By on March 11, 2019

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback front quarter

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback SE

2.0-liter inline-four, dual overhead cam (168 hp @ 6,600 rpm, 151 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm)

Continuously-variable transmission, front-wheel drive

32 city / 42 highway / 36 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

7.5 city / 5.8 highway / 6.7 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

37.8 (observed mileage, MPG)

Base Price: $22,010 US / $25,356 CAD

As Tested: $22,415 / $25,356 CAD

Prices include $930 destination charge in the United States and $1,776 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

Let’s face it. Most Toyotas are boring. Sure, enthusiasts get tossed the occasional bone – the 86 and the upcoming (controversial) Supra – but otherwise, the lineup doesn’t excite.

I believe that there are gearheads deep within the bowels of Toyota R&D, however. Those who recall the days when several proper performance cars shared a lot with the ubiquitous Camry.

Here is proof. No, this 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback isn’t a hardcore sportscar. It could certainly do with more power. But that Toyota brought out a new car – with an optional manual transmission, no less! – in a climate where the crossover dominates speaks volumes about the future of driving enthusiasm at one of the world’s biggest manufacturers. There is hope for drivers.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback profile

It’s been a while since I’ve driven any Toyota with such a willingness to turn. Steering, while light, was direct and quick. The ride was firm but pleasant on the highway, but I headed for some twisties to properly enjoy a well-handling hatch – something I didn’t expect from a modern Corolla.  Actually, I’m reminded of the C-HR, which shares Toyota’s TNGA architecture with this Corolla Hatchback. While I didn’t love the C-HR, I was unusually enthralled with the handling of that low-riding, crossoverish thing.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback front

This Corolla dispenses with any CUV pretense. It’s reasonably low, yet has plenty of room in the interior for myself and my family. The cargo area is a bit cramped due to the fast rake of the rear glass, but with folding rear seats there is plenty of flexibility for weirdly-shaped stuff.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback rear

The kids had plenty of room behind me – once I pushed the drivers’ seat up a notch or two from my preferred seating position. I was still comfortable, but my knees were closer to the dash than I’d prefer, especially on a long drive.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback front seat2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback rear seat

I’ll grant that the interior of the Corolla Hatchback is rather spartan, especially when trimmed in black like my tester. Everything is laid out simply, with a broad flat dashboard unadorned with frippery beyond a row of simple white stitching and a single line of matte silver trim. It’s a bit dour, certainly, but all of the controls are intuitive. Nothing distracts from driving.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback dashboard

Even Toyota’s Entune touchscreen seems to have improved – while the menus are relatively unchanged from others I’ve sampled, the controls seem a bit snappier to respond.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback center stack

While I’d have loved to drive the optional six-speed manual transmission, the CVT fitted to my tester was surprisingly good. Perhaps that’s down to the actual gear used for the first ratio in the ‘box, rather than relying on the typical belt to launch the car. Either way, I never noted any droning of the engine either while cruising or accelerating.

The 168-horsepower engine would have been a world-beater a couple of decades ago in a car of this size. It’s still plenty for most drivers, but I’d love to see a performance (Gazoo?) version down the road.

For those old-school Toyota enthusiasts who recall the vaunted AE86 generation of the Corolla – this is the SR5 trim. I’d like to see a GTS.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback gauges

A couple of weeks ago, the B&B ripped into the first drive (and first driver) of the new Corolla sedan, when he shared his long-held disdain for Corollas and their drivers.

I bit my tongue. I have completely different memories of the Corolla, from two sides.

First – my mother, who in 1990 decided that the ’86 Sentra she ended up with in the divorce was getting too old. Perhaps she was seeking a more symbolic break from my dad, but she steered clear of the Nissan dealers he’d haunted for a couple decades, and tween Chris was soon inspecting a stripped Carolina Blue Corolla. She signed the note and drove off proud of her new freedom. Every four to six years, she’d trade for a new Corolla, each time choosing something with a bit more flash – eventually moving to an automatic transmission a little after the turn of the century when her aging knees tired of constant clutch work.

