2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Preview

  • Redesigned replacement for the Corolla iM
  • Based on Toyota’s new global-vehicle platform
  • Offered in SE and XSE trim levels
  • New 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine
  • 6-speed manual or continuously variable transmission
  • Next-generation infotainment and safety technologies
  • On sale in summer of 2018


Well, that was fast. After just three years in the United States, the Toyota Corolla iM, the 5-door hatchback formerly known as the Scion iM, is dead. For 2019, a redesigned compact car called the Corolla Hatchback is arriving, bringing more dramatic design and improved driving dynamics to Toyota’s small car stable.

As was true of the Corolla iM, the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is based on the global Toyota Auris. It moves to the company’s latest vehicle architecture, adds the latest in safety and infotainment technologies, and gets a more sophisticated powertrain.

The new Corolla Hatchback goes on sale in the summer of 2018, and will compete against 5-door versions of the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Mazda 3, and Subaru Impreza, in addition to the Volkswagen Golf.

Exterior Features

According to Toyota, designers intend for the new 2019 Corolla Hatchback to appear “distinct, dynamic, muscular, and sophisticated.”

Lower, wider, and longer than the outgoing Corolla iM, the Corolla Hatchback benefits from wider front and rear tracks, longer wheelbase, reduced front overhang, and a longer rear overhang for improved proportions. Toyota also dropped the hood two inches, and the rear hatch is 14 degrees more rakish than before.

Toyota will offer the Corolla Hatchback in SE and XSE trim. The SE trim includes standard LED headlights and taillights as well as 16-in. aluminum wheels. Upgrading to XSE trim installs LED fog lights and a set of 18-in. aluminum wheels. An adaptive front lighting system is an option for the Corolla Hatchback XSE.

A new Rival Blue paint color debuts with the 2019 Corolla Hatchback, which will also be available in white, silver, black, red, Oxide Bronze, and Galactic Aqua Mica.

Interior Features

“Sensuous minimalism” was the guiding theme for the Corolla Hatchback’s interior, according to Toyota.

In keeping with this philosophy, the company has reduced visual clutter while improving the unification of materials in terms of color, gloss, and grain. Silver matte and shiny black trim rule inside this car, and contrast stitching is available. Toyota has also taken multiple steps to quiet the cabin through reduced wind and road noise.

Comfort upgrades include standard front sport seats and revised rear seating, each with improved cushioning for better positioning and support, Toyota says. Drivers face a multi-function steering wheel with available paddle shifters, and Toyota also uses a wider and longer center console in the new Corolla Hatchback to provide improved storage solutions.

The Corolla Hatchback SE is equipped with single-zone automatic climate control, a next-generation Entune 3.0 infotainment system with 8-in. display, two front USB ports, and a SmartKey keyless entry system with push-button engine starting.

The Corolla Hatchback XSE adds dual-zone automatic climate control, leather and fabric seating, an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, a 7-in. driver information display, and a wireless charging pad that accommodates a 5.5-in. smartphone.

Under the Hood

Built on Toyota’s new global architecture, which is engineered to deliver improved driving dynamism, the new Corolla Hatchback boasts a 60% improvement in torsional rigidity over the outgoing Corolla iM, and the new car is also lighter than the old car.

A new, direct-injection, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard, smaller, lighter, and quieter than the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine it replaces. Official horsepower and torque figures will be available at a later date.

Toyota pairs the engine with a new 6-speed manual transmission with downshift rev matching. Most Corolla Hatchbacks, however, are likely to have the optional Dynamic Shift CVT (continuously variable transmission). It includes a “launch gear” to help improve off-the-line performance, similar to what was recently announced for the Lexus UX. The CVT also has a Sport driving mode, shift paddles, and 10 simulated shift steps to make it sound and feel more like a traditional automatic transmission. Toyota claims a 20% improvement in CVT responsiveness compared to previous designs.

Every new Corolla Hatchback will include a sport-tuned suspension with MacPherson struts in front and a multi-link design in the rear. Thanks to the car’s new platform, the center of gravity is lower, too. As a result, Toyota expects buyers to discern significant improvement in terms of steering feel, ride comfort, and handling capability.


As standard equipment, the new Corolla Hatchback will include a next-generation Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 package of driver-assistance and collision-avoidance systems. This collection of technologies includes adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Improvements include a pedestrian-detection system that works both during the day and at night, daytime cyclist detection, and Lane Tracing Assist, which is a lane-centering system that actively attempts to keep the Corolla Hatchback in the middle of the intended lane of travel.

Versions of the car that have the CVT also get an enhanced adaptive cruise control system. It can maintain safe following distances down to a stop and in variable-speed conditions, working at speeds from 0 mph to 110 mph, Toyota claims. The automaker also says this system is enhanced to better account for vehicles cutting in front of the Corolla Hatchback, and for lane changes for which the driver signals.

Additionally, a blind-spot monitoring system is standard for the XSE trim and optional for SE trim. Toyota is careful to note that it does not include rear cross-traffic alert.


A next-generation Entune infotainment system is standard for all Corolla Hatchbacks, featuring a high-resolution 8-in. touch-screen display, improved voice recognition, Apple CarPlay, Siri Eyes Free, Amazon Alexa, App Suite Connect, Safety Connect service, Wi-Fi Connect capability, and a Scout GPS connected navigation app.

The XSE trim further adds HD Radio with weather and traffic data, satellite radio with cache radio capability, Connected Services, Service Connect, and Remote Connect. These features are options with SE trim.

Optional exclusively for the XSE trim with the CVT, the top-of-the-line version of Entune 3.0 includes dynamic voice recognition, dynamic embedded navigation with dynamic point-of-interest search, destination-assist function, and an 8-speaker JBL sound system with Clari-Fi digital music-restoration technology.

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