado, the difference being that the cost of living is a lot higher.

          My oldest kid just graduated college in December with a teaching degree, and the starting salaries here are insanely low – mid $30s for pretty much any district in the Denver area. That might not sound too bad until you factor in that the average one-bedroom apartment in this area runs $1500 a month (yes, you can find cheaper places, but only by a few hundred bucks). For kids fresh out of school, with student loan debt, even with a roomie, it’s a tough go. Lots of teachers here simply get out of the profession as a result.

          Ironically, in Kansas, of all places, the average starting pay is substantially higher, and the cost of living is lower. She’s considering a move.

          Folks here just don’t like paying for education. There are a few valid reasons for that – excessive management overhead being one – but in the end, it’s usually the old “I hate taxes” bit.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            California schools exist for the teachers. Even with all the budget in the world, the students had half days once a week. That means day care for anyone that isn’t a stay at home parent, but it’s worth it so the teachers can have a few hours for planning and grading – attendance flexible! You wouldn’t want them to work between the hours of 3 and 5 pm. Don’t get me started on the empty new-construction schools in LA.

            I think you’ll find that even in the worst funded schools, the per-student spend at the state level exceeds what it was in the best schools when the US was ranked highly for K-12 education. That’s why people hate paying taxes. The money ends up in the pockets of evil people, not spent on teaching kids what they need to thrive.

          • 0 avatar
            Fordson

            Kansas is in damage-control mode…former Gov. Sam Brownback turned the public school system to crap, and now they’re desperately trying to rebuild it.

            Brownback resigned in disgrace in January of 2018 and took a ginned-up position in the Trump administration. Kansas elected a moderate Dem governor, who beat the nutcase Kris Kobach – the one who headed Trump’s election-fraud investigation…the one that found that 31 fraudulent votes were cast in the entire USA in 2016 by unregistered voters – ?

            So Kansas is trying to rebuild from the rubble now. Caveat Emptor…for your wife.

          • 0 avatar
            ttacgreg

            Judging by the two ballot proposals for improved roads being voted down last fall, we obviously like sh#tty roads too.
            Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah all have lower populations, with better roads. Frustrating.

  • avatar
    Tomifobia

    I am the furthest thing from a Toyota fanboy, but even I’ll admit there were quite a number of attractive Sport Coupe models during the 70s and 80s.

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      Is the moderator asleep? Or is it now OK to wish the reviewer had never been born?!

      (The closest I ever came to Toyota driving was ownership of a 5-speed ’99 Chevy Prizm, which was mostly a 1998-2003 Corolla made at NUMMI. Obviously cheap in some ways, obviously high-quality in others. More fun and much more economical than I’d have imagined, and still on the road although I sold it in 2010.)

  • avatar
    DM335

    Opinions and writing styles are certainly subjective, but I do expect a reviewer to get some basic facts correct. According to Toyota’s website, the Corolla is a 2020 model. I suspect information provided at the event would have indicated the same thing.

  • avatar
    EGSE

    For solidly informative reviews it’s Alex on Autos. He keeps it adult with lots of useful content.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Geez. Lots of commenters seem to be having a bad day out in TTAC Land.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      We’re saddened by the continued slide of TTAC into absolute forgettable mediocrity. The adage “don’t quite your day job” is apt here, seeing as most guest contributors that have written reviews and content (Corey, FreedMike, etc) are excellent and blow this “professional” Corolla review completely in the weeds. Over at CC, former TTAC commenter 30-mile-fetch has posted some of the best automotive reviews I’ve ever read. Another hobbyist putting the paid automotive journalists to shame.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Tough crowd on the new reviewer, but really his editors should have told him to back off on the cliche’.
    I’m kinda fan of this ride. I’m not really in the market but I had my 1st drive in the TNGAized Camry last week and really felt it’s a great platform . It was an LE Camry , so fairly languid in its responses, but I can tell its a stiff structure with potential.
    I like the 184HP motor, it pulled to redline,never heat soaked like any 1.x-2.0T motor would, wasn’t rough in my opinion. I’m sure with breathing mods it could crack 200HP easily.I agree the above poster, it needs to be in the SE version of the Corolla.It could be in the 86.
    I can’t wait to see a comparison of the Corolla and the new stick axle 3 and the turbo Elantras.
    It’s a pretty good time to be a small car fan ,unless your a USDM fan of course.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      I’m with you on the Camry, but made the mistake of taking the auto-show free demo drive. The one they pulled up was the XSE V6, fully-loaded. White with black “floating” roof, it has that Maxima-introduced styling thing going, but the power and features were outstanding. Huge sunroof, all sorts of tech, quiet and isolated, just lovely. The red seats are a definite no, but otherwise I instantly wanted one. Now I can’t drive the basic package, knowing how plush that car can be when fully outfitted.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t look for any new adds to the 86, as I think it’ll be dead in a year or two. It’s already quite aged, and everybody who wanted one bought in for year one or two.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      FWIW the current DI 2.5L is already at 203hp, and is indeed quite peppy.

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    Looks to be a nicely done update to the Corolla, though the price point gives me pause. I realize the standard content level is much higher on all new cars these days, but when you’re getting into the mid 20s for a decently-equipped, entry-level Corolla… yowza. I picked up my loaded Focus ST last year for $23k… sunroof, heated leather Recaros & all.

    It’s also interesting to me that so many are adamant about Carplay/Auto. I have it in my Focus, tho I only use it on long trips (for the Waze integration), because I’m too lazy to plug in my phone for my 3.5 mile commute. But to each his own. I usually rely on Sirius/XM for entertainment. I realize it’s an added cost, & the programming DOES get repetitive… but it’s easy… and I discover a lot of new music.

    When I bought my truck, I specifically bought a heavy duty, because all of the half-tons were so heavily laden with options that I did not want (or want to pay for)… and were optioned up into the $50k-$60k region. Yow. I got a crew cab/short bed HD 4×4 gasser decently-equipped for $35k, and I’ve been extremely happy with it.

    I’ve had plenty of vehicles with all of the bells & whistles. Now, I find that I prefer more “basic” transportation. Would be nice to find a “heritage” Corolla with the 2-liter engine, 6 speed manual, manual windows & locks, and air conditioning. I’d be happy with that. But it ain’t gonna happen… not in this country, anyways….

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Do touch screens really have to be modeled after drive in movie theaters?

  • avatar
    AtoB

    “Toyota is a world leader in hydrogen powered cars.”

    Which is about as impressive as being a world leader in Zeppelins.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    “A continuously-variable automatic transmission (CVT) with 10 preprogrammed, imitated gears remains the sole automatic choice for the gasser engines. It’s smoother than previous versions, dialing out nearly all of the “rubber-band feel” associated with CVTs, except at throttle levels above 60 percent.”

    If the first 20% of the pedal wields 80% of throttle– are you telling us Toyota ‘dialed-out’ (lol) driveline lash while idling in-gear?


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