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Wife bought 2020 corolla my first impressions #5257932 11/03/19 11:34 PM
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mazdamonky Offline OP
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So my Wife go into an accident (November 1st) the day after we got married (October 31st) and had to make an emergency purchase on a vehicle. She ended up getting a 2020 Corolla LE. I got to drive it around for about an hour and just wanted to give my first impressions as someone who has not really driven a toyota made past 2005 and generally enjoys cars that are intended to be more sporty.

Things I like:

The car looks quite nice from the outside
Some of the safety equipment such as lane keep assist, lane departure warnings, and radar guided cruise control are cool.
Good steering input.
Fuel economy should be great!
The stereo software and options for info on the driver display seem to be relatively nice and easy to work.
The LED headlights are horrible. I can't see a thing hardly past about 100 feet. There is a harsh cut off in brightness at this point that makes it look as if the headlights just completely stop working. The worst part is when she is following me in the 3, ever little bump puts her headlights right into my mirrors. Maybe these things could be fixed with having the lights adjusted or aimed professionally.

Things I didn't enjoy:

The CVT transmission leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to engagement and making the car feel like a car. It just likes to hang in the same spot when accelerating and gives no real drive fun or engagement. When try to get a little pep out of it, it climbs to 5k RPM and just sits there until you let off the gas.
The doors feel cheap. There are small plastic ridges and gaps where it doesn't feel like plastics on the back side of the handle line up correctly. When I open the door, instead of a soft spring at the end, it has a hard feeling that makes me think I am whacking something with the door.
For the price, the interior is made of cheap plastics and does not feel inviting in any way.

I am not sure I can possibly understand how this is the best selling car in the world.

I am going to compare this to my 2018 Mazda 3 Touring 2.5 and my younger brother's 2016 Mazda 3 base model.

The Mazda 3 I purchased ended up being almost the exact same price and ended up having what feels like a higher build quality all the way around. The interior feels better, the quality of workmanship on the 3 is just stunning compared to the corolla. Even the base model 2016 3 my brother bought new for about 80% of the price of what we could get this corolla at feels better. The cloth seats are more comfortable and the parts the driver touches just have a better feel to them. They don't feel and look like cheap plastics.

The ride feels a little stiffer in the Mazda's during normal driving, however, when it comes to bumps in the road, I cannot tell much difference. I had expected the softer suspension of the Corolla to absorb more bumps and road imperfections, but this is not the case compared to the 2016 Mazda with 16" wheels. (corolla has 16" wheels) The 18" wheels on the 2018 3 create a slightly rougher ride when it comes to speed bumps and harsh pot holes, but I personally would trade those things in a heartbeat for what makes me feel more planted on the road.

Freeway merging with the 2.0 mazda 3 is not an exciting job to perform, but the 155 hp Skyactiv motor makes it happen and makes you feel confident you will be up to speed. On the corolla, the 1.8 with the CVT, does not inspire the same level of confidence. It sounds like this motor is putting in a lot of effort to go from 40mph on the access road to 70 on the freeway at a similar pace.

Final conclusion on the Corolla:

It's a car. It goes from point a to point b and will probably do so for a long time. I personally did not experience any thrill that would have sold me on this car and made me want to drive it, but I also would venture to guess 90% of people don't care about driving thrills and just buy a car because they expect it to be a tool.

Hopefully I will be able to give a more positive review after having the car for a couple more months.


2018 mazda3 hatch 2.5 26148 miles
1985 rx7 1.1 100k miles
2002 protege 236k miles
1985 rx7 with a 5.0 swap
2020 corolla 750 miles
4 more running cars in yard not mentioned
Re: Wife bought 2020 corolla my first impressions [Re: mazdamonky] #5257937 11/03/19 11:47 PM
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dishdude Offline
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Originally Posted by mazdamonky

Final conclusion on the Corolla:

It's a car.


Sounds like the most positive thing that can be said about a Toyota.


