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Video: 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback: First Look

03:00 min
By Editors
March 28, 2018

About the video

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback rides on an all-new platform and replaces the Corolla iM in the automaker's lineup.


The Toyota Corolla IM is gone. It's been replaced by the Corolla hatchback, a nameplate that loses the IM designation from Toyota's bygone Scion division for something that maybe shoppers will actually understand now.
There's more that's changed than just the name. The Corolla hatchback rides an all-new platform, and it's actually a different platform from what's underneath the current Toyota Corolla sedan. Now, if the Corolla IM always looked like it was trying a little too hard to look cool, the Corolla hatchback actually has this sort of dynamic simplicity to it. It looks good in its own skin, not like it's really trying too hard to be anything here. Overall, you get some interesting styling traits up front here. The upper and lower openings to the bumper are kind of conjoined within this framework. But at least there's this body-colored strip at the bottom here that kind of underpins the whole thing on the Corolla sedan. There's a dark area at the bottom, it just kind of seems endless. You come up here to the headlights, there's these LED strips that really come and run all the way inboard to the grill here. Very interesting look. Now, overall length and wheelbase, both up about an inch and a half, according to Toyota, and the hatchback, your Corolla hatchback, is actually lower and wider than the Corolla IM as well. You come around to the back here, a lot of similarities actually to the Mazda 3 hatchback, not a bad look to emulate. You get these taillights that really sweep in toward the center, and there's a very dramatically raked rear window. Come down to the bottom here, and you've got what would appear to be two openings for tailpipes incorporated into the bumper. Kind of nifty, right? Well, except that actually, they're completely fake. These are just decorative inserts. There's only one tailpipe. It's right there. Very different interior here versus the Corolla sedan, and a nicer one, I gotta say, similar to what the IM offered, versus still the same Corolla sedan. Nice padding here where your arms and your elbows land, with interesting stitched details. Now, obviously all of these details are kind of subject to change by the time the auto show car actually makes it to dealerships, but we like what we see so far. Now, a big eight-inch touch screen here is standard. Nice to see physical controls for volume and tuning knobs, and all the shortcut buttons up here. Big, easy-to-use knobs here for the climate control system below as well. So very functional and fairly elegant with a lot of mixed kind of overlapping materials. Something Toyota has been doing to good use in recent cars. Apple Car Play and Amazon Alexa compatibility will be standard, Toyota says, unfortunately, Android Auto not available. Now, backseat room for adults a little bit on a tight side, and the seat kind of sits low to the ground. Those were sort of issues with the Corolla IM. Toyota doesn't seem to really improved on them much in the Corolla hatchback. But it does say this is going to be a driver's hatchback, citing things like an independent rear suspension, same as the Corolla IM, but a larger four-cylinder engine now, and some important changes to both the automatic and the manual transmissions. We'll have to drive it to see if it improves upon kind of its underwhelming predecessor in the drivability area. All of that should come closer to the Corolla hatchback's on sale date in summer of 2018.

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