By on July 11, 2013

2012_Toyota_Corolla_Levin_ZR_-_Australian_version_005_7156

 

Meet the Toyota Corolla Levin ZR. Tailor made for Australia and other world markets, it’s an attractive looking design that, according to media reports, is a decent drive to boot. So why don’t we get it here? I have no idea. Mazda, Ford, Hyundai and Kia all offer hatchbacks with some degree of success. They also tend to command a price premium over the equivalent sedan. And with the Matrix apparently not long for this world, this would be an apt replacement.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

126 Comments on “Toyota Corolla Hatchback – Why Aren’t We Getting It?...”


  • avatar
    Summicron

    Crap, and this has a decent useable hatch area.
    Mystifying why Toyota doesn’t want to compete more strongly with hatches.

    But they *are* Toyota and I’m sure they know more than moi. Maybe they’ve just conceded this limited market to the Koreans and Ford?

    • 0 avatar

      And Fiesta, Spark, Focus? Note? Remember, Americans don’t do hatches.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        Yeah..*sigh*…I’m always the ugly runt of a statistical outlier.

        But it’s strangely symmetric. Hard core car guys and weenie nanny-drivers like me form opposite extremes of the bell curve.

        We’re always frustrated… God is amused.

        • 0 avatar

          LOL! Poor you!

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          If we’re talking subcompact (Accent, Fiesta, Sonic, Rio, Versa…) I’ll nearly always take the hatchback. But once you get into compact territory, the snob in me would rather have a sedan…except in the case of the Ford Focus hatchback, which looks better than the disproportionate sedan.

          Still, the current Matrix is hideous and—unlike the lovely previous-gen model—has been all but ignored buy the buying public. This new Corolla hatch could turn that all around…

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I dunno about “lovely” prior gen model on the Matrix. It was pretty buzzy and rough, with cheapo interior components.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Well, the first-gen Matrix was pretty lovely for its time. But the second generation–just like its Corolla sister–didn’t evolve with the times. And, unlike the Corolla, the second-gen Matrix has the indecency to be utterly hideous as well.

            After seeing the CT200h, I was under the impression that Toyota simply forgot how to design a good-looking hatchback. But fortunately they’ve proved me wrong with the new Corolla.

          • 0 avatar
            joeveto3

            @Kyree I totally agree with you about the first generation Matrix. It was a pretty cool and useful car, with the Optitron gauges, flip up back window, and folding front passenger seat. I thought it looked good, and I even came close to pulling the trigger on one…but I bought a Panther instead.

            The second gen was left to die, is anything but competitive, and looks awkward. Too bad. I’d like to see this new one sold in the US.

      • 0 avatar

        Indeed they don’t. My daughter wanted a sedan and we barely managed to talk her into a Fit, but _only_ because there’s no Fit sedan. When she looked at a model that had both, such as Versa, she clearly preferred a sedan, especially since I demonstrated that in better ones you can fold the rear seat. There’s no lack of utility, but very useful isolation is there.

        Frankly, sedans are better cars, and hatchback lovers really need to get a grip. If they really need the so-called “utility” of hatchbacks, they should be buying CUVs instead. We aren’t talking about the station wagons, hatches are tiny and impractical.

        • 0 avatar
          See 7 up

          Uh what? Try fitting a dirty carpet cleaner upright (so it doesn’t leak someone else carpet filth all over your car) in a sedan. Almost all small hatchbacks can perform this feat.

          Here is another. Try fitting a small chair in a sedan that can’t fit in the rear door. Most small hatchbacks can fold the seats down and swallow the chair easily. A sedan’s pass through trunk will not.

          Every person I know that has finally “seen the light” and gotten a hatchback has never gone back unless they go to a luxury brand where none exists. All of them boast about how much more “room” they have and never thought a small car could be so useful.

          • 0 avatar
            See 7 up

            One caveat. Crappy hatchbacks. Americans for some reason think all hatchbacks are crap, likely because until recently, all American made hatchbacks were crap.

            So yes, I rather drive almost any 1990’s American sedan than say a 1990 Dodge Omni.

          • 0 avatar

            Exactly true. I recently purchased a cordless mower and could not fit the box in my Suzuki Kizashi. I had to remove the mower from the box, it then fit inside my trunk. After I scrunched the box a bit, I was able to get it inside the car also. Just for kicks, when I got home I reconstructed the box and easily placed it inside my wife’s Fiat 500 micro hatch.

