2020 Toyota Corolla XSE Review by David Colman + VIDEO - It's E15 Approved
Fresh exterior and latest technology keeps the Corolla vital and competitive
By David Colman
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL
Base models (L, LE, LSE) of the Corolla depend on a 1.8 liter engine which produces just 139hp and 126lb.-ft. of torque. Up-level variants like our test XSE substitute a 2.0 liter engine which adds 30hp and 25lb.-ft. of torque to the mix. Even with the upgraded engine, the Corolla still returns 34MPG in overall operation. With its 13 gallon fuel tank, it will cover an impressive 440 miles between fill ups. Be sure and order your Corolla with the upgraded engine. Our experience convinced us that even the larger motor is just barely adequate for your acceleration requirements. Equipped with a CVT transmission, the XSE weighs 3,150lbs. With a weight-to-power ratio of 18.7lbs. per horsepower, the XSE is definitely underpowered. If you want to improve your Corolla's sprightliness, order it with the available 6-speed manual gearbox. The CVT in our XSE offered 8 detents which mimic "shift" points. Even though Toyota has provided the Corolla with paddle shifts at the steering wheel, there was little else that proved sporty or engaging about CVT equipped Corolla.
The TNGA platform that underlies the new 12th generation sedan is a lot sportier than its drivetrain. Toyota has optimized suspension componentry front and rear to provide a stable, comfortable ride with excellent steering feedback and handling response. Front and rear fully independent suspension systems are augmented by anti-roll bars at both ends. The XSE package includes platinum "machined" 18 inch alloy rims shod with low profile Yokohama Avid radials (225/40R18) that reinforce Yokohama's reputation for generating high levels of grip. This suspension package artfully combines a pleasingly pliable ride with the resiliency to make sporty back road motoring pleasurable as well.
2020 TOYOTA COROLLA XSE
ENGINE: 2.0 liter inline 4, DOHC, 16 Valves, Dual VVT-i
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FUEL CONSUMPTION: 31MPG City/38MPG Highway
PRICE AS TESTED: $29,168
HYPES: Nicely Chiseled Exterior, Upgraded Interior
GRIPES: Not Enough Motor
STAR RATING: 8.5 Stars out of 10
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