By Clint Williams
Green Right Now

Some people buy a car to make a statement. Some buy a car that says, “I make more money than you,” while others buy a car that says, “I love the planet more than you do.”

The Corolla "a solid choice"

Some people buy a car just to get where they want to go. Those kinds of people buy a car like the 2020 Toyota Corolla LE.

The Corolla, now in its 10th-generation after more than 40 years in the American market, is comfortable and plain as a sensible pair of shoes. And, like a sensible pair of shoes, it will get you where you need to go.

The Corolla LE, like the standard trim and XLE trim models, is powered by a 1.8-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine that produces 132 horsepower.  Add a four-speed automatic transmission and you have a perfectly mindless driving experience. No thrills, no frets. You just get there.

But you get there efficiently. The EPA fuel economy estimate calls for 26 mpg in city driving and 34 mph in highway driving. We got just a decimal or two under 31 mpg in a mix of driving conditions. The testers at “Consumer Reports” did even better. “We got a very impressive 32 mpg overall in our test of the 1.8-liter,” the magazine writes, “bested only by the Yaris among non-hybrid or diesel-powered sedans.”

The Corolla is a comfortable compact sedan – unless you’re sitting in the middle spot of the back seat. Rear headroom is generous, rear legroom is, well, OK.

There are plenty of places to stash your stuff: center console side pockets, a storage box above the usual glove box; front and rear door pockets that can hold 20-ounce bottles; a console box with a large-capacity main tray and a smaller accessory tray.

The control panel is simple and easy to use with big buttons for sound and big knobs for the climate control system. There is, of course, a jack for an iPod and two power outlets to keep gizmos charged.

The Toyota Corolla, which this year has electronic stability control standard, is a “Top Safety Pick” of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That means the car earned the highest rating of “good” in the IIHS’ front, side, rollover, and rear impact tests.

The test car, which featured an upgraded sound system, cruise control and satellite radio, had a MSRP of $19,129.

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