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2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Review

The all-new 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid finishes in the top half of our hybrid and electric car rankings thanks to its excellent gas mileage, comfortable ride, long list of standard features, and great safety and predicted reliability ratings. Still, some rivals offer more power and trunk space.

Pros & Cons

  • Great fuel economy estimates
  • Lots of standard safety features
  • Outstanding predicted reliability rating
  • Small trunk

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.5
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 6.0
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Toyota Corolla Hybrid a Good Car?

Yes, the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is a good hybrid car. It offers a comfortable ride, great fuel economy estimates, and an outstanding predicted reliability rating. The Corolla also has high safety scores, and it packs a ton of standard safety features, including forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control. Its interior styling and materials might not be that impressive, but if you can look beyond that, the Corolla has a lot to like. For its combination of quality and value, we named the Corolla Hybrid our 2020 Best Hybrid or Electric Car for the Money.

Should I Buy the Toyota Corolla Hybrid?

The Corolla Hybrid should definitely be on your shortlist if you’re looking for a sedan with great fuel economy and a hefty amount of tech and safety features. That being said, you may also want to consider top-rated alternatives like the Hyundai Ioniq and Honda Insight, as well as Toyota’s own Prius.

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: 23 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 23 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 hybrid car. It has the same powertrain as the Corolla Hybrid and gets similar fuel economy estimates, but it offers more cargo space, and it's available with more tech and comfort features, as well as all-wheel drive. Stick with the Corolla Hybrid if you’re on a tight budget (the Prius' starting price is higher by about $1,200). Otherwise, the Prius makes a bit more sense if you want more features and storage space.

Which Is Better: Toyota Corolla Hybrid or Toyota Corolla?

The Toyota Corolla and Corolla Hybrid are both good options. Both offer comfortable rides, lots of standard features, and terrific safety and predicted reliability ratings. That said, stick with the Corolla Hybrid if fuel economy is a top priority. Its 53/52 mpg rating is far thriftier than the nonhybrid’s best of 31/40 mpg. On the other hand, the standard Corolla can save you quite a lot upfront. It costs $3,500 less in its base configuration. It’s also offered in a more practical hatchback variant. Test-drive both models to see which you prefer.

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, even by hybrid car standards.

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 has an excellent predicted reliability rating of five out of five 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

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 Corolla Hybrid an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The sedan earned five stars in the front and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2020 Corolla Hybrid the highest rating of Good in all six crash tests. It also received the highest rating of Superior for front crash prevention, thanks to its standard forward collision warning system. However, the Corolla’s headlights received the second-lowest rating of Marginal for how well they illuminate the road ahead.

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 focuses more on delivering a relaxing ride than exhilarating handling, 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, this Toyota finishes low in the rankings because there are some important areas (like interior quality) where it lags behind its classmates, so 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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