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          Man, I fit an entire dresser (assembled) and a chair inside of my Forte 5 door with the hatch closed. Sorry, no need for a CUV/SUV.

          Try that with a “sedan”.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Wait why aren’t we including the Impreza in here?

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        Because it’s just a sedan unless you spend the 8K for the Asian Klown Kar upgrade. Never, ever would I be caught dead in a WRX.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          They don’t make a non-WRX hatch? I swear I’ve seen one…

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            Not according to their website and I’ve never seen one.

            But I’d love for you to be right.

            Whoa Nellie! You’re right…. I never clicked the “build your own” button before…. there it is, the 5-door Imprezza. Thanks, muchacho.

            I has me some research to do :-D

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            LOL Summicron I just did the SAME thing before I scrolled to see your post. I was like WAIT_A_MIN I am sure I’ve seen some cheap ass trimmed Impreza hatches lately.

            Also the XV is only 3 grand more than the base Impreza, and it’s always a hatch! (NO I don’t count it as a CUV or whatever.)

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            @CoreyDL

            Hmmm… that XV is pretty interesting. This would be principally my wife’s DD and I’m thinking she would love that tangerine paint option as well as the nice, clean overall styling.

            Gotta see if they have one over in Green Bay and find some way to cajole her into a test drive. Like pulling teeth. Or getting me into a furniture store.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I will say I’ve seen 2 or 3 tangerine XV’s in person – and they come off much more as a peach shade, than orange. I wasn’t a fan. I think the color is too trendy and won’t age well.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Because Yaris

    Actually its the same reason why Honda, after roughly 40 years, decided to stop selling a Honda hatchback in the US, people want their tiny little fake trunks.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      “Because Yaris”

      Ouch… that car deserves to kill Toyota’s niche in this market.

      But the Matrix is sweet, if nearly orphaned.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Civic sure. But Honda is gearing up to sell the Fit bigtime with the new NA plant.

      Fit is a 5 door hatch.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        But the fit is just too damn tiny and has the ground clearance of a ricer. In local winters it’d be just another pretty little toy stuck in the white.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          No worries, in 3 or 5 years they’ll make refresh the Fit and make it bigger while inttroducing a smaller car to take its place.

          But I honestly do think that Fits and Yaris’s are taking the spots once reserved for Corolla hatchbacks and Civics, much like how the new Foxs and UPs took earlier Golfs places.

          Why automakers make their city cars bigger just to introduce a smaller model in their place is beyond me.

        • 0 avatar
          See 7 up

          The FIT is tiny? Have you ever been in one?

          The only problem with the FIT is its anemic engine and required cheapness due to its price point. If they pushed the Civic Si engine in their, made it a little nicer inside (more sound insulation) the car would be great.

          Which means no one in this country would buy it.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            The Fit has lovely interior space for its size–probably the best in the class. I watched my high school art professor stuff boatloads of supplies in her 2nd-gen Fit without issues. The name is quite appropriate.

            But yes, it is underpowered, and is missing some cogs in its transmission.

        • 0 avatar
          kps

          The current Fit is bigger than the first five generations of Civic hatchback (and is pretty popular here in Canada, even though Honda is sending us Chinese production this year).

    • 0 avatar
      fredtal

      Actually the trunks are pretty good, it’s the little door that keeps you from putting anything of size in it.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    We don’t buy them, simple as that.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Nope. It’s all the protective barriers and even the Chicken tax is somehow to blame. The completely subsidized Detroit only has itself to blame for its lack of competitiveness around the world and where’s BAFO???

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      Please explain how your comment is relevant to this discussion about a Toyota hatchback. I put it to you that there is none and your comment is pure trolling.

      • 0 avatar
        npaladin2000

        Because if Detroit had its druthers they’d have it classified as a “truck” because of the flat load floor.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        OEMs have various reasons and strategies, obviously self serving, for denying US consumers, the vehicles a few may desperately desire. Now OEMs may not come clean and lay all the cards on the table, so we have to read between the lines, almost every time.

        And it’s a popular meme around here where all OEMs want to bring ABSOLUTELY everything possible to the US, except Detroit and unions lobby congress to have various “barriers” protecting US products and labor. Out of “fear”, mostly.

