2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Small, fun, practical, and standard with a stickby Jonathan Lopez, on LISTEN 19:35
The Toyota Corolla is the best-selling nameplate in the world, with a total of 11 generations coming and going since its introduction way back in 1966. The latest 12th generation broke cover earlier in 2018 at the Geneva International Motor Show flying under the Auris badge, and now it looks like the Japanese brand is bringing the icon to the 2018 New York International Auto Show in an updated hatchback format. Highlights include a fresh exterior style, an incredible amount of technology, sporty chassis tuning, and a standard six-speed manual transmission. But the question is this - does it have what it takes to pique the interest of enthusiasts?
Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback.
2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Exterior
- Sharp exterior styling
- Very large front grille
- Slim headlights, J-shaped housings
- LED lighting elements
- 16- to 18-inches for wheel sizing
- Chrome detailing
- Lower, longer, and wider than before
- Updated proportions
- Adaptive exterior lighting
- New paint options
Basically, Toyota hoped to make the 2019 Corolla look agile and aggressive, and overall, we’d say mission accomplished.
Toyota has been on a tear lately when it comes to exterior styling, and sometimes it works, while other times… well, not so much. Luckily, the 2019 Corolla Hatchback appears to put the company’s latest design language to good use.
Toyota says it followed the theme of “Shooting Robust,” with the first word being an allusion to the sport coupe segment. Basically, the goal was to make it look agile and aggressive, and overall, we’d say mission accomplished.
The new styling starts in front, where the nose is a good deal rounder this time. The grille section dominates here, with a very large opening making up most of the bumper section. The trapezoidal under grille was evolved as part of the Toyota Under Priority Catamaran and Keen Look design language and is meant to emphasize the car’s wider dimensions. Higher up, you’ll find slim headlights, with J-shaped housings that extend out from the central badge surround, wrapping around into the fenders. The checkmark daytime running lights are complemented by Bi-Beam LEDs.
While the busy front end seems to draw most of the attention, the sides are much cleaner. The character lines here lend the machine a forward-leaning rake, starting low and rising towards the tail. The window surrounds are done up in black and get a teardrop-shaped design. Wheel sizing ranges between 16 inches and 18 inches in diameter.
Moving into the rear, we find a rather attractive hatch section. Toyota says the looks is meant to communicate athleticism, and we think it did a good job to this end with its rounded proportions and sharp edges.
While LEDs and large alloy wheels are offered as standard across the range, there are still a few details to help differentiate between trim levels.
The hatch itself is set at a steeper angle than the model that came before, with Toyota moving it 14 degrees forward for an all-together sportier look. The slim taillights match the headlights with additional LED elements throughout, including the diffusing inner lens, which helps to punctuate the vehicle’s stance. There’s also a slick-looking lower lip and chrome diffuser for the rear bumper.
While LEDs, a chrome rear diffuser, and large alloy wheels are offered as standard across the range, there are still a few aesthetic details to help differentiate between the SE and XSE trim levels. For example, the top XSE trim adds 18-inch wheels, LED fog lights, and a chrome front grille surround. It also comes with an available Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS), which is offered as a pairing with the CVT drivetrain. As a reference, AFS actively points the headlights (both vertically and horizontally) for more accurate illumination, utilizing inputs for the steering angle, vehicle speed, and other parameters.
In terms of dimensions, 2019 Toyota Corolla hatch changes it up quite a bit from the outgoing Corolla iM. For starters, the front overhang was decreased by .08 Inches, while the rear overhang was lengthened by 0.8 inches. The whole thing was also lowered by a full inch, and it’s both 1.2 inches wider and 1.5 inches longer than the preceding five-door. It also has wider front and rear tracks, and a longer wheelbase. The hood is two inches lower for improved forward visibility.
Exterior color options include Blizzard Pearl, Silver Metallic, Midnight Black, Galactic Aqua Mica, Scarlet, and Oxide Bronze. New for the 2019 model year is a hue called Rival Blue.