In 2014, I prepared spreadsheets of specs and prices, and scheduled drives of nearly everything in the class. She drove away in yet another Corolla. Familiarity and incredible reliability have been her automotive rock.

Another perspective comes from a couple years working as a part-time service writer at a chain tire and service store. I learned quickly to scan the entry drive to the parking lot. If a Corolla approached, it was usually time to make oneself scarce – because the owner wasn’t going to spend any money. You’d get maybe a buck’s commission on an oil change; if you were lucky, maybe another fifty cents for an air filter. Nope. No sense spending half an hour trying to sell whatever profitable service corporate was pushing that month – Corolla owners seemed to be happy doing the bare minimum to keep their steeds rolling.

I mention this because, for fifty years, that’s exactly what the Corolla has been – a rock that millions of drivers come to depend on for inexpensive, hassle-free transportation. Sure, some car reviewer might reveal his privilege scorning the car and its owner. I’d rather revel in the dignity of owning one’s own car, no matter how spartan.

Indeed, for many of those years, beneath the staid veneer lay a car with enormous potential for fun. Tuners, customizers, and even racers have made generations of the Corolla into a proper hot rod. With this newest Corolla Hatchback, that potential returns.

Might I suggest the 2.5-liter, 203 hp four from the Camry, Toyota? Build us a proper Corolla Hatch GTS?

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback rear quarter

[Images: © 2019 Chris Tonn]

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78 Comments on “2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback SE Review – Hope...”


  • avatar
    jatz

    Idiot goddamn thing has no utility, smacked down to the ground and roofline from an old liftback.

    I like it in white, though.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    “that’s exactly what the Corolla has been – a rock that millions of drivers come to depend on for inexpensive, hassle-free transportation. Sure, some car reviewer might reveal his privilege scorning the car and its owner. I’d rather revel in the dignity of owning one’s own car, no matter how spartan.”

    Agree 100% with that sentiment. One reason why I love seeing ‘survivor’ family vehicles. The Ramblers, 6 cylinder Darts, base model Chev and Ford and Plymouth sedans and wagons that previously dominated the roads and driveways.

    Unfortunately this Corolla hatch, seems to be lacking much of an actual hatch.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Here’s the thing, though, Arthur: will anyone who bought a last-gen Corolla really WANT to keep the thing around long enough for it to be a survivor? One of my neighbors owns an immaculate ’97, and it’s certainly no sports car, but still looks great, and drives nicely 20 years on. That’s no accident – the late-’90s and early-2000s Corollas were beautifully engineered and beautifully built, and those are the qualities that reward long-term ownership.

      The outgoing generation drove like crap, and worse yet, it felt like junk. I can overlook the former in a car that no one would confuse with a GTI, but I can’t forgive the latter, particularly not from Toyota. Maybe a ’16 or ’17 will still be running 20 years from now, but I can’t imagine it being worthy of pride of ownership that far down the road.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Didn’t that era of Corolla/Prizm burn oil?

        The main thing that kept me away from those years was the 3-speed automatic, even Chrysler had moved on from those by then.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          CR for years told their readers to go get a Prizm (for cheaper than a Corolla) before the masses figured out that it was really a Toyota with different badges.

        • 0 avatar
          EquipmentJunkie

          They did. My SIL’s ’02 had a consumption rate of 1 quart of oil at every fuel fill-up. At the time, the car only had about 130K on it.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Yeah Toyota A series motors tend to start using oil with mileage (93-97), particularly in the hands of people that say things like “It’s a Toyota, I never have to do anything on it!” But with the 1ZZ in the ’98-’02 cars, things got worse. Undersized piston oil drain holes cause the oil retaining rings to cook on and allow oil burning. Same thing with S series Saturns and Isuzu V6s of the same era.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Well, geez, guys, thanks for dashing my preconceived notions of Corolla goodness!