2018 Challenger SRT 392 PUP 0w-40 Wix 57899XP
2018 GTI M1 Euro 0w-40 Wix WL10024
2019 Tiguan
Re: Wife bought 2020 corolla my first impressions [Re: mazdamonky] #5257938 11/03/19 11:52 PM
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domer10 Offline
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I absolutely despise cvt transmissions, it is one more thing that has been getting phased in as standard that is taking away that feel of driving, being in tune with the car. My mother’s honda has one, and it annoys me to no end driving it around.

And they are literally shoving them down our throats, every chance they get. Between this, losing manuals, all this self drive technology the feel and enjoyment factor is being taken away.


2013Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited
2001 Toyota 4Runner
20010 Harley Davidson Rocker
Re: Wife bought 2020 corolla my first impressions [Re: dishdude] #5257947 11/04/19 01:03 AM
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Char Baby Offline
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Originally Posted by dishdude
Originally Posted by mazdamonky

Final conclusion on the Corolla:

It's a car.


Sounds like the most positive thing that can be said about a Toyota.


That's a Corolla all right!

This has been the mission of the Corolla since the beginning. It's a car! And it'll run a long time. Toyota seems to make the Corolla feel really cheap and hides the best parts about the car that you can't see or feel in normal daily driving such as its long term reliability.

They've never been anything special to drive. Not only have I owned them, I've had tons of them as rental cars.


"Retired"
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic 1.8 LX
Re: Wife bought 2020 corolla my first impressions [Re: Char Baby] #5257948 11/04/19 01:08 AM
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edyvw Offline
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Originally Posted by Char Baby
Originally Posted by dishdude
Originally Posted by mazdamonky

Final conclusion on the Corolla:

It's a car.


Sounds like the most positive thing that can be said about a Toyota.


That's a Corolla all right!

This has been the mission of the Corolla since the beginning. It's a car! And it'll run a long time. Toyota seems to make the Corolla feel really cheap and hides the best parts about the car that you can't see or feel in normal daily driving such as its long term reliability.

They've never been anything special to drive. Not only have I owned them, I've had tons of them as rental cars.


I can understand why someone would buy it. It is cheap, reliable, outdated proven technology.
But if they feel really cheap, why would you rent it?


15' Toyota Sienna AWD (Mobil1 5W30 EP+OEM filter).
11' VW Tiguan 2.0T (Castrol 0W30+OE filter)
Re: Wife bought 2020 corolla my first impressions [Re: mazdamonky] #5257952 11/04/19 01:43 AM
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WhyMe Online Content
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i had a 2019 with 30k miles for week as a rental car a couple of months ago. it was ok except for the trans which felt odd even for a cvt. the gas mileage though was not close to the advertise mpg. even though the screen was showing 38 mpg on the highway when i fill the tank it only calculated out to 30 mpg.

the interior was ok for being the LE model with the colored stitching . interior was roomy for its size. would make a good daily driver .

Re: Wife bought 2020 corolla my first impressions [Re: edyvw] #5257954 11/04/19 02:04 AM
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billt460 Offline
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Originally Posted by edyvw
................. But if they feel really cheap, why would you rent it?

Same reason.

Re: Wife bought 2020 corolla my first impressions [Re: mazdamonky] #5257956 11/04/19 02:10 AM
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billt460 Offline
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Originally Posted by mazdamonky
When try to get a little pep out of it, it climbs to 5k RPM and just sits there until you let off the gas.

That's the exact same thing I found when I drove one. Any attempt at acceleration would send the engine into scream mode..... Where it would sit until you let off the gas. Personally, I can't see how this can go hand in hand with any type of long term, high mileage longevity.

Re: Wife bought 2020 corolla my first impressions [Re: billt460] #5257968 11/04/19 03:28 AM
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Char Baby Offline
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[Quote:edyvw] I can understand why someone would buy it. It is cheap, reliable, outdated proven technology.
But if they feel really cheap, why would you rent it?[quote]

I have never requested a Corolla when renting/reserving a vehicle at the airport or on vacation. I have requested the particular size/segment of car and have gotten a Cruz, Corolla, Sentra, Forte etc. I am not specific as to brand when renting. I just want the size/cost etc that fits my needs at this time. I'm not testing vehicles during this time with family. It's just an appliance at this point.