Exterior Dimension Comparison
|2018 Toyota Corolla iM||2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback|
|Wheelbase||102.4 inches||103.9 inches (+1.5 in)|
|Overall Length||170.5 inches||172 inches (+1.5 in)|
|Overall Width||69.3 inches||70.5 inches (+1.2 in)|
|Overall Height||57.5 inches||56.6 inches (-1.0 in)|
2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Interior
- Cleaner, simpler layout looks great
- Ridiculous amount of technology packed in
- New steering wheel design
- 8.0-inch touchscreen
- Optional Qi wireless charging
- Improved NVH
- Available leather upholstery
- Entune 3.0 infotainment platform
- Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa support
- Second-gen safety feature suite
The lack of extraneous switchgear makes a big difference, and the sense of “cleanliness” of palpable.
From the off, the interior of the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback looks to be a far nicer place to sit than the outgoing model. Toyota gave it a minimalist layout and horizontal design that appears far more premium than before, with broad surfaces and a clutter-free interface.
The lack of extraneous switchgear makes a big difference. There’s also smaller gaps between the buttons and switches that do remain, and the sense of “cleanliness” of palpable.
Drivers get to grips with a freshly redesigned multifunction steering wheel, which gets a longer downward-facing twin-spoke, decent hand bolsters, brushed trim, and flush-mounted buttons that are easily accessible at thumb’s length. There’s also some slick and sporty lateral supports for the seats. Materials used include silver accents and piano black surfaces, as well as available contrast stitching.
High on the dash, the 2019 Corolla hatch mounts a high-resolution 8.0-inch touchscreen, changing it up from the centrally mounted display seen on the outgoing model. This provides inputs to alter the various vehicle settings, audio system, navigation, smartphone support, and further apps, with the slim climate control interface found below with a small digital readout and a few hard buttons.
Further updates include a dash that’s 0.9 inches thinner than before, while the center console is 1.7 inches wider between the left and right front-seated passengers. The center console is also longer, and it mounts a central tray just ahead of the shifter - a perfect spot to store your wallet or phone. The tray can also be had with an optional Qi wireless charger.
Front passengers now get a lower hip point, which is measured at 10.82 inches. New cushioning provides a more comfortable place to sit, while the cupholders in the front door can hold 24-ounce bottles. There are new cushions in the rear as well, with passengers offered 16-ounce bottle cupholders.
In terms of noise/vibration/harshness (NVH), improvements were made to various bits of the drivetrain, plus there’s additional sound deadening, new seals around the body panel gaps, new resonator ribs, and other touches like Aero Stabilizing Fins on the taillights to help reduce wind noise. While each upgrade isn’t terribly impactful on its own, added together they should make a noticeable difference.
In terms of noise/vibration/harshness (NVH), several improvements were made that should add up to a noticeable difference.
Now that we’ve covered most of the broader updates, let’s check out the specific gear for each of the various trim levels, including the Corolla’s impressive lineup of technology features.
Starting it off is the SE trim level, which gets automatic climate control, a leather shift knob, paddle shifters, an electronic parking brake, a three-door SmartKey, automatic power windows, and two USB ports in front, all as standard spec.
Upgrading to the XSE trim level brings dual-zone automatic climate control, leather and fabric upholstery, heated front seats, and an eight-way power driver’s seat. There’s also unique stitching added to the instrument panel, door covers, and gauge hood, while a 7.0-inch TFT Multi-Information Display was thrown in behind the wheel, providing drivers with miscellaneous vehicle data and turn-by-turn navigation.
Now let’s talk infotainment. The standard spec includes the Entune 3.0 infotainment platform, as well as Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa support. The SE deploys the platform courtesy of an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and gets six-speaker audio, the Entune 3.0 App Suite Connect, Safety Connect, Wi-Fi, Scout GPS Link Compatibility, Siri Eyes Free, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB 2.0 port, iPod connectivity, AM/FM, MP3 playback, voice command, hands-free phone operation, Bluetooth support, a customizable home screen, and weather and traffic updates.
