Corolla Hatchback

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Anthony Sophinos
Automotive Editor - July 31, 2018

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback OVERVIEW

The Toyota Corolla has been one of the best-selling compact cars for decades. It's also been one of the market's most appliance-like conveyances, too. While dull can sell a decent amount of cars, it can't build much of a reputation with any sort of trendsetters. Couple this with the fact the Toyota family name has come under flak lately for building cars that are too boring, it was time to shake things up. Enter the new 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the automaker's latest entrant in the compact-hatch class. With its snazzy and fresh sheetmetal, this Corolla says it wants to be anything but another parking-lot wallflower.

What's New for 2019

The Corolla Hatchback model is all new for 2019. The sedan, covered in a separate article, carries over unchanged.

Toyota Corolla

Choosing Your Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Underneath all that new styling is a Corolla – fresh ingredients mixed according to the same formula that has hidden under the various generations for the last four decades and counting. It's a front-driver, without an option for all-wheel drive and lacking any crossover variant similar to something like the Subaru Crosstrek. Providing the power is a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. This naturally-aspirated four – unlike many competitors, there's no turbocharging going on here – makes 168 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque.

Happily, a manual transmission returns on the options sheet, and is even allowed to be paired with the higher XSE trim as well as the base SE. If shifting yourself isn't your style, there's always the continuously variable transmission (CVT), which demands an extra $1100 over an equivalent stick-shift model. This unit has been programmed to simulate a 10-speed automatic transmission, and comes with a sport mode and paddle shifters if you're feeling ambitious on the local canyon or mountain roads. Fuel economy for the manual SE model is 28 miles per gallon city, 37 mpg highway, and 31 combined, according to the EPA. The CVT, by contrast, will net you 32/42/36 mpg (city/highway/combined). Consider the manual's second-place mileage the cost of having total control over your car.

There's hardly any options available with the new Corolla hatch, but most features already come as standard – if not on the SE, then on the fluffier XSE. On the SE, the sole extra is the $1,400 Preferred Package; it includes blind-spot monitoring and the Entune Audio Plus, a sound system which adds SiriusXM and connected services capability to the base Entune system.

Even in this cheap and cheerful class, safety is a major priority of buyers, and Toyota hasn't skipped out in this regard. All models come with the brand's Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. This suite of active safety features includes life-savers like pre-collision system, lane departure alert, lane keeping assist, automatic high-beams, and adaptive cruise control.

There's seven different colors and two different interior hues available.


The base Corolla Hatchback SE starts at $20,910 (all prices include a $920 destination charge) with the manual transmission and $22,010 with the CVT. Standard features include 16-inch wheels, LED lights, power-adjustable heated mirrors, a 4.2-inch driver information center, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, two USB terminals, an eight-inch touchscreen, and Entune Audio with six speakers and Apple CarPlay (sorry, Android users, but there's no Android Auto available as of this writing). As mentioned, the only option is the $1,400 Preferred Package – only available on SE models with the CVT – that bundles the upgraded audio system with blind-spot monitoring.


Pricing for the decked-out Corolla Hatchback XSE starts at $23,910 with the manual and $25,010 with the CVT. Upgrades over the SE include 18-inch wheels, a seven-inch driver information display, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat, dual-zone climate control, blind-spot monitoring, paddle shifters (CVT-equipped models only), and the Entune Audio Plus sound system.

On manual models, adaptive headlights ($415) are the only available option. CVT-equipped XSE models get access to the XSE Preferred Package ($1,600) that adds the Entune Premium Audio system with navigation, voice recognition, an eight-speaker JBL sound system, and wireless charging and XSE Preferred Package with options ($2,015) that adds adaptive headlights to the equipment in the former.

CarsDirect Tip

If you can bear to live without heated seats or the bigger digital cluster, the base 2019 Toyota Corolla SE serves just fine. At just under $22,000, it includes all the safety features you can ask for these days while also bundling convenience features that aren't fancy but get the job done. All in all, the SE makes for an honest but comfortable compact car, and it would be our choice of the two.

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