2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback: a most international compact car

March 28, 2018

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback has had its passport stamped more than a few times. Debuting next week at the 2018 New York auto show, the 2019 Corolla Hatchback that Toyota previewed Friday is decidedly international.

The new Corolla Hatchback replaces the Corolla iM in Toyota’s lineup, and like its predecessor, its first passport stamp occurred in Europe. There, the hatchback is known as the Toyota Auris, and it’s similarly new. That’s important because it helps explain the new five-door's pert dimensions—just 172 inches from bumper to bumper—and its continental styling. The Corolla Hatchback’s lines are edgier and more angular than the Corolla sedan with which it’ll share showroom space. Up front, standard LED headlights on both SE and XSE trim levels give it a beak-like appearance. At the rear, its truncated tail repeats a similar, avian-esque style with a bulky spoiler taking up residence at the top of the hatchback.

MORE: Read our 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback preview

The Corolla Hatchback’s interior is similarly Euro-styled, with a no-nonsense approach. An 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment takes up residence above the climate controls and includes standard Apple CarPlay (but no Android connectivity). The higher-spec Corolla Hatchback XSE also includes a 7.0-inch TFT in the instrument cluster and can be further upgraded with JBL-branded speakers.

Toyota makes cloth upholstery standard on the SE trim, while a mix of leather and fabric adorns the XSE trim’s seats. All trims feature a leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic climate controls, keyless ignition, and USB ports. The XSE trim has heated front seats, power adjustment for the driver’s seat, and contrasting stitching on the doors and instrument panel.

Toyota says there is room for five in the Corolla Hatchback, but the automaker hasn’t released specifications for its cargo-hauling ability. It's a few inches shorter than the five-door version of the Honda Civic, however. 

Under its hood, the Corolla Hatchback features a 2.0-liter inline-4, but Toyota hasn’t specified horsepower or torque figures. Reaffirming its Euro-centric bonafides, it comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional on both trim levels, where it is fitted with paddle shifters to simulate 10 stepped gears.

The Corolla Hatchback features a fully independent suspension underneath, an upgrade over the torsion-beam setup found in the Corolla sedan. Wheel sizes range from 16- to 18-inches.

Like most other Toyotas, the Corolla Hatchback features a high degree of collision-avoidance tech as standard—automatic emergency braking that can detect pedestrians and cyclists, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control, and automatic high-beam headlights.

The 2019 Corolla Hatchback will be built in Japan—another stamp in its passport—before going on sale in the U.S. this summer. Pricing won’t be announced until closer to the on-sale date, but it’s not likely to stray far from the 2018 Corolla iM’s roughly $19,500 base price.

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