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2019 Toyota Corolla Hatch: Attitude and Utility

By Sue Mead, June 30th, 2018

Talk to Toyota's Sarah Wyatt and you'll hear her passion for performance and style.

Manufacturer photo: The friendly little five-door Corolla hatchback is available in SE and XSE trim levels
Manufacturer photo: The friendly little five-door Corolla hatchback is available in SE and XSE trim levels

"Two things stand out for me when it comes to the 2019 Corolla Hatch," enthuses the Product Manager at Toyota North America, as she talks about the all-new model.

"First, the incredible styling; I love the lighting signature, and the XSE trim's side silhouette with the 18-inch wheel is amazing. Second, the driving dynamics are fantastic! The CVT's fixed first gear gives the Hatchback a more natural feel from a stop, and the responsive steering, along with the composed TNGA suspension and chassis, make every drive thrilling."

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatch is loaded with new features and more comfort, safety and technology -- and comes in more trims with more options. While it will attract everyday buyers, it's sure to be a magnet to enthusiasts (who are likely to upfit this new platform for increased performance and more sports-minded styling) and to women.

"I think women will be attracted to its cool styling, great fun-to-drive feel, and utility, to name just a few things," Wyatt points out. "Plus, there are standard essentials like Entune 3.0 with Apple CarPlay, and our advanced Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. -- and at an affordable price."

Manufacturer photo: The friendly little five-door Corolla hatchback is available in SE and XSE trim levels

Ever since it was launched in Japan in 1966, the Corolla has had a well-earned reputation as a dependable, low-priced car -- features that have helped make it the best-selling car in the world. The friendly little five-door is available in SE and XSE trim levels.

Outside, the new model is longer, lower, and wider than its predecessor, and features svelte J-shaped LED headlamps, LED taillights chrome rear diffuser, restyled alloy wheels, lots of shapely lines, and a rakish, more steeply slanted tailgate with a big wing on top of the hatch. The most obvious novelty is its lower hood and seats, which promise better visibility and increased security.

The XSE trim adds LED fog lights, chrome front grille surround, 18-inch wheels, and an available Adaptive Front Lighting System that focuses lighting to match the vehicle's speed and steering angle. Bright color choices include the new-for-2019 color Rival Blue, as well as Blizzard Pearl, Silver Metallic, Midnight Black, Galactic Aqua Mica, Scarlet, and Oxide Bronze.

Under the hood is a 168-horsepower 2.0-liter engine. Smaller, lighter, and quieter than 1.8-liter engine it replaces, it lowers the Corolla hatchback's center of gravity and improves the car's balance. Shoppers may choose between a six-speed "Intelligent" manual transmission with automatic rev-matching for smooth shifts or the all-new Dynamic-Shift CVT with 10 simulated steps, Sport Mode, and paddle shifters, as well as a launch gear that improves launch immediacy and smoothness -- the world's first in a passenger vehicle CVT, according to Toyota.

"One of the most exciting features to me is the all-new six-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT)," explains Wyatt. "Even though manual transmissions are becoming less common in the market, Toyota doubled down. Our transmission is more innovative than ever because it can automatically rev-match, if the user wants. This feature smooths out gear changes and amps up the fun-to-drive factor. Size-wise, it's also one of the smallest manual gearboxes in the world, making it extremely efficient. And, there's also great safety."

Manufacturer photo: The friendly little five-door Corolla hatchback is available in SE and XSE trim levels

Inside, a more spacious space and well-bolstered sport seats give a more comfortable driving experience. Aesthetic minimalism is the norm, with matte elements and some high-gloss accents. A standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system perched high on the center of the dashboard dominates the interior. Siri Eyes Free is standard and hands-free phone connectivity includes Apple CarPlay capability and Amazon Alexa integration. Two front USB ports are standard, and Qi wireless charging is available. The XSE trim adds dual-zone climate control, higher-quality seat materials, heated front seats, and an eight-way power driver's seat. Apple Watch compatibility, which lets you lock, unlock, and start the car remotely, is also available.

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