          Still, though, I think the point stands – the outgoing model didn’t feel like something I’d want to prove the “it’ll run forever” thesis with.

          • 0 avatar
            jatz

            Yabbut you’re a car guy and as such have no authorization to opine on rational car buying.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Oh there’s still plenty to like. My brother maintains a 250k mile ’96 Prism that’s gotten the p*ss beaten out of it by a series of outdoor hiking/mountain biking enthusiasts, guys that would drive that thing over all sorts of forest access roads. He put some new rings in it to cure oil burning at 225k as I remember, and maybe it finally got a clutch. All original ball joints are still tight, original wheel bearings from what I know, it finally snapped a coil spring just last month. Toyota has traditionally over-spec’d the sh*t out of their suspensions for everything including (especially?) their plebian sedans. By comparison one of the previous owners of the Prism moved onto a Forester, and has had to replace 3 of 4 wheel bearings, a ball joint in the rear suspension (damaged on the same trails the Prism eats up). There’s a good reason that most of the third world swears by the big T, they bloody well earned it.

        • 0 avatar
          notinuse

          “Didn’t that era of Corolla/Prizm burn oil?”

          Yes they did.

  • avatar

    Imagine the sense of pride American’s would have if the Corolla were built by either GM or Ford. Toyota is now almost as big as Ford and GM combined!! How much smaller are GM and Ford going to become? Barra has already cut GM down to the bone.

    Mighty Toyota we all envy you!

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      This is the kinda Toyota owner Im used to, all hail Toyota! ALL HAIL TOYOTA! The greatest var company of all time!

      Me: Speaks of oil sludge, frame rust, airbags, decline in quality…

      BURN THE HERETIC!

      • 0 avatar
        jatz

        There’s got to be an entry in the DSM-5 for this kind of whole-souled, personal investment in the reputation of an immense multinational corporation by those completely outside that corporation’s remuneration system.

        It may even reference “fanboi”.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          I had that investment in GM/Oldsmobile/Pontiac when I was a teenager but I grew up.

          My Dear Ol’ Dad is still a GM loyalist but I can’t figure out for the life of me why.

          • 0 avatar
            jatz

            “My Dear Ol’ Dad is still a GM loyalist but I can’t figure out for the life of me why.”

            His GM was not our GM. Same token, I’ll never really be free of a Japan-centric bias.

          • 0 avatar
            BigDuke6

            My Dad too. I don’t say anything. I just shake my head……..

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Just replaced his 120,000 mile Torrent with a lightly used 1st gen Traverse FWD with towing package.

            Weirdly he didn’t have the dreaded 3.4 ltr head-gasket issue but the interior crumbled and flaked away on a garage kept ride that got minimum monthly cleaning including protectants.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        “airbags”

        You talking about the Takata fiasco? Because that affected just about everyone.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’m pretty sure akear is the only person on Toyota’s payroll whose entire name is five digits long. Makes it easy to cut him checks, I suppose.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      With respect to the “hot” variants of these type cars, Detroit and the rest of Japan has been outdoing Toyota for 20 years. Add Korea to that list in the past decade. The Corolla has many attributes and reason to buy one, but being good to drive isn’t among them. This is billed as a hatch for drivers. It is outclassed in that respect by pretty much everyone else in that game.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      That is one of the few things GM could do to impress me. Build an equal to the Corolla. It would take at least ten years to establish the consistent reliability reputation however, and GM seems to look no further into the future than a few years.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I think some of the anti-Corolla snark is justified by simply driving the outgoing model. It’s roomy, and I’m sure it’s reliable, but it just sucked to drive. That wasn’t always true – back in the mid-2000s, the Corolla was the most refined entry in its’ class. I saw one on a used lot not too long ago that was 12 years old, with 150,000 miles, and it still looked good and felt tight. That’s a car I would recommend someone spend hard earned money on. The outgoing model felt like junk. It was sad.

