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MSRP: $22,950 - 22,950

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 7.3
Safety: TBD
Reliability: TBD

2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Review

The all-new 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid ranks in the bottom half of the compact car class, largely because it can’t compete with the refined cabins, peppy engines, and larger trunks of rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Great fuel economy estimates
  • Lots of standard safety features
  • Small trunk
  • Some rivals have more upscale cabins

Is the Toyota Corolla Hybrid a Good Car?

Despite its ranking, the Corolla Hybrid is a good compact car. However, it only stands out for its excellent fuel economy and long list of standard safety features. It’s just average in other areas, such as cabin materials and ride quality, and it trails most classmates when it comes to cargo space and powertrain peppiness.

Should I Buy the Toyota Corolla Hybrid?

If you’re looking for a hybrid with great fuel economy and a decent amount of tech and safety features, the Corolla Hybrid should be on your shortlist. However, there are plenty of rivals in the class that give it a run for its money. Both the Hyundai Ioniq and Honda Insight are comparably fuel-efficient, and both have larger trunks. The Toyota Prius also has similar fuel economy, as well as more available features.

Compare the Corolla Hybrid, Ioniq, and Insight »

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota Corolla Hybrid?

Toyota launched the Corolla Hybrid as an all-new model for the 2020 model year.

We Did the Research for You: 10 Reviews Analyzed

To make our car rankings and reviews as consumer-oriented as possible, we do not rely on our personal opinions. Instead, we analyze hard data such as performance specs, fuel efficiency, and features lists, as well as the opinions of the automotive press. This Toyota Corolla Hybrid review draws on 10 reviews and incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for the 2020 model year.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. We care about cars, but we care more about providing useful consumer advice. To ensure our impartiality, an independent party handles our advertising, and our editorial team doesn’t accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Toyota Corolla Hybrid Cost?

The 2020 Corolla Hybrid has a base retail price of $22,950. That makes it more expensive than most compact cars, though it’s in line with rival hybrids and more affordable than rival plug-in hybrids.

For great savings at your local Toyota dealer, check out our U.S. News Best Price Program. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

Toyota Corolla Hybrid Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Toyota Corolla Hybrid or Toyota Prius?

The Toyota Prius is a great compact car. Though it features the same powertrain, the Prius offers an all-wheel drive option (new for the 2019 model year) in addition to more cargo space. The Prius also has more available tech and comfort features, as well as a larger cargo hold. On top of that, the Prius gets comparable fuel economy. Toyota has not released pricing for the 2020 Prius as of this writing. Based on 2019 pricing, it will likely retail for around $24,000, making it about $1,000 more than the Corolla Hybrid. The Corolla Hybrid has an extra 8 inches of rear-seat legroom, but that’s not enough for us to recommend it instead of the Prius.

Which Is Better: Toyota Corolla Hybrid or Toyota Corolla?

The Toyota Corolla sedan is redesigned for the 2020 model year, and it's the basis for the new hybrid model. The base Corolla Hybrid has a longer list of standard features than the base nonhybrid Corolla. The nonhybrid Corolla is also more affordable; pricing for the top-level Corolla XSE starts about $2,500 higher than the Corolla Hybrid. The nonhybrid has a stronger base engine, as well as an even peppier optional 2.0-liter engine. Additionally, Toyota offers the nonhybrid Corolla as a hatchback with more cargo room, but there is no equivalent in the Corolla Hybrid’s lineup. Both models are decent choices, but unless you really value the hybrid's extra fuel efficiency, the nonhybrid Toyota Corolla is a better bet. 

Compare the Corolla Hybrid, Prius, and Corolla »

Corolla Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the Corolla Hybrid Seat?

The Toyota Corolla Hybrid seats five people on cloth upholstery. No seating upgrades are available. The front and rear seats have a decent amount of room for a compact car, though taller passengers may feel slightly cramped in the back.

Corolla Hybrid and Car Seats

This vehicle has two complete sets of LATCH connections for securing child car seats, as well as a tether-only connection for the middle seat.

Corolla Hybrid Interior Quality

The Corolla Hybrid has a fairly nice cabin, blending soft-touch materials with some cheap plastics.

Corolla Hybrid Cargo Space

This sedan has a 13 cubic-foot trunk. While that’s on par with what the nonhybrid Toyota Corolla sedan offers, rivals like the Honda Insight have more room.  

