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After 50 years of being on the top, Toyota may have gotten a little too comfortable with its success. The Corolla is the most sold car on earth, and many owners won’t buy a car without the Toyota logo on the front. The latest 2020 model has fallen short of the Corolla legacy, however, and critics are wondering why. 

In spite of the Toyota Corolla’s great sale numbers, many of its competitors are beginning to outpace it. This has a lot to do with the Corolla’s poor performance and lack of cabin space. Here’s what U.S. News had to say about the 2020 Toyota Corolla, and which competitors have pushed it from the number one position. 

The critics aren’t overly thrilled

U.S. News didn’t give the 2020 Corolla a scathing review by any means, but it’s more than clear that the review site is disappointed in this latest model. In 2019, the Corolla received a score of 8.5 out of 10. This year, the score dropped to 8.0 out of 10. In spite of its low starting price of $19,600, the Toyota Corolla is simply not that interesting anymore.

To be fair, the hatchback model was part of what brought the score down. The rear seat is far from comfortable for passengers, which is unusual coming from Toyota.

Somewhere in the midst of trying to branch out to a new clientele, Toyota forgot some of its roots of going for utility and comfort. The sedan model is still as roomy as ever, thankfully, so many potential buyers may avoid the cramped back seat by skipping the hatchback.

That wasn’t the only problem facing the Toyota Corolla, however. According to U.S. News,

“This Toyota doesn’t deliver the engaging driving experience that many classmates offer, and the base engine is uninspiring. Also, the Corolla doesn’t have the passenger and cargo space of some rivals.”

Other critics like Car and Driver weren’t all that impressed either. Some of the new features like the hybrid version are welcome changes, but not enough to make the Corolla stand out.

Car and Driver stated,

“Despite being such a drastic improvement over its predecessor, the Corolla hardly leapfrogs to the top of its class; it merely reaches closer to parity.”

Are owners happy with their 2020 Toyota Corolla?

The 2020 Toyota Corolla has been on the market for a while now, and owners are beginning to speak out. Some of the reviews are great, and while others blast Toyota.

On Edmunds, one reviewer stated, “This is my 4th Corolla. I still have two 2014’s. The 2020 Corolla is the best one yet.” 

Other reviewers seemed pleased enough with the 2020 model. Overall, the Corolla got a score of 3.8 out of 5 from consumer reviewers.

The reviews on Kelley Blue Book were not so kind. One owner reports that their Corolla had only 3,500 miles on it when the AC stopped working, and their local dealership was less than helpful. Another reviewer stated that the bottom half of the infotainment screen blacks out, and won’t turn back on unless they cut the car off.

While most owners seem to be pleased with their Corolla, there are some who already regret their purchase. The 2020 model is still fairly new, however, so it’s too soon to figure out if owners will keep their Corolla or trade it in for another vehicle.

How the competition outshone the Toyota Corolla

No one thinks that the Corolla is a terrible car, but the competition in the compact car division is heating up. Even though automakers like Ford have dropped out of the race, other manufacturers are rising to the occasion.

The Honda Civic is one of the Corolla’s major rivals, and so far, the Corolla is winning that particular race. Drivers who want something a little more fun to drive choose the Civic while more cautious drivers go with the Corolla. Other compact sedans are pulling ahead, however.

The Mazda3 was fully redesigned in 2019, and consumers have taken notice. It’s faster, more attractive, and has greater comfort than ever before. The Kia Forte has also really stepped up to the plate by offering more features for a similar price range, and has a warranty that can’t be topped. If Toyota is going to stand out from the crowd, it’ll have to break out of its comfort zone first.


Car Sales Are so Bad Even Toyota Is Struggling