    Toyota just let hundreds of thousands of them slink onto Hertz lots, and seemed content to do so. The car deserved the snark it got, and Toyota deserved the snark it got for building it.

    Glad to see they’re finally on a better track now.

  • avatar
    make_light

    It just baffles me that they built this on a SHORTER wheelbase than the sedan. Why take utility away from a form factor that is supposed to be more practical? If not for that, I might seriously consider one of these at some point.

    I wonder if the interior quality is better than the new Camry (it appears so in photos). I was pretty shocked by how cheap this latest Camry feels inside, and I wasn’t expecting an Audi or anything.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I like the looks better than the Civic hatch, but yes, would prefer a 6-speed manual and a stronger engine.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Toyota did do something very unusual by giving the Corolla a new naturally aspirated fairly large displacement (for a 4 cyl) engine and allowing it to paired with the 6-speed manual.

      • 0 avatar
        dividebytube

        Yeah it’s a minor quibble. And we are truly spoiled in horsepower these days.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenn

        Yes, Toyota gave it a decently-sized, naturally-aspirated engine, with combined port- and direct-injection, and the choice of a new, rev-matching, 6-speed manual trans in either of the two trim levels. It looks to me like they’re really making an effort.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          maybe we are spoiled, but those are the expectations and other makers can deliver. 168hp and 3000 pounds do not a hot hatch make, I don’t care how the gears are changed. Not in 2019.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’ve thought about this as a recommended replacement for my Mother’s aging Matrix, but the rear seat dimensions are a noticeable downgrade.

    I think the Corolla sedan could work, but you can’t buy the 2.0L without getting the SE/XSE, which come with 18s and the “sport” suspension. An XLE 2.0L would be about perfect. She rejected the wheezy 1.8L back in 2010 in preference for the 2.4L XRS, so I don’t think she’d go for basically the same 1.8L a decade later.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      We’re currently looking for a first car for Daughter No. 2, and I see several Matrixes (Matrices? Lol.) for sale, but most I see are the base version.

      Did the Matrix XRS use the same 2.4 as the Corolla XRS? I used to want one of the Corollas.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Too bad there isn’t a Corolla XLE so you could get the big engine and the soft suspension.

        Mini Avalon… >_<

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          There’s a much bigger demand for the softer/luxo/brougham type trim on smaller sedans back in Japan. My grandma’s neighbors have a RHD import Toyota Allion, a half-size larger than a Corolla but based on the platform, with some luxury trims available. Within the mini-luxo-boat class there is also the IS/Altezza based Brevis/Progres, cushy riding RWD platform cars with formal rooflines.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Yea, I think it’s the same 2.4L that was in the Corolla and other Toyotas of the time.

        Decent power for a compact car of that era, but it has suffered from fairly heavy oil consumption (about 1qt/1000miles) since a little over 100K.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Typical 2AZ behavior in that string of years (’08-’11ish?) unfortunately. Sad, because from ’02-’07 they didn’t seem to suffer any such oil consumption issues. My cousin in Biysk has an ’02 Camry with an honest-to-goodness 1M KM of Siberian roads on the clock, he bought it at the 1M mark right as it finally needed a rebuild, local guys have mastered re-sleeving them.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I find it to be at least somewhat attractive, better looking than the sedan. What I struggle with is A. The grill, oof. B. The center stack is no longer a center stack, it is an I-pad grafted on. BMW struggles with the same issue. Is their not a way to integrate this screen into the dash? I really struggle with this, it makes me think the interior for them was an after thought.

    Other than the above I would have to drive it. The last Corolla I rented about 7 or 8 years ago was awful in all respects and I have yet to set foot in one since. In fact I only recently rented a 4Runner, which it too left me wondering where the Akear like love of Toyota comes from. I have yet to drive one that leaves me with a burning desire to spend any measurable amount in, and certainly with anything other than zero in willingness to spend any $$ for a Toyota product.