        When it comes to trucks, OEMs like Ford, Proton or Ssangyong can run the ‘numbers’ and by their own research, decide the US Market is NOT right for them.

        So I don’t see a difference. Many here complain the US market is “closed” to certain import segments. Now the whole time, they can’t name a meaningful market, more open to imports, including consumers themselves.

        And absolutely no mention on how ridiculously extortionist European tariffs are.

        • 0 avatar
          Beerboy12

          Wrong answer, still no connection and you are still trying to drag the conversation to your contentious agenda.
          A super sized troll with bells and an troop of dancing girls…

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            If it wasn’t such a contentious and ongoing meme lately, I wouldn’t bring it up. But it ties in perfectly. OEMs obviously have their reasons for denying some markets, and it often doesn’t make any sense to industry outsiders and consumers.

            But then why can’t I blame “trade barriers” and a “closed market” for the absence of this hatchback?

            Meanwhile, OEMs that choose not to join the US truck market are considered by many here, “blocked” by UAW extremist, tariffs and other “protective” US regs?

  • avatar
    Jacob

    Because we get the Matrix and Venza.

  • avatar
    tbone33

    1. Could it be that Toyota wants to sell their Matrixes before introducing a car that would halt the sale of Matrixes.

    2. Shouldn’t the plural of Matrix be Matrices?

    3. Does Toyota name cars with the sole intent of subverting the English language when they pluralize the name?

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      Japanese nouns don’t have plural forms, they use “counter” particles attached to the number word. So forgive them for they know not that it grates over here.

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    Remember, the Matrix IS the Corolla hatchback. At least (it used) to say on the stickers explicitly say “Corolla Matrix”! So we will get this if Toyota decides to continue the Matrix nameplate.

  • avatar
    daiheadjai

    Derek, I’ve been asking that question since I saw the 2004ish Corolla T-sport they get in Europe.

    Corolla hatch mated to the 2zz-ge from the dearly departed Celica GT-S (and first gen Matrix XRS) with 6-speed manual.

    Or better yet…. Corolla WRC?
    Did they ever offer a GT-4 variant of the old bug-eyed Corolla hatch that Europe got (1998 WRC champ)?

  • avatar
    daiheadjai

    Derek, I’ve been asking that question since I saw the 2004ish Corolla T-sport they get in Europe.

    Corolla hatch mated to the 2zz-ge from the dearly departed Celica GT-S (and first gen Matrix XRS) with 6-speed manual.

    Or better yet…. Corolla WRC?
    Did they ever offer a GT-4 variant of the old bug-eyed Corolla hatch that Europe got (1998 WRC champ)?

    My Dad used to work for Toyota, and he always blasted them for having the worst product planning/marketing decisions…

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    Maybe people in the US would buy them if they added a couple inches of ground clearance… Maybe call it a RAV4…

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Toyota is a conservative company, always has been. It does not make sense though that they would drop a market segment that as far as I can tell appears to be growing.
    BTW that is a fine looking hatchback.

  • avatar
    Sammy B

    1st gen Matrix was fine for what it was and sold pretty well. The 2nd gen was just a complete cluster and is now the ammunition Toyota needs to say “a hatch in this segment doesn’t sell”, thereby not giving us access to this.

    Bummer is that the Mazda3, Golf, Impreza, and Focus do alright in this segment. Oh well…they would rather try to upsell you to a RAV4 with its higher profit margin. That makes sense, but it only works on people willing to do that. Hatch shoppers will just (continue) to go to one of the other makes I listed above

    • 0 avatar
      NewLookFan

      Exactly. Toyota is getting more like GM every day. 1st generation Matrix was quite successful and I still see them everywhere (including our garage); the 2nd was a homely thing that you couldn’t see out of so nobody bought them. Ergo, nobody want this kind of car. Wrong!

      There are lots of people out there who’ll eventually want a replacement for their 1st gen Matrix cars..Ahem!..now they create something attractive and won’t bring it to our market. And yet they gave us the IQ.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        “And yet they gave us the IQ.”

        Observation of the day.

      • 0 avatar
        Sammy B

        Us too. We have an 06 XR 5MT. It was my wife’s car, so we didn’t spring for the XRS model. It’s been just shy of 7 years and 101K miles. It’s only need repair other than maintenance/upkeep in that entire time (a gasket throwing the CEL — <$300 fix at the dealer even).

