Photo: Toyota
Photo: Toyota

My emotional journey with the newest generation of the Toyota Prius went like this: I hated it for being ugly, then I liked it for being different, and now I’m back to pretty much hating it. But the good news is that fuel economy figures for the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid are just as good, and that car looks way better.


The fuel economy for the new Corolla Hybrid, and the rest of the Corolla lineup, can be found on the U.S. government’s fuel economy website.
Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Trims with the 1.8-liter four-cylinder and a CVT automatic get 30 mpg city, 38 mpg highway, and 33 combined.
  • The 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a CVT auto gets 31 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, and 34 combined.
  • The 2.0-liter four with a six-speed manual transmission gets 29 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, and 32 combined.
  • The hybrid, which uses battery power along with the 1.8-liter four-cylinder, gets 53 mpg city, 52 highway, and 52 combined.

According to a slide from a Toyota presentation at the Corolla drive, which you’ll soon hear more about in a few days, the L and LE trims get the 1.8-liter powertrain good for 33 mpg combined.

Photo: Raphael Orlove
Photo: Raphael Orlove

The XLE trim gets 29 mpg city, 37 highway, and 32 combined, the SE gets the 2.0-liter four-cylinder with either a CVT or six-speed, and the XSE trim will get 31 mpg city, 38 highway, and 34 combined.

The government’s site also lists a 1.8-liter with a six-speed manual option but Toyota has confirmed that powertrain combo won’t be available in the U.S.


Now compare the Corolla Hybrid’s 52 combined highway gas mileage with that of the Prius, and it’s only beaten by the Prius L Eco model, which maxes out at 56 mpg combined. Otherwise, the Prius LE and XLE match the new Corolla on combined fuel economy.

That’s a pretty good deal, even before pricing has been officially announced. The government even projects it’ll save you $3,000 in fuel costs over the next five years compared to the average new vehicle sold. If the Corolla Hybrid is priced in the low 20s, that’s a bargain.

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And this, dear colleagues, is the hybrid that all the dumbasses awaiting the mythical $35K Tesla Model 3 should be buying.

It’s cheaper.
It’s better built.
The door handles don’t freeze shut in an ice storm.
The “fuel” maintains 100% of its energy even during winter, as opposed to the 50% loss of range with a Tesla on a sub-zero night.
It’ll cost you only 7 cents per mile to run rather than the 8-12 cents the Tesla will on The SuperCharger.
It’s cleaner in most of the US, with under 200 grams per mile of CO2— even as a TM3 runs 300-500.
And, it’s a Toyota, a company likely to be around 20 years from now.

If we had any sense, we’d all be buying these.