After I heard Toyota was bringing again a Corolla hatchback, admittedly, I used to be intrigued. In spite of everything, I’m a hatchback man. They’re sensible, sporty, and I merely want the type. However with my intrigue, I ready for actuality to kick in. I assumed the brand new Corolla Hatchback would most likely be outfitted with the same-old 2ZR-FE 1.Eight-liter discovered within the Corolla sedan and mated to a fun-killing CVT. It’d be strong however pedestrian methodology of transportation. Meh.
I am right here to say that I assumed wrongly.
Toyota’s been on considerably of an automotive picture revamp these days. Arguably, first, there was the Scion FR-S/Toyota 86. Then, seemingly in a single day, the Camry went from fundamental four-door transportation to an attractive sedan. Then the CH-R, with its wild styling, debuted. And after I laid eyes on the brand new ’19 Corolla XSE hatchback within the Blue Flame coloration, I solely hoped the automotive would drive pretty much as good because it seems, and it does due to a brand new free-revving 2.Zero-liter direct-injected engine and a smooth-shifting six-speed handbook transmission. Plus, all of it journey on a chassis that is fairly tossable and sporting. Thoughts blown. Gradual clap for the “Massive T.”
First issues first—styling. I believe the automotive has nice traces; there’s one thing about it that jogs my memory of a rally automotive. Perhaps it’s the aggressive angle on the rear spoiler, perhaps it’s the general form. The entrance finish remedy isn’t my all-time favourite—I’m not an enormous fan of fish-mouth grille shapes—however I can stay with it right here. On the again, you’ve bought twin exhaust ports constructed into the rear fascia offering a cohesive, premium look. The automotive rolls on 18” wheels and skinny side-walled 225/40/18 Yokohama Avid tires. I don’t love the wheels, however I’ve seen worse. Total, I actually just like the automotive’s seems. And if I have been to decide on a coloration, it’d have to be this Flame Blue. It has a touch of metallic in it, as properly. And I’ll sort what a few of you may have already informed me: It does look a bit of like a Ford Focus RS. No matter. I actually dig it.
On the within, the XSE is trendy, comfy, and feels very solidly constructed. Ergonomics are fairly good. The infotainment system works simply (and sounds nice). Toyota opted to make use of tactile buttons and knobs on the display screen’s perimeter, which I like. The buttons are merely rectangular plastic nubs, form of like what you’d’ve discovered on a 1980s TV distant or perhaps an ’87 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera’s Delco stereo. However, nonetheless, they work very properly with one exception. I repeatedly discovered myself going for the amount knob within the lower-left nook and bumping the display screen with my hand which might make it change menus. Minor gripe.
The instrument cluster is a mixture of true analog gauges and a digital coloration display screen that mimics an analog speedometer. There are a number of menus showcasing gas financial system, radio shows, and extra. It’s easy, efficient, but trendy. Properly executed. Additionally properly executed are the seats. They’re sporty with out being too extremely bolstered. Positive, extremely bolstered sport seats are nice for observe days or time within the twisties, however not a lot lengthy journeys. These buckets are a great mixture of consolation and sport. I actually thought the inside design was executed properly. From the upright touchscreen show and analog/digital local weather management, to the inside materials and seating place—this isn’t simply one other bland Corolla. There’s ample rear legroom, beneficiant cargo carrying means within the again, and rattling it, all of it simply works.
There’s no lack of tech, both. There’s adaptive cruise management, lane protecting, blind spot detection, and a number of different security options that maintain this compact present on the protection specs.
The Corolla’s engine is the all-new 2.Zero-liter Dynamic Pressure M20A-FKS with twin VVT-i (variable valve timing – intelligence in addition to VVT-iE, which employs an electrical motor on the consumption facet) and direct injection; it makes 165 hp and 151 lbs/ft of torque. It’s sewing-machine and the noise/vibration/harshness ranges really feel low. The engine is free-revving for positive, nevertheless, it does take some time to get to the higher revs, and that’s the place a lot of the energy feels prefer it’s made, too.
