2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback First Drive: Techier than ever before

    The hatchback previously often known as the Scion iM was reborn because the Toyota Corolla iM when the Scion model was “sunsetted” in 2016. Now, it has as soon as once more been born anew because the 2019 Corolla Hatchback.

    That is no mere renaming. It is a floor up redesign with an entire new chassis, new and extra environment friendly powertrains and extra security tech than you’d count on from an entry-level compact automotive. So far as we’re involved, it is top-of-the-line fashionable Corollas but.

    Toyota Dynamic Pressure engine

    Below the hood you will discover Toyota’s new Dynamic Force 2.Zero-liter four-cylinder engine, powering the 2019 Corolla Hatchback to the tune of 168 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque, will increase of 31 horsepower and 25 pound-feet over the outgoing Corolla iM.

    You could be shocked to be taught that Toyota is providing the hatchback with a six-speed guide transmission. There’s even a little bit of software program intelligence in-built that allows rev-matching for downshifts, smoother upshift engagement, hill help and stall suppression. To activate these options, an “iMT” mode have to be toggled on. The shift help software program annoyingly defaults to “off” when the ignition is cycled, whereas I might choose that it simply keep in no matter mode I might left it in.

    Most 2019 Corolla Hatchbacks will characteristic the brand new repeatedly variable transmission, however even that is no mere CVT. It contains a mounted clutch-engaged first gear that improves off-the-line efficiency and really feel. From a cease, there’s not one of the lagginess that makes most CVTs really feel bizarre and rubbery. Above about 15 to 20 mph, that gear disengages and the transmision reverts to common repeatedly variable operation with fake “digital gears” that may be chosen with paddle shifters.

    Underpinning a physique that’s decrease, wider and longer than earlier than is Toyota’s new TNGA platform. This new spine means the hatchback is 60 p.c stiffer than the outgoing iM, giving its multilink rear suspension and MacPherson fronts a extra strong stage upon which to carry out. Lighter elements, such because the resin composite rear hatchback door, assist hold the 2019 mannequin’s three,Zero60-pound curb weight consistent with the earlier technology regardless of it being bigger with extra gear.

    All of this conspires towards improved gas financial system relative to the outgoing mannequin. Nevertheless, Toyota has not introduced particular numbers and my time with each the CVT (round 29 mpg) and guide (about 23 mpg) fashions was maybe too brief to be significant.

    Beneath the hood is Toyota’s new, extra environment friendly Dynamic Pressure engine.

    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

    What’s good for financial system, it seems, has additionally been good for the Corolla Hatchback’s efficiency. That is no scorching hatch, however the dealing with feels extra partaking and refined than the earlier technology did. The then-Scion iM felt mushy and imprecise in corners and lacked steering really feel. The brand new Corolla hatch nonetheless lacks “really feel and connection” however is far more planted, predictable and responsive round bends. I might nonetheless moderately be behind the wheel of a VolkswagenGolf or Mazda3 on a really nice highway, however it is a fairly strong displaying by Toyota and, frankly, ok for a finances commuter.

    Normal Toyota Security Sense 2.Zero

    The 2019 Corolla Hatchback steps the protection recreation up not only for the mannequin, however for your entire model. It will likely be the primary Toyota mannequin to boast the second technology of the automaker’s Toyota Security Sense driver help know-how, TSS 2.Zero, as normal gear.

    The improve contains enhancements to the automated emergency braking. The system can now completely cease the automotive at speeds beneath about 37 mph, stopping collisions beneath that velocity. Bike owner detection has been added to its bag of tips and low-light pedestrian detection has been dramatically improved, boosting security at night time.

    When geared up with the CVT, the Corolla hatch additionally options normal full-speed adaptive cruise management that may deliver the automotive to an entire cease if site visitors forward slows down. With the guide gearbox, you continue to get adaptive cruise, however it may possibly solely be activated above 25 mph and can disengage if speeds drop beneath 15 mph to stop stalling.