        As life tends to be, I find myself driving it now [3rd kid = minvan for her and selling off my 1996 G20]. I don't love it, but it's economical and, most importantly, paid for. I plan to get another 2 years & 30K miles out of it before rewarding myself with something a little more fun. I'd be happy to cross-shop for a new Matrix out of loyalty, but they won't allow it. They won't even allow me to shop for a Camry SE with a stick. It's basically FRS or nothing from the toyota/scion showroom. hell, I can't even consider an IS250 6MT anymore! Unfortunate

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    War is peace
    Freedom is slavery
    and Toyota is sporty. :)

    We have actual fun, sporty hatches here. We don’t need Toyota bringing a hatch version of ZzzQuil-on-wheels to prove once and for all to the masses that hatches suck.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    “Hatch shoppers will just (continue) to go to one of the other makes”

    Truth. Alex Dykes typically excellent review of the Versa Note will make me test drive one. Hyundai & Kia are out because they diminished the hatch area so much for “style” except in the Soul which lacks sufficient space behind the rear seat.

  • avatar
    amca

    We don’t get the hatch because Americans have discovered the advantages of SUVS: the secure handling and resistance to roll-over that their high center of gravity offers and the fuel efficiency that their high stance and large frontal areas afford.

    With advantages like these, dangerously tippy and inefficient cars – even if their cargo room matches that of SUVs – will simply never be able to compete.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      “the secure handling and resistance to roll-over that their high center of gravity offers”

      You’re either being facetious or our two planets should consider an exchange program.

      • 0 avatar
        FuzzyPlushroom

        “…and the fuel efficiency that their high stance and large frontal areas afford.”

        I assure you it’s the former.

        Honestly, the ground clearance (in the snow belt) and ease of entry (for the elderly or those with joint problems) are plusses for the small crossover. Everything else is compromised relative to a hatchback of equal or greater utility. Everyone wants to sit high up so they can stare at a different part of the cargo van in front of them, though.

        • 0 avatar
          Summicron

          Or to see who’s coming to nail them as they back out of a mall spot with an Avalanche on one side and an Armada on the other.

          Never works, though.

        • 0 avatar
          juicy sushi

          Living in Ottawa, I have never found myself in need of more ground clearance than possessed by an (extremely) average compact sedan. I think the dynamic arguments for CUV’s are bunk. People buy them because a large percentage of North Americans find them attractive, for reasons I cannot fathom.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            You’re young. You’ll see. Tall can be all.

          • 0 avatar
            cornellier

            Living in Montreal, my 1997 Honda Civic has never been stopped. Based on my data, the argument for higher clearance and AWD is specious.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            @cornellier

            I was referring to access and egress for the old and stiff.

            And in Wisconsin it’s not uncommon to have two or three 12″+ snowfalls in a two-week period from December through March so more ground clearance is always a good thing, particularly for us in the more rural areas.

            Funny thing is for the last few years the snows have been coming later in the season and the band of heaviest snows has shifted to the south by approx. 100 miles.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    How much breathing room is there between the Corolla and the RAV-4? I don’t think many Americans would hesitate to drop a few extra coins on a small SUV vs a Corolla hatchback. I know my wife would most certainly pay a premium to be seen in a small SUV vs saving a few bucks to be seen in a small “wagon”. *rolls eyes*

    I wonder how Mazda, Ford, VW, etc justify offering hatchbacks so close in size to their small SUVs.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      Money… probably an average 8K difference between hatches and CUVs as actually purchased.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      I suspect that another strong reason for the lack of a Corolla hatchback in the US is none other than the Prius. A huge part of the Prius’ success is that there is not a non-hybrid version of it.

      A Corolla hatchback would come dangerously close to being a non-hybrid Prius, and more than a few folks would quickly realize that the savings and opt-out of a Prius, and this might do quite a number on Toyota’s bottom line in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        Excellent point… I should’ve thought of that as there’s a Prius in the family.

