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A new hybrid model provides comparable performance along with greatly enhanced fuel economy for about the same price.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The all-new 2020 Toyota Corolla rides on a strong chasis and is available as a hybrid that offers even better fuel economy for the first time.Toyota sold the first Corolla in America 53 years ago in 1966. Since that time, over 46 million Corollas have been purchased, making it the best-selling vehicle of all time. Now the latest generation has arrived with new features that will keep this popular compact sedan at the top of the sales charts.

The first thing you should know about the new Corolla is that Toyota has included a full suite of advanced safety technology features like adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, automatic emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection, and road sign recognition as standard equipment. Many new luxury cars at twice or three times the Corolla price point make you pay extra for these features.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The 2020 Toyota Corolla has a roomy, well-designed interior, and comes standard with a wide range of safety features.

The next thing to remember is that the 2020 Corolla will be available as a hybrid, but the hybrid won't cost a lot more than a comparable gas-powered Corolla. The hybrid is available only in the mid-level LE trim, and includes features that cost extra on a gas-powered Corolla LE. You can buy the Corolla LE hybrid for $23,880, while the comparable gas-powered LE sells for $23,129. A sporty SE trim Corolla will land right in the middle at $23,580.

The basic Corolla L and the LE and XLE trims all feature a 1.8-liter engine with 139 horsepower and a continuously variable transmission. The sport-oriented SE and XSE trims carry a 2.0-liter engine with 169 horsepower and your choice of the CVT or a 6-speed manual transmission. The Corolla LE hybrid comes with an alternate 1.8-liter engine paired with twin electric motors and a continuously variable transmission, and offers 129 horsepower.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The seats in the 2020 Toyota Corolla are comfortable enough for long trips.

Toyota has reduced ambient cabin noise, and the new Corolla is very quiet on the road. Apart from the most basic L trim, all models receive an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with support for Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa. Android Auto is not yet supported. The highest XLE and XSE trim levels include satellite radio and onboard navigation.

Driving the Corolla is a pleasure because the new chassis platform is very strong and well-made, and responds well to steering inputs. In our time with the new model, we drove the LE, SE, and LE Hybrid and found that there wasn't a great difference in actual on-road performance under normal driving conditions. The hybrid was our favorite, because the electric motors help eliminate some of the acceleration lag inherent with a continuously variable transmission.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The 2020 Toyota Corolla has a reasonable amount for cargo space for a compact sedan. A hatchback version that is actually a different model is also available

The bottom line on the 2020 Toyota Corolla is that it continues to provide great value for the money, and the hybrid provides comparable performance along with greatly enhanced fuel economy for about the same price. The 2020 Corolla is expected to go on sale this spring.

2020 Toyota Corolla

Base price: $20,430

Price as tested: $23,880

Type: Compace sedan

Engine: 1.8-liter or 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 1.8-liter hybrid (121-169 hp, 105-151 lbs-ft)

Transmissions: Continuously Variable Transmission; 6-speed manual

EPA estimated mileage: 30/38 to 53/52

Overall length: 182.3 inches

Curb weight: 3,110 pounds

Final assembly: Blue Springs, Mississippi

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