26 March 2020

Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid 2020 Car Review

Just when we thought the popularity of sedans was simmering down, Toyota’s Corolla SX Hybrid arrives, proving that it’s not all about hatches and SUVs.

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Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid 2020
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Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid 2020
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Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid 2020
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Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid 2020
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Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid 2020
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Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid 2020

Toyota are undertaking a mass roll-out of vehicle models and have included hybrid drivetrains in the mix (Corolla, RAV, and C-HR). For review purposes we are comparing this hybrid sedan against its sibling - the ever popular hatch.

Sitting at the same price point and sporting exactly the same engine as the hatch, you might think that the only noticeable difference between the two cars is the looks, with the sedan sporting quite an aggressive front bumper style and the obvious addition of the larger boot at the back. There are however some more differences between the sedan and hatch when you stack the figures side by side.

The Sedan holds less fuel but it drinks less too, with a combined fuel economy figure stated as 3.5L/100km your 43 litre tank should last quite a while (and emit less Co2 emissions).  

The SX interior is clean and uncomplicated, but that doesn’t mean it holds back on the features. Toyota’s comprehensive Safety Sense package comes as standard, which includes radar cruise control and a handy blind spot monitor – something that we used often commuting on the motorway into Auckland. An auto-dimming rear vision mirror, satin chrome-plating interior ornamentation and a seven-inch colour display are features that come included in the sedan, but not the hatch. Cargo space is 470 litres with seats up, compared to the 208 litres in the hatch.

The Corolla sedan drives nice and nimbly with its 1375kg kerb weight, however the power output doesn’t necessarily match the revs when you put your foot down and get that economy gauge reading in the upper limits. But, getting back to what it’s really about- it’s a hybrid and geared towards saving fuel, not spirited driving. In stop-start morning traffic, we managed to maintain economy figures between 4.5 and 5.0 litres per 100km, which is a respectable figure to maintain in ‘real world driving’.

If you’re deciding between the sedan and hatch, the catalyst for your final decision will most likely be based purely on how often you carry additional passengers and the amount of stuff you lug around…

At a glance


Toyota Corolla SX Hybrid


1.8-litre Hybrid


$35,490 (TDP)

ANCAP safety rating





Electronically controlled CVT

Fuel economy

Combined 3.5l/100km

Towing capacity




Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

470 litres (all seats up)

Safety systems

  • Pre-Collision System with AEB
  • Pedestrian & Cyclist Detection
  • All Speed Radar Cruise Control
  • Lane Tracing Assist
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Active Cornering Assist
  • Seven airbags
  • Secondary Collision Brake function
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