Pros: Great value, especially hybrid Standard safety equipment Outstanding fuel economy Cons: Loud, underpowered base engine Tinny-sounding doors No USB outlets in rear Last year we drove the new Corolla hatchback and experienced the improvements of Toyota moving the car to the TNGA-C platform. This year we follow up with the sedan in three flavors. First up, an XLE with a CVT and a 139-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that could be older than the cars buyers. The sportier SE has the 169-hp 2.0-liter I-4 and six-speed manual. For 2020 Toyota adds a hybrid with a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle engine and two electric motors for a combined 121 hp. So, none of these will light up the test track, yet Toyota has made its econobox-for-the-masses somehow fun? Read about Car, SUV, and Truck of the Year contenders HERE . --> High marks to Toyota for the exceptional value of the $24,055 hybrid and the extra power and manual in the SE. But as the XLE is the volume model, prospective customers should know the engine is loud, laborious, and slow in this entry-level car. It takes more than 10 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph with the crusty old 1.8-liter engine. Not surprisingly, the judges preferred the 2.0-liter and appreciate that Toyota did not make the manual exclusive to the hatchback. The manual gearbox has long throws, clutch take-up is a bit vague, and rev-matching was poorbut, hey, some folks still want to do their own rowing. The 2020 Corolla is a big improvement over the past generation, especially inside. The stitching and two-tone color schemes make the hard plastic look fresh. The cloth seats are rough but should be durable. Editor-in-chief Ed Loh liked the modern, funky, kind-of-Ikea design. The theme continues with a minimalist center console. The only USB outlet is in the consolerear passengers are out of luck. It has a surprisingly big trunk for a compact car. Toyota embraces the Corollas place in the food chain. This is the 12th generation of its small car, and it still has manually adjustable seats, standard 15-inch wheels, a hand brake, and tinny-sounding doors. Its front-drive only with no plans to add all-wheel drive or a turbocharger or to trade in the old-school nickelmetal hydride batteries in the hybrid for lithium-ion. The result is a lot of value. These cars come with a lot of standard safety equipment for the money. Adaptive cruise control buttons are on the steering wheel. The Corolla also has auto-dimming high-beam headlights, a nice touch for suburbia. However, lane keep assist is essentially limited to beeped warnings as the car crosses lane lines. For 2020 the car gains a multilink rear suspension with active cornering assist. Loh described it as having big-car suspension in a small package and great dampening. Technical director Frank Markus was also impressed by the ride quality on rough roads, with bumps heard more than felt. Many judges commented on the cars agility, with sharp turn-in for a front-drive economy car. We even got some good old-fashioned sliding of the back end. Who wouldve thought that a Corolla with a CVT would handle better than a Mazda ? executive editor Mark Rechtin asked. Theres huge amounts of tire howl in protest under hard cornering, but at least its predictable, and when you mash the gas pedal coming out of the corner, the CVT always gives you maximum torque. Steering is light but not terribly vague, the small wheels absorb imperfections, and the hybrids 53/52 mpg fuel economy is outstanding. Even though there are a few flaws with the powertrain, this is a very compelling product for those who want to save money at the pump, MotorTrend en Espa ol managing editor Miguel Cortina said. Combining an independent rear suspension and a fresher look, the Corolla provides a comfortable, commute-friendly ride. The Honda Civic may still be our compact sedan segment leader , but the new Corolla has definitely upped the competitive pressure. 2020 Toyota Corolla SE 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE 2020 Toyota Corolla XLE Base Price/As Tested $23,705/$23,705 $24,055/$24,055 $25,005/$26,720 Power (SAE net) 169 hp @ 6,600 rpm 121 hp @ 5200 rpm + 71 hp (elec); 121 hp comb 139 hp @ 6,100 rpm Torque (SAE net) 151 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm 105 lb-ft @ 3600 + 105 lb-ft (elec) 126 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm Accel, 0-60 mph 7.8 sec 10.3 sec 10.2 sec Quarter Mile 16.1 sec @ 87.5 mph 17.6 sec @ 79.0 mph 17.8 sec @ 81.0 mph Braking, 60-0 mph 126 ft 133 ft 128 ft Lateral Acceleration 0.83 g (avg) 0.77 g (avg) 0.81 g (avg) MT Figure Eight 27.7 sec @ 0.61 g (avg) 29.1 sec @ 0.54 g (avg) 28.1 sec @ 0.58 g (avg) EPA City/Hwy/Comb 29/36/32 mpg 53/52/52 mpg 29/37/32 mpg The post 2020 Toyota Corolla Pros and Cons: We Test Three Flavors of Toyotas Compact Sedan appeared first on MotorTrend .