Introduced over five decades ago, the venerable Toyota Corolla was starting to get a little long in the tooth. That is, until the compact car was recently completely redesigned for its 12th generation and available in both a hatchback and sedan body style. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about the 2020 model.
1. It is based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA)
Initially revealed in 2015 during the launch of the current Prius, TNGA is also found in the C-HR crossover and the larger Camry sedan. The underlying global platform is the strongest and lightest ever built by the Japanese manufacturer. Benefits include a smoother, quieter ride, optimized weight distribution and better handling.
2. Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) 2.0 makes North American debut
This suite of driver assist technologies, bundled with no additional cost on the 2020 Corolla, gets a major upgrade. For instance, the pre-collision system can now not only detect vehicles and pedestrians in the evening as well as during the day, subsequently alerting the driver and/or automatically applying the brakes to mitigate or avoid a collision, but daytime cyclists as well.
3. The engine has a really cool name
Called Dynamic Force, this all-new 2.0-litre four-cylinder motor — standard on the hatch and XSE and SE trim levels on the sedan — utilizes direct injection technology and delivers more performance (168 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque) while using less fuel. A six-speed “intelligent” manual gearbox featuring downshift rev-matching control is available.
4. Not your typical continuously variable transmission
Unlike most examples seen on the market, the one in the Corolla has a physical first “launch” gear. Used for quick off-the-line acceleration, after things get going duties are handed over to the CVT’s belt and pulleys, which simulates the feel of a 10-speed traditional geared automatic.
5. A Hybrid is offered for the first time
Never before seen in Canada, a Corolla Hybrid is being sold in the lineup, powered by Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive just like the Prius. A 1.8-litre engine, paired with a high-output electric motor and mated to an electronic CVT, produces a combined 121 horsepower and 105 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy when running in gasoline/electric tandem mode is 5.0 L/100 km during mixed city and highway operation.