        • 0 avatar
          Theophilus138

          It isn’t just the Prius, either. The Scion xB is also a C-segment hatchback/wagon thing, and it’s priced very competitively with the Corolla and Matrix. And like eggsalad said, the xD, as a tall D-segment car, is also pretty close to the Matrix/Corolla.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I must input here that the interior of the RAV4 is dreadfully cheap.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        The entirety of the new RAV4 is dreadful. Which is a shame given that the previous generation was one of the most pleasant rental surprises I have ever have. I really liked it, and I generally HATE that sort of silly jacked up for no reason thing.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          It also sounds like there are safety issues with the new RAV4 :

          http://jalopnik.com/the-2013-toyota-rav4-flunked-a-new-safety-test-745069691

          I am sure there will be an article on TTAC about this since I am sure there would be an article castigating them if they delayed having safety tests performed, so last minute changes could be made, and then those changes not helping in the crash test.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Poor on the small overlap IIHS test? Oh no!!! That means it is as bad as the Ford Escape, Buick Encore, Jeep Patriot, Hyundai Tucson, and Kia Sportage! Do you still want to see an article to prove that TTAC is unbiased?

            http://www.iihs.org/ratings/summary.aspx?class=58

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            If you were being honest you would accept that failing a test unlike most of their competitors (CX5 and CRV as examples) would make news. Especially if they declined being tested as originally scheduled so that last minute engineering changes could be made. I do recall some of you criticising other makes for failing this same test in an article a month or two ago. So is it too much to hope for consistency? Apparently so.
            Also interesting that all the cars you mention are older and all from companies you despise, oh what company the mighty now share.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            The Fire Escape and Buick-Renault Encore are older? By months? I’ve argued relentlessly with nitwits that think a new crash test suddenly makes new cars more dangerous than last year’s models because of its use. Consistency isn’t a word you should use after this latest stoop.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Lets get some things straight first nitwit – it is the Buick-Opel Encore. Where does Renault come into it? I am a damn sight more consistent than you are.
            Quoting from the article in Autoblog “the IIHS noted that the steering column moved seven inches to the right causing the crash test dummy to practically miss the airbag, the dummy’s left foot was trapped in deformed sheetmetal and the dummy’s head hit the instrument panel.” Now in your world none of those are important safety issues, but to others they are.

            I agree with you that just because a new safety standard comes in, it doesn`t mean all other cars are suddenly less safe. What it does mean is that the newly engineered RAV4 (the newest in the category) is less safe than several other manufacturers. It is as safe as other much older vehicles (3 of the 5 you listed are several years old), hardly an engineering success for the preeminent auto company in the world. Surely they should aim higher. You would have lambasted other companies if they didn`t succeed.

            I also find it odd that you seek out my comments, which are factually correct and have to put your own spin on them. It is well known that you are a Toyota and Honda fanboi, but self-respecting fans at least accept that not everything their benighted companies do is 100% perfect.

          • 0 avatar
            84Cressida

            Guess you haven’t been reading up – just the Forester well in this class on that test, with the Outlander Sport doing acceptable. All the others flunked it and flunked it hard, including the CRV you claim passed. Go watch the CRV video compared to the RAV4, it did far worse structurally with the door literally hanging on by a thread. The RAV4 is no less safe than anything else in the class. Toyota needs to update the structure to do better in this test, but they’re far from alone from being blind-sided by the IIHS.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            @mike978: Quoting from the article in Autoblog “the IIHS noted that the steering column moved seven inches to the right causing the crash test dummy to practically miss the airbag, the dummy’s left foot was trapped in deformed sheetmetal and the dummy’s head hit the instrument panel.” Now in your world none of those are important safety issues, but to others they are.

            Such are poor ratings earned. Do you think that a break down of the cockpit deformation in the Escape and Encore would be flowery prose? Maybe you do.

            Buick-Opels were really Isuzus. The Encore is really a Daewoo, although the previous US market Encore was a Renault 11 made in Kenosha. Maybe its not a fair comparison, since the Renault 11 wasn’t that hard to look at.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Cressida – the CRV and several others did marginal. That is not great, but it is better than Poor. They grade things for a reason, so judgements can be made.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I have looked at a couple first/second gen RAV’s, and they didn’t seem as cheap at all.

          Has the CRV gone the same route? Never been in one of those.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        Oh really? Compared to what exactly? The CRV’s plastic fantastic interior? The Equinox’s interior that doesn’t even fit right together right? OR the Kia Sorento which is a great deal more expensive that is full of hard, thin plastics? The RAV4 has more of that beloved soft touch plastic than all of those cars I mentioned and has the stitching on the dash to boot. But it’s the cheap one. Yeah, okay.

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          Compared to the interior of the Cherokee….yea all those you mentioned, including the RAV are garbage.

