Jump to content
Create New...
  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2020 Toyota Prius XLE AWD-e and Corolla Hatchback XSE

      Can small changes make big changes?

    Have you ever wondered what it would be to add all-wheel drive to a Prius? What about adding slightly more sport to a Corolla hatchback? Wonder no more as I can tell you some thoughts on the 2020 Toyota Prius AWD-e and Corolla XSE hatchback.

    Prius XLE AWD-e

    • The Prius AWD-e powertrain is mostly the same as you'll find in the standard model - a 1.8L inline-four paired with an electric motor to provide an output of 121 horsepower. But, the e-AWD adds a second electric motor producing 7 horsepower and 40 pound-feet onto the rear axle. This provides extra traction and helps with initial acceleration (up to 6 mph).
    • The other change deals with the battery as Toyota swaps the lithium-ion pack for a nickel-metal hydride. Toyota says the nickel-metal hydride chemistry has better resilience in extremely cold temperatures.
    • Does the addition of a second electric motor make the Prius any faster? Not at all. It feels the same as the standard Prius; fine in stop-go driving, but struggling during hard acceleration such as merging onto a freeway.
    • The AWD system is very unobtrusive, you don’t notice come on when one of the front wheels loses traction. There is an important caveat to note; this system only operates up to 43 mph. This is likely due to Toyota wanting to keep somewhat high fuel economy figures.
    • As for fuel economy, the EPA rates the Prius AWD-e at 52 City/48 Highway/50 Combined - the lowest of any Prius model. My average for the week was a slightly disappointing 47 mpg.
    • Handling characteristics are the same as the standard Prius. It's slightly fun to drive on winding roads with minimal body roll, but the steering is lackluster. Ride comfort is excellent with most bumps being ironed out.
    • The AWD option does make the Prius a more appealing option for those living in the snow belt who still want excellent fuel economy.

    Corolla XSE Hatchback

    2020 Toyota Corolla XSE.jpg

    • Toyota wants to make it clear the XSE is the sporting version of the Corolla Hatchback and it shows on the exterior. There is a distinct rear wing, 18-inch wheels with black inserts, and a body kit that makes the hatchback stand out from the plain-jane SE.
    • Power comes from the same 2.0L inline-four found in the SE, producing 169 horsepower. In my tester, I had the standard six-speed manual. The CVT is an option.
    • I was hoping for a slight improvement in overall performance with the manual, but it’s similar to the CVT. The engine feels more suited around town where it can get up to speed pretty quick. But it does show some signs of struggling when trying to reach higher speeds.
    • The manual transmission is a mixed bag. The throws are a bit too long for any sort of enthusiastic driving and it is slightly difficult to slot into the next gear due to the vague feeling gate. But, the clutch is very easy to modulate.
    • Despite having a sportier tune for the suspension, I couldn't tell any difference in the handling between this and the SE hatchback I drove in 2020. Both feel agile and composed when driven on a curvy stretch of pavement. I will say the SE does a better job of minimizing impacts from bumps and potholes with smaller wheels.
    • The only reasons I see picking the XSE over the SE is for the more aggressive looks and additional standard equipment (dual-zone climate control, 7-inch screen in the instrument cluster, and power-adjustable driver seat). Otherwise, the SE offers the same driving dynamics, manual transmission, and a slightly better ride for less money.

    Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2020
    Make: Toyota
    Model: Prius AWD-e
    Trim: XLE
    Engine: 1.8L DOHC 16-Valve VVT-i Four-Cylinder, AC Synchronous Motor
    Driveline: ECVT, All Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 96 @ 5,200 (Gas): 71 @ 0 (Electric Motor 1): 7 @ 0 (Electric Motor 2): 121 (Combined)
    Torque @ RPM: 105 @ 3,600 (Gas): 
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 52/48/50
    Curb Weight: 3,220 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: 
    Base Price: $28,375
    As Tested Price: $31,757 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)

    Advanced Technology Package - $800.00

    Year: 2020
    Make: Toyota
    Model: Corolla Hatchback
    Trim: XSE
    Engine: 2.0 DOHC 15-Valve D-4S with Dual VVT-i Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Front-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 168 @ 6,600
    Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,800
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/37/31
    Curb Weight: 3,060 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japan
    Base Price: $23,240
    As Tested Price: $26,450 (Includes $955.00 Destination Charge)

    Black Roof, Spoiler, and Side Mirrors - $500.00
    Adaptive Headlights - $415.00
    Rear Window Spoiler - $375.00
    Carpet Mat Package - $249.00
    Door Sill Protectors - $165.00
    Black Emblem Overlays - $129.00
    Mudguards - $129.00
    Door Edge Guard - $125.00
    Rear Bumper Protector - $89.00
    TRD Air Filter - $79.00

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Better than the bland SE, but still a very weird styling for a hatchback.

