2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Gets New Special Edition And Features

2021 Toyota Corolla hatchback gets new Special Edition and features

The 2021 Toyota Corolla hatchback doesn't see many updates for the new model year, but it does get a spiffy new limited edition with the unimaginative "Special Edition" moniker. Despite the name, the car is rather bold looking, gaining a unique front spoiler, side skirts and rear bumper. And we're pleased to report the rear bumper does away with the silly fake chrome tailpipes. Besides the lower body additions, all painted black, it gets a black rear spoiler and black 18-inch wheels. The Special Edition goes on sale later this summer, and only 1,500 examples will be built, all of which come in Supersonic Red. Bizarrely, this very sporty looking Corolla is only available in the SE trim level with a CVT. You'll have to stick with a regular SE or XSE if you want to pair the 2.0-liter 168-horsepower four-cylinder with a manual transmission.

As for the rest of the Corolla hatchback lineup, there are a few feature updates. All Corolla hatchbacks now come standard with rear seat side impact airbags. These are the abdominal airbags mounted to the seat, as opposed to the already standard curtain airbags. The XSE trim also picks up blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as standard, and both features are available on the SE trim as part of the optional SE Preferred Package. There's also the new Enhanced Cargo Space Package. Basically, it's the option to replace the spare tire with a tire repair kit to free up space under the cargo floor. It brings space up to 23 cubic feet over the regular model's 17, and it's a no cost option. Finally, Toyota is adding two new colors to the hatchback, Magnetic Gray Metallic and Wind Chill Pearl.

Junkyard Gem: 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage Hatchback

Junkyard Gem: 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage Hatchback

Remember the front-wheel-drive Dodge and Plymouth Colts (not to mention the Plymouth Champ and Eagle Summit) of the late 1970s through the middle 1990s? Those were Mitsubishi Mirages, and you could buy them here with Mitsubishi badging from 1985 through 2002. Then, for the 2014 model year, the Mirage returned to North America, as the cheapest new car you could buy here. Now, barely a half-decade later, I'm seeing significant quantities of these Mirages in the car graveyards I frequent. Here's a pretty clean '15 in a yard located within sight of Pikes Peak in Colorado.

Junkyard Gem: 1986 Mazda 323 Dx Hatchback

Junkyard Gem: 1986 Mazda 323 DX Hatchback

Mazda built generation after generation of the Familia, starting with the Giugiaro-styled machines of the 1960s. The first Familia that sold well in North America was called the GLC (for "Great Little Car"), and it began life as a rear-wheel-drive cousin to the RX-7 before the Familia went to a front-wheel-drive platform for the 1981 model year. The GLC name stuck around these parts through 1985 — and I've documented a few discarded examples of these now-rare machines during my junkyard travels — before getting the 323 name starting in the 1986 model year. It's no sweat to find 1990s 323s in junkyards, but I've been scouring the car graveyards of the land for the elusive early 323 and, finally, found this moss-encrusted '86 in a San Francisco Bay Area yard.