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          I looked closely at the RAV-4 before I bought my Outback. Nothing egregious to me – plastics were of similar class level, etc. I personally love the dash design – thought it was unique and well laid out. Only the 1960’s Chevy gas gauge (huge) was disappointing.

          Drove well, big improvement in design. I just liked the Outback better.

          They’ll still sell billions and billions…

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Shh take it easy, you go on an angry tangent any time someone says anything which might, on a bad day, be construed against Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      Funny, when I see a wagon I think younger sporty person with European flair. When I see a small CUV I think mom with young kids or middle-aged empty nester with creaky knees.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        CUVs are the new minivans. And I predict in a few more years they will have just about the same image, and all the yummy-mummys will want wagons again.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          This is what some people were saying twenty five years ago, such was the ubiquity of minivans at the time. It’s more likely people will go back to smaller MPVs instead of wagons. Wagons are gone because they stink on ice.

          Two row wagons are just hatchbacks, with the same utility and drawbacks that made everything else seem so attractive when they were dominating the small car market 30 years ago.

          Thee row wagons aren’t as capable as minivans or SUVs at carrying people and stuff. You can have a couple people wedged in the 3rd row, or you can carry luggage. Nobody misses car-top carriers, which were the least luxurious inventions ever. This isn’t the early ’70s. The days of kids sitting in small seats instead of specific car-seats that demand huge back seats are gone. As are the days of opening back glass and parents who don’t care about exhaust fumes. Stuff that isn’t locked inside the car instead of strapped to the roof is stolen, and stuff inside the car shouldn’t be easily seen by prying eyes.

        • 0 avatar
          JD321

          CUVs are tall wagons so I don’t understand this. Are you saying people will go back to lower cars? The CUV (RAV4 size) is what is in demand globally because they are tall and useful.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    The Scion xD is dead on the vine, but it is really a Corolla hatch as well.

  • avatar
    Johannes Dutch

    In Europe this is a Toyota Auris (Mk2 actually) and it’s struggling very hard against the domestic hatchbacks. We haven’t got any real sporty Toyotas (T-sport) for a long time now since Toyota went “green” with small models and their hybrid-technology. A 2.0 ltr. 4 cylinder is the biggest gasoline engine you can get here in their car models and RAV4.

    I’ve read that this Auris gets a BMW-diesel next year, it will substitute Toyota’s own 2.0 D4D diesel engine. (in Europe that is)

    • 0 avatar
      kimnkk

      I dont think many Japanese cars compete very well in europe, its not because this is a hatchback or a corolla.

      In australia this hatchback is a popular car – 2nd or 3rd best selling vehicle behind the hilux (small pickup, often used in aussie mining sites) and swapping places with the Mazda 3.

      The only Euro hatchback that comes close to this is the Focus. The VW Golf has a long way to go especially with their aftersales service and after they botched their handling of dud DSG units – did not acknowledge an issue despite other markets issuing wide recalls. They only budged after it was on the front of multiple newspapers.

      • 0 avatar
        Johannes Dutch

        Yes, the Focus and Golf are two of them. But then we also have the Renault Megane, Opel Astra, Peugeot 308, Mercedes A-class, BMW 1-series, Citroën C4, Seat Leon, Audi A3, Skoda Octavia and Volvo S40.
        Just to name a few other hatchbacks in random order, both gasoline and diesel engines.

  • avatar
    raded

    The two best cars in the compact segment in the US right now both offer hatches (Focus, Mazda3). I understand that Americans have an aversion to hatches, but that attitude seems to be changing.

    I feel like I see more Focus hatches than sedans. With Mazda3, the current gen, it’s close to 50/50. Then again, I also live in an area where you can’t walk 10 steps without tripping over a Honda Element, a car that didn’t sell well anywhere else in the world.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      “you can’t walk 10 steps without tripping over a Honda Element”

      Where do you live? I belong there.

      • 0 avatar
        TTACFanatic

        I see a decent number of them in my area too … but that may be because they stick out like a sore thumb.

        Great little cars though. Tons of cargo area behind the rear seats and damn close to an enclosed short bed pickup with them out.

        Completely off topic, but all the people that bemoan the death of the small pick-up really should have purchased an Element.

        • 0 avatar
          raded

          Pickups and SUVs are trying too hard to appeal to soccer moms. The Element was unabashedly rugged and utilitarian.

