Toyota Corolla XSE Hatchback 2020 with CVT is Versatile and Reliable

Toyota Corolla XSE hatchback 2020 has lots of versatility, usabilities and going to have Toyota reliability. Many significant changes were built in an attractive style, especially with this new car in 2020.

What’s New From 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE Hatchback

A very high trim level into the XSE! This styling came into fruition in 2019. That was the first year where the hatchback return in this design. You’ll adore the styling of the headlight housing whole LED, and the Corolla XSE hatchback gets optional adaptive headlights where it turns with the steering wheel to give you better visibility.

new 2020 Toyota corolla XSE hatchback blue flame color



Another great news is no matter what trim you go with, and you’re going to get full LED headlights on the front of your Toyota Corolla.

Toyota Corolla XSE hatchback 2020 headlight and grille

You’ll like the design, especially how it kind of integrated into the top portion of the front fascia.  You do have functional fog lamps, a tiny bit of gloss black.

So, it works great with the silver XSE hatchback. The headlight design integrates nicely into the gloss black and Toyota logo. You’ll find that the grill is blocked out. The reason is that there is a structure behind crash safety that needs to be there. That’s why they sealed the top portion. But the rest of it is functional.

2020 Toyota corolla XSE hatchback oxide bronze color

The open grill design works perfectly on the Corolla, whether it’s the sedan or this hatchback. You do have an enlargement on the lower piece in the face, but bold for an XSE hatchback from one side. The frame lines rise on the front fascia and move toward the hood. The beautiful part is the kind of curves towards the windshield and then disappears; it is a lovely design.

There’s a lot of design to capture your attention when you get to the wheel and tire combo specific for the XSE.  You do have the 18-inch wheel, and you’ll love the machined aluminum finish, the darker, almost like a gunmetal gray. It’s like if you’re going to drive Corolla, you got to go with the 18-inch wheels because it sets it off. You can see how the brushed aluminum kind comes all the way around to 225 on the width 45 series on the sidewall, and it’s a nice setup.

2020 Toyota corolla XSE hatchback galactic aqua mica color

Nothing powerful is happening in the top portion of the fender, but you can see where the beltline will be picked up right into the door. You get your gloss black mirror caps, the adapter headlights, and the blacked-out roof as an option.

Toyota Corolla XSE hatchback has a very prominent body line, and you do have a nice side sill extension. That’s probably one of the challenges with this Corolla hatchback is that now it’s looking sporty. A pleasant roof design, you’ll like the way they brought the metallic black into the rear pillar. The body line kind of curves up the beltline, and then another one starts and goes right into the rear fender area.

It’s kind of cool how it flares out as you get towards the rear because it has a very tasteful taillight design and sharp angular LED taillights with some of the body lines under it. The back hatch area is unique. It kind of extends out, which gives it a fascinating design perspective.

You’ll like a large gloss black area across the bottom, and you can see a red XSE badge. But it’s disappointed because there are fake exhaust vents. 

Why they have to be fake? They look fantastic if you could have made them functional or better. Yet this is what you imagine, “How about a twin exhaust outlet right here in the center? That would be cool!.”

Engine and Performance

The engine is a two-liter, inline-four naturally aspirated engine, 169 horsepower, 151 pound-feet of torque. You would like to see at least 200 hp, and it would be a blast to drive. Even 250 hp would make it like icing on the cake. But this particular one is made to a CVT. Now you can get a 6-speed manual as well.

You’ll have to applaud Toyota for giving us the choice of the CVT or the 6-speed manual.

The vehicle weighs 3,100 pounds, 0 to 60 in 8.7 seconds, quarter-mile in 16.7, top speed around 115 miles/hour, and the most satisfying piece is you’re going to get supreme MPGs from Toyota Corolla XSE hatchback.

XSE Hatchback isn’t a hybrid, in the city 30 miles and on the roadway 38 miles to the gallon.


You do have full electric assist with this particular trim. It’s very nice to get the lower lumbar, and the seats are so comfortable. Spacious headroom and shoulder room, remember this is on Toyota’s global architecture, the same that TNGA of the Camry and the RAV4, it’s going to make a more rigid structure and allow more room.

The steering wheel has an excellent thickness, the size is ideal, even a little bit of silver trim, and it’s wise to go flat black on the buttons. You do have the dash with a 7-inch display, and you could toggle for a ton of various notices in the middle. You do have an analog tach, fuel gauge, and coolant gauge.

Toyota Corolla XSE Hatchback gauge 
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When you select a sport mode, then all of it turns red, and you could get a little bit extra responsive speedup and a more accurate throttle response.