    • 0 avatar
      Robotdawn

      I get the love. I know two separate people who clocked over 400k in a Camry. As a GM owner, I get nervous when the Odo approaches 100k. I never argue with anyone who wants to buy a Toyota and the word reliable falls out of their mouth.
      That being said, they are boring as heck. And every 2nd car I rented last year was a Camry, and they all feel cheap. Even the higher end trims.
      This car isn’t bad, but I still think my Cruze hatch is a lot better looking, and I swear I’ll cover my eyes and let it go over the 100k mark this time.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        I dunno. My GM has 122k on the odo and I don’t think twice about it. Most of my peers take their GM 5.3’s to 200k before considering unloading them. One went to 300k, which by the time that unit was retired most everything on it was spent, but he felt he got his money out of his Ta-Ho as he called it.

        But I get your skepticism as most have not had my experience. GM cars and trucks, thus far, have been really good to me. Far better than the 1 Subaru or any of the Nissans I have owned. But, I am an outlier. I had to two Dodge products in the garage at once for 5.5 years and 1 repair…sliding door motor on the T&C passenger side, covered under warranty so I can’t even get not the FCA sucks! train either.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        My Cruze HB has had problems making it past 30k…much less 100. I’m fairly certain it won’t be around in my garage long enough to make it to that mark. Just waaaaay too many serious issues for me to feel comfortable with it.
        Before I deployed, I test drove the new Corolla HB, with a manual. Vast improvement over the outgoing model, to be sure. But then I went across the street and drove a Mazda3 (not the new version…that one just looks odd to me). That car had me smiling like a Cheshire cat the entire loop. And that’s the stage I’m at. The Corolla would certainly provide years (and years) of reliable service, and I fault nobody for buying one. Heck, my mother was a thirty-year Toyota repeat buyer. But I’m also at the stage where I want just a little “more” for my next car, and the Corolla just isn’t it. At least the new HB got me onto the lot, which is something I probably would never have done, otherwise.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      With the 4Runner you’re getting a platform that was engineered to not let people down in remote areas of the third world in terms of reliability/durability. Drive one in remote and difficult terrain here in the US and you start to get it.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        You keep saying that. I live in CO, I go to remote places to camp and mountain bike. I still won’t ever own one, but I understand why others do. For me they are overrated to the nth degree, but obviously that is a minority opinion and I am ok with that.

        Think of it his way, I will never be bidding up the price for a used Toy product that you would like to buy and vice versa, so in the end each others perspective is perfect!

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Did you drive your rented 4Runner to said remote places, or just around on the street? That’s the key thing IMO. They feel much more at home there IMO than most other SUVs (Tahoe, Expedition, etc), to say nothing of crossovers.

          • 0 avatar
            87 Morgan

            Chicago for FWIW. Some of the streets there make 4×4 trails look tame, but to your point. No I did not go off road in the rental. I am sure it is fine off road. I spend 99.9% of my time on the road so the off road prowess is of little to zero value to me. I am however, not arguing the off-chops the 4Runner possesses.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Oh sure, a huge bonus of a serious SUV on “normal” sized wheels/tires is that they excel in the chewed up urban streets of the Midwest. But specifically offroad is where the 4Runner’s long travel relatively-uninhibited suspension that causes all that brake dive on the street, the slow throttle, etc make a lot more sense. In terms of articulation, ground clearance, approach/departure, it blows SUVs that aren’t a Wrangler out of the water. The worse the road gets, the better it feels and all of those street-driving compromises make sense.

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      It’s not just your imagination. The 2009-2013 Corolla (10th gen?) was a really cruddy product, in my opinion. All the major controls were poorly calibrated, dynamic control was mediocre to bad, the interior felt cheap, and the electronics were blah.

      I have driven the Gen 11 car, and I found it much better than the Gen 10.
      I have driven only one of the older generations, but from what I hear, they were generally good to great.

      This makes the lousy Gen 10 car the outlier (I hope).

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    How is it that Toyota can’t make Entune not ghastly?

