Historically, the Toyota Corolla hasn't been associated with words like "interesting," "exciting" or anything resembling enthusiasm, with the obvious exception of the earlier rear-drive models. But the 2019 Corolla Hatchback seems different. It looks aggressive. It's going to be available with a manual. And since Toyota says that being fun-to-drive is the top reason for buying a small hatchback, here's hoping it will indeed be fun. But besides these tidbits, there are other interesting facets to the Corolla Hatchback that we learned while in New York.
It's way stiffer and has a lower center of gravity The new Corolla hatchback is built off of the TNGA modular platform that underpins the Prius, C-HR, Camry and now the RAV4. And one of the big benefits of this chassis is that it's pretty rigid. Toyota says that the new hatch is a full 60 percent more rigid than the current Corolla iM hatchback. The center of gravity has also been lowered by 2 cm. Both of these should help make it a more enjoyable car to drive.
When Toyota showed its new Auris hatchback at the Geneva Motor Show, we expected there to be an announcement about the car's eventual availability in the U.S. market under some other name. Earlier Aurises have been sold as Scion iMs and Corolla iMs, Now, at the New York International Auto Show, Toyota is introducing the car as the sporty Corolla Hatchback.
The major difference between naming the hatch Auris or Corolla is that the European car gets just one non-hybrid powerplant, a 1.2-liter turbo engine. But the U.S.-market Corolla Hatchback gets just one engine to begin with: a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated direct injection four-cylinder unit with Dual VVT-i. The power output isn't yet announced, and neither are any other engine choices or hybrid systems to follow.