2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Review

Written by Anqoinette Crosby

The dramatically styled 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is a cute-as-a button, five-seater that makes me smile every time I see one. During my time with the car, I found myself caught in a sudden snowstorm dealing with slick, slushy streets. That’s when I discovered Toyota’s "hawt" new hatch has more than just a pretty face, it’s also a good-handling car that kept me on the straight and narrow.

Those of you with longer memories may recall this car’s predecessor was a holdover from the now defunct Scion lineup in which it was known as the Scion iM. When Toyota adopted the orphaned hatchback, it named the car Corolla iM. However, for this all-new 2019 version of the car, the iM designation has been dropped in favor of a more descriptive surname—Hatchback.

Along with its new last name, the hipster hatch offers more standard equipment than its predecessor. In fact, this version of the Corolla unveils some of Toyota’s newest technology. This includes an expanded suite of advanced safety features, as well as Apple CarPlay. (Sorry Android fans, no love for you—yet.)

Offered in two states of trim; SE and XSE, Corolla Hatchback SE includes an eight-inch touchscreen interface offering Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, Amazon Alexa, and the aforementioned Apple CarPlay. The cherry on top is Wi-Fi Connect powered by Verizon, which gives you internet access on the go.

As good as all of that is, the party really gets going when you move up to the XSE trim. That’s where you’ll enjoy high definition radio with SiriusXM, Toyota’s Remote Connect which gives you smartphone access to certain functions of the car, heated front seats, a power driver's seat and dual-zone climate control.

Every Corolla Hatchback also comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. Among it’s innovations are lane departure alert with steering assist, a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and a plethora of other cutting-edge driver assistance systems including blind spot monitoring.

The interior of the pint-sized Corolla is surprisingly spacious for those seated upfront.Your crew riding in the back may find accommodations a bit tight. However, my friends voiced zero complaints, as my XSE-trimmed test car had them riding luxuriously on comfortable leather seats.

If you’re looking the Hatchback’s profile and wondering where the addition space went,  the cargo area claims a significant portion of it. When I loaded it with winter supplies, the Corolla happily accepted a snow shovel, large bag of rock salt, an ice scraper, a snow brush and sand—without any resistance. With that said, I did have to fold the back seat to expand the cargo area from 17.8– to 23.3 cubic feet.

A new engine and a pair of new transmissions debuted with the 2019 Corolla Hatchback too. The freshly-minted 2.0-liter, four-cylinder makes 168 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. You can choose either the continuously variable transmission (CVT) or a six-speed manual transmission to drive the front wheels. I tested the precise-shifting six-speed manual, which delivered seamless shifts and helped me make the most of the engine’s conservative output.

As for fuel economy, I saw 28 mpg in the city, 37 on the highway and  32 overall.

 

Pricing starts at $19,990.

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© 2019 Automobiles Illustrated