Photos: Toyota

It’s lower, wider, and it’s got a legitimate amount of oomph. Call me crazy but I’m genuinely jazzed about this all-new, 169-horsepower, 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan.

(Am I the only one that thinks that the fact that we’re up to the 2020 model year of cars is weird? Remember the Aston Martin 2020 concept? That thing was supposed to be the FuTuRe. And now it’s almost 2020 and the real cars we’re getting are neat, but from a normal-car perspective, not a flying-car perspective. This doesn’t really have anything to do with the Toyota Corolla, just my own anxieties. Anyway, let’s get to the bit about the Japanese economy car.)

Here are the important facts:

  • It’s on an all-new modular platform
  • The only thing it shares with the old car is the measurement of the wheelbase, which is 106.3 inches
  • The cheap models carry on with the dowdy 1.8-liter 132 horsepower engine
  • The pricier SE and XSE trims get a zingy 2.0-liter 169 horsepower engine, which is enough to maybe be interesting!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • A hybrid version is coming too
  • It’s almost half an inch wider in the front and almost an inch wider in the back, while the whole car overall is 0.8 inches lower
  • And yeah, the automatic is a CVT, which will make you sad
  • But! You can also get it with a six-speed manual with rev matching, just like on a Cadillac ATS-V or Porsche 911 GT3 Touring, so it’s basically the same as those

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But it’s not just the sporty stuff that Toyota took care with. The company says it’s more comfortable, thanks to a revised seating position, it’s easier to see out of, thanks to a lower hood and beltline and slimmer A-pillars, and it’s quieter, thanks to Toyota making it quieter.

There’s also an inside, which looks like this:

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Yes, that does look like a big tablet slapped on the dash. If you’ve got a problem with it, don’t complain to me. Send a letter to the Toyota Corporation, in Japan.

Oh, and the front of the outside also looks like this:

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Look at that! It looks like a very angry fish trying to swallow things. And this is a real sentence from the press release:

The design team called its working concept “shooting robust,” because they were shooting for a robust, confidence-inspiring stance.

Well done.

Of course, this being a car from 2020 and 2020 being the future, it’s got a lot of neat tech as well. Radar-guided cruise control is available, in-car WiFI is available, and navigation is available, both with a GPS system and with a real person reading out directions to you if you really must insist but hey, it’s a job:

Safety Connect®
In the event of an accident or other emergency, assistance can be dispatched directly to the vehicle’s GPS location. Other connected services available on the Corolla include airbag-linked Automatic Emergency Notification, Manual Emergency Notification (SOS button) and Stolen Vehicle Locator.
Service Connect
Provides updates on everything from fuel level and mileage to maintenance alerts and more via email or the mobile app.
Remote Connect
Can lock and unlock doors, start the engine, locate the vehicle in a parking lot and monitor guest drivers.
Wi-Fi Connect – powered by Verizon
Connects up to five devices using the in-vehicle 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
Destination Assist Connect
Directions and destinations delivered by a real person with 24-hour, en-route navigation assistance.
Dynamic Navigation

Provides the most up-to-date map data, routes and POI on its embedded system. (Available with Entune 3.0 Premium Audio.)

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But it’s the little things that have always made people want Corollas. The chassis is 60 percent stiffer. The HVAC system is more efficient, both heating and cooling the cabin quicker. If you tick the option box for the hi-fi speaker system they’ve gone to the trouble of sealing up the doors a bit better, for improved sound control.

All in all I really am interested in this little thing. As long as they haven’t made it steer like a butt.

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