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The 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE Is Still Just a Car

After spending time with the 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE––needless to say––I have some opinions. Blue stitching on the interior? Yes, please. My Sons loved that detail. The exterior styling is without a doubt the best that a Toyota Corolla sedan has ever looked. It’s more modern and edgy with an interesting grille and nice 18-inch alloy wheels. But my final verdict is that it’s still just a car. There’s a big difference between Toyota cars and SUVs.

2020 Toyota Corolla XSE
2020 Toyota Corolla XSE | Toyota

The 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE is a perfect example of why the crossover segment dominates the market. While the Corolla was roomy enough with ample trunk space and a good handle for what it is, I felt myself missing the size and versatility of something a bit larger. Why buy a Toyota Corolla when you can buy a Toyota RAV4?

Car or SUV?

There are, of course, people who love cars. And those people will obviously choose a Toyota Corolla over a RAV4. Toyota cars and SUVs are all known for reliability. Naturally, each has its own appeal to certain buyers. For someone that is used to driving around in either a crossover, minivan, cargo van, or pickup truck, the Toyota Corolla––as fun and easy to drive as it is––did not convert me into a car person.

2021 RAV4 off-roading crossover SUV
Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

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For people choosing between Toyota cars and SUVs, the size issue is of course going to be a huge difference between the two. The 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE is a good car with excellent fuel economy. The trunk combined with the back seat was more than enough room to bring home a full Sam’s haul that included bulky items like a new vacuum and a large bag of dog food. Still, it feels low to get into. And, in most crossovers, everything would have fit in the rear cargo without needing to use back seat space too.

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Is the Toyota Corolla a good car?

The 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE is a good car. I couldn’t find much to complain about after a week spent driving one. For me, the only downside to the 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE is that it’s still just a car. Granted, pricing for crossovers and SUVs is thought of as higher. In fact, that’s only true for Toyota cars and SUVs when it comes to the range toppers.

The Corolla Hybrid, competing with the Honda Civic, is displayed during the first press day at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show
The Toyota Corolla Hybrid | Robert Hradil/Getty Images

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For example, the 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE base price is in the $25,000-$26,000 range. The base price for a 2020 RAV4 is in the same ballpark. While you may think that the Toyota Corolla is probably thousands cheaper than the Toyota RAV4 such is actually not the case.

The only downside is that it’s not an SUV

When you can buy a crossover that is just as efficient and reliable as a car, why buy the car? While I enjoyed driving the 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE, it really got me thinking about Toyota cars and SUVs. The revelation that the versatility of a crossover pretty much trumps a car across the board shook me. It’s no wonder that crossovers are so popular. It makes sense why Toyota is bringing back the Venza instead of the Solara.

2021 Toyota Venza crossover SUV
2021 Toyota Venza l Toyota