Previous generations of the Toyota Corolla have been called a Transportation Appliance and a styling likened to a bar of soap. This is the 2020 Corolla Hatchback. And I think Toyota has come clean with this really crisp style. And this color is called Fire Blue. (digital music) This is actually the 12th generation of the Corolla, if you can believe that. It has been in production continuously since 1966. And Toyota says that they have produced over 43 million Corollas at this point. So it’s got a lot of history to live up to. Well, it’s true the Corolla has a reputation for reliability. It’s generally had a pretty forgettable cabin and been quite uninvolving to drive. Let’s see if the new Corolla changes that. Starting with the interior. (digital music) This has leather trim seats and it has cloth inserts in the middle. I think they’re really comfortable.
I think they’re very adjustable too. It actually has lumbar support and the driver’s seat is got eight way electrical adjustments. The passenger seat is manual. The steering wheel is trimmed in leather and that is across the line. It’s a very nice steering wheel. It’s got soft touch buttons, which I really liked. They’ve got a very high quality feel and overall the interior is a pretty nice place to be, especially compared to the last generation. You’ve got very little hard surfaces here. This is nice soft material. The dash has got soft touch material all the way around. It’s all soft touch. Even down here. It’s a little bit of hard plastic here.
It does have some piano plastic, which I know people, some people aren’t gonna like it that much. It’s got a little bit of gloss plastic here and here, but overall the impression that I have is really, really high quality interior. This is a big step forward and refinement and this has a bit of a premium feel to it. The XSE has a seven inch display where as the base model gets a 4.2 inch. Now, what I like about this is that it does have some physical buttons around the side, which some of the competitors don’t. I think it’s really important to have physical buttons, especially things like the volume control. It’s also pretty easy to get to things like the map and the audio settings and your phone settings. Compared to some of the competitors, it’s not quite as easy to use. However, this is a pretty big step forward, I think for Toyota because in the past, some of their infotainment systems have been really a little bit clunky and a little bit different to use.
So, I think this is a nice step in the right direction. The heating and ventilation controls are quite easy to use. It’s got individual temperature adjust for the driver and the passenger, buttons are you know, they’re nice and soft to the touch and it has a pretty big display for the temperature that you’re setting. And you can go full auto as well. It does have several USB ports and this finally has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I know we’ve been waiting for that for a little while, but it’s finally here. It has a USB port right under the dash, which is where you plug in your phone for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. It is wireless charging and my phone fits in there very nicely. It’s a large Apple phone. And then additionally, in the center console, there is another charging port, another USB port, and there’s a separate 12 volt port.
So you can hook up additional accessories. Let’s talk about space in the back. (car trunk opening) When the rear seats are up, this has about 18 cubic feet of space. When they’re down, it’s somewhere… it’s a fair bit bigger than that. However, the Honda Civic has a lot more space in the back, even the Hatchback. And when you put the rear seat down, the Honda Civic definitely has a lot more space. It is a bigger vehicle. So if that’s a consideration for you, just keep it in mind. Definitely be no trouble fitting a bunch of groceries in here but if you’re going to do some weekend camping, for example, this is probably not the right car. Let’s talk about the power plant. This is a two liter engine. It’s normally aspirated. It’s part of a family that Toyota calls the Dynamic Force Engines. This is a brand new engine for 2018. And interestingly, they have decided not to turbocharge it like the Honda Civic, for example. And because this engine is not turbocharged, I think that Toyota has made a bet that it’s gonna be more reliable over the long haul. Now, one thing I noticed is this hood is actually super light. This is an aluminum hood and the Hatchback is composite. So there’s a little bit of weight savings that they’re bringing into what used to be sort of the purvey of performance cars and more expensive vehicles.
They’re bringing this down to the masses. Pretty cool. (car hood banging) Recently Toyota has taken a more sporting approach to their vehicles with the introduction of the Supra. So let’s see if some of that DNA has filtered down into the Corolla. (digital music) Let’s see how it drives and handles in the canyons. This is not a sports car. It’s not positioned as a sports car, but I have heard that this is a fairly good handling car. (beeping sound) And oh my gosh! We got a little beeping there (laughing). The lane departure warning on right now. You know, this is pretty competent. There’s not a lot of steering feel. I’m not getting a ton of feedback from the front end, but you know, to be honest, I’m pushing this car harder than almost anybody who buys one of these is gonna push it. And you know, it’s pretty good in the corners.