Junkyard Gem: 1980 Subaru 4wd Hatchback

Junkyard Gem: 1980 Subaru 4WD Hatchback

Living in Colorado, where they might as well issue you a Subaru at the state line, I see plenty of worn-out Pleiades-badged cars in the local wrecking yards. Most of them fall into the 15-to-25-year-old age group, but I'll spot the occasional Malaise Era Subaru, from the era when the Leone was sold in North America as, simply, "the Subaru." Here's a 1980 base-level hatchback with the four-wheel-drive option, spotted in a yard just outside of Denver last month. In 1980, the US-market Subaru could be had in three trim levels (STD, DL, and GL), and as a coupe, sedan, hatchback, or wagon (the pickup version was known as the BRAT). This STD hatch is the cheapest possible Subaru available in 1980 with four-wheel-drive, and I'm just disappointed that they didn't put STD badges on the base-level cars. The driver had to choose between front- and four-wheel-drive by hand, using this lever. If you left the car in 4WD for long periods on dry pavement, you'd wear out the tires and/or break something. By 1997, all US-market Subarus had full-time all-wheel-drive, with no driver decisions about driven wheels needed. Subaru offered an automatic transmission and a five-speed-manual for these cars, but just about all buyers of late-1970s/early-1980s Subarus went with the cheaper four-on-the-floor manual. When you see a junkyard car with the keys still present, you can assume that the car ended up here after being totaled by an insurance company or traded in on a new car. A battered 39-year-old Subaru won't get much interest at the sort of auction these cars go to, and so the junkyard ends up being the next stop. The owner's manual was still in the glovebox, and of course I took at home and scanned a few pages (look in the gallery, above, for those scans). The folks at Subaru PR were interested in this book for their archives (they don't have one), so I'll make sure it gets to them soon. Rodent bedding and poop fill the engine compartment, and the employees of this yard marked the car as a hantavirus biohazard. I'd wear a mask if I needed to pull the engine from this car, because hantavirus is a real problem in Colorado and has a scary 35% mortality rate. Speaking of the engine, you're looking at 67 mighty horsepower here. With the car scaling in at about 2,200 pounds empty, drivers needed patience on uphill freeway onramps (actually, they needed patience when driving anywhere). By the standards of Japanese cars of this era, the rust problem doesn't look too bad. Unfortunately for this car, the rare Subaru aficionado wishing to rescue and restore an early Leone can afford to hold out for a non-corroded example, because prices remain low. Super winter!

2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback Is Basically The Mazda2 Hatchback

2020 Toyota Yaris hatchback is basically the Mazda2 hatchback

The Toyota Yaris line in the U.S. has been really weird, what with the hatchback coming from Toyota, and the sedan coming from Mazda a rebadged Mazda2. For 2020, the Toyota Yaris line is still weird, but at least its consistent as the hatchback is also a rebadged Mazda2. And as far as styling is concerned, that's all there is to say. The front bumper is the the same angry catfish face as the Yaris sedan, and everything rearward comes from the Mazda2 that's available overseas and in Puerto Rico. The interior is the same as the Mazda2, and very similar to the Mazda CX-3. The switch to the Mazda platform has added 0.3 cubic-feet to the cargo space over the old Toyota version.

Under the hood is the familiar 1.5-liter inline-four making 106 horsepower. Disappointingly, the only transmission available will be a six-speed automatic, whereas the current sedan is available with a six-speed manual transmission. But having six speeds is a massive improvement over the outgoing Yaris's ancient four-speed automatic. Fuel economy hasn't been announced, but expect it to get close to the Toyota Yaris sedan's 32 mpg in the city and 40 on the highway. This will be another improvement over the old Yaris hatch's 30 mpg in the city and 35 on the highway.

Junkyard Gem: 1986 Isuzu I-mark Hatchback

Junkyard Gem: 1986 Isuzu I-Mark Hatchback

Thanks to the long global reach of The General's tentacles, Americans looking for economy cars at GM dealerships during the middle 1980s could buy Suzukis (the Chevrolet Sprint), Opels (the Chevrolet Chevette), Daewoos (the Pontiac LeMans), and Isuzus (the Chevrolet Spectrum). Just as Mitsubishi sold Mirages in the United States while Chrysler continued to sell the Mirage's Colt sibling, Isuzu moved in with the new front-wheel-drive I-Mark to compete with its Spectrum twin. These cars weren't big sellers and they didn't last very long on the road, but I managed to find this '86 in a Denver, Colorado, self-service wrecking yard.

The I-Mark was known as the Gemini in its Japanese homeland and in Europe; the front-wheel-drive second-generation Gemini debuted in 1985.

Nissan Versa Note Hatchback Could Be On Its Way Out

Nissan Versa Note hatchback could be on its way out

The Nissan Versa Note hatchback might be playing its swan song as we speak. A recent report from CarsDirect, citing the automaker's 2019 order guide, pegs it as discontinued after the 2019 model year, with production set to end in April this year.

Meanwhile, the Versa sedan looks safe for at least another one or two model years. The Versa Note is one step above the sedan in price, starting at $16,535, including the destination fee. Nissan prices the sedan at $13,245. Both these cars are aimed at folks looking to buy a new car for the cheapest amount possible. Compared to the previous six years, Versa sales dropped substantially in 2018. Nissan doesn't report Versa sedan and Versa Note sales separately, so we don't know the split, but 2018 saw 75,809 Versas find new homes. This was the worst full year of sales ever, signaling some amount of dissatisfaction with the small car — Nissan has sold more than or just about 100,000 Versas every year since 2010.

