2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid delivers 50 mpg in a compact package

Toyota is now synonymous with hybrids, and not just because of the Prius. Japan’s largest automaker has added hybrid versions of several of its biggest sellers, from the Camry and Avalon sedans, to the RAV4 and Highlander crossovers, to the sleek Lexus LC luxury coupe. But the compact Corolla hasn’t gotten the hybrid treatment — until now.

The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is the first model of its kind in the Corolla’s 52-year history. Debuting at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Corolla Hybrid is based on the revamped gasoline 2020 Corolla sedan (Toyota won’t offer a hybrid version of the Corolla hatchback). The hybrid goes on sale in the United States in Spring 2019.

The hybrid model looks virtually identical to a non-hybrid Corolla sedan, but under the skin it features the familiar Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system, which works with a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine to drive the front wheels. Toyota estimates total system output of 121 horsepower, and promises the hybrid powertrain won’t decrease interior space despite the need to house a nickel-metal hydride battery pack.

Toyota expects the Corolla Hybrid to get 50 mpg combined — just 2 mpg short of a standard Prius (the Prius Eco model is rated at 56 mpg combined). But just as the standard Corolla competes with the Honda Civic, the Corolla Hybrid’s main rival will likely be the Civic-based Honda Insight hybrid sedan. The Insight is rated by the EPA at 52 mpg combined in all trim levels except the Touring model, which is rated at 48 mpg combined.

The Corolla Hybrid gets many of the same tech features as other Corolla variants. The Entune 3.0 infotainment system includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay (Android Auto isn’t available), Amazon Alexa connectivity, and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. The Corolla Hybrid also gets the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of driver aids, which bundles autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic high beams, Toyota’s Lane Trace Assist automated lane-centering feature, and Road Sign Assist, which uses a camera to read stop, yield, do not enter, and speed limit signs.

The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid makes its public debut in L.A. alongside the updated 2019 Toyota Prius, as well as the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid plug-in hybrid, which uses Toyota powertrain tech. We wouldn’t expect Toyota to stop at just one hybrid, after all. Pricing information for the Corolla Hybrid will be released closer to the car’s Spring 2019 launch.

Updated on November 28, 2018: Added live photos.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

2020 GMC Acadia toughens up on the outside, gets smarter on the inside

The 2020 GMC Acadia crossover gets styling updates and a more rugged AT4 trim level. Under the skin, the Acadia sports a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a wider array of tech features.

2020 Kia Soul and Soul EV continue to think inside the box

The 2020 Kia Soul is the third generation of Kia's boxy curiosity. The Soul maintains its signature look, but gets tech and powertrain upgrades. The all-electric Soul EV returns as well.

The Polestar 2, Sweden’s answer to the Tesla Model 3, begins taking shape

Volvo sister company Polestar has released a teaser image to give us our first look at the 2, its second model. Polestar tells us the 2 will arrive as a four-door fastback with a 400-hp electric powertrain and about 300 miles of range.

The hottest of all Mini hatches is coming with a Batman-approved design

The Mini John Cooper Works GP concept first seen at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show will go into production in 2020, Mini has confirmed. The John Cooper Works GP is the ultimate performance version of the Mini Cooper.

Psychedelic Volkswagen Microbus from Woodstock returns for an encore

With its trippy paint scheme, the Volkswagen "Light" bus became a symbol of the 1969 Woodstock music festival. VW teamed up with the artist who created this rolling mural to stage a comeback in time for Woodstock's 50th anniversary.
Product Review

Mercedes-Benz updates the timeless G-wagen for the modern world

For decades, the G-Class has been an outlier in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio, a body-on-frame brute with the soul – and driving manners – of an off-road pickup. With the all-new G550, Mercedes seeks to smooth out some of the rough edges.

Amazon plugs in with $700 million investment in electric pickup company Rivian

Amazon invested $700 million for a minority stake in U.S. all-electric truck maker Rivian, according to a joint release. The announcement follows a Reuters report that GM and Amazon might invest $1 billion to $2 billion in the company.

2019 RAM 1500 Classic Warlock special edition: Badass style without the whoop

If you like the looks of blacked-out badass trucks without the cost of a desert racer, FCA announced the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock, a special edition pickup that focuses on appearance with only a touch of additional off-road capability.

Nissan is using old Leaf batteries to power and connect off-the-grid campers

Nissan has teamed up with trailer manufacturer Opus to design a mobile, weatherproof power pack built with battery cells sourced from the first-generation Leaf. Called Roam, the pack stores enough electricity to power a camper for up to a…

Alfa Romeo’s latest Ferrari-powered F1 race car is ready to hit the track

Alfa Romeo is doubling down on Formula One racing after a decades-long hiatus. Now essentially a support team for Ferrari, its 2019 driver lineup includes a former world champion and a potential future star.

Researchers teach self-driving cars to predict pedestrians’ next moves

University of Michigan researchers are developing a system that teaches self-driving cars to predict pedestrian movement. Humans don't always act in their own best self-interest, so autonomous cars will need to practice protective driving.

Subaru’s latest VIZIV concept car is pumped full of adrenaline

The Subaru VIZIV Adrenaline is the seventh member of the Japanese automaker's family of VIZIV concept cars. It debuts at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, but for now, all we're getting is a shadowy teaser image.

Audi is advancing the tech that teaches cars to talk to traffic lights

Audi is teaching its cars the language of traffic lights. The company developed technology that tells motorists what speed they should drive at in order to catch as many green lights as possible.