2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback First Look: Matrix Reloaded


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When Toyota showed off the new European-market Auris hatchback earlier this month, we had a feeling the car previewed the next-generation Corolla iM, but we couldn’t be sure. Today, Toyota confirmed that when it revealed the new 2019 Corolla Hatchback ahead of its New York auto show debut.

Aside from looking almost exactly like the new Auris, the 2019 Corolla Hatchback is built using the same Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) that underpins its European counterpart. Toyota promises that when paired with a sport-tuned suspension, the lighter, stiffer TNGA platform makes the Corolla Hatchback more fun to drive. It’s also lower, wider, and longer than the Corolla iM it replaces.

We wouldn’t necessarily call the new 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback gorgeous, but it’s certainly more attractive than the outgoing iM. The headlights are more expressive, and the body lines have a little more character than before. From the back, the angular taillights and curvy rear end give Toyota’s latest hatch a nice European look. The Corolla Hatchback gets its own version of the corporate mega-grille, and for better or worse, we see a bit of the Prius Prime in the front end.

Under the hood, the Corolla Hatchback bucks the turbo-trend and gets a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine. Power and torque figures aren’t yet available, but Toyota says it’s more powerful and fuel efficient than before; the 2018 Corolla iM produces 137 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque. The new Corolla hatch’s engine is also smaller, lighter, and more refined than the 1.8-liter it replaces.

Power gets sent to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission. Unlike conventional CVTs, this one gets a first gear to make low-speed driving smoother and more efficient. A six-speed manual is also available as an option.

Inside, the styling sticks pretty closely to what you’d expect from Toyota. Materials and design details all look familiar, with the single stand-out feature being the infotainment screen. Instead of integrating it into the center console, Toyota mounted the 8.0-inch touchscreen higher up. That probably makes it easier to view, but it does have a bit of a “floating tablet” look. The infotainment package finally includes Apple CarPlay compatibility; non-Apple users are out of luck, however, since Toyota doesn’t still hasn’t added Android Auto.

Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. As with all 2019 models, a rearview camera comes standard, as well.

Toyota has yet to announce pricing or an on-sale date, but more information may be available after the new Corolla Hatchback is officially revealed at the New York auto show later this month.