2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback: A Sharp-Looking, Sporty and Fun Package For $25,000 [Review]

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback. [Photo: Toyota]
Back in 2016, when the Scion brand was dealt a death blow, the Scion iM hatchback was rebadged as the Toyota Corolla iM. Now, for the 2019 model year, a totally new Toyota Corolla Hatchback rolls onto the market with vast improvements in technological development, performance attributes and especially in its emotionally stirring styling.

This newest iteration Toyota Corolla Hatchback is not simply another rebadge. Toyota has redesigned the model from the ground up, based on an entirely new chassis with a more efficient powertrain. Not content to stop there, the new Corolla Hatchback also comes with an enhanced suite of safety-oriented technology.


The new Toyota Corolla Hatchback is based on Toyota’s new “TNGA” global platform. It’s lower, wider and longer than the previous model Corolla iM. Despite its increased size, its also 60-percent stiffer than the outgoing model. Ultimately, the stiffer chassis updated suspension provide a more solid ride. The lighter components Toyota uses in the Corolla Hatchback’s construction, such as the resin composite rear hatchback door, contribute to keeping the curb weight down to just 3,060 pounds. A lighter weight also returns EPA-estimated fuel economy ranging from 30 mpg city to 38 mpg highway.

In terms of its visual appeal, the 2019 Corolla Hatchback displays an indomitable style. It features a design form that is distinctive and dynamic, yet more sophisticated and refined than the previous generation. The new design comprises a blend of lines and creases showcasing athletic traits. The Toyota Corolla Hatchback’s hood sits two inches lower than before, affording passengers better forward visibility. Wheel sizes range from 16-inches to 18-inches with unique designs.

There are two trim grades in the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback. There’s the base model SE, then the XSE that provides distinct visual differences.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback interior
The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback supports Apple CarPlay, but not Android Auto. [Photo: Toyota]


Moving into the cabin of the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, there is a simple, yet inviting warmth. A standard high-resolution 8.o-inch multimedia touchscreen resides at the center of the instrument panel, providing access to vehicle settings, navigation and Entune 3.0 apps. Climate controls, located below the multimedia portal, are fashioned in a highly visible digitized configuration. The latest generation of Entune features 4G LTE connectivity, including remote access and monitoring via Toyota’s phone and smartwatch applications. Apple CarPlay is standard for the new generation of Entune, but the system does not support Android Auto at time of writing.

Not only does the Toyota Corolla Hatchback sport an athletic appearance, but it also possesses a wealth of safety features, including Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. The upgraded system includes improvements to automatic emergency braking and is now capable of totally stopping the car at speeds below roughly 37 mph, aiding in collision prevention. Toyota also added cyclist detection to the system, along with low-light pedestrian detection, which enhances nighttime safety. Drivers also have the option of adding blind-spot monitoring to CVT models.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
While the Toyota Corolla Hatchback comes with a CVT, it also offers a six-speed manual transmission. [Photo: Toyota]


Propelling the new Toyota Corolla Hatchback is Toyota’s Dynamic Force 2.0-liter engine. A plethora of updates mean the engine cranks out 168 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. That’s an increase of 31 horsepower and 25 lb-ft of torque over the Corolla iM that it replaces. Motive force reaches the front wheels via a new Dynamic Shift CVT with a physical first launch gear to help eliminate the ubiquitous rubber-banding effect. For enthusiasts, a six-speed manual gearbox is also available. The manual transmission integrates software that provides rev-matching for downshifts, as well as smoother upshifts, hill start assist and stall suppression. Drivers can activate these features by switching on the “iMT” mode. Unfortunately for some, the assist software is disabled by default when the ignition is switched off.

When the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is equipped with the CVT, it also features standard full-speed adaptive cruise control that can bring the car to a complete stop if traffic ahead slows down. With the manual gearbox, there’s still adaptive cruise control, but it can only be activated above 25 mph. It will also disengage when the car’s drops below 15 mph, to prevent it stalling. CVT models also feature standard Lane Tracing Assist that utilizes cameras to detect lane makers.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
[Photo: Toyota]


All in all, the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is a great looking hatch. It’s also available at a bargain price, considering its healthy array of technological features. Yes, there are hatches out there that deliver a higher level of performance. However, the new Toyota Corolla Hatchback represents a considerable improvement in both handling characteristics and stability than before. In any case, it’s a hoot to drive in a spirited fashion. As time goes on, TRD will certainly develop some aftermarket “go-faster” goodies for those who want some more grunt and character from their hatch.

My test 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback was in XSE trim with the CVT transmission. The exterior was sprayed a bright, bold Blue with interior done in Black. The base price for the Corolla XSE hatchback starts around $24,000, included destination charges. The as-tested price came out to $25,010. Check out more of the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback below. Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow for more news, views and real-world reviews!

SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE

On Sale: Now
Base MSRP: $22,990 (excl. $920 destination charge)
Price as Tested:
Engine: 2.0-liter DOHC, 16-valve Dynamic Force 4-cylinder with Toyota electronic Direct /Port Injection with Dual VVT-i
Drivetrain (Layout): Transversely mounted front engine, front-wheel drive
Horsepower: 168 hp @ 6,600 rpm
Torque: 151 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm
Transmission: Dynamic Shift CVT w/ launch gear and paddle shifters
Suspension: Front: Independent MacPherson strut with stabilizer bar

Rear: Multi-link with stabilizer bar and springs

Brakes: Power-assisted four wheel discs (vented front)
Tires: Dunlop SP Sport 5000 – 225/40 R18 all-season
Fuel capacity: 13.2 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 30 City/38 Highway/34 Combined mpg


Wheelbase: 103.9 inches
Length: 169.9 inches
Width: 69.9 inches
Height: 57.1 inches
Curb Weight: 3,060 pounds