    It’s not like they can’t afford to hire someone who can do UX.

  • avatar
    brentrn

    The last time I looked at Toyotas there was no negotiation on price at this level. Is that still the case?

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      In early 2016 I test drove a RAV4 hybrid. They had just come out and I was only in the test driving phase for all of my choices and they were talking $4k off the $36k price before I even thought about negotiating. So maybe it’s just the dealer I went to.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I actually like the look, but who is it for? It isn’t really a “hot hatch”…the performance isn’t on par with the cars in that segment. And it isn’t just a practical hatch as the ride is to firm for those folks. Agree with the “SR-5” assessment, just not sure that’s a pretty small group of buyers to market to, especially without the Halo effects of a GT-S model.

    If they make one with Focus ST type power (this thing is 3000 pounds) I think it would be great.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      One reviewer called it a “lukewarm hatch” driving the 2.0/6 speed manual model.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        I agree with that assessment, but are there that many buyers out there thinking “You know, I really want a hot hatch, but I want it with less power and not quite as good handling”. I suppose there are some, with Ford and Hyundai bringing out the ST and N “Line” variants with all the show but less go, but in those cases there is an actual version with the power (for as long as you can buy any Ford car at least).

        I would not automatically not buy a sporty car that is in the 8.5 second to 60 range, I owned several Miatas after all, but if it is going to be slow it had better blow my mind with respect to handling and ballance and what not. This doesn’t seem to be there. I do hope we get an actual hot version. Given Toyota’s track record here, I’m not holding my breath.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          I watched both RedLine Reviews and Alex On Autos drive the Corolla sedan with the 2.0 and their verdict was that the Corolla was no longer “slow” like it feels with the 1.8. Merging onto the freeway and passing cars was no longer something that took planning and high amounts of forethought.

          Not a ringing endorsement and not calling it a GT.

          If I wanted a naturally aspirated 6 speed manual compact sedan that no one will look twice at but might actually be engaging to drive, I’d look at an SE model.

          If I wanted to go fast I’d get a Veloster N.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            That was my thought. Cars can “feel” faster though. My Fiesta ST feels fast without being stupid fast. It is however, a full second quicker to 60 and in the 1/4 than this car.

            But yeah, if I just wanted to row my own and didnt care about actually going fast, the base trims make more sense.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    In terms of styling, I’d say this car is 90% there. The weird headlights (cut off the lower bit and have them run straight across) and that gaping maw kill it. Count me as one who is happy they’re at least offering a manual.

    My only experience of a Corolla in the family was when my brother drove a 94 Corolla that I paid for. Oil changes always took a backseat to illicit substances and once he went about 15k miles or more. The dipstick was dry by the time he took it in. It lasted him up through 245k (I picked it up at 130k). Then the clutch gave up the ghost, my friends and I fixed it, but it lost any power it had. Went to the junk yard two days later.

  • avatar
    syncro87

    I stopped by to get something from the parts department at my local Toyota dealer last week. They had a Corolla hatch in the showroom.

    I was pretty surprised at both how small the rear seat was, and how annoying it was to get in and out of the rear through the oddly shaped aperture. It just felt really awkward getting in and out of the back. Even the front seating area felt a wee bit tight.

    This and the cargo area seemed really skimpy.

    The interior space utilization of, for example, the Civic hatchback is far superior.

    I’d still like to drive one, but to be honest, my interest level in this car was fairly high prior to sitting in the showroom car, and has waned quite a bit after. I’ll probably end up looking a a Golf or ’20 Soul instead.

    Might have gone with a C-HR…I could live without AWD, but the lack of stick shift…meh.

  • avatar
    cliff731

    Re: Toyota Corolla – For what it’s worth dept. – bullet proof reliability and unrivaled longevity does possess certain merit and virtue in an automobile!!!

    A “set of wheels” that doesn’t “nickle and dime” an owner to death… nor come with exorbitant and nose-bleed maintenance costs down the road… yeah. There’s something to be said for that… especially one that runs practically “forever” and retains fairly good relative resale value!

