2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback puts the fun back into functional
Toyota has a long history with hatchbacks and with the Corolla name, which stretches back to 1966. In the last 52 years, the Toyota Corolla has become the best-selling nameplate ever in the history of the automobile.
The newest Corolla was recently unveiled at the New York Auto Show, and then we had a chance to drive the car in San Diego last week. Toyota has not settled on pricing, and the EPA has not announced official fuel economy ratings, but you can expect the Corolla to be both affordable and fuel-efficient.
Engine power is provided by Toyota's 2.0-liter engine, which makes 168 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. In classic hatchback style, there's no turbo or anything, but the car is well-balanced to the available engine power. This engine in the Corolla hatch is zippy and fun.
Driveline options include a new continuously variable transmission with a fixed ratio first gear, which solves one of the biggest complaints about CVTs. The fixed first gear allows the Corolla to move out smartly and then the variable ratio takes over and simulates a 10-speed automatic. The other gearbox is a six-speed manual, but this transmission was disappointing. The stickshift feels loose, and overall performance seemed to suffer with the manual option. So, for the first time ever, I'm recommending the CVT as the performance option on the Corolla hatch.
Toyota started from scratch with this car, designing it around their scalable TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform. The TNGA platform is also the basis for the new Camry, Avalon, RAV4, Prius, C-HR, and even some Lexus models. Every automaker is using some form of scalable platform now, which saves a lot of money and time. The benefit to the consumer is a sturdy, stable car that handles well. The new Corolla hatch is attractively designed, and one feature to call out is the composite plastic rear hatch. This manages to be very light to lift and easy to shut, while at the same time feeling like a high quality piece.
The new Corolla Hatch will be available at dealers in July, and it's a great little car for driving, and offers plenty of interior space. The Corolla comes with all the safety and tech goodies you could possibly want. You can get a nice 8-inch video display that supports Apple CarPlay, but not Android Auto, at least not yet. There's a JBL stereo option, too. The bottom line is that the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is a worthy successor to the Corolla name. If you like Corollas or hatchbacks, you'll like this new car.
2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Base price: TBD
Price as tested: TBD
Type: Compact hatchback
Engine: 2.0-liter inline 4 (168 hp, 151 lbs-ft)
Transmissions: 6-speed manual; Continuously Variable Transmission
EPA estimated mileage: TBD
Overall length: 172 inches
Curb weight: 2,943 pounds
Final assembly: Japan