Hot hatch fever is going around and Toyota has caught the bug! Meet the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, which the automaker says has “flair extraordinaire.” Indeed that seems to be the case, especially in that bright blue. The new Corolla Hatchback has Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa connectivity, a revised sport-tuned suspension, and a host of advanced safety features.
Let’s take a look at the rest of the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback.
Platform & Architecture
The 2019 Corolla Hatchback resides on the automaker’s TNGA C platform, also referred to as Toyota’s New Global Architecture. The compact structure employs a mixture of adhesives, spot welding, and additional bracing to boost fuel economy and on-road stability. The platform makes use of aluminum and high- and ultra-high tensile strength steels, improving torsional rigidity by 60 percent when compared to its predecessor, the Corolla iM. Likewise, the new hatchback is lower by an inch, wider by 1.2 inches, and longer by 1.5 inches.
Toyota uses a number of sound-absorbing materials, sealants, foams, resonator ribs, and silencers to reduce unwanted cabin noise. The actual hatch is made from Toyota’s Super Olefin Polymer and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene – both materials are lightweight to help with fuel efficiency. The hatch was moved 14 degrees forward for a more sporty look.
Power & Performance
The new Corolla Hatchback should be a responsive little machine with its 2.0-liter Dynamic-Force inline four engine. Complete with direct injection, it’s smaller and lighter than the 1.8-liter it replaces. A more rigid crank case with an integrated stiffener, a lighter resin cylinder head, and a ribbed oil pan further reduce unwanted noise and vibrations.
The engine, known in Toyota-speak as M20A-FKS, has the automaker’s latest D-4S fuel-injection technology. The system uses high-pressure direct-injection and low-pressure Port Fuel Injection, and can adapt the injection cycle based on driving conditions so ideal combustion is always achieved. The engine also features Dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligence) on the exhaust side and VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing-intelligence by Electric motor) on the intake side. VVT-iE uses an electric motor instead of oil pressure to control the variable valve timing.
Together, the systems enhance power output and fuel mileage, but cut emissions.
Although horsepower and torque figures are forthcoming, Toyota put a laundry list of work into the new engine. For example, the valve nip angle has been enlarged and the stroke is longer. Toyota says these changes, along with laser clad valve seats, provide higher compression and air intake volumes. Similarly, the pistons with their rounded top surface and slanted side walls reduce knocking and friction, but keep compression high. Toyota also notes the high-strength steel connecting rods, lighter timing chain, and how each cylinder receives three separate oil jets.
Like the engine, the Dynamic-Shift CVT received an extensive amount of work. It emulates a 10-speed, has a sport mode and paddle shifters, and comes with a slick feature known as a “launch gear.” Toyota says this helps in lower gear ratios where belt efficiency is typically poor in a CVT. Essentially, the transmission utilizes something called “gear drive” for stronger acceleration from a stop. The belt angle was narrowed and the pulley diameters reduced, creating 20 percent quicker shifts.
Drivers can also opt for a six-speed manual gearbox with downshift rev-matching control.
Ride & Handling
The car’s front MacPherson setup has been tweaked – i.e. updated bound stopper clearance and stabilizer locations – while other modifications include a revised coil spring rate and damping force. At the rear are updated shock absorbers and springs, and like the front, the geometry is slightly modified. Lower arm locations have moved for improved toe-in angles at higher speeds, and the shock absorbers have moved forward for better cargo capacity.
Toyota also took measures to reduce friction (by 40 percent) in all the sliding parts.
A high-resolution, eight-inch multimedia touchscreen houses the vehicle settings, audio controls, navigation, smartphone functions, and the Entune 3.0 apps. The premium Entune package adds an eight-speaker, 800-watt JBL stereo with Clari-Fi, voice recognition, navigation, and various search and connect features. The JBL stereo is really cool with its A-Pillar mounted tweeters and 6.7-inch door subwoofers. Wireless phone charging is a nice added bonus.
The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is available now and starts at $19,990. If you’re interested, here is our full review of the vehicle. It did lack in a few key areas performance-wise when we drove it, but overall we really liked it.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.