2020 Toyota Corolla XSE: Swanky and Compelling Details

I’ve had the privilege of spending a little time with the 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE this week. My verdict so far is that it’s a practical commuter car with a bit of a fun side. There are some features that are very fun and compelling. It’s clear that the team at Toyota really does pay attention to detail.

2020 Toyota Corolla XSE
2020 Toyota Corolla XSE | Toyota

While it’s no luxury car, there are parts of the 2020 Toyota Corolla that still feel pretty swanky. There are plenty of soft surfaces, a nice user-friendly touch screen interface, and a nice list of safety features. Additionally, putting it in sport mode makes the otherwise humdrum acceleration more punchy.

The 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE

The stance is wider and aggressive, the grille and badging look upgraded and contemporary. Overall, the 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE paints a nice picture. There are fun details like the honeycomb grille pattern. Plus there’s some swanky blue contrast stitching on the inside. Anything that can get 5 and 3-year-old boys to call a Toyota Corolla a race car gets immediate approval in my book. The contrast stitching on the seats of the 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE is pretty striking in a sea of beige and black interiors we are used to in most cars these days.

2020 Toyota Corolla XSE interior
2020 Toyota Corolla XSE interior | Toyota

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The Toyota Corolla base price, according to Kelley Blue Book, ranges between $23,320 and $26,019. The documents in the car show the MSRP at $25,725. As tested, the 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE has a retail price of $28,845––including the delivery and handling fee. The 2020 XSE model boasts a very long list of standard equipment, including the Toyota safety suite, a moonroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a sport-tuned suspension.

In addition to the standard features, our tester had the upgraded audio and infotainment. The JBL speakers rendered clear tones of a Philip Glass concerto that was easy to find on the satellite radio station using the touch screen infotainment display. There is also a wireless charging dock for easy device charging. It worked great for my husband’s phone that doesn’t have a case on it. However, for my phone that’s in a heavy-duty drop-proof case, the wireless charging failed unless the 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE was parked.

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Is the 2020 Corolla a good car?

For the money, this is a great car. It has nearly unbeatable predicted reliability for almost every year since the beginning of its production. Toyota built the Toyota Corolla to take you to work every day for 10 or 20 years. In the 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE, I felt safe and had no issues trusting the car to pass on the highway or navigate winding S-curves on a country road.

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This Toyota Corolla XSE lived up to the Corolla’s reputation. Additionally, putting it in sport mode makes things a bit more lively. The dash display even lights up red when the car is switched into sport mode.

Overall, I think the 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE is a good car. It isn’t the most exciting car, but the exterior styling definitely makes the Toyota Corolla look cooler than it’s ever looked. It’s safe to say that it’s graduated past being an appliance. The Toyota Corolla now has fun options and swanky details that push it past the boring be-wheeled commuter it once was.