    Over all a sporty looking commuter car with no real get up and go it would seem

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • google-news-icon.png

  • Community Hive Community Hive

    Community Hive allows you to follow your favorite communities all in one place.

    Follow on Community Hive
  • google-news-icon.png

  • Subscribe to Cheers & Gears

    Cheers and Gears Logo

    Since 2001 we've brought you real content and honest opinions, not AI-generated stuff with no feeling or opinions influenced by the manufacturers.

    Please consider subscribing. Subscriptions can be as little as $1.75 a month, and a paid subscription drops most ads.*

    You can view subscription options here.

    *a very limited number of ads contain special coupon deals for our members and will show

  • Similar Content

  • Posts

    • This is why GM will FAIL in not providing Android Auto and Apple Carplay. As they update and make changes faster than GM has ever been able to do. Apple's grand plans for CarPlay start with an exciting upgrade inside iOS 17.4 (msn.com) This is not boding well for the U.S. economy this year. The Bond Market Is Doing Something Not Seen in Decades. It Could Signal Trouble in the Stock Market. (msn.com)
    • in two days, THREE year VANIVERSARY! New cars, buy or lease, are pretty unobtainable nowadays.  Sales wanted me to reup the lease for 300 more bucks /mo.  MSRP's through the roof, for the same thing. And weirdly, there is not much for color availability for a replacement, in other than black and white these days.  No can do.  Took advantage of the really cheap buyout price and now are owners. Sitting about 29,000 miles.  Using as a daily driver 2 days a week now, and the Regal 3 days a week. Still enjoying this ride and its been knock on wood, no issues. Last fall I bought OEM wheels for cheap for winter rubber... but never did get the tires this year as winter has been so mild and without snow.  But next winter I'll be able to get some X-Ice or Blizzaks. Love the comfortable seats.  And the higher ride height is a nice welcome contrast vs the Regal.  The Harmon Kardon sound is really good.  Far better than the junk Bose (redundant term, I know) in the Regal. Pacifica sales were really good last year, and this vehicle will remain in the Chrysler lineup for the foreseeable future.  In fact, there is a major refresh now coming out in 2025 or 2026.  I can't wait to see what it may be.  Some rumor renderings look good, some others don't.   Part of the reason for the buyout was GM hasn't gotten their new Acadia and Traverse out yet.  Painfully slow getting them to market!  And the Enclave too!  3 times now and technically this is the 4th time we could have looked to get into the GM three row products.  The Pacific is just easy to drive and own.  Rides great, quiet.  May look to replace the TourX one of these days when GM finally gets those new 3 rows to the market. Our last three vacations, we've rented Pacificas also.  The front drivers pull amazing highway mpg when your doing interstate driving. Have still had interest in the plug in version.....I think they still have teething issues with them, but also..they are heavy due to the battery and you lose stow n Go as well as all wheel drive.  I was interested in test driving a Sienna hybrid, but you can never find one on a lot.  Plus, the Sienna interior is ghastly.  
    • Recent oil change again. Sitting at about 43,000 miles now. The dealership has a great car wash!  
    • Interesting another one bites the dust. Mercedes that had in 2021 said it would be an EV only company by 2030 has in their Q4 call stated they will not put an end date on ICE, and they are now aiming to have 50% of global sales as EV. Mercedes Benz ditches plan to sell only EVs by 2030 (msn.com) Mercedes-Benz Group 2023 results*: Cash generation at work | Mercedes-Benz Media
  • Who's Online (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online
  • My Clubs

  • Create New...

Hey there, we noticed you're using an ad-blocker. We're a small site that is supported by ads or subscriptions. We rely on these to pay for server costs and vehicle reviews.  Please consider whitelisting us in your ad-blocker, or if you really like what you see, you can pick up one of our subscriptions for just $1.75 a month or $15 a year. It may not seem like a lot, but it goes a long way to help support real, honest content, that isn't generated by an AI bot.

See you out there.


Write what you are looking for and press enter or click the search icon to begin your search