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.