Toyota Corolla XSE hatchback is also going to have all of Toyotas 2.0 sensing technology. So the lane-keep assist, the blind-spot monitoring, all those things to make sure that you’re going to arrive alive at your destination.

The interior is very futuristic and kind of matches the exterior with the two-tone you have, like an off-white, very light grey top portion of the door panel with very soft material. You’ll like the stitch work, you drop your way down, and you have some darker stuff.

The leather wrap material on the armrest with the white contrast stitching looks very high-class. A little bit of gloss black on the handle to close the door is not going to be a big deal to clean, and they’re also a tiny door pocket.

When you go from the door panel to the dash, you do have the same soft material. You’ll love the stitch work. Even the AC vent has a beautiful shape. The optional JBL sound system will give you some better tunes, and in the center, you have an iPad-style infotainment system.

Toyota has designed this to make it easy for the user. So, this may not look the best when it comes to aesthetics, but it works the best when you’re behind the wheel of this Toyota Corolla XSE hatchback. It’s 8-inch screen navigation, AppleCarplay, but no Android Auto.

One source spot is a JBL unit that goes with the optional speaker system, and it is effortless to navigate through. You do have dual climate control, and you’ll like the angle. It’s easy to get to your start/stop button, is around the corner, a little challenging to see when you’re getting in, but it’ll be intuitive once you own this car for a little bit.

As you continue to drop down, you have optional wireless charging in Corolla XSE. But, you’ll notice as a little bit of an annoyance that when you put your phone to charge many times, you are likely to keep hitting the front seat heaters switch. After the seat gets hot and then you would be like, “Oh, I hit the wrong button!”. That’s happening because the switches are very close to where you’re putting the phone, and you’re going to hit it.

You have a sport mode button, and you can show off the traction control; this will control your C transmission. Technically it’s a CVT hybrid because it’s got an actual gear. On the center console, you have two cupholders. The key fobs need to be updated for the Toyota’s, is it’s just a very cheap feeling on the back lock-unlock. But that’s all you need, no remote start or anything like that.

The armrest is a little on the harder side, but you do like the contrast stitching. Just open it up, and you got a USB and a 12-volt.

But, the Toyota XSE hatchback trim doesn’t have a sunroof, not on this particular one. You’ll think that you would like to see that $27,000; it should be a sunroof, but why don’t you get it?

Front seats

The seats are good with the same two-tone material, soft as a baby’s butt, and supportive. You’ll like the leatherette material, it looks good, and it holds you in place.


One thing to be aware of is when you’re getting in and out, the roofline kind of curves down, so you’re just going to make sure that, especially if you’re a taller person, not to hit your head as you’re getting in and out. But you will have plenty of headroom, you able to sit up straight, even able to rise a little bit, and you are not making contact with the headliner.

You do like it on the backs of the seats because everything is leather. If you have kids, this is probably going to be a sore spot because as they touch this, it’s going to get dirty, it’s going to get sticky. But the good news is there are plenty of cleaning supplies out there where you could take care of your car and get all those sticky fingerprints off. You do get large pockets for an iPad, abacus, or old Sony Discman.

But there’s no rear AC, no USB, or not even a 12 volt! So this can be a missed opportunity for a high trim like the Toyota XSE hatchback not to have that connectivity. The good news is you can put candy in here, but the bad news is if your phone dies, those kinds of stuff will not charge it.

When you pull down the backseats armrest, you’ll notice it has a perfect height, and it’s got a sweet softness.

Cargo Area

Just push the button, no big deal, it’s very light. The exciting thing is you do have a little bit more room than the Corolla sedan! You have 18 cubic feet of space in the back portion of this hatchback. You also have space for your spare parts under it. But, maybe you feel when you are taking things from the ground level and bring them in, it’s kind of a little high.

2020 Toyota corolla XSE hatchback
classic silver metallic color rear exterior

One thing you do like is you have beautiful side pockets that you could put items on, and that’s going to stop it from rolling around. Anyway, you wish they would have redesigned it a little bit just to get that floor a little bit lower.

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When you want to flop down the back seats, you just push on the tab and flop it down, and you can see how much room you have. The great news is that the floor is flat from the cargo area over those rear seats.

Driving Behaviour

One thing that’s wonderful about how the Toyota Corolla XSE hatchback drives it’s very smooth. The CVT makes it a little different than your ordinary run-of-the-mill CVT. You wish that they would put the 8-speed from the Toyota Camry into this Corolla hatchback. But it’s very comfortable and gives you at least some flexibility when it comes to that hatchback.

