2020 Toyota Corolla Gets Worse MPG Than Hatchback

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - February 11, 2019

Usually, when an automaker offers a sporty hatchback version of a model that's originally offered as a sedan, there's a clear difference in fuel economy, which usually favors the sedan body style. Surprisingly, this isn't the case for the 2020 Toyota Corolla lineup. The EPA released its official fuel-economy figures, and the hatchback is the more efficient model.

The new Corolla and Corolla Hatchback both sit on the new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, which brings a lot of upsides with it. While the vehicles utilize a new platform, Toyota made an odd decision when it comes to engines.

The Corolla Hatchback is only available with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 168 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque. The engine can be paired to either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). With the CVT, the Corolla Hatchback is rated to get up to 32 mpg in the city, 42 mpg on the highway, and 36 mpg combined.

On the other hand, the new Corolla sedan will be offered with two engines: the old 1.8-liter four-cylinder from the outgoing model and the same 2.0-liter engine that's found in the Corolla Hatchback. The old 1.8-liter engine has been given more power, up to 139 horses from 132 hp, while the 2.0-liter motor is directly carried over.

The most efficient Corolla sedan is rated at 31 mpg city/40 mpg hwy/34 mpg combined. That figure is for the 2.0-liter engine. The 1.8-liter motor isn't as efficient, with a rating of 30 mpg city/38 mpg hwy/33 mpg combined. Those figures are slightly better than the old Corolla Eco trim (30 mpg city/40 mpg hwy/34 mpg combined), but are well off of the Corolla hatchback's despite having the same transmission options.

Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Since Toyota hasn't released the Corolla's sedan full specs, we're left to speculate why the hatchback is the more efficient option. The model could be lighter or the vehicle's curvier design could help it cut through the air more efficiently. Either way, we won't know for sure until Toyota releases all of the Corolla's numbers.

With its fuel economy ratings, the Corolla Hatchback is at the top of the compact segment. The Honda Civic with the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine also shares the Corolla Hatchback's combined fuel economy rating of 36 mpg. The Hyundai Elantra isn't far off with its turbocharged 1.4-liter motor, as it has a combined rating of 35 mpg combined. The new Kia Forte follows closely behind, as its 2.0-liter four-cylinder is rated to get up to 35 mpg combined.

Besides the regular Corolla, Toyota has also released fuel economy numbers for the new hybrid model. That vehicle is rated by the EPA to get up to 53 mpg city/52 mpg hwy/52 mpg combined. Those are on par with the regular Prius, which can get up to 52 mpg combined. The Prius is available in a Eco trim, which can get up to 56 mpg combined.

Learn more about the Toyota Corolla

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website