The Corolla has added a gasoline-electric hybrid model for the 2020 model year that has an average mpg that is nearly 20 miles longer than the average mileage for its gas-powered siblings, providing fleets with an enticing option if they are looking for a way to cut down on fuel spend but also provide drivers with a comfortable, familiar experience.
One of the most exciting things about the all new 2020 Corolla Hybrid is its available mpg, as it offers a combined mpg average of 52 miles. Other iterations of the 2020 Corolla offer a combined mpg average of 33 or 34, depending on the model, but the Hybrid LE trim I test drove, which runs on a 1.8L Hybrid electronically controlled continuously variable transmission, has an estimated city mpg of 53 and 52 on the highway.
Considering how California gas prices have been leaning on the higher side as of late, skirting a few cents above the $4 mark, I really appreciated how little I had to pay at the pump after spending moderate weekend driving with the hybrid sedan. I spent $8.30 on approximately 91 miles of driving on Southern California roads, and put in just under 2 gallons at the pump when I was finished fueling.
The hybrid features an EV mode, which can be activated near the console with the click of a button, that allows for electric driving at low speeds over short distances. There’s also a “Drive Mode” button to swap between normal, eco and power modes. The battery is stored beneath the rear seats, which means the Corolla Hybrid retains its familiar interior appearance, including 13 cu.-ft. Cargo space and 60/40 split-folding rear seats.
A Suite of Safety Tech
Toyota didn’t skimp on safety when transitioning to the 2020-MY, and has brought with it a robust suite of safety features to the hybrid vehicle.
The Corolla Hybrid LE is equipped with Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0, which offers a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection; automatic high beams; dynamic radar cruise control; lane departure alert and lane tracing assist, the latter of which was my favorite of all the new technologies.
I consider myself a good driver, as I’m sure so do a majority of fleet drivers, but I did find the lane tracing assist to be a nice feature as part of the available technologies. When weaving between lanes in gridlock, I sometimes find myself eagerly seeking the next fastest lane, and slowly inching in one direction. The lane tracing assist helped keep me more “grounded” in my lane, not leaning one way or the other, and ultimately creating a safer driving experience.
Monitoring fuel spend and maintaining driver safety is always a major concern for fleet managers, so fleets seeking the comfort of the familiar while experiencing the benefits of newer vehicle technology would be remiss to not consider the capabilities of the new Corolla Hybrid.
The 2020 Corolla Hybrid LE is available at an MSRP of $23,100.
2020 Corolla Hybrid Specs
- Engine: 1.8L 4-cylinder DOHC 16-Valve (121 hp)
- Transmission: Electronically controlled continuously variable transmission
- Cargo Space: 13 cu.-ft.
- Fuel Economy (1.8L): 53 mpg city, 52 mpg highway