In advance of the car’s debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show, Toyota has unveiled its redesigned 2019 Corolla—and the new model is a hatchback instead of a sedan.
In addition to the body-style change, the new Corolla is a bit longer, lower, and wider than the outgoing-generation model. It utilizes the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) Platform, versions of which also underpin the current Toyota Prius and the unconventional C-HR crossover. Toyota says the torsional rigidity of the new Corolla’s body structure is improved by 60 percent over its predecessor.
Test Drive: 2018 Toyota Corolla SE
Under the 2019 Corolla Hatchback’s hood will be Toyota’s new “Dynamic-Force” direct-injection 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. Horsepower and torque numbers haven’t been released yet, but we’d expect to see a rating in the neighborhood of 140-150 hp. Both a “Dynamic-Shift” continuously variable transmission (CVT) or an “iMT” six-speed manual gearbox will be available. The CVT features a Sport mode, simulated 10-speed “gear” steps that mimic the feel of a traditional automatic, and a “launch gear” for quicker off-the-line acceleration than the typical CVT affords.
SE or XSE trim levels will be offered. SEs come standard with LED headlights and taillights, auto up/down power windows, and alloy wheels. XSEs add features such as heated front seats, power driver’s seat, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, LED fog lights, available adaptive headlamps, and 18-inch wheels in place of 16s.
The base Entune 3.0 Audio system includes an 8-inch touchscreen, WiFi Connect, Amazon Alexa Integration, and Apple CarPlay functionality (but not Android Auto). The top-line Premium version of the Entune 3.0 system includes an 8-speaker JBL stereo and features such as Dynamic Voice Recognition, Dynamic Navigation, and Destination Assist Connect. Qi wireless device charging is another available feature.
All Corolla Hatchbacks will come standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of safety equipment, which includes a forward collision warning system with automatic braking and pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, and automatic high-beam headlights. Also included is Toyota’s new Lane Tracing Assist, which provides lane-centering steering assistance by recognizing road-lane markings or the path of a preceding vehicle.
The Toyota Corolla was definitely due for a redesign. The current-generation model is one of the oldest vehicles in the compact-car class—it debuted back in 2013, and hasn’t seen any significant updates since. This new hatchback certainly looks more dynamic, and we are hopeful that it will feel more dynamic from behind the wheel as well. We’ve experienced a version of the TNGA platform in the new-for-2018 Toyota C-HR crossover, and we were impressed with that vehicle’s solid feel and fun-to-drive nature.
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