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Refreshing or Revolting: 2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/16/2018 Motor Trend Staff
2020-Toyota-Corolla-XSE-front.jpg

The Toyota Corolla hatchback returned to the U.S. market earlier this year, bringing with it a sleek exterior design, modern interior, and all the benefits that come with the TNGA platform. Now, Toyota has taken that car and tweaked its body to create the 2020 Corolla sedan. With the obvious exception of the trunk, the Corolla sedan looks a lot like its hatchback sibling. But how does it compare to the car it replaces? Take a look below and decide for yourself.

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Up front, the 2020 Corolla sedan looks pretty close to the hatch, wearing similar angular headlights and a wide-open lower intake area covered by black mesh. The sedan moves its Toyota emblem out of the grille and onto the piece just before the hood. The outgoing Corolla sedan was last refreshed for the 2017 model year, which brought an equally gaping mesh lower valance and more creases and vents in the front bumper.

2020-Toyota-Corolla-XSE-front-side-in-motion.jpg© Motor Trend Staff 2020-Toyota-Corolla-XSE-front-side-in-motion.jpg

When viewed from the side, the front end remains the biggest distinguishing feature between the new and old sedan. The new Corolla has a more natural slope to its C-pillar, and the greenhouse shape is less angular than before. Thanks to the TNGA switch, the 2020 Corolla sheds 0.8 inch in height and has a hood that's 1.8 inches lower, which lowers the beltline compared to its predecessor. Top trim levels get the 18-inch alloy wheels seen here, which are lifted straight from the Corolla hatch.

The rear end is much more conservative than the front, but there are a few details that help it stand out. Perhaps due to the 0.9-inch wider rear track, the new model looks more planted than before with rear fenders that bow out ever so slightly. The taillights have been redesigned, but rather than make a statement like those on the Camry or Avalon, these are just kind of there. We like them better than the old Corolla's notched lamps, but they're not terribly distinctive. To help offset that plainness, there's a black lip spoiler for the trunklid, a rear bumper with black mesh valance and faux-diffuser, and dual exhaust tips. This is a sportier XSE model though, so keep in mind that not all Corolla sedans will get the same exterior treatment.

Inside, the 2020 Corolla sedan looks nearly identical to the hatch, using the same Avalon-derived dashboard design and free-standing Entune 3.0 touchscreen. Given this development, the dash is much less cluttered than the one on the old Corolla since most of the controls are now consolidated in the infotainment screen. The cockpit also looks more open now that the center console no longer connects to the dash.

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