Higher up in the trim levels is the Entune 3.0 Audio Plus system, which is offered as standard on the XSE and is optional on SE models equipped with a CVT. The Plus part of the package tosses in HD Radio with weather and traffic updates, SiriusXM with Cache Radio, the Entune 3.0 Connected Services, Service Connect, and Remote Connect.
Finally, there’s the range-topping Entune 3.0 Audio Premium, with is offered as an available option on XSE models with a CVT. The Premium includes a JBL stereo with 8 speakers and 800 watts of power, Clari-Fi technology, and 6.7-inch subwoofers mounted in the doors, not to mention Dynamic Voice Recognition, Dynamic Navigation, point of interest search, and Destination Assist Connect.
The range-topping Entune 3.0 Audio Premium system comes with a JBL stereo rocking eight speakers, 800 watts of power, and 6.7-inch subwoofers.
In addition to a plethora of infotainment gear, the 2019 Corolla Hatchback also comes with the very latest in Toyota’s safety technology, including the first application of brand’s second-generation Safety Sense 2.0 for the North American market.
Highlights include Lane Departure Alert, Lane Tracing Assist, a Pre-collision System with Pedestrian Detection, a Blind Spot Monitor, adaptive cruise control, brake assist, lane-departure warning with steering assist, and automatic high beams.
Finishing it off is the usual backup safety gear, such as seven airbags, enhanced vehicle stability control, traction control, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, smart stop, and a standard backup camera.
2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Drivetrain
- Upgraded NA 2.0-liter four-cylinder
- D-4S fuel injection and Dual VVT-i
Compared to the outgoing Corolla, the new model offers more power, higher levels of efficiency, and fewer emissions.
Making the go in the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback go is a naturally aspirated Dynamic-Force 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine. Dubbed the M20A-FKS, this powerplant features direct fuel injection,16 valves, DOHC, and Dual VVT-i with a chain drive.
Compared to the outgoing Corolla, the new model offers more power, higher levels of efficiency, and fewer emissions. The engine is also smaller and lighter than the 1.8-liter engine that it replaces, which effectively lowers the overall center of gravity. As a complement to the upgraded interior, the fresh engine contributes to the overall NVH improvements thanks to a more rigid crankcase, lighter resin cylinder head, and ribbed oil pan.
Helping with the burn is a D-4S fuel injection system, which offers both high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection, adapting the fuel delivery method to better suit the situation at hand. There’s also Dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligence), with VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing-intelligence by Electric motor) for the intake and VVT-i for the exhaust. The VVT-iE uses a single electric motor to control the valve timing, as opposed to oil pressure on a traditional system.
Final details include a longer stroke, a 13:1 compression ratio, larger valve nip angle, more efficient ports, laser clad valve seat, a higher rate of combustion, high tumble flow, and high intake air flow volume.
Horsepower and torque levels not yet been revealed.
As a reference, the current Corolla makes upwards of 132 horsepower, and we’d love it if the Corolla made more than 150 horses, especially when you look at the next paragraph.
Horsepower and torque levels not yet been revealed, but we’d love it if the Corolla made more than 150 horses.
You see, the transmission options include an all-new Dynamic-Shift CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), or, more enticingly, a row-your-own six-speed iMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission) gearbox.
For those interested in three pedals, the manual gets downshift rev matching control for buttery-smooth cog swaps. The ‘box is also 15 pounds lighter than before, weighing in at just 88 pounds total, and it’s shorter by about an inch.
If you prefer to leave the shifting duties to the machines, then you can also opt to get into the
CVT, which comes with a simulated ten speeds to run through. It’s also got Sequential Shiftmatic paddle shifters and a Sport Mode. Interestingly, this automatic is also the first-ever passenger vehicle CVT to offer a first-gear launch system. By using a gear drive to pull away from a full stop, this CVT offers improved acceleration, more engagement, and less of that sluggish feeling you’d normally associate with a CVT. Finally, the transmission offers 20-percent quicker shifts between the ratios.