Corolla Hybrid Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE features an 8-inch touch screen, the Entune infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa smartphone integration, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, two USB ports, a six-speaker stereo, and a navigation system through Scout GPS Link. You’ll also find proximity keyless entry, push-button start, and automatic climate control.

The infotainment system has lots of well-placed physical controls. Standard Apple CarPlay is a nice touch too, though Android Auto is unavailable. Some critics report having difficulty using some functions through the Entune system.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Corolla Hybrid Performance

Corolla Hybrid Engine: Bland but Smooth

The Corolla Hybrid comes with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, two electric motors, and an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission, which is a type of automatic. Total output is rated at 121 horsepower.

The powertrain is fine for daily driving, though it struggles to get the car up to speed on the highway. Transitions between gas and electric power are smooth, but the engine drones loudly under hard acceleration. For a bit more enthusiasm, look to the Toyota Corolla hatchback or a higher-trim nonhybrid Corolla sedan outfitted with the 2.0-liter engine.

Corolla Hybrid Gas Mileage: Phenomenal

The Corolla Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 53 mpg in the city and 52 mpg on the highway. Those are stellar ratings for the class.

Corolla Hybrid Ride and Handling: Comfortably Capable Corolla

The suspension smooths out road bumps nicely, providing a gentle ride that doesn’t jostle occupants. The Corolla Hybrid drives much like a traditional car, with regenerative brakes that are capable without feeling grabby or unnatural.

Read more about performance »

Corolla Hybrid Reliability

Is the Toyota Corolla Hybrid Reliable?

The 2020 Corolla Hybrid does not yet have a predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power.

Toyota Corolla Hybrid Warranty

Toyota covers the Corolla Hybrid with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Hybrid-related components have an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Corolla Hybrid Safety

Corolla Hybrid Crash Test Results

As of this writing, neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has crash tested this hybrid.

Corolla Hybrid Safety Features

Standard safety features in this vehicle include a rearview camera, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, brake assist, pedestrian and cyclist detection, automatic high beams, traffic sign recognition, road edge detection, and adaptive cruise control.

Read more about safety »

Which Toyota Corolla Hybrid Model Is Right for Me?

Toyota offers the Corolla Hybrid in a single body style (sedan) and single trim level, the LE. We review the nonhybrid Toyota Corolla separately.

Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE

Standard features in the Corolla Hybrid LE include an 8-inch touch screen, Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, two USB ports, Siri Eyes Free, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, a six-speaker stereo, automatic climate control, premium cloth upholstery, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, push-button start, proximity keyless entry, a rearview camera, and alloy wheels.

Toyota also equips the Corolla Hybrid with the Safety Sense suite, which includes several safety features such as a pre-collision warning and braking system, pedestrian and cyclist detection, road edge detection, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and automatic high beams.

There are no major packages available with this trim.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

See 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Corolla Hybrid is a decent pick among compact cars. With its pleasant and composed ride, this Toyota leans more toward relaxing than exhilarating, and its high mpg ratings are among the best in the class. On top of that, it comes with a full suite of the latest advanced safety features. However, in this competitive segment, it’s best to do a little comparison shopping before settling on this hybrid.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "With good fuel economy and a pleasant driving demeanor, the 2020 Corolla Hybrid makes a strong case for itself as an urban commuter. Toyota hopes the Hybrid will make up about 10 percent of all Corolla sales, which seems like a goal that will be easy to reach. Especially for somebody who doesn't want the unique styling of the Prius, it's a great way to save lots of fuel without much additional effort." -- CNET
  • Despite being such a drastic improvement over its predecessor, the Corolla hardly leapfrogs to the top of its class; it merely reaches closer to parity. … Toyota's greatest accomplishment is that it has eliminated most of the reasons not to buy a Corolla by making the new one more pleasant to drive, while maintaining all the key tenets that already made it a such a logical choice." -- Car and Driver
  • "And for those who want a no-fuss hybrid powertrain for an affordable price, the Corolla Hybrid is a winning prospect. It's superior to the Prius C it replaces in terms of content, quality and drivability. While we still like the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid in this segment for its 58 combined mpg rating, the Corolla is more refined, with more standard content. We're glad to see Toyota inject some serious, mainstream competition into the compact hybrid segment. And with the Corolla nameplate, this hybrid is bound to sell." -- Autoblog
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