The rollout of the all-new 2020 Corolla was already a compelling product story. But at the Los Angeles Auto Show today, Toyota adds an electrifying epilogue: the unveiling of the first-ever Corolla Hybrid.
Where does it fit in our lineup?
By adapting the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive that powers the fourth-generation Prius, Corolla Hybrid becomes the most fuel-efficient version of the venerable sedan that debuted more than 50 years ago.
How does it drive?
Efficient, as expected. But also spirited. Here’s why:
- First, the frugal fuel part: Corolla Hybrid is projected by Toyota to have an estimate of 50 mpg in combined city and highway driving.
- This conversion was a natural. The 2020 Corolla’s Toyota New Global Architecture platform was designed from the start to accommodate a gas/electric drivetrain and battery.
- Its Hyper-Prime Nickel battery pack is smaller and lighter than the one used in the previous iteration of Toyota’s hybrid powertrain so it fits comfortably under the rear seat rather than compromising trunk space. The new location also lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity, a boon to agility.
- Its acceleration just might take you by surprise, especially when in SPORT drive mode.
- Contributing to this sedan’s sporty feel is Sequential Shiftmatic, with manual transmission-like shifts that can be controlled with steering wheel paddles.
- Stopping power is also in ample supply, thanks to regenerative braking operating in concert with a conventional hydraulic braking system.
But, how does it look?
These first photos are just a start. A bunch more will be available closer to launch. But, for now, here’s a few details to keep you going:
- On the outside, note the special 15-inch aluminum alloy wheels with low-rolling resistance tires.
- On the inside, Corolla Hybrid gets a full array of standard multimedia offerings, including Entune 3.0 Audio with Wi-Fi Connect, Amazon Alexa® and Apple CarPlay® compatibility.
Who’s going to buy them?
People who value electrifying design as well as electrified power that delivers exceptional fuel efficiency.
When does it go on sale?
Tell me something I don’t know.
The latest iteration of Toyota’s hybrid powertrain isn’t just about fuel economy. Case in point: When starting from a standing stop, its electric motor provides a subtle power boost. That reduces the strain on the gas engine, kicking the Corolla’s linear acceleration up a notch.
Want to learn more?
Toyota USA Newsroom
Car and Driver
Green Car Reports
Also, here's a handy intro to the gas-powered version of the new Corolla
By Dan Miller