Home Automobiles Watch The 2019 Corolla Hatchback As It Impresses Steve

Watch The 2019 Corolla Hatchback As It Impresses Steve


When I drove this car’s predecessor the Scion iM a couple of years ago, I was very impressed with its combination of fun and functionality. And for the 2019 model year, it’s been reborn as the Toyota Corolla Hatchback making what was good even better.

Starting with the new Camry, Toyota is back on track delivering a new breed of cars that are provocatively styled and exciting to drive. Though this little guy has been around for a while it’s been shuffled about with different names in different regions and even survived the demise of the Scion brand.  But this new generation Corolla Hatchback has finally found a home in Toyota’s U.S. lineup and it’s a keeper.  More power, better efficiency and a sportier suspension compliment its stretched wheelbase to create a stylish car that’s a real joy to drive.

The deal with the previous version of this car came down to who was rowing the gears – those who drove the manual model, like me, generally loved it and those who tested the CVT were totally turned off. Those transmission choices still exist but the CVT is all-new and no longer a deal breaker. Unlike CVTs before it, this one has a real launch gear that fixes the hesitation and moaning when taking off.  It then switches to its belts and pulleys for as favorable a CVT experience as you’ll find.  It’s no longer a deal breaker and delivers stellar fuel economy.

Though I’d still be interested in the 6-speed and its over $1,000 cost savings, this CVT is pretty darn good. There are paddle shifters with 10 simulated gears and a feeling of it being a normal automatic with palpable gear changes, if you will.  The sport mode affects the engine, CVT and steering to provide a more assertive drive.  The new 2.0-liter engine produces 168 horsepower, up from 137 in the iM I last tested.  151 pound-feet of torque also moves the svelte and more rigid 3,000 pound body quite nicely.  You won’t go looking for drag races but once it gets moving the real fun beings.

By TestDriveNow Auto Critic Steve Hammes for SouthFloridaReporter.com, Oct. 15, 2018

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