Toyota is serious about shedding its ho-hum image, and the latest proof of this comes in the form of the 2020 Corolla saloon. Wrapped in sheet metal that mimics the style of its hatchback stablemate, the 12th-generation Corolla saloon rides on Toyota’s New Global Architecture, otherwise known as TNGA. The scalable platform already underpins Toyota products such as the Avalon, C-HR, and Camry.
Stiff and refined, TNGA affords the new Corolla a quieter cabin relative to today’s car. Although the next-generation model continues to ride on a 2,700-mm wheelbase, the 2020 Corolla is slightly shorter and smaller than its predecessor. Track width, however, is up by 13 mm and 23 mm at the front and rear, respectively, while a multi-link rear suspension replaces the torsion beam of today’s international Corolla. Needless to say, the overall look of the 2020 Corolla is more dynamic than that of the current slab-sided saloon from international markets.
For the UK market the Corolla saloon will be available with a 1.8-litre four-cylinder mild hybrid powertrain with 120 bhp that is also found in the C-HR and Prius. Fuel economy is rate at 83.0mpg1(WLTP 65.7mpg) and CO2 emissions from just 77g/km1 (WLTP 98g/km). There will also be a 1.6-litre petrol engine available with either six-speed manual transmission or a CVT gearbox. It produces 130 bhp with fuel consumption from 48.7mpg1 (WLTP 46.3mpg) and CO2emissions from 131g/km1 (WLTP 139g/km).
Overall, the 2020 Corolla saloon’s cabin shares much of its styling with that of its hatchback counterpart. The dashboard features a clean and contemporary design, replete with an infotainment display that sticks out like a monolith in the desert. For the UK technology highlights include wireless phone charging, a touchscreen infotainment system with a 7.0-inch unit sitting in the centre stack, a larger 8.0-inch multimedia display dominating the dash, and a 10-inch head-up display.
Every Corolla comes standard with active safety features such as a pre-collision warning system with automatic front braking, lane-departure alert, lane-keeping assist, road sign assist and automatic high-beam headlights. In any case, Toyota promises improved visibility from the driver’s seat thanks to a lower window line, thinner A-pillars, and better positioned side-view mirrors.
The 2020 Toyota Corolla saloon is expected to go on sale in the first quarter 2019 in the UK and is being built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey while the hatchback and estate models are being produced by right here in the UK at Toyota's Burnaston plant in Derbyshire.
Gallery: 2020 Toyota Corolla saloon
TOYOTA REVEALS THE ALL-NEW COROLLA SALOON
Toyota has today revealed the all-new Toyota Corolla Saloon, ready to join the 12th generation range alongside the new British-built Hatchback and Touring Sports models presented earlier this year at the Geneva and Paris motor shows.
All three Corolla models will be introduced in the UK during the first quarter of 2019, marking a welcome return for a Saloon version to the market here after a break of almost 15 years. Details of the UK range, specifications and prices will be announced nearer the on-sale date.
Each car in the line-up is designed to fulfil different customer needs: the compact Hatchback aimed at young couples; the versatile Touring Sports for families; and the comfortable Saloon targeting young professionals who want more prestigious styling, on-board space and comfort.
The Saloon will become part of the world’s best-selling model nameplate: more than 46 million Corolla cars have been sold worldwide since Toyota introduced the original model in 1966.
The Saloon’s styling develops the sleek and dynamic look of the new Corolla line-up, sharing the wide and low stance that’s inherent in its use of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) GA-C platform. It stands apart, however, with different front and rear styling that projects a more prestigious look.
The frontal treatment evolves Toyota’s “catamaran” design cues with a striking two-step rendering of the front corners, flanking a strongly projecting lower grille – a feature common to the new Corolla family. The slim upper grille has a pronounced three-dimensional design and connects with the top of the sharply designed headlamp units, wrapping around the corners to emphasise the car’s low and firmly planted appearance.
The rear of the car echoes the look of the front through the shape of the bumper and the inverted trapezium design of the bootlid. The rear lamp clusters are specific to the Saloon and are connected by a chrome trim, which further highlights the car’s wide stance. The lights also have a light guide that gives the Saloon a distinctive illumination signature.
The spacious and ergonomically excellent cabin is the same as that in the Hatchback and Touring Sports, hallmarked by its high sensory quality and advanced technologies. However, the Saloon has the same extended 2,700mm wheelbase as the Touring Sports, ensuring ample legroom and comfort for rear-seat passengers.
Technology highlights include wireless phone charging and an intuitive and easy to use combination of eight-inch multimedia touchscreen, seven-inch multimedia display and 10-inch head-up display.
As well as offering design freedom to create a greater distinction between Saloon, Hatchback and Touring Sports versions, the new GA-C platform also guarantees a more rewarding driving experience. A lower centre of gravity, a 60 per cent more rigid body shell and multi-link suspension as standard all contribute to better handling and stability, without compromising ride comfort.
The Saloon will be available (according to market) with two powertrain options. The 120bhp/90kW 1.8-litre self-charging hybrid system gives the textbook intuitive and responsive performance customers have come to expect, together with self-sufficient EV all-electric driving capability that requires no plug-in recharging.
Low cost of ownership is supported by outstanding fuel economy of 83.0mpg1(WLTP 65.7mpg) and CO2 emissions from just 77g/km1 (WLTP 98g/km). Up to 50 per cent2 of typical commuting journeys can be accomplished in all-electric drive.
An improved 1.6-litre petrol engine combines responsiveness with efficiency. Available with either six-speed manual transmission or a CVT gearbox, it delivers 130bhp/97kW with fuel consumption from 48.7mpg1 (WLTP 46.3mpg) and CO2emissions from 131g/km1 (WLTP 139g/km).
All Toyota’s TNGA vehicles prioritise the highest active and passive safety standards and the new Corolla Sedan benefits from the latest Toyota Safety Sense systems. These include Pre-Collision System that can detect pedestrians in the car’s path both in daylight and night-time driving, and also cyclists in daylight. Full-range Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with steering assist, Road Sign Assist and Automatic High Beam are also provided.
In addition, a new Lane Tracing Assist system is introduced, giving the driver even more support. When the full-range Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Tracing Assist are active, the system makes subtle steering inputs to keep the vehicle centred in its traffic lane, even through gentle highway bends.
The new Corolla Saloon is being built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey; Hatchback and touring Sports models are being produced by Toyota Manufacturing UK at its Burnaston plant in Derbyshire.
1 Based on Regulation EC 2017/1153 as amended EC 2017/1231 – pending final homologation
2 Depending on driving conditions