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      You can say a ton of things for those virtues for sure, but all of that applies to the regular Corollas. As a “Hot” variant this car doesn’t stack up to the competition. It is reliable and has great resale and while, as pointed out, the performance specs look great for a hot hatch a decade plus ago, they don’t even get you in the game in 2019.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        It’s a hatchback. Not a “hot hatch” in the 2019 Maximum-HP, Minimum-Burgerking, Fastest lap of some Britrag sense.

        Idea being, Hatchback buyers trend younger, and are more accepting of smaller interior and a sportier ride/handling balance, than older sedan buyers. But differ little wrt tolerance for breakdowns, poor fuel economy, finickiness and the rest of what often comes with genuinely “hot” hatches.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    I don’t find this to be deficient in hatch cargo area any more or less than my past Mazda3, or any other hatchbacks of this size. Most hatches do have less space with the seat up- the point is the space and the flexibility when having the seats down. If people want a CUV, heaven knows there are plenty to choose from.

    I have been feeling the new car fever lately and I want a hatch again. VW Golf pulls at my heart and I love the almost boring styling and no-nonsense design. This I don’t like the styling, or the dash, but the price is right and reviews seem to indicate it is not bad at all. The thought of owning a Corolla out of warranty is more palatable than owning a Golf past the warranty. The alternate interior color (“moonstone?”) gives it a different look, but if I decide to shop, the SE trim is more sensible to me because of the wheel/tire combination. I don’t need big wheels and prefer never to go less than a 50-series sidewall ever again. The rear spoiler on this one looks accessory and I don’t think its the standard one. Nix that. Overall, where I am these are going with a little bit of cash on the hood and I think its a decent value but no GTI.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    The best-looking car in Toyota’s lineup. A real manual, rejoice! Toyota will never do a GTI hot-hatch competitor, but maybe the tuner types will wring some more power out of it. I like it.

  • avatar
    theoldguard

    Hatch with IRS is pretty much “hotter” than one with torsion beam. Corolla “hotter” than 3? Who would have ever thought.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      Not me – it never crossed my mind, because it makes no sense.

      The Fiesta ST is far “hotter” than either some Corolla hatch or Mazda3 but has a torsion beam rear axle. Its handling has been eulogized by authors here on TTAC and elsewhere. Perhaps you had forgotten.

      It’s not what you got but how you use it.

      Paper spec warrioring never did impress me much, but seems de rigeur on TTAC.

      If that Corolla is actually “hotter” than the 3, I’d be highly surprised. One thing’s for sure though, the Mazda interior leaves the Corolla for dead. Sat in both the hatch and sedan, and frankly both are gorgeous inside.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        This. There is so much more that goes into making a car handle than the type of rear suspension it has. I think IRS has a higher threshold potentially, but simply having it doesn’t make it better automatically than a well tuned torsion beam suspension.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          IRS is much more important on rear drive cars. Front drivers can be made to handle will with a torsion beam, especially if they are light, but at some cost to ride quality.

  • avatar
    theoldguard

    I find myself having increasing desires for cars that no longer exist. I would rather have new example of my old ’87 325is than a new 2019 3-series. I would rather have a new example of an old VR6 Jetta than a new 2019 Jetta. Is there a diagnosis for this in new DSM 5?

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I mean the E30 3 series is pretty much the recognized BMW high water mark so thats just good sense. Powertrains are probably the best they have ever been, but styling wise it may as well be 1974.

  • avatar
    jtk

    I wonder if it can be gotten without that screen sticking up out of the dashboard? I’m going to need a new appliance to replace my Mazda eventually, and this seems like a contender.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Adaptive headlights are the sole option/package. And only on the XSE.
    No sunroof. No audio upgrades.
    No choices for you!
    Toyota the Grinch

  • avatar

    I think rather than GTS this would be more of an FX16. Especially given the color.


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