The all-new 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is here and it didn’t come to idle on the sidelines either. Toyota’s replacement for the outgoing iM took home the Best Compact Car award at the 2018 Texas Auto Roundup, an annual event held by the Texas Auto Writers Association.
2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
After 46 journalists, myself included, evaluated a lineup that also included the all-new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta, 2018 Volkswagen Golf R/GTI, and Mazda3, the 18-inch wheeled Corolla Hatchback XSE came out on top in its category.
In a hue dubbed “Blue Flame”, you couldn’t miss our test model maneuvering an evaluation course at the Eagle Canyon Raceway. Inside, its Blue Gray dual-tone cabin gave off a premium feel to it with high contrast stitching. A three-spoke steering wheel with paddle shifters and colorful digital tachometer were other cabin highlights.
What To Know
Here are the biggest things to know about the longer, lower and wider Corolla hatchback, which is built on Toyota’s new TNGA platform.
You can get it with a 6-speed manual if a stick shift makes you happy. Otherwise, it offers the world’s first launch gear in a passenger vehicle CVT. It also comes with a new engine and revised sport-tuned suspension. Plus, it will be the first Toyota to feature Toyota Safety Sense 2.0., which includes some new features like Road Sign and Lane Tracing Assist.
Toyota’s Nate Martinez talks us through some of the highlights.
New Powertrain and 6-speed iMT
The Corolla Hatchback’s new, smaller and lighter engine is a 2.0-liter direct injection inline-four that delivers 168-horses and 151 lb.-ft of torque. (No, there is no mention of turbocharging.) Downsizing the engine’s size and weight lowers the hatchback’s center of gravity and benefits its overall balance.
The Hatchback also debuts what Toyota calls an Intelligent Manual Transmission. The 6-speed, with downshift rev-matching control, automatically adjusts engine rotations for smoother shifting between gears. If driving a manual seems like too much work, drivers can opt for the Dynamic Shift CVT with a launch gear that smooths out acceleration off-the-line.
Other changes include updated shock absorbers and springs in the rear multi-link suspension with stabilizer bar for sharper responsiveness.
The all-new 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback arrives this summer in two trims, SE or XSE. The top trim XSE model, shown in the video, comes standard with Toyota’s Entune 3.0 system with an 8-inch touchscreen, along with an 8-speaker JBL system, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa connectivity. I love the fact that both trims offer LED headlamps.
Toyota Safety Sense 2.0
The Corolla Hatchback comes standard with a backup camera along with Toyota’s latest safety system, TSS 2.0. The updated safety package adds new active-safety technologies: Lane Tracing Assist for freeways and highways, as well as Road Sign Assist. Blind Spot Monitoring, something I’m a huge fan of, comes standard on the XSE and as an option on the SE.
The new Corolla Hatchback is due out this summer, so look for fuel economy numbers and pricing closer to the sale date.
Photo Credit: Kevin McCauley
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