In the run-up to the 2018 New York Auto Show, Toyota unveiled the all-new 2019 Corolla Hatchback, a replacement to the existing Corolla iM. Compared to the outgoing iM, this new hatchback rides 1 inch lower than the outgoing iM, but it sits wider and longer, by an inch or so. It has a lower hood for improved outward visibility, and Toyota says it is also quieter and more comfortable and delivers more athletic handling.
Under the hood is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that should be more powerful and efficient than the iM's 1.8-liter, though specific output numbers are not yet available. Buyers can choose between a six-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The CVT automatic features a launch gear to deliver more immediate response from a stop with the intent of reducing the sluggish nature that plagues most other CVT automatics. It should cut some of the engine drone associated with CVT automatics by adding 10 simulated gear shifts. And paddle shifters still allow for manual control. The manual transmission won't be left out, however, since it features automatic rev-matching when downshifting.
The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is available in two trims. The base SE model's standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, keyless entry, automatic climate control, a rearview camera, an 8-inch touchscreen, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a six-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa compatibility and added functionality through Entune 3.0 apps. The Corolla hatchback is the first Toyota vehicle to come with the Safety Sense 2.0 suite of advanced safety features that include forward collision warning and mitigation with pedestrian/cyclist detection, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, lane trace assist and adaptive cruise control. Meanwhile, models with the CVT automatic receive full-speed range cruise control and automatic high beams.
The XSE trim adds 18-inch wheels, adaptive headlights (for CVT automatic models only), LED foglights, a chrome grille surround, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seat inserts, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver's seat, unique interior stitching, a virtual instrument panel, satellite radio, and remote control over some systems via a smartphone app. Optionally, buyers can add an eight-speaker JBL premium audio system with built-in navigation and a wireless charging pad.
No word on pricing yet, but look for the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback in dealer showrooms this summer.