Do you recall the old, falling off your chair boring Corolla?
If the answer to above question is a no, don’t worry, you didn’t miss much. However if the answer is yes, two things about you becomes rather obvious.
Firstly, like me you are showing your age and lastly once again, like me, you would have thought the world has all but forgotten about this sleeping giant.
Well to my surprise and possibly yours, this once boring sedan actually will soon have an European cousin hatchback that apparently has none of those traits.
Known elsewhere as the Auris, the 2019 Corolla hatchback is one of the most attractive cars in its segment, whether you decide to go for the SE or the sportier XSE trim.
I would have never though, I would ever use the word Sporty and Corrolla in a sentence, but here we are and the new Corrolla, is for sure falls into that category.
It is built on Toyota’s TNGA platform on a sport-tuned suspension, which should provide a firmer responsiveness and an enjoyable ride.
Under the bonnet, they have kept things simple, 168 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque from a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine, which is more than adequate for this type of car.
On the inside, you will feel confined, specially if you take into account the amount of space already provided by the like of Honda Civic, Hyundai and VW; then the passenger space is well below par.
The XSE model, rolls on 18-inch wheels and 225/40R18 tires compared to the base SE’s 16s and 205/55R16 rubber.
Inside, drivers will have good front and side visibility; you can improve the view out back by folding down the rear-seat outboard headrests.
An 8.0-inch touchscreen sits atop the dash on every Corolla hatchback, with Apple CarPlay as standard.
SE hatchbacks get a more basic but acceptable instrument cluster with a vertical 4.2-inch display on the right side, whereas XSEs get a more modern 7.0-inch central digital display flanked by analog gauges.
Even at SE trim, Toyota throws in a bunch of standard equipment. Besides the standard LED headlights and 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, the SE hatch also includes a leather steering wheel and an electric parking brake with auto brake hold.
A full package of active safety tech is also thrown in (yes those wonderful three letters acronyms); automatic emergency braking, lane departure mitigation, full-speed adaptive cruise control (or down to 15 mph on manuals), and a system that can read certain road signs such as speed limits and stop or yield signs. Blind-spot monitoring is available on the automatic-transmission SE and standard on the two-pedal XSE.
so it all looks good and on paper sounds promising, but there are still two big questions, we need Toyota to answer, affordability and economy.