I was a big fan of the new 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, which I tested in April. It drives better, offers upgraded technology and has an incredible amount of standard safety features for a car in this class. My enthusiasm was slightly tempered by a couple of unknowns: We didn't know important details, such as pricing and fuel economy, at the time of the drive.
Well, now we know. Toyota has announced official pricing and fuel economy for the 2019 Corolla Hatchback, which will be offered in two trim levels: SE and XSE. (Fuel economy for the XSE with a manual transmission is still unknown.)
Pricing and Options
The SE will start at $20,910 (all prices include a $920 destination charge) with a six-speed manual transmission; opting for the continuously variable automatic transmission adds $1,100 to the price for a total of $22,010. For the better-equipped XSE, the price of entry will be $23,910 for manual versions and $25,010 for the CVT.
There are not many options available for the Corolla Hatchback. The SE will offer a Preferred Package for CVT models that includes an upgraded multimedia system with Toyota Connected Services and blind spot warning for $1,400. The XSE Preferred Package also is only available on CVT models and for $1,600 it adds a JBL eight-speaker stereo system, a wireless charging pad and dynamic navigation. An adaptive front lighting system also is available on the XSE for $415.
How does this stack up versus the competition? The 2018 Honda Civic Hatchback, the Corolla Hatchback's natural rival, starts at roughly the same price with a manual transmission ($21,045) but doesn't come with the same level of standard safety equipment or Apple CarPlay.
The Corolla Hatchback also compares favorably to the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback, which starts at $22,195 and doesn't come close on safety equipment either. Even the redesigned 2019 Volkswagen Jetta can't quite keep up; you can add forward automatic emergency braking and blind spot monitors to the base trim level for $20,645 — but it still lacks adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist! (Sorry, sometimes value gets me worked up.)
What about fuel economy? The CVT pays big dividends in this regard for the Corolla Hatchback. Manual-equipped SE models get 28/37/31 mpg city/highway/combined, and that improves to 32/42/36 mpg for the CVT-equipped SE. Gas mileage ratings for the XSE manual were not yet available, but the XSE CVT gets 30/38/33 mpg.
Up against the aforementioned competitors, the manual versions of the Corolla Hatchback are a bit behind, but the CVT does pretty well — especially in the case of the SE CVT. The 2018 Civic Hatchback gets 33 mpg combined with its manual and 34 mpg combined with the automatic. The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta gets 34 mpg combined across the board, while the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback is EPA-rated at 32 mpg combined (automatic) and 31 mpg combined (manual), matching the Corolla Hatchback.
These findings allow me to unbridle my enthusiasm — with competitive price and fuel-economy numbers, the data points check out on the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback and back up my driving impressions. It's a package that may just be the best compact car value out there today.
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