    2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE

    The brand new look appears to borrow greater than slightly inspiration from the second-generation Mazda3 hatchback.

    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

    CVT fashions additionally characteristic normal Lane Tracing Help that makes use of cameras to detect lane makers or, if the markers cannot be seen, the previous automobile to actively middle the Corolla in its lane, moderately than simply bouncing between the boundaries like older lane holding help techniques. This hands-on-the-wheel system works solely on the freeway when adaptive cruise management is engaged.

    Off-highway, lane departure warnings (which work at speeds above about 35 mph) have additionally been improved with higher highway edge detection and a brand new driver alertness monitor that means taking a break if it detects an excessive amount of swerving from the driving force.

    TSS 2.Zero additionally features a camera-based signal help system that reads highway indicators (resembling cease, yield, velocity restrict or don’t enter) as they’re handed and shows as much as the three most up-to-date indicators within the instrument cluster.

    Add the usual reversing digital camera to the combination and that is plenty of normal security gear for a finances hatchback. Drivers even have the choice of including blind-spot monitoring, however I am advised solely on the CVT mannequin.

    Meet Entune three.Zero

    Cabin tech additionally will get an overhaul for the 2019 mannequin 12 months with the addition of ordinary Entune three.Zero infotainment within the dashboard. The software program is usually similar to the dashboard tech that we not too long ago noticed within the 2019 Toyota Avalon with the identical strengths and weaknesses.

    This technology of Entune additionally options new Verizon 4G LTE-connected applied sciences, together with distant entry and monitoring by way of the Toyota smartphone and smartwatch purposes and Alexa Talent integrations.

    2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE

    Apple CarPlay is normal for the brand new technology of Entune, however Android customers should make do with Scout GPS Hyperlink app integration.

    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

    I just like the organizational enhancements to the menu system, however assume the visuals may use some brightening up. The Eight-inch touchscreen is vibrant, crisp and actually shines when used with the usual Apple CarPlay connectivity. Android Auto just isn’t obtainable for this technology — a large disappointment — however Scout GPS Hyperlink app connectivity is normal, giving customers another low-cost navigation possibility.

    Stepping as much as the optionally available Entune three.Zero Premium system provides onboard navigation to the combination, in addition to an 800-watt, eight-speaker JBL audio system that sounds heaps higher than the usual six-speaker setup.

    A strong compact competitor

    The brand new 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback seems to be and feels sportier, however the greatest enhancements to this finances compact are to its consolation and security. That TSS 2.Zero setup will likely be class main stuff when the Hatchback hits the highway in July 2018, making this a strong alternative for folks in search of a secure first automotive for younger drivers.

    The brand new CVT powertrain will boast higher normal security gear than the guide possibility and can doubtless additionally boast the very best financial system, making it the mannequin to get. From there, potential homeowners should selected between SE and XSE trim ranges, the latter characteristic extra styling and luxury facilities. Pricing for the 2019 Corolla Hatch will likely be introduced nearer to launch.

    If, like me, you are in search of a bit extra warmth in your hatch, take into account the Volkswagen Golf and Mazda3, which ought to be priced competitively towards the Corolla Hatchback, or save a bit extra money for the Volkswagen GTI, Roadshow’s favourite scorching hatch. I might additionally toss the promising next-generation Hyundai Veloster into that blend when it arrives later this 12 months.

    2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE

    For individuals who worth security, the brand new Corolla Hatchback with normal Toyota Security Sense 2.Zero is a compelling and budget-friendly possibility.

    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

    Roadshow accepts multi-day automobile loans from producers to be able to present scored editorial evaluations. All scored automobile evaluations are accomplished on our turf and on our phrases. Nevertheless, for this characteristic, the producer lined journey prices. That is frequent within the auto business, as it is extra economical to ship journalists to automobiles than to ship automobiles to journalists.

    The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s editorial workforce are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

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