By on May 3, 2019

We know, we know — you’re torn on the answer to this age-old question. Well, Toyota thinks its 2020 Corolla sedan, which adopts the platform and powertrain changes seen on the 2019 hatch, is hot, sizzling stuff. And you will, too, it seems.

So much so, you’re liable to engage in a lewd public act, possibly encouraging a visit from the cops.

Allow this writer to suggest that it’s downright gross when automakers go there in their ads. The suggestion of sex — the promise of it — is a mainstay in automotive marketing, but things get cheap and unseamly when the actual act is implied, especially when it takes place in the car. Recall Corey’s takedown of Volkswagen’s “sex car” commercial.

No, the copulation is supposed to take place off-screen, perhaps in a low-end motor lodge two blocks from the beach.

Nevertheless, Toyota’s new ad push for the 2020 Corolla includes a spot titled “Rainy Day,” in which we see the employees of an automated car wash look on with shock and disgust as a new Corolla sedan rolls down the line, its flanks gratuitously slathered in suds, jets of foam splashing everywhere. In one scene, there’s a hint of shadowy movement in the backseat. Just a trace, mind you.

As the now-spotless sedan reaches the exit doors, we see two young(er) heterosexual adults hopping — fully clothed, mind you — into the front seat after a sordid backseat fling. Call me a prude, but no one wants to see, or think about, this particular couple going at it in the backseat of their significantly upgraded TNGA-platform sedan. If only those detergents could wash away their sins.

Yes, Toyota’s 2020 Corolla spots all highlight people in different stages of life (I clicked on the “Metalhead” ad expecting a take on the horrifically disturbing Black Mirror episode of the same name, but alas…), and many people, young and old, do use their vehicles for making whoopee. And yet I have questions.

For one, the vehicle displays no vertical or lateral movement as it rolls down the line. You’d think we’d see the sedan’s new multi-link rear suspension getting a workout, and yet it moves forward with all the steadiness of a curling stone on ice. Then there’s the issue of space and time.

How long does it take to make it through a car wash? Depending on the treatment selected, the duration could be anywhere from 4 to 8 minutes, with most washes falling into the middle ground. To order to complete their lewd act, this couple would have had to enter the wash, strip, scramble into the backseat, do their thing, shake hands, get dressed simultaneously in the fairly cramped confines of a compact car’s backseat, then hop back into the front seat, all in five to seven minutes.

Seems unlikely, unless this guy has an unflattering nickname his partner never says to his face. Also — that “Dirty>Clean” message? Ewwww.

At least Toyota included a “Do not attempt” disclaimer, though the overwhelming carnal desire felt by this model’s eventual owners might override any sense of common decency, no doubt leading to further tawdry escapades.

All of this this to say that, despite it being a topic everyone thinks about (all the time, too), sex and cars don’t mix well in commercials, unless it’s the promise of future sex. People want to know that, once they drive off the lot in that new Corolla, complete strangers will throw themselves in front of it for a chance to take you home. This ad just looks like a bored Millennial couple desperately trying to rekindle some of that original spark … perhaps to no avail.

[Images: Toyota]

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