          Problem is that it looked too cute to sell to the usual pickup truck crowd and it wasn’t cushy enough to sell to the usual soccer mom crowd.

      • 0 avatar
        raded

        Portland, Oregon. Last weekend I was behind a black Honda Element on I-205 while passing a blue Honda Element that was behind an orange Honda Element. I probably see more Elements during my commute than I do Fits.

        I had no idea it wasn’t a big seller until I heard they were axing it a few years ago.

        • 0 avatar
          Summicron

          Thanks, raded.

          Even with all my soulmates there who see the glory of the Element, I think I’ll keep my snow rather than have your rain :-)

          But aren’t regional car trends interesting? I never see more than maybe 1-2 Elements per week here in north-central Wisconsin, but BMWs are common as VWs if not more so.

          But they and all else are at the mercy of big SUVs and pickups. My involuntary exercise program is walking from the far corners of parking lots where I have any chance of not getting boxed-in by the big galoots.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    It’s all about structural rigidity of a car with a trunk vs no trunk.

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      Really? That is really what it is all about?

      You go into a Toyota dealer and ask a random shopper what structural rigidity is and what it does for a car and see what your answer will be.

      Furthermore, these are Toyota’s we are talking about. 99.999% of them will never be piloted anywhere near 50% of their handling limit on a bumpy road. Furthermore, modern hatches are not “noodles” in any sense of the word. Do you think if you put someone in a Corolla vs a Golf GTI, which one do you think people will say handles more “sportily” and is more “composed” over road imperfections.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      What?!

  • avatar
    See 7 up

    I have no idea why sedans, other than full luxury models that have no need to provide utility other than carrying luggage, are even bought or exist.

    A hatchback offers more useable room to 99% of buyers with no penalty, and often on a smaller footprint (i.e. easier to park) A modern well design hatch is quiet and handles well, despite its theoretical reduction in rigidity and potential for sound amplification due to interior space.

    A wagon offers way more utility while being on bigger physically than the sedan. For 99% of buyers, there is no penalty. For the 1% that thinks there is, if you really want a race car, buy a Spec Miata.

    Modern car proportions do not make for a balance or even good looking small sedan. Everything is too high and bloated to make something small, nice and balanced like say an old E30, 190 or even a 2nd/3rd gen Sentra.

    Sedans, especially small ones, are ugly to me. Sub compact sedan buyers like the Ford Fiesta should be hauled off to an asylum.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      I belong to your church.

      • 0 avatar
        cornellier

        I too belong to your church. Help me, for I have fallen to temptation …. I already owned a Sienna for the family, I needed a 2nd car. Used Mazda3 looks good. Took the sedan over the hatch because a) it was 1000$ cheaper, and b) I already have the van and don’t need the hatch. I actually don’t think the ’07 3 sedan looks that bad, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

        As a side note, I think one thing that’s ignored in discussions of cars’ qualities is that here in the gloriously spoilt U.S. of North America very many people have multiple vehicles.

  • avatar
    mr_muttonchops

    We’ll get it, but it’ll be lifted a few inches, fattened up, with windows shrunk, and it’ll be called the Corolla Crossmover.

  • avatar
    Phil Ossifer

    we aren’t getting it because like all toyota’s it is butt ugly

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    And VW has the Golf/GTI…

  • avatar
    don1967

    Where is the all-new Toyota FX16, for all of us older guys who remember the eighties with fondness and are now using our accumulated wealth to bid up the price of old Japanese bikes and hot hatches?

    Seems like an opportunity lost.

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      My dad had one. I learned to drive on it. Loved that car. Ridiculously reliable (sans alternator), good on gas, fun, revvy, great visibility. I drive new cars with the same power/weight specs and they seem like turds. Go figure.

  • avatar

    As the owner of a diesel, manual, hatchback….
    We are really spoiled here in the US. A GTi, here, is about 10k less than “over there”. The investment for a car is a lot more than here. Motor oil in Germany is a 20 Euro/liter item.

    You see a lot of cars we don’t get because no one wants to spend 35k for a hot hatch. Euros can’t afford to run our trucks because of registration fees and fuel costs. That hatch is an SUV over here. Even the diesels we get are the “big ones”.

    In Germany I saw zero two door one series…I don’t think they exist over there. Here, the five door one is too lower class for the wannabe BMW ideal here….

