2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan First Drive: Love Me For What I Am – MotorTrend

There is a certain nobility in accepting your place in the food chain and making sure you are the best you can be at that strata.

Such is the position of the 2020 Toyota Corolla. This is the 12th generation of the Corolla, the frumpy but economical entry-level sedan from a brand that traffics in reliability. Enough folks prefer such predictable A-to-B transport that the Corolla is the best-selling car in the world.

But change has been due. The Corolla’s last major redesign hit the streets in fall 2013. Pretty much every other compact car has turned over in the interim, each with impressive qualifications to be a new driver’s first new car.

In the past, reputation allowed the Corolla to get away with bland styling and limp dynamics. It was shinier than buying used, had a strong price-value equation, and had durability in spades—thus, several generations of Toyota families have advised their kids to make a Corolla their first purchase. Since it was introduced in 1966, Toyota has sold a dizzying 46 million copies. And internal data shows 65 percent turned in that first Corolla for another Toyota. In other words, it’s a key vehicle for the franchise in terms of owner loyalty.

Toyota still thinks the Corolla is the perfect car for the first-time driver and first-time buyer. Fortunately it is not resting on its laurels. For this new generation, which started with the 2019 hatchback and continues with the 2020 sedan, Toyota has upped its game substantially.

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