Before I begin let me disclose that I do indeed work at a Toyota dealership and have for quite some time. I have done many videos and a few reviews of some of our products and try to be as objective as I can. I’m sure that not everyone will agree with me on all points but these indeed are my opinions only.
I’d have to say that the fact that Toyota decided to basically rebrand a hatchback back to the Corolla was quite brave since the Matrix had a fairly small following back in the day and the iM really didn’t have the following that it probably deserved. So I was quite excited to see that the Corolla Hatchback was being introduced since we really only have the Prius family of hatchbacks.
I think the overall design of the Corolla hatchback is a very good one. It’s very sleek looking with good body lines. The front and the rear of the car are very aggressive and sporty looking. The Hatchback version of the Corolla looks much better than the regular sedan in my opinion. I’d give the overall design a B+.
The Corolla hatchback features a new 2.0 Direct fuel injection 4 cyl engine and can be paired with either a Dynamic Shift CVT or a 6 speed manual transmission. (At the point of me writing this review I haven’t driven the manual so will only speak of the CVT) The engine pushes out 168 HP and 151 ft lbs of torque making this car very fun to drive. It definitely has quite a bit more pep than the Corolla sedan and the CVT feels much better in the hatchback. The hatchback handles very nicely and accelerates quite impressively from the start or while driving. If you decide on the CVT you won’t be disappointed especially if you like sporty driving since it has 10 shift points in which to use that makes it even more fun to drive. There is also a Sport mode that will kick it into an even more fun drive mode for those times when you want to feel the need for speed. I’d give the overall drivetrain an A-.
Though I think the overall car is impressive I am very impressed with the fuel economy. Toyota got the drivetrain right so now the fuel economy is now better than that of the Camry. The CVT will get you an impressive 42 mpgs on the hwy and 36 combined while the manual will get you 37 on the hwy and 31 combined and both are better than the regular Corolla sedan. I’d have to give the fuel economy an A+.
The Corolla Hatchback is loaded with standard features that leaves me impressed. It starts with standard LED headlights and taillights. The SE comes standard with 16” alloys and the XSE comes standard with 18” alloys. I’d have to say the XSE’s wheels are nicer than that of the SE but they aren’t bad either. As you step inside the Hatchback you will notice that it has smart key on the front 2 doors and the hatch and also push button start. All 4 of your windows will be auto up/down for those of you that like that. Looking at the dash it looks sporty. The top of the dash is soft touch as is the front 2 doors. The instrument cluster features a sport design and adds you a 4.2 inch multi informational display on the SE and a 7 inch on the XSE. The radio features an 8 inch touch screen that is very easy to see and use and is the new Entune 3.0 with app suite but that’s not all. This year this Entune system adds you Safety Connect(Toyotas satellite tracking and auto crash alert) and wifi and if you get one with the upgraded Entune Audio Plus you would add Service Connect(A service dept assist service) and Remote Connect along with SiriusXM radio. In addition to those already awesome items Toyota has finally added Apple CarPlay that all you have to do is tether your iPhone to your USB port and begin using some of your favorite apps on the radio screen. Also, Toyota has added Amazon Alexa that can be used in conjunction with your Alexa powered home devices and you will be able to use many voice activated instructions in the car. You will get 2 USB ports and a 12 v power plug as well.
The driver seat is a 6 way manual seat and the passenger is a 4 way. You will also get 60/40 fold flat rear seats for more cargo area. I’d have to give the overall features and technology an A-.
The 2019 Corolla Hatchback features the new TSS-P 2.0 which is the first of the Toyota lineup to have it. It will still have your favorite features from the 1st generation with some nice upgrades. You will still get the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection but now it has added a low-light Pedestrian Detection and also Bicycle recognition for the daytime. You will still get the Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist but it has an upgrade of Lane Tracing Assist which is used with the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and helps keep you centered in your lane when the cruise is set. You will also still be able to enjoy your Automatic High Beams for night time driving but you will also love the Road Sign Assist that will recognize signs such as Stop signs, Yield signs, Speed Limit signs as well as Do Not Enter signs and will show them on your multi informational display screen up to 3 at a time if you missed seeing them while driving. The hatchback also has 7 standard airbags and though the crash ratings aren’t out yet I’d expect it to be a 5 Star overall. I would give the safety an A+.
I am 6’05” and I have plenty of room in the driver’s seat when it comes to head, leg and shoulder room. I have no problem getting in and out without hitting my knees or my head. The passenger side is also quite roomy for me as well. I have no problem with the head or knee room however I will say that with the way the dash is designed that I wouldn’t be able to give anyone anymore room to sit behind me... but not everyone is as tall as me either so it may not effect you as bad. I will say that the backseats aren’t as roomy as the Corolla Sedan but I can sit straight up in the backseat and could probably ride back here as long as the front seat occupants don’t ride with their seats all the way back. You will pick up more cargo space than the Corolla sedan at 17.8 cu ft vs 13 cu ft(though it doesn’t look like more) though it doesn’t have quite as much as the iM did at 21 cu ft. As a matter of fact I’d have to believe that the Corolla Sedan and the iMs overall passenger volume are a little more than the Corolla Hatchback but it is still a very nice car. I’d have to give the overall score of roominess a B.
When I review our cars I like to give a few things I dislike so I will do that now. The number 1 thing I think could’ve been better is the design of the alloy wheels. I don’t mind them being a 16” but I think they could have been a better rival to the 18” that comes in the XSE. The number 2 thing I think could have been better is the passenger room. I understand that a hatchback sometimes has less room to give it more cargo but if they could’ve done it in the iM then I think the Corolla hatchback shouldn’t have been a problem either. The 3rd thing is, though I am happy with the overall availability of standard features and options, I would have liked to have been able to see a sunroof at least as an option on this car. Oh and a side note... I would’ve loved to have seen dual exhaust standard but that’s just me!
Having said all that I will say that I am impressed with the overall total design of this 2019 Corolla Hatchback and will give it an overall score of an A. It is a very fun car to drive and anyone of any age would probably enjoy the overall ride and features of this new venture from Toyota.