Ticking all the right boxes

While there are more than a few high-end hot hatchbacks out there these days (Ford Focus RS, Honda Civic Type R, and Volkswagen Golf R, to name a few) not all enthusiasts can justify the 40-grand entry fee. Luckily, the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback provides loads of thrills for roughly half the cost.

Continue reading for the full story.

It’s Very, Very Blue

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Tickles Our Hot Hatch Fancy Exterior
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If you’re serious about looking the part of a compact troublemaker, Blue Flame is the way to go.

For any model to be considered a proper hot hatchback, it’s gotta be able to turn a few heads, and the 2019 Corolla definitely delivers on that front, especially when draped in a shearing shade of Blue Flame. Other exterior paint options include Blizzard Pearl, Silver Metallic, Midnight Black, Galactic Aqua Mica, Scarlet, and Oxide Bronze, but if you’re serious about looking the part of a compact troublemaker, Blue Flame is the way to go.

Of course, a screaming paint job is only half the battle here. A hot hatch also has to have the lines to match, and to that end, the Corolla is rocking the very latest Toyota design language. Dubbed “Under Priority,” the aesthetic is characterized by sharp angles, geometric shapes, and a positively enormous front grille, and while it might not work all that great on most of Toyota’s lineup, we think it’s just right for a hot hatch application.

Complementing it all is a set of LED headlights and LED taillights, both of which are set in narrow, pointed housings. In the corners, you’ll find the wheel sizing ranges between 16 and 18 inches in diameter. Yep, you can get it with 18’s from the factory.

Going plus-size with the rollers is definitely recommended, as the extra alloy fits well with the lower, wider, shorter exterior dimensions. Compared to the Corolla iM that preceded it, the 2019 Hatchback adds extra front and rear track width, plus a longer wheelbase to boot, both of which help it handle even better. Speaking of which…

It’s Fun To Drive

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Tickles Our Hot Hatch Fancy Exterior
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In terms of motivation, the Toyota Corolla Hatchback is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder powerplant.

Under those bright blue body panels, the Corolla Hatchback is riding on the Toyota New Global Architecture C (TNGA C) platform, the brand’s latest for FWD compact models. In addition to being relatively lightweight, the stiffer architecture also helps the Corolla achieve 60 percent greater torsional rigidity than the preceding Corolla iM.

Further handling improvements are offered by the sporty suspension tuning, with independent MacPherson struts in front rocking an updated geometry. In the rear is a multi-link setup, once again with a modified geometry. Toyota also mentions it managed to reduce overall suspension friction by 40 percent, while the center of gravity was lowered by 0.8 inches.

In terms of motivation, the Toyota Corolla Hatchback is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder powerplant, and while it isn’t amazingly fast, it’s definitely fast enough to have lots of fun while sitting in the hot seat. Peak output is rated at 168 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque, which is an improvement of 31 horses and 25 pound-feet over the preceding model’s 1.8-liter four-cylinder.

It Comes With A Proper Manual Gearbox

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Tickles Our Hot Hatch Fancy Interior
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Slick exterior styling and sharp handling are all for nought if you aren’t rowing your own.

Let’s be honest - slick exterior styling and sharp handling are all for nought if you aren’t rowing your own. As such, Toyota smartly equipped the 2019 Corolla Hatchback with a six-speed manual transmission, and it does well to complete the driving experience. It’s also extremely newbie friendly, and comes with an intelligent automatic throttle blip feature for the downshifts.

Alternatively, you can get yours with a CVT, but that’s a topic for a different day.

It Gets Five Doors

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Tickles Our Hot Hatch Fancy Exterior
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Thanks to its four passenger doors, access to the rear seat is easy.

Fun and practicality - those are the two overarching themes of a hot hatch, and while we’ve already covered the former, we’re also happy to report that the 2019 Corolla Hatchback gets loads of the latter.

Thanks to its four passenger doors, access to the rear seat is easy, while space on the rear bench is adequate for a car in this segment. Total passenger volume is rated at 85 cubic feet.

What’s more, the rear cargo room provides as much as 18 cubic feet with the rear bench up, besting competitors like the Volkswagen Golf. Sure, it’s not overwhelmingly spacious, but it gets the job done all the same. This is a compact, after all.

It Has Plenty Of Interior Gear

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Tickles Our Hot Hatch Fancy Interior
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Sitting front and center in the cabin is an 8.0-inch touchscreen, which runs Toyota’s latest Entune 3.0 infotainment platform.

Clearly, the 2019 Corolla Hatchback is aimed at a younger generation of buyers, and as such, it comes replete with gadgets and gizmos throughout the cabin space. Sitting front and center in the cabin is an 8.0-inch touchscreen, which runs Toyota’s latest Entune 3.0 infotainment platform. Highlights include onboard Wi-Fi, Entune 3.0 app support, and Amazon Alexa support, plus, in a Toyota-first, Apple CarPlay. It’s also got Qi wireless charging and a 7.0-inch TFT Multi-Information Display, both of which are offered as available options.

Finally, in a North American first, the Corolla Hatchback comes standard with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of features, which is a great point to bring up when convincing the rents or a significant other that this thing really is a practical, safe vehicle. Which it is.

Conclusion

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Tickles Our Hot Hatch Fancy Exterior
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The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback definitely has a lot going for it, and it’s absolutely worthy of consideration by anyone looking to get into an affordable, fun hot hatch.

Look for it in dealers this summer, with pricing expected to slot in around $20,000.

So then - is it perfect? Of course not. Stay tuned for our full written review for all the details and our driving impressions.

References

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Tickles Our Hot Hatch Fancy Interior
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The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback’s Manual Gearbox Is Extremely Newbie Friendly

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Tickles Our Hot Hatch Fancy Exterior
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The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Actually Looks Great With A Huge Grille

Watch Out Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf Fans - Toyota has a New Corolla Hatchback Heading to the New York Auto Show Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback.

2019 Toyota Avalon Exterior
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Read our full driven review on the 2019 Toyota Avalon.

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