Khodrocar - The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback was one of the stars of this year’s New York Auto Show, and for good reason. While most automakers rolled out yet another crossover, Toyota displayed a wee hatch in shocking blue, a ”Blizzard Pearl” present to those of us who grew up loving small, quirky cars.
This model won’t be on the market until later this summer, but we drove one out of New York City and up to the Berkshires to see how much fun a person can really have in a Corolla.
First: It looks great, especially in the test model’s signature blue color. With the big mouth Toyota’s been slapping on its cars, the brilliant hue, and the sleek shape featuring slick lines, this Corolla is an attention-grabber—which is a weird thing to say. This is the first time I’ve ever parked a test-drive car on my street in Brooklyn and caught passersby stopping to gawk. It happened with a Corolla.
It rides low—almost too low. Toyota says the 2019 Corolla Hatchback is "lower (by 1.0 in.), wider (by 1.2 in.), and longer (by 1.5 in.) than its predecessor, Corolla iM.” As a result, its handling it sharp, though I came awfully close to scraping its bottom a few times.
Balanced is the word for the interior. The best feature is the big touchscreen interface. It’s not only large enough to be easy to read, but also sits up high, right in your line of sight when the driver glances to the right (it doesn’t make you look down).
The Corolla Hatchback has the now-ubiquitous choice of driving modes, giving you the choice between Eco, Normal, and the performance-focused Sport mode. It’s got comfy seats, a steering wheel wrapped in leather, and other nice touches that used to be foreign to a car at the lower end of the market, including lane-keeping assist and smart cruise control on the XSE model we tested.
The 2.0-liter four-cylinder produces 168 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. Nothing to write home about, but remember, numbers are relative. Even such modest power stats are enough to make the little Corolla feel nimble and zippy, ready to sneak into small spaces on the parkway and bring a some joy into your life.
Could this wee hatch work as your everyday car? Not for everyone, but the 2019 Corolla is more practical than you might think.
The car’s most pressing issue is cargo space. The Corolla has 108 cubic feet of cargo space, with 18 way in the back. That’s less than many of its hatchback competitors. And yet, thanks to the hatchback configuration, we packed four people and all our supplies for a camping weekend into the Toyota. If you don’t need a hulking crossover to fit a big family and all its stuff, then you might be surprised what you can do with this much space.
While the Corolla’s performance is just enough to entertain you, the mileage is just enough to keep your fuel budget in check. The most efficient version is the base-level SE with the CVT automatic transmission (it comes with a stick shift, too) that’s EPA-rated at 32/42/36 mpg. We drove the upgraded XSE upstate and back and made about 34 mpg combined.
Cute. Cheap. Fun.
Toyota has sold a ton of Corollas on the back of its reputation as a cheap, reliable, worry-free automobile. Following the death of Toyota’s "youth-oriented” Scion sub-brand, the company took a smart step and actually put some good looks on top of that reliable base. "Hot hatch?” Toyota asks in its press release. "More like Haute Hatch.”
That’s bit cheeky, but you get the point. The 2019 Corolla Hatchback doesn’t have the muscle to match true hot hatches, especially not the VW GTI, the genre’s standard-bearer. But the best-equipped Corolla comes in at 25 grand, about $2,000 less than a GTI, and the base level SE start at barely more than $20,000.
Source: Popular Mechanics