Last edited by Char Baby; 11/04/19 03:33 AM.

"Retired"
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic 1.8 LX
Re: Wife bought 2020 corolla my first impressions [Re: mazdamonky] #5257977 11/04/19 04:21 AM
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Mr Nice Offline
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Why not buy a 2020 Mazda3 with the same 2.5L engine & transmission as the previous generation ?

Crazy deals on closeout 2019 Mazda3...


Re: Wife bought 2020 corolla my first impressions [Re: domer10] #5257989 11/04/19 04:58 AM
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gfh77665 Offline
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Originally Posted by domer10
I absolutely despise cvt transmissions, it is one more thing that has been getting phased in as standard that is taking away that feel of driving, being in tune with the car. My mother’s honda has one, and it annoys me to no end driving it around.

And they are literally shoving them down our throats, every chance they get. Between this, losing manuals, all this self drive technology the feel and enjoyment factor is being taken away.




I have to agree. I do not like the CVT's at all. I will take my Fiesta's DCT easily instead. (Before anyone protests, mine is a 2017, AFTER Ford fixed the DCT, thanks). Anyway, with a different type trans, I would like the Toyota better. Annoying, but the Toyota will run a really long time. BTW my 2017 Fiesta has 20K miles and has been flawless. I really like it.

Re: Wife bought 2020 corolla my first impressions [Re: domer10] #5257990 11/04/19 05:01 AM
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demarpaint Offline
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Originally Posted by domer10
I absolutely despise cvt transmissions, it is one more thing that has been getting phased in as standard that is taking away that feel of driving, being in tune with the car. My mother’s honda has one, and it annoys me to no end driving it around.

And they are literally shoving them down our throats, every chance they get. Between this, losing manuals, all this self drive technology the feel and enjoyment factor is being taken away.


Add me to that list.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: Wife bought 2020 corolla my first impressions [Re: mazdamonky] #5257994 11/04/19 05:11 AM
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carviewsonic Offline
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My daughter has a 2013 Corolla which could be described in the same way, a reliable appliance. I looked specifically for a Corolla for her because of their reliability, and because she lives three hours from home. Four years later and it's living up to Corolla's reputation for reliability, absolutely nothing to report.

Great review BTW, I was wondering what the new ones were like.

Last edited by carviewsonic; 11/04/19 05:18 AM.

'18 Impala
'05 Park Avenue
'03 Park Avenue
'07 Honda Accord
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Re: Wife bought 2020 corolla my first impressions [Re: carviewsonic] #5258000 11/04/19 05:24 AM
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PWMDMD Offline
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Originally Posted by carviewsonic
My daughter has a 2013 Corolla which could be described in the same way, a reliable appliance. I looked specifically for a Corolla for her because of their reliability, and because she lives three hours from home. Four years later and it's living up to Corolla's reputation for reliability, absolutely nothing to report.

Great review BTW, I was wondering what the new ones were like.


My 2019 RX 350 can best be described as a comfortable, reliable, appliance. Just like zoom, zoom runs through Mazda's DNA, boring kitchen appliance runs through Toyota's DNA. They are what they are and there is little pressure to change since Toyota sells so many cars. Apparently, buyers like/tolerate the boring nature of Toyotas.

Last edited by PWMDMD; 11/04/19 05:26 AM.

Current: 2019 Lexus RX 350 (Mobil AFE 0W-30 and Toyota OEM Filter) and 2018 Honda Pilot Touring (PP 5W-30 and Mobil 1 EP M1-110A Filter)
Re: Wife bought 2020 corolla my first impressions [Re: mazdamonky] #5258005 11/04/19 05:38 AM
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Sayjac Offline
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Reading the OP, it reads like your wife made the call if not entirely, close. That being the case, how's your wife feel about it? Happy wife, happy life?

As for Mazda, I've been reading on Motor Trend online that they've done away with independent rear suspension on some models (3 series?) MT not enamored with the move. Seems they may be making some bean counter moves too.

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