The Corolla Hatchback is one of the only three surviving models of the discontinued Scion brand. The model which was previously known as the Scion iM and later as Corolla iM after the Scion brand was discontinued is the twin sister of the Toyota Auris which is sold in the European market. The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback looks like the Auris but for the American market, Toyota has equipped the model with a new, more powerful gasoline engine. The new hatch is based on the TNGA platform which provides for better body rigidity and a lower COG. This platform is also used by the Prius and Camry. The hatchback will be followed later on by the Corolla sedan which is very popular in the U.S. market. The new hatchback will be available in SE and XSE grades.
2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Exterior
The hatchback has compact exterior dimensions. It is only 172 inches long, a whole 6 inches shorter than the Honda Civic Hatchback. At the front, the five-door Corolla Hatchback has a new version of the Toyota’s slim grille. The nose which wears the Toyota emblem is more protruding than on the current model. The headlights are also new; they feature LED DRLs which are shaped like hockey sticks. The lower grille is larger and is flanked by small fog lights.
On the flanks, the hatchback looks like the Mazda 3. The front wheels are pushed closer to the corners while the rear has gained an overhang. There is also a kicked-up rear window line. There are two boomerang-shaped taillights with LED lighting. The rear has a sporting touch thanks to a spoiler mounted over the rear glass. Generally, the rear has a rounder, more aggressive look.
It will ride on new wheel designs whose diameter ranges from 16-18 inches.
Inside, the hatchback’s interior dimensions are similar to those of the European-based Auris. The model has an 8.0-inch touch-screen infotainment system which is mounted above the climate controls; the system supports Apple CarPlay but it puzzles me why Toyota is not offering Android Auto connectivity. The higher XSE trim will also feature a 7.0-inch TFT screen on the instrument cluster. Buyers can also opt for JBL speakers on the XSE trim.
Cloth upholstery is standard on the base SE trim while a mix of leather and fabric is used on the XSE trim. There is contrast stitching on the instrument panel and on the door panels in the XSE trim. In both trims, the steering wheel is wrapped in leather. In XSE trim, the front seats are heated and the driver’s seat has a power adjustment feature. The two trims also feature keyless ignition, automatic climate controls as well as USB ports.
The Corolla Hatchback has room for five passengers. Toyota, however, did not release specs for interior dimensions including the cargo space.
In terms of safety, the hatch features automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclists’ detection ability, active lane control, adaptive cruise control as well as automatic high-beam headlights.
Engine and performance
The Hatchback gets a new engine; a 2.0 L, 4-cylinder unit. Toyota claims that the new engine is lighter and produces more power than the 1.8 L mill in the current model. Toyota did not release performance figures of the engine but considering the current mill produces 132 hp, the 2.0 L, unit will likely produce over 140 hp. Two transmission options are available, a 6-speed manual system and a CVT system; the CVT features paddle shifters which help sort through its 10 simulated gears. Actual specs including performance figures, acceleration and fuel economy figures will be released close to the hatchback’s on-sale date.
The automaker, however, revealed that the car features a fully independent suspension, rather than the torsion-beam system in its sister, the Corolla sedan.
Price and release date
The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback will be shipped from Japan and will go on sale this summer in North America. Toyota will announce prices close to the model’s on-sale date. Look for a price of around $19,000, just about the same as the current Corolla iM which starts at $18,850.
The 2019 Corolla Hatchback competes with the Ford Focus, Mazda 3, Kia Soul, Fiat 500L, Subaru Impreza, Mini Cooper Clubman, and Volkswagen Golf.