    The typical American drives a better car than the typical euro, once you strip out the few sorta-exotics. Bigger engine, more comfortable, and way lower running costs….way, way lower running costs.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    The only thing I can see in a sedan is that your gear can be out of sight. Like the hatch much better other than that.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      I don’t understand….

      I’m pretty certain that all hatches have cargo covers. When I open mine, the cargo cover opens with the hatch. Everything is out of sight when the hatch is closed. I have nothing floating around back there either as it’s all under the cargo floor in the divider trays that sit on top of the spare tire.

      Yea if I fold the seats down then everything would be exposed, but if the seats are down I’m usually carrying a large enough object.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    What’s sad is that we are not offered the full range of Corolla models that were offered back in the 70’s and 80’s. Hatchbacks and coupes with optional SR5 package. Sedans and wagons too. Even the now legendary AE-86. Now the Corolla has become the pedestrian secretary or granny special. Though the current model in XRS trim with the larger engine and 6 speed can be a decent performer. A near Jetta GLI.

  • avatar
    Johannes Dutch

    Yes, the Focus and Golf are two of them. But then we also have the Renault Megane, Opel Astra, Peugeot 308, Mercedes A-class, BMW 1-series, Citroën C4, Seat Leon, Audi A3, Skoda Octavia and Volvo S40.
    Just to name a few other hatchbacks in random order, both gasoline and diesel engines.

  • avatar
    Blaz

    Strange! You should be getting it since it is a nice looking car called auris here in Europe. Even the basic version (1.33 liter 100 HP) has a 6-speed manual and there is also an affordable auris hybrid that costs 7.000 EUR (some 5.800 USD) less than a prius but has similar mechanics (I think only the battery is smaller than in prius).

    Here in Europe, even a cruze can be a hatchback!

  • avatar
    Eyeflyistheeye

    My gut feeling tells me we’re not getting the Corolla hatchback since Toyota doesn’t want to cannibalize sales of the Prius C on the low-end and the CT200h on the high-end, along with it not being congruent with Toyota’s treehugger hybrid image.

    For what it’s worth, I would do very bad things to get a CT200h with a conventional ICE and a 6-speed manual.

    I hope that it’s only because they want to clear out the Matrix before introducing the Corolla hatch. I rented a Matrix in 2009 and found a lot to like about it.

  • avatar
    Fuse88

    Just when Toyota creates a Matrix that doesn’t look like it was designed by a retarded child…..Not for America.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Hatches in Australia are second cars that are bought for wives, but they end up with the SUVs/pickups. The husband then ends up with the hatchback as a daily driver.

    My ex-ex in the early 90s had a Corolla hatch, but she always wanted to drive my 4×4 pickup.

    Also, teenage girls buy them more so than young guys who buy 4×4 or V8 utes.

    The inner city set buy hatches as well and you see them on the open road as driving hazards because they never drive above 80kph.

    But I think hatches are a much better proposition than a sedan. More versitile, better utility with economy.

    I actually rented a Yaris hatch (proudly displaying the Made in France sticker) with a diesel. The performance of the car surprised me. It used very little fuel, 5 litres per 100km. That included autoroute driving at up to 150kph.

    Surprising vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Johannes Dutch

      Then you drove the Yaris 1.4 D4D diesel. The latest Yaris model resembles this new Auris/Corolla hatchback, only smaller. But with the same practicality. The Yaris has always been a hit here.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Johannes Dutch
        The only problem I had with the Yaris was getting in, not so much getting out. But once in it was more than acceptable. I’m 185cm tall.

        The other thing that surprised me was the price of diesel was quite acceptable, only 10c-15c more than I pay a litre in Australia. Couple that with 5 litres per 100km economy, fantastic.

        Driving it between Agen to Oleron down to Barritz and up into the Pryennes it was great. It was the right size for the French towns and village and some of the beautiful bastides. Ideal for two people touring around France.

        • 0 avatar
          Johannes Dutch

          Yes, for ancient cities and villages and the endless narrow bendy country roads (Europe, in short) a Yaris-class car is actually big enough. Much bigger will only result in scratches, dents and frustration because you can’t find a big enough parking spot.

          Small diesel cars are very popular in France whereas in Germany you see more 3.0 ltr. diesels (all 6 cylinders) with a 250 km/h speed limiter.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States