Toyota is probably most well known for its compact and fuel-efficient cars. The Prius still gets some of the best gas mileage out of any competitor, even if it’s an older model. The Camry is also a popular pick thanks to its advanced safety features and excellent crash test scores.
The Toyota Corolla one of of those popular models. While it’s not the most powerful contender, it’s still one of the most fuel-efficient options on the market. It also has a lot of both standard and available technology on board. Does that include Apple CarPlay?
Inside the Toyota Corolla
Smartphone integration hasn’t been around for too long, but it’s gotten quite popular with consumers. It allows them to sync their phone with the car’s infotainment system. This way, they can access their music and other apps without taking too much attention away from the road.
Apple CarPlay is standard for the Corolla, but Android Auto is still not supported. The base trim also comes with a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot, voice recognition, and a singular USB port. Higher trims offer wireless charging, a premium audio system, and built-in navigation.
Only the 2020 Toyota Corolla has standard Apple CarPlay for every trim and configuration. In last year’s model, it was only standard if you bought the hatchback. Standard smartphone integration is just one of the new features the sedan version received for 2020.
New sedan features
While it’s not a full redesign, the 2020 sedan got a refresh that was sorely needed. Its interior now looks similar to the hatchback version, which was redesigned last year. Cloth seats are standard, but you can get leather seats as an upgrade.
It now has an independent multi-link suspension, which should definitely improve the overall driving experience. It’s also now available as a hybrid model, complete with a hybrid driving mode that returns an excellent combined 52 mpg.
Like many Toyota cars, the Corolla has a nice selection of standard safety features. The Toyota Safety Sense suite is included in the base trim. This system comes equipped with forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assistance, traffic sign recognition, and adaptive cruise control.
The pricier trims have adaptive headlights and blind-spot monitors. The Corolla hatchback was named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. It also has a perfect reliability rating from Consumer Reports.
The engine options on the Toyota Corolla are somewhat disappointing. The standard trim comes with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that makes 139 hp. While this is fine for daily driving, it makes the Corolla struggle while trying to pass at highway speeds. It’s still great on gas, with a combined rating of 33 mpg.
The optional 2.0-liter engine greatly improves acceleration. It generates 169 hp and can be purchased with a six-speed manual transmission instead of the standard CVT. This motor doesn’t make the Corolla the fastest car on the road, but it gives the sportier trims better handling.
How it performs on the road
Car and Driver found that both the sedan and the hatchback are composed over most types of terrain. However, reviewers noted that even with the upgraded engine, some of the Corolla’s rivals are quicker. Edmunds also reported that the hybrid version, while boasting the best gas mileage, is the least fun to drive. It’s only available with a 121-hp engine and the brakes are harder to operate compared to gas-powered models.
Even with its sportier options, the Toyota Corolla may not be the best pick for thrill-seekers. Still, each model offers a smooth drive and plenty of advanced technology like Apple CarPlay.