Toyota followed its November launch of the twelfth-generation Corolla with a November debut of the twelfth-generation Corolla. This time, we're looking at the new hybrid sedan – a model that should probably be sold years ago, though we're not sure who the intended demographic trend will be. Prius owners?
While the Corolla Hybrid already exists in the expanded universe of Toyota, this is the first time for the carmaker to consider it appropriate to marginalize the variant. The hybrid system combines a 1.8-liter Atkinson internal combustion engine (2ZR-FXE) and two electric motors with a total output of 121 hp. These are rather lukewarm specifications, but the automaker was probably much more concerned with achieving the model's estimated average fuel economy of 50 mpg than tuning the engine to the racetrack.
Think of it as a kind of diet prius, if that helps.
Of course, Toyota does not want you to think the hybrid would be a slug. The company claims the electrified construction gives the engine additional momentum at low speeds. It also has a sport attitude in case you want to make the final sacrifices in the economy of your front-wheel drive CVT sedan.
Alternatively there are the standard modes Normal, Eco and EV drivers are available during daily commuting. Although it is easy to guess how they will change the priorities of the vehicle, the EV mode only allows electric driving when the vehicle's nickel metal hydride battery contains enough energy.
The same performance cell that occupies the new Prius AWD-e, if you ask yourself. Toyota has placed the battery under the back seat so as not to lose volume. The model has been equipped with a braking system that gives priority to regenerative braking because it uses hydraulic clamps. The system is designed to send otherwise wasted energy back into the battery, and has a smooth brake setting that could be useful in heavy traffic.
In addition, there is not much difference between the Corolla Hybrid and the standard model. Both feature automatic braking, adaptive cruise control at full speed, lane departure warning, lane departure warning, sign detection and automatic high beam as part of the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 range of safety aids. They also have almost identical outer sides, since the electrified model does not really carry any telltale marks.
In fact, it might be easier to look for 15-inch alloy wheels and low-rolling-resistance tires. Auto-spotting The only other safe method is to jump in and check if it is recommended driving to optimize efficiency.
The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid can be seen at the LA Auto Show Spring 2019. Expect pricing and additional details to be announced closer to their launch.