This engine takes me again to the primary time I drove a fast automotive with a high-revving, low-torque engine. Particularly, the 1999 Honda Civic Si. It revved simply, had a reasonably excessive redline, didn’t have a lot torque, and didn’t really feel that quick. If truth be told, it was quicker than it felt, and that’s doubtless the case with the Corolla Hatchback, too. Sure, you must row the gears fairly a bit to remain within the powerband, however it’s a hoot. The excellent news is the shifter is and well-gated. The clutch, sadly, has almost zero really feel. It’s virtually not possible to inform the place the uptake is. It’s a bit heavier than I anticipated, too. The primary few days, I felt prefer it was my first time driving stick, as I’d rev the engine, attempting to find the clutch’s friction level. That is the worst a part of the driveline. This automotive has Toyota’s iMT, or clever handbook transmission function. When engaged, it robotically matches engine revs once you downshift—no must blip the throttle with the accelerator. I might pushed way more costly automobiles, such because the Nissan 370Z, with this function up to now, however that is the primary automotive at his value level that has such a function. I used it each time I drove it, and it is nice for spirited downshifts.
Acceleration feels brisk, however not rocket-like, and you will need to maintain the revs up for any rapidity. Whereas and slightly quiet, the noise the automotive does make is nice. I stored pondering that this factor would sound nice with a customized consumption and cat-back exhaust system. In truth, should you keep in mind the Corolla XRS from the early 2000s, that is kind of its extra refined sequel. Again then, the facility was stratospherically excessive, there was a degree the place the valves extra (the VVTL-I system), and the engine was very loud and harsh. Fortunately, the XSE just isn’t that means.
A few oddities: That is the primary car I’ve pushed that takes 0W-16 oil. Earlier than this car, I’d by no means heard of it (seems it’s been in use in Japan for a while). Good luck discovering it regionally—particularly should you’re in a small city—no less than till (and if) it will get traction in North America. Subsequent, the engine is bare. And by bare, I imply there isn’t any engine cowl in anyway. So many automobiles’ engines conceal beneath some huge plastic shroud lately. Not this one. It is all simply there.
On the subject of the corners, I used to be very impressed. Cornering is flat, sporty, and assured. A few instances, say going round my favourite cloverleaf on-ramp, I used to be shocked at how properly the chassis absorbed bumps and turns at pace. The weak spot is certainly the 225/40/18 all-season Yokohamas. With a stickier set of rubber, this factor can be really excellent, even in inventory type. The freeway journey is superb—simply sporty sufficient with out being punishing. Plus, the cabin is remarkably quiet and there may be little or no wind noise, even at 70+ mph. Toyota’s executed an incredible job of blending freeway cruising and nook carving with the Corolla Hatchback.
TOP NEWS AutoCarTechNews Query Of The Day: Have You Ever Left One thing On Somebody’s Automobile Out Of Annoyance Earlier than?
FUEL AND PRICEThe brand new Corolla hatchback isn’t too unhealthy on gas, though it isn’t a miser (nor was I anticipating it to be). It’s EPA rated at 28 metropolis, 31 mixed, and 37 freeway MPG. I drove the XSE about 70% of the time within the metropolis, and bought very close to 28 MPG on 87 octane gas.
The Corolla Hatchback in XSE trim begins at $23,910 together with the $920 vacation spot price. This XSE featured $415 adaptive LED headlights; $65 wheel locks; a $358 safety bundle which incorporates carpet flooring mats, carpet cargo mat, rear bumper protector, and cargo web; and a $375 spoiler. The introduced the grand whole as examined to $25,123.
This Corolla Hatchback might be probably the most enjoyable and pleasurable new compact automotive I’ve pushed in a while. With its slick-shifting transmission, fun-to-rev engine, nice styling, and that superior blue coloration, it is a automotive that I’d take into account placing in my driveway if I have been available in the market. There could also be extra highly effective choices on the market, such because the Hyundai Elantra GT Sport or the dearer VW GTI, however Toyota has put collectively a really compelling bundle that may get driving lovers again into Toyota sellers for a car different than the GT86.
|THE BASICS: 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE|
|MSRP As Examined:||$25,123|
|Engine:||2.Zero-liter 16V DOHC four-cylinder with direct injection|
|Curb Weight:||three,060 lbs.|
|Suspension:||F: MacPhearson strut |
R: Unbiased Multilink w/stabilizer bar
|Brakes:||F: 15″ Vented disc w/ABS |
R: 15″ Stable disc w/ABS
|Tires:||225/40/18 Yokohama Avid|
|Gasoline Economic system (MPG):||28 metropolis, 31 mixed, 37 freeway|
|Gasoline Kind:||87 octane fuel|
|Remaining Level of Meeting:||Toyota, Aichi, Japan|