2020 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid Sedan Review

2020 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid Sedan Road Test Review

2020 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan.

Toyota Corolla, what can be more synonymous with the Toyota brand in Australia. In years gone past it was the top selling car by far, yet with the surge of SUVs it has slipped a touch?

However it’s still a good car and the mid-range SX Hybrid we are testing here is sure to prove popular.

The Corolla range underwent an all new update late in 2019 and the refresh keeps it relevant in the segment. It faces strong competition from the likes of the Mazda3, Subaru Impreza, Kia Cerato and Honda Civic

2020 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan.

What is the Corolla SX Hybrid Like outside?

Corolla is a slightly awkward shape with a protruding nose and small grill. It looks good, but perhaps not as stylish as say a Cerato.

The wide sloping headlights provide good night time coverage but it does miss out on front foglights unfortunately. The slimline front grill has auto high beam LED headlights and DRLs. However it does have electric and heated side mirrors with integrated turn indicators.

The upright rear provides reasonable entry size to the large boot area. Boot lid is remote release.

A simple but stylish feature is body coloured bumpers, door handles, side mirror surrounds etc.

SX Hybrid model also gets 15 inch alloy wheels with 195/65 R15 tyres and a temporary spare unfortunately.

2020 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan.

Corolla SX Hybrid behind the wheel

As a mid-range model it has some features but is also fairly basic. Front seats are fabric with manual adjustment. For my old back the lack of good lumbar support is an issue.

The instruments are typically Toyota with an edge. They are two half dials with a large centre 7 inch MFD that pretty much stayed on the screen showing whether I’m using battery or engine to drive. It became a bit of an obsession. The dash in the hybrid is different to the normal Corolla.

Steering wheel is nice and thick in the hands with the usual controls for cruise control, Bluetooth and audio on there. Sometimes Toyota Bluetooth clarity leaves a little to be desired but the Hybrid Corolla was excellent.

There is a large centre screen framed with buttons and dials. It has that stuck on look which some people like, me not so much. However the functionality and user interface is clear and simple to use. Screen clarity is again excellent.

A good feature, not one that I can use though, is the wireless phone charging tray in front of the transmission lever. It gets the phone tucked away nicely.

2020 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid Sedan Review

Rear seats are comfortable enough with reasonable room all around. Access for taller or larger passengers is restricted though. The boot is huge for the size car and practical with 60/40-split fold rear seat back.

There is also plenty of little storage areas and room for bottles and cups etc. USB etc. are in the centre console with a cavity to allow for cables to protrude. There are no connectivity features for the back seats though.

2020 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan.

Corolla SX Hybrid Features

As a mid range model the SX is reasonably well equipped. Highlights include:

  • Embossed fabric seats
  • Driver seat height adjustment
  • 7 inch Multi Info Display (MID)
  • 8-inch colour touchscreen display
  • Satellite navigation with SUNA™ live traffic
  • AM/FM and Digital radio with 6 speakers
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Apple CarPlay / Android Auto compatibility
  • MyToyota app
  • 1 USB / 1 Aux input
  • Single zone climate control
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Smart entry and start
  • Front and rear power windows
  • Electronic park brake

2020 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan.

What Engine and Transmission does the Corolla SX Hybrid have?

The new hybrid powertrain uses a 1.8-litre petrol engine combined with a pair of electric motor generators to drive the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The 16-valve, DOHC 1.8-litre petrol engine generates a maximum power of 72kW at 5200rpm and peak torque of 142Nm at 3600rpm with the entire hybrid system providing a maximum power output of 90kW.

Fuel consumption of ADR 3.5l/100km is achievable with many trips I did showing 3-4l/100km. Hybrid also has low CO2 emissions of 81g/km. Like its Camry bigger brother it’s economical.

The hybrid system offers electric-only drive, activated by the EV mode switch on the centre console, or combined petrol and electric drive and electricity generation to recharge the battery that is automatically activated according to driving conditions.

As I mentioned it becomes a bit of an obsession to see just how the drive changes.

2020 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan.

What is the Corolla SX Hybrid like to drive?

Pretty easy actually. The combined powertrain is no powerhouse but it provides enough oomph to keep drivers happy. Sitting on the same new Global Architecture as the hatch, but with a slightly longer wheelbase the sedan also has revised suspension and gives a relatively smooth and compliant ride.

If you want to play boy racer buy another car, but the SX Hybrid has reasonable handling as well.

The really noticeable thing is how quiet it is, even with the engine running. Couple of quick points, the cruise control is selectable for the adaptive function, so BIG tick from me and there is a selectable drive mode available, but in reality I just left it in the one mode.

2020 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid Sedan rear seats 9

Corolla SX Hybrid Safety

Corolla comes with a five star ANCAP safety rating and the highlight features include:

  • Pre-collision safety system (PCS) with pedestrian (day/night) and cyclist detection (day)
  • Selectable All-speed active cruise control
  • Lane trace assist with steering assist and lane centring function
  • Road sign assist (speed signs only)
  • Auto high beam
  • ABS with brake assist, traction control, vehicle stability control, active cornering control
  • 7 airbags
  • Reversing camera
  • ISOFIX child restraint anchors
  • Blind spot monitor

2020 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan.

Corolla SX Hybrid Summary

Okay, I have mixed feelings about hybrid vehicles. I loved the Camry Hybrid, but the RAV 4 not quite as much. The Corolla was a positive experience.

It’s quiet, economical and comfortable and reasonably priced. The hybrid adds about $1500 to the price of a normal SX

One annoying trait is that the hybrid isn’t available in the range top model. If I was buying I might just choose the hybrid, but I would want the leather seats and all the goodies that come with the ZR version. There is a hatch, but no sedan.

I would have thought that was an obvious model choice. Apparently Toyota don’t agree.

2020 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid sedan.

Good Bits

  • Safe and comfortable
  • Outstanding fuel economy
  • Wireless phone charging

Not So Good Bits

  • No ZR Sedan Hybrid version
  • No front foglights
  • Poor lumbar support

Also Look At

Facts and Figures: 2020 Corolla SX Hybrid Sedan

  • Engine: 1.80L four-cylinder Hybrid producing 72kW/142Nm
  • Transmission: CVT
  • Warranty: 5 years/ unlimited km
  • Safety: Five stars
  • Origin: Japan
  • Price: from $29,735 MLP*

*Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options

2020 Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid Sedan Review
3.8

Summary

Okay, I have mixed feelings about hybrid vehicles. I loved the Camry Hybrid, but the RAV 4 not quite as much. The Corolla was a positive experience.

It’s quiet, economical and comfortable and reasonably priced. The hybrid adds about $1500 to the price of a normal SX

One annoying trait is that the hybrid isn’t available in the range top model. If I was buying I might just choose the hybrid, but I would want the leather seats and all the goodies that come with the ZR version.

I would have thought that was an obvious model choice. Apparently Toyota don’t agree.



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