This is a whole lot better than any other of the Corollas that I’ve driven in the past. When we talked about them being a bar of soap and handled out like a bar soap too, they’re pretty slippery. And there’re not a lot of grip. This has pretty decent front end grip. It will understeer a little bit when you push it, but you know, it’s pretty compliant on the ride I think is very, very good for this class of car. In fact, that’s one thing that I’ve noticed is that the ride is quite supple. I think most people are gonna enjoy the ride and it still goes around corners, you know, pretty nicely. It’s pretty grippy, it’s pretty entertaining to drive. This car is the option of two different transmissions. This one is the CVT. You can also get it with a six speed manual. The CVT is what most people are going to choose. This one is particularly interesting and I think it’s unique in the market in that it has a traditional first gear. So if you’ve driven cars that make some people really not like CVTs, like for example the older Nissan Versa, when you step on the gas, the engine does revs up like crazy and there’s a real disconnect between the pedal and how fast you’re going.
This traditional first gear when you accelerate, it feels very positive and allows you quick acceleration and the engine doesn’t rev up like crazy. (car speeding) When you shift into second, second through 10 are all CVT gears, and they’re not actual gears they’re continuously variable, but this really feels a lot like a traditional automatic transmission. Perhaps it’s one of the best CVTs that are driven. (digital music) The Corolla looks good and it drives well, but let’s talk about some of the safety features including some very interesting technology and these very trick headlights. This car has the optional adaptive headlights, and we just happen to be in the canyons. Let’s see how effective they are outside of the city.
The lights follow the steering and put a couple of really bright spots where the car is turning. I’ve actually got similar technology in my nine year old BMW and frankly, this works better. It also works both with low beams and with high beams. (dramatic sound) Every Corolla comes with a suite of safety features called Toyota Safety Sense. Here I’ve turned on Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which follows the vehicle ahead of you and keeps a safe distance. You can see it on the dashboard, it actually is tracking the vehicle ahead of you. And if the vehicle slows down like over here, the Corolla slows down as well to kind of match the pace and match the speed. It’ll actually take you all the way down to a complete stop. It’s also got a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and it also tracks the vehicle ahead of you. And if it sees there is a vehicle in your lane that is stopped and you’re not reacting to it, it will actively apply the brakes and bring your car down to a complete stop. You can see there’s a white truck in front of me that is stopped and I’m not applying the brakes.
The vehicle doesn’t see the truck yet, but now it does and right (beeping) at the last minute and applies the brakes and brings the Corolla to a complete stop without me doing anything. Obviously I was prepared for this and ready to hit the brakes, but the Corolla did stop safely in time. So let’s cut to the chase. What do I really think about this car overall? I think it’s a pretty good, pretty impressive package. The fit and finish, the interior i really like, it feels very sturdy, very well put together. Everything just feels like there’s a lot of touch and care in here. The engine, now it’s not the most powerful engine in the world by any means, but just driving around the city a normal driving, I didn’t really feel like I was lacking too much in power. It’s not the torquiest engine imaginable, but it does get pretty good fuel economy. And the CVT, this transmission is probably one of the better transmissions.
One of the better CVTs that I’ve driven, it feels a lot like a conventional automatic. I think it feels more like a traditional automatic with a torque converter than any other CVT that have driven quite frankly. And in terms of the safety features available in the base model, across the entire range that are standard, Toyota Safety Sense, they’re pretty good. They’re certainly not perfect, but at a car starting at about $20,000, I think this represents a really good value. In fact, overall, this is a pretty good value. Would I drive this car day to day being the sports car guy that I am? For me as a second vehicle, i think this is… I absolutely would. If this is your only vehicle, this is something that is really quite pleasurable to drive. I really did enjoy driving this. It has pretty good handling. I like the styling a lot. I like this blue. I definitely give this car a pretty big thumbs up. If you enjoyed this video, there’s a couple more on screen. Pick one. My name is Eric and I will see you in the next video.
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