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2019 Corolla Hatch

New for the latest model year, the Corolla Hatch is a compact hatchback built on Toyota's modular platform. It's aimed at younger buyers seeking car that's reasonably fun to drive, high-tech, and affordable.


The Corolla Hatch falls in line with Toyota's recent design language. Designers gave it a low hood, a broader grille like the Avalon's, and wider headlights. Out back, the design of the lights and the bumper insert echoes the headlights and the grille.

Toyota's modular platform also underpins the Avalon, the Camry, and the Prius, among other models. The new architecture makes the Corolla Hatch slightly longer, lower, and wider than the Corolla iM it replaces. The extra sheet metal benefits the occupants because they allowed designers to carve out a more spacious cabin.

Don't let its economy car roots fool you; the Corolla Hatch is far from Spartan, even in its most basic configuration. Materials are largely soft-touch throughout the cabin and the list of standard features includes an eight-inch touch screen infotainment that runs Toyota's Entune infotainment system. It's also compatible with Apple CarPlay. That's right: Toyota is finally warming up to CarPlay. Android users remain out of luck.

Interior volume is good for a compact, with plenty of room up front and adequate space in the back seat. Trunk space checks in at 18 cubic feet with both rows of seats up, a figure that's about average for the segment.

Technical specifications

The Corolla Hatch's only engine is a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder tuned to produce 168 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 151 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm.

The Hatch comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. Buyers who want two pedals can order a continuously variable transmission (CVT) at an extra cost. Front-wheel drive is the only configuration offered.

The Corolla's CVT is an interesting one. It comes with a launch gear instead of the first gear ratio typically found in a CVT. In other words, it functions like a normal automatic in first gear, and switches to standard CVT operation when it would normally shift to second gear. The whole shebang sounds complicated, and it is, but Toyota promises adding a launch gear reduces the rubber band-like acceleration and delivers better fuel economy.

Speaking of, the Corolla Hatch returns 32 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway.

Standard and optional features

Toyota offers two trim levels named SE and XSE, respectively.

The list of standard features includes LED lights all around, 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, dark gray trim around the grille, an eight-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility, and a 4.2-inch display in the instrument cluster.

There are no factory options. Buyers who want more features simply need to step up to the XSE trim level.

Occupant safety

Every Corolla Hatch boasts seven airbags in addition to electronic traction and stability control systems.

Toyota also includes a long list of electronic driving aids like pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, a lane-departure warning system with steering assist, automatic high beams, lane tracing assist, and road sign assist. These features are bundled into a package named Toyota Safety Sense that's standard on the Corolla Hatch. HOwever, note cars equipped with the manual transmission can't be equipped with adaptive cruise control.

Key competitors

The Corolla Hatch competes in the same segment as the Hyundai Elantra GT, the Chevrolet Cruze, the Mazda3, the Volkswagen Golf, and the Honda Civic Hatchback.