Toyota's Corolla Hatchback Gets The Gr Sport Treatment

Toyota's Corolla Hatchback gets the GR Sport treatment

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback plays somewhat against type by being interesting to look at and not a complete snore to drive (characterizations that now also can be applied to the new Corolla sedan). After all, the latest Corolla hatch and upper trim versions of the sedan use a larger, 2.0-liter engine, boast an available six-speed stick with rev-matching, add a fixed first gear to their CVT, and swap the previous torsion beam rear suspension for a multilink setup. But one still gets the sense that there's unrealized potential here. Now Toyota is exploring that potential with the just-announced GR Sport version.

This sportified Corolla Hatchback wears GR Sport-specific lower body styling, a black mesh grille, and a rear diffuser. Additionally, there are special 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps, fog lights, and rear privacy glass. The exclusive Dynamic Grey paint is two-toned with a black upper body. Inside, there are more aggressively bolstered bucket seats in cloth and leather or full leather, with contrast stitching. It's too bad the sporty upgrades don't extend to the mechanicals, but we will say the car looks pretty good.

Honda Civic Hatchback Next-gen Production May Come To North America

Honda Civic hatchback next-gen production may come to North America

Honda just announced this week that it will be closing its Civic hatchback factory in Swindon in the U.K. Besides meaning the potential loss of 3,500 jobs, the plant closure left us wondering what the future is for the Honda Civic hatchback, particularly the Type R, both of which are produced there for global markets including our own. But Honda has provided us a statement that reveals the hatchback and Type R appear to be safe, where production may be moved to, and when we may be seeing a totally new Civic.

According to Honda, the company is looking at bringing hatchback production to North America. Part of the reason for this is that the hatch is quite popular. Honda says that almost 20 percent of North American Civic sales are of the hatchback, and that's more than the company expected. And it does seem logical to bring production closer to where the cars are being sold. The Type R in particular would make sense since its engine is already build in Ohio.

2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback Could Return As A Mazda2 Clone

2020 Toyota Yaris hatchback could return as a Mazda2 clone

Less than a week ago we got the news that Toyota killed the 2019 Yaris Liftback in the U.S., instead choosing to sell the remaining inventory from 2018. There should be plenty of stock left, too: Car and Driver reports that Toyota sold 1,940 of the tiny hatches last year. The automaker said it would have an announcement about the Yaris at this year's New York Auto Show in April, telling Automobile, "We're working on something new for MY2020." C/D thinks it already knows what's coming, writing, "We assume ... that the new Yaris hatchback ... will be a rebadged Mazda2, like the current Yaris sedan that Mazda builds for Toyota in Mexico."

Toyota and Mazda formed a development- and technology-sharing partnership in 2015. As part of the collaboration, we got the Scion iA in 2016, based on the Mazda2 sedan. That four-door became the Toyota Yaris iA when the Scion brand got put in the ground, and then became just the Yaris for 2019. In spite of Americans' well-publicized aversion to sedans, the trunked Yaris sold 25,269 units last year. Meanwhile, the Yaris hatch, built at a Toyota factory in France, has carried on basically untouched since 2013 — with a four-speed automatic, even — helping to explain its slow take-rate.

Honda Urban Ev Prototype Hatchback To Be Revealed In Geneva

Honda Urban EV prototype hatchback to be revealed in Geneva

Over the past few years, Honda has revealed a couple of sleek EV concepts with retro-inspired designs. First up at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show was the Urban EV hatchback that resembled a mix of a Honda N600 and a first-gen Volkswagen Golf. That followed a month later by the Sports EV coupe at the Tokyo Motor Show. Today, Honda announced it was bringing a new EV prototype to the Geneva Motor Show. Based on the single image, it looks like it's the production version of the Urban EV.

Honda already confirmed that the car would go into production, though it's unclear (and unlikely) if it will make it to America. We've already seen spy photos from production version testing in Europe. Based on the photos, it looks like the production car will add a set of rear doors. It's far more practical, but we do love the Urban EV's three-door style.