Toyota unveils new Avalon and Corolla Hatchback in Portland
Don't tell Toyota that cars are dead.
Because of the increasing popularity of SUVs, Ford has announced it will soon stop producing all cars except the Mustang. Some auto writers have taken this to mean other manufacturers will make similar decisions.
But not Toyota. Last week the company showed off two new cars to regional auto writers at its Portland headquarters — the fullsize 2019 Avalon and the compact 2019 Corolla Hatchback. Although there was only enough time for limited test drives, both proved impressive enough to tempt potential SUV buyers into picking them instead.
The Avalon is Toyota's largest sedan and comes in a wide range of trim levels, including three powered by a healthy 3.5-liter V6 and an equally strong hybrid that returns Prius-like mileage. All offer impressive interior room and ride comfortably over Portland's substandard streets.
Interior styling is refreshingly clean, with a standard large display screen that is beautifully integrated into the dash. Materials were top notch in all of the versions available for testing.
The Corolla Hatchback makes the new version of the best selling car in the world even more practical. The large rear hatch lifts to offer easy access to a surprising amount of cargo space, which should appeal to owners with small families and those who enjoy the outdoors.
The new model of the Corolla replaces the iM hatchback, which started as a Scion, Toyota's youth-oriented brand that went away a few years ago. Toyota officials say the company has spent a great deal of effort to make the new Corolla more engaging to drive than previous generations.
Despite the size differences, the interior of the Corolla is similar to that of the Avalon, with the clean dash featuring a well desifgned large display screen. Interior materials were also admirable for what is Toyota's entry-level vehicle.
Prices for the 2019 Avalon start at $35,500 with the hybrid version being only $1,000 more. Prices for the Corolla Hatchback start at $19,900.