The hatchback cargo area is smaller than the Civic and the Mazda 3, which would be the main competitors of this car. But it’s nice that Toyota decided to go the hatchback style to give you a little more opportunity for something different.

Safety Features

You’ll love about this vehicle all the safety features that you get that are standard, like Toyota’s sensing 2.0 or the iPad-style screen in the Corolla. The beautiful thing, though, is everything is within proper distance, for where you’re going to reach, where you’re going to look, and Toyota did that on purpose; they set the interior up correctly.

So, whether you’re new to Toyota’s or have been a customer of Toyotas, everything makes sense. The visibility out the front is excellent; visible side mirrors are great. For a compact car, it’s quieter inside, which is nice.

The feedback is interesting because it’s not on point like a Civic or the Mazda3, but the good news is over the new Mazda3; at least this has a so multi-link rear suspension. You can get a Corolla hatchback in a six-speed manual, and it’s a fun manual to shift through and comfortable.

So if you’re new to driving, that definitely would be a great setup, especially since the clutch pickup point is terrific in it. You’re going to get high returns on your MPGs, and the seats are supportive; they’re comfortable, not too soft, hits a delicate balance; it’s just that rear seats a little tight.

The cargo area is on the smaller side, and the highway’s speeds get the job done nicely. But, if you want a little bit more engaging drive feedback to the steering wheel, you go Civic or Mazda 3. Even with the torsion beam, you’re still getting great feedback from the front wheels in the Mazda 3.

There are only certain situations you’re going to get hung up on the rear torsion beam in this car. Though it is kind of like a do-it-all type of car, it’s smooth and comfortable, will get you the excellent MPGs, but it’s also fun to drive.

You do have manual shift mode, and you slide the shifter to the left; you could either use the shifter for the paddles on the back of the steering wheel.  Use the paddle’s acceleration to makes the drive a lot more enjoyable in this Toyota Corolla XSE hatchback.  There’s a simulated 8-speed automatic with the CVT. There is a kind of body roll, nothing too crazy, but a Civic sport hatchback is going to handle you in a heartbeat.

Corolla XSE hatchback holds a line very nicely, and throttles input is right on point where you want it to be friendly,  composed, and balanced through the transition. You are getting the body roll, but that’s to be expected. XSE hatchback isn’t a TRD version. You want them to come out with a TRD version of this car, and it’s going to handle like it’s supposed to when you want to turn up the wig.

Toyota Corolla XSE Hatchback Specs and Price

2020 Toyota Corolla XSE Hatchback Specs
Type 169-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (regular gas)
Valves 16
0-60 N/A
0-100 N/A
Power 169Hp @6,600 Rpm
Fuel system Port/direct injection
Torque 151 lb-ft @4,400 Rpm
Displacement 2.0L/121
Top speed N/A
Engine order code N/A
Turning diameter 37.4 ft
Steering rack and pinion
Drivetrain FWD
Transmission 10-speed automatic/CVT w/OD
and auto-manual
Fuel and Emissions
Type Gasoline
MPG highway 38
MPG city 33
CombinedMPG 30
Tank capacity (gal) 13.2
CO2 @15K mi/year 5.4 tons/yr
Front Strut
Rear Multilink
Front Disc
Rear Disc
Front 225/40R18
Rear 225/40R18
Front-wheel size 18″ x 8″
Rear-wheel size 18″ x 8″
Body, Capacity, and Weight
Type 4dr car
Seats 5
Curb Weight 3,060 lbs
Cargo space 17.8 cu-ft
Towing capacity Not recommended
Exterior Specifications
Wheelbase (in) 103.9
Length, Overall (in) 172
Width, Max (in) 70.5
Height, Overall (in) 57.1
Ground clearance (in) 5.1
Coefficient drag 0.32
Color Option
Blizzard Pearl
Bronze Oxide
Classic Silver Metallic w/Midnight Black Roof
Smoked Paprika Metallic w/Midnight Black Roof
Galactic Aqua Mica
Smoked Paprika Metallic
Classic Silver Metallic
Midnight Black Metallic
Super White, Fleet Only
Basic 36 months/36,000 miles
Corrosion 60 months/unlimited
Drivetrain 60 months/60,000 miles
Maintenance 24 months/25,000 miles
Roadside Assistance 60 months/unlimited

The MSRP is $25,550.


2020 Toyota Corolla hatchback XSE is a competitor against the Honda Civic hatchback and the Mazda 3 hatchback.  The great thing about Toyota and Corolla is they have so many different trims. You got sedans, hatchbacks, and hybrids that are going to fit every type of lifestyle.

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