2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Chassis And Handling
- New TNGA platform
- Much more rigid
- MacPherson struts in front, multi-link in the rear
- Promises behind-the-wheel thrills
Extra crispy cornering comes courtesy of revisions to the front and rear suspension. Toyota claims it was tuned with sporting intentions.
Under the skin, the 2019 Corolla Hatchback is built on the latest Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, specifically the TNGA “C” version. It includes additional bracing to make it more of a driver’s machine, as well as a mix of aluminum and high-strength steel to keep it from flexing. All told, the upgraded bones improve torsional rigidity by 60 percent compared to the preceding model.
Further weight savings come courtesy of special materials like Toyota Super Olefin Polymer, or TSOP (the entire rear hatch is made of the stuff), as well as Acrylonitrile Butadience Styrene (ABS) plastic. And, as we all know, less weight is always a good thing.
Extra crispy cornering comes courtesy of revisions to front and rear suspension pieces. The front MacPherson strut gets an updated geometry, as well as revised coil spring rates and revised damping. Meanwhile, the rear multi-link was upgraded with a new stabilizer bar and fresh shocks and springs, as well as new geometry with relocated lower arms and better toe-in angle during high-speed cornering. The shocks were also moved forward a bit, while overall suspension friction was reduced by 40 percent and the center of gravity was lowered by 0.8 inches.
All told, Toyota says the suspension was tuned for sporting intentions: “The end result: A Corolla Hatchback that possesses an uncanny blend of balance, composure, and feel that’ll have its driver pining for windy roads - time and time again,” the brand exclaims.
2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Prices
The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is offered in both the XE and XSE trim levels.
There’s no official pricing info as of this writing, but it’s likely to slot in just under the $20,000 mark, matching the outgoing Corolla iM.
Look for the 2019 Corolla to arrive in dealers this summer.
2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Competition
If the new Corolla hatch truly wants to offer us some performance, then it’s gonna need to take on the Mazda3 hatchback. This thing looks the part of a hot five-door thanks to the brand’s head-turning Kodo design language, with sharp lines and sporty proportions. Under the hood is 155 horses from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, or 184 horsepower from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, with both a manual and automatic on the list of transmission options. Throw in Mazda’s superlative handling chops, and this will be one tricky rival to beat on the field of performance.
Read our full review on the 2016 - 2018 Mazda3.
If you’re talking about hatchbacks, it doesn’t get much more iconic than the Volkswagen Golf. Known for providing top-notch build quality, attractive styling and design, a good deal of practicality, and even some fun to boot, the Golf ticks all the right boxes for the segment. Motivation is provided by either a 1.5-liter powerplant making upwards of 147 horsepower and 189 pound-feet of torque, or a 1.8-liter making 170 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. With an Audi-inspired interior and tons of rear space, the Golf makes for yet another tough competitor for the Corolla.
Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf.
The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is offered as a follow-up to the Corolla iM (also known as the Scion iM), with Toyota dropping the iM nomenclature completely in favor of simply calling it a hatchback. And because it’s a continuation of that youth-oriented model, it makes sense to frame the five-door as something zestier than your average Corolla model.
Of course, the simply ridiculous amount of tech and features that the 2019 Corolla hatch brings to the table certainly don’t hurt its standing among its target audience. But, as you might expect, what we really wanna know about is the way this thing makes its speed.
Indeed, if that 2.0-liter provides a decent amount of power (150 ponies is the bare minimum here, although 170 to 190 ponies would be just about perfect), we’d be overjoyed. Paired with a lightened chassis and six-speed manual, it sounds like quite a tempting offer to us.
Either way, we’re glad Toyota is offering up more practicality in the compact segment. So far, so good. Maybe toss in some higher-trim performance options to sweeten the pot, then call it a day.
Read our full driven review on the 2017 Toyota Corolla iM.
Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota Corolla.
Read our full review on the 2019 Toyota Auris.
Read more Toyota news.
Read more New York Auto Show news.