Goal Unlocked: Toyota's Non-Prius Delivers the MPGs

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
goal unlocked toyotas non prius delivers the mpgs

It’s Mileage Monday, apparently. In unveiling the upcoming Corolla Hybrid late last year, Toyota predicted the normal-looking alternative to its long-running Prius would deliver a combined rating of 50 mpg, once the EPA got around to testing it.

Not the hardest bar to clear, given that the 2020 Corolla Hybrid uses the same 121-horsepower hybrid powertrain as its stigma-soaked hatch sibling. Toyota stuck the jump with room to spare. There’s also good MPG news for those who hate hybrids but loath the current generation’s tepid four-banger.

Late last week, fuel economy figures poured forth from the Environmental Protection Agency. It turns out the sedate green sedan will indeed top that magic marker, with the 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder/dual electric motor/CVT trio conspiring to earn the car a combined rating of 52 mpg. City fuel consumption comes in at 53 mpg; highway, 52 mpg.

This is the same combined economy as the stock Prius, though the mileage king Prius Eco tops both by 4 mpg on the combined cycle. Just for comparison, the all-wheel drive Prius (Prius AWD-e) — a new addition for 2019 — earns a 50 mpg combined rating.

No longer do image-conscious Toyota diehards have to sit on the fence, mulling the social repercussions of buying a green commuter from their preferred brand.

As the EPA dispensed info on the entire 2020 Corolla line, there’s more MPG news to share. The next-gen sedan, which borrows the TNGA architecture already in use by the 2019 Corolla hatch, returns 33 mpg combined in base 1.8-liter form, regardless of transmission choice (there’s still a six-speed manual in the lineup, plus the vastly more common CVT). The XSE version of this variant sees a combined figure of 32 mpg.

New to the sedan for 2020 is an engine that won’t leave owners nodding off at the stoplight. In this application, Toyota’s 2.0-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder returns 34 mpg combined when equipped with the new CVT and 40 mpg on the highway. The tranny incorporates a physical launch gear and 10 ratios available via flappy paddles. Opt for the six-speed stick and combined economy falls to a perfectly acceptable 32 mpg.

Interestingly, a 2.0-liter XSE model outfitted with the CVT returns 34 mpg combined, compared to the 1.8-liter XSE’s 32 mpg. The choice here is clear.

[Images: Toyota]

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  • Mcs Mcs on Feb 19, 2019

    Speaking of the Prius, I finally figured out what the rear of the car reminded me of. I finally figured it out. The Silver Hornet: youtu.be/0z-FtAMg6Vw

  • Spintack Spintack on Feb 20, 2019

    It's pretty obvious that Toyota will transition the Prius nameplate - which is worth a ton to non-enthusiasts - to their EV platform, whenever that comes online. I suspect the next Prius will be EV only.

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?