The Corolla line has been around for a while, but it’s never been hailed for its looks. But that is about to change with the 2019 Hatchback. To be available in many parts of the world soon, this is one of the most striking Corollas in recent memory thanks to its impressive design and solid specs.
Both the XSE and the SE have sharp lines on the front fascia that complement its headlights. Based on the TNGA platform, the Corolla suspension is sporty that enables it to glide and drive like few sedans. With 151 lb ft torque and 168 hp 2 liter 4 cylinder engine there is sufficient power if you’re looking for performance.
The Corolla hatchback has a FWD, front engine, 4 door, 5 passenger design, and with its 168 hp 151 lb ft engine you can unleash good hatchback power here. With auto and manual transmissions you’ll be able to drive the Corolla just the way you want.
One of the more distinguishing features of the 2019 Corolla is its aggressive styling. This was a deliberate choice as it recalls the design of the Camry. The features – which we will take a look at shortly – are similar for the various models.
It hasn’t changed much in terms of interior room but the cargo space – 18 cubic feet at the back of the passenger seats – is comparable to other sedans. That should be sufficient for most driving needs and there is plenty of leg room as well.
Most of the 2019 Corolla has soft touch surfaces and the visibility is good on the sides and front. If you need a bigger view you can fold the outboard headrests on the rear seats. At the top of the dash sits an 8 inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, but no Android Auto yet.
The Corolla SE hatchbacks have a 4.2 inch display with good instrument cluster, while the XSE is equipped with a 7 inch display with analog gauges. The sharp display simplifies reading of the speedometer and other features.
The blue paint job looks great on the XSE as it matches well with the exterior and the rear spoiler. Even so there will be those who’ll prefer the SE. Not only does it look good but there’s the 8 inch touchscreen and LED headlights. The SE line also includes electric parking brakes and a leather steering wheel.
The parking brake comes with an auto brake hold, i.e. the Corolla holds on to the brakes until you press the accelerator, after which it lets go smoothly.
Now this is a Toyota so as expected there are a lot of safety features built in. These safety features include a system that is able to read various types of road signs such as yield, stop and speed limit. A full speed adaptive control cruise control is included as well as lane departure mitigation and auto emergency braking. On the two-pedal XSE and the automatic SE you also get blind spot monitoring.
All the Corolla models have an automatic pedestrian detection collision mechanism, lane keep and lane change assist. These features all go far in terms of making the car as safe as possible.
The hatchback drives nicely, and this can be attributed to greater torsional rigidity and a lower center of gravity. The steering on the SE is good and complements the 205/55R16 inch rubber tires. However the XSE steering is even better as it runs seamlessly with the 225/40R18 tires.
The XSE doesn’t provide 100% protection from bumps, but the suspension and handing makes it more comfortable to navigate roads. The CVT has been updated and is suitable for commuting. But it does have a 6-speed manual that changes gears smoothly.
Going back to the CVT it has simulated and physical launch gears that mostly stay in the background, and overall the impression you get is smooth driving. The handling differs per trim and some will prefer one type over the other, but all versions are reliable and can be dependent upon.
You may be wondering how the Corolla hatchback compares to the Auris. Well it’s pretty much the same since this is the Auris for the US market. For the American market the engine isn’t as heavy yet is still more efficient.
Just like the Corolla in other markets, the Auris will either have a CVT automatic or a 6-speed manual. Both options have been upgraded from the previous versions and improve handling and steering.
The Corolla is one of the best known lines from Toyota and that says a lot about its reliability. This is still a hatchback but the handling and driving are just different and on another level. If you’re in the market for a compact hatch and don’t mind the average interior space, the Corolla will do fine.
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