Road Test: 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE

Road Test: 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE

Story by Jordan Allan, photos courtesy of Toyota Canada


Price(MSRP):  $18,990

Price as tested: $28,490

Engine: 2.0L VVT-iE DOHC 16-valve I4

Trans: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

Power: 169 hp@ 6,600 rpm

Torque: 151 lb-ft @ 4,500-4,900 rpm

Curb Weight: 3,150 lbs./1,425 kg

Fuel Consumption (L/100km – City/Hwy): 7.7/6.1


New for 2020: The Toyota Corolla is all-new for 2020 and has been completely redesigned both inside and out. It now looks and feels larger and has received updated styling that propels it to the top of its class.

Segment Competitors: Mazda3, Honda Civic, Kia Forte, Hyundai Elantra, Volkswagen Jetta, Chevrolet Cruze, Nissan Versa, Subaru Impreza

The Skinny:  When a subcompact/compact car sticks around for as long as the Toyota Corolla has, it clearly has to be doing something right. Originally introduced way back in 1966, the Toyota Corolla has now entered its 12th generation here in 2020 and is as practical, efficient and cost effective as ever. The new exterior look is a big improvement over the last generation if you ask me and is followed by an equally nice and easy to use interior design.

The car feels bigger than any Corolla I’ve driven before and provided more cargo and passenger room than I would’ve expected. The drive was anything but exhilarating however this isn’t and has never (mostly) been the point of a Corolla who’s main objective is to safely get you from point A to point B with little to no hassle. The car drives nice, offers a fairly smooth ride for a vehicle at this price point and has all of the modern technology and safety features you need.

Of course, the Corolla is one of those cars that if you buy, you want to feel like you’re getting a good value and this latest version does not disappoint. The base model starts at a very respectable $18,990, while even my XSE test model comes in under the $30,000 which for me is an absolute necessity for these type of vehicles.

Pros: Toyota has done a great job with the new styling both inside and out. Additionally, this has to be one of the more efficient, non-hybrid or EV vehicles I’ve ever driven.

Cons: Toyota has always done a pretty good job with them, but I still prefer a transmission with actual gears rather than CVT.

The Verdict: Again, the Corolla has never and probably will never blow you away but that definitely doesn’t mean it isn’t a great car. It still carries Toyota’s legendary reliability and is still priced low enough that you will still feel like you are getting some serious value. It’s nice to drive, easy to look at and if you were to own one, it definitely wouldn’t be one of the things that stresses you out in your daily routines. If you need a vehicle that will simply get you there but don’t want to be concerned with efficiency or reliability, the Corolla should be at the top of your list.


Categories: Driver Plus, Road Tests