Skip to main content

Choosing an eco-friendly vehicle is becoming more and more of a priority for customers with every passing year. Let’s face it: it’s 2020, and our cars should be easy on the environment.

To encourage automakers to produce greener vehicles, Green Car Journal hosts its Green Car Awards ceremony each year and names a vehicle in each category as being the best in eco-friendly availability for that model year. For 2020, the recipient of the Green Car of the Year was the 2020 Toyota Corolla and Corolla Hybrid.

2020 brought new and exciting things for the Toyota Corolla 

A 2020 Toyota Corolla hybrid on display
The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid has been named the 2020 Green Car of the Year | MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

2020 was the first year that Toyota offered the Corolla Hybrid. Traditionally, the Prius was always where customers turned when looking for a hybrid vehicle, but Toyota knocked it out of the park when they decided to offer a hybrid model for their best-selling sedan.

The hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine alongside a 53kW electric motor. Together, they’ll give you up to 53 mpg combined city/highway. Good for the Earth, and good for your wallet!

While the hybrid is certainly something to be excited about, the non-hybrid Corolla shines in its own fuel efficiency. The L, LE, and XLE trim levels come standard with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that gets 139 hp.

This nets you 30/38 mpg city/highway. The SE and XSE trims come equipped with the 2.0-liter engine that is in the hybrid model and gets the Corolla 169 hp, leading to a cozy 31/40 mpg city/highway. Not too shabby. 

What else earned the 2020 Toyota Corolla the Green Car of the Year award?

The top contenders for the Green Car of the Year award were the Corolla, the Ford Escape, the Hyundai Sonata, the Kia Soul, and the Mazda3. While the Corolla’s improved fuel efficiency was a major part of why the panel of judges chose it to be the winner, there have to be more reasons as to why it took the top spot…right?

Not completely. The Corolla Hybrid stands out against its competitors thanks to its outstanding gas mileage, but the rest of the features the hybrid offers are surprisingly similar to that of the non-hybrid.

That’s refreshing to see. The hybrid looks and feels exactly like the regular old sedan that Toyota loyalists have come to know and love. Both ride smoothly, sit comfortably, have easy-to-use controls, and all of the latest technology that consumers look for in their new cars. 

On top of that, the Corolla and Corolla Hybrid aren’t exclusive in their price tags. When hybrids first hit the market, they were so much more expensive than their non-hybrid counterparts that it turned a lot of customers away. Innovations in production have turned that around and now the Corolla Hybrid is offered at the second-lowest trim level through the highest level. 

A long list of features

2020 was a redesign year for the Toyota Corolla, so on top of getting better fuel efficiency than ever before, it also looks more exciting than ever before.

It’s even offered in a hatchback model (although the hybrid is not). It features a large touchscreen control panel for its infotainment system and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa, which is helpful to utilize the controls while safely keeping your eyes on the road. 

The 2020 Corolla is also rated highly for safety. The IIHS picked the hatchback model as a Top Safety Pick of the Year and the NHTSA gave it a five-star safety rating. Standard safety features include lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and a lane departure alert. So ride safely and guilt-free with this Green Car of the Year!


The Toyota Corolla Exhibits Rock Solid Reliability for Over a Decade