Toyota has injected more flair into the Corolla’s power and its ride and handling. By no means is it woke, but the 2020 Corolla’s awake, at long last, and it earns some enthusiast stripes with its manual gearbox and its smartly balanced road manners.

We think it’s a 5 overall, but the Corolla family has some high achievers among its solid mid-pack performers.

Toyota Corolla hatchback performance

All Corolla hatchbacks come with a 2.0-liter inline-4 that’s relatively new to Toyota. Rated at 169 horsepower and 159 pound-feet of torque, it’s coupled to either a 6-speed manual or a CVT. In this more sporting Corolla, some transmission tweaks nudge its performance slightly above the median.

As for the engine itself, power and torque peaks come high in the powerband. It builds power progressively, but not remarkably; without a…

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