Toyota Launches Corolla Hatchback for 2019 – AAA Auto Buying Review

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE

More than 46 million Corollas have been sold worldwide since 1966 based on the small sedan’s reputation for reliability, resale value and safety, and now Corolla adds a versatile hatchback to the line-up for 2019 with a stunning new profile at an affordable price.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE Review

The new Toyota Corolla Hatchback offers two trims: the SE and our XSE, equipped with a single $415 option for adaptive and auto dimming headlights.

Our test drive 2019 Corolla XSE had a price tag under $25,000 at a time when the average vehicle sold in today’s automotive marketplace costs $10,000 more. The front-wheel drive, five-door hatchback boasted standard safety features, improved suspension and upgraded telematics but lacked some options, like navigation.

Built on Toyota’s new global architecture platform, utilizing a revised suspension, our front-wheel drive hatchback handled exceptionally well, riding on low profile 18-inch tires with good grip and some minor jounce over rougher pavement. Steering was tight and responsive while engaging the silky smooth intelligent 6-speed manual shifter, automatically adjusting engine revolutions.

While not quick off the line, lower gearing provided plenty of oomph for interstate passing and getting 35 miles per gallon with aggressive driving.
Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Outside, the newly attractive hatchback sports muscular wheel arches, rising rear beltline, a large chrome-surrounded trapezoidal-shaped grille, sculpted character lines and LED lamps front and rear.

Inside, Corolla resembles higher priced vehicles with flawless fit and finish and two-toned leather-trimmed heated front sport seats with piping. Cream and black colored matte elements with contrast stitching create an upscale ambiance.

The visors extend and the bolstered front seats were comfortable and the front cabin felt ample, although rear seating was slightly cramped.

Highly touted and standard Enform 3.0 offered application connectivity. Easily reaching the elevated high-resolution 8-inch dashboard multimedia touchscreen provided access to a plethora of functions. There is no CD player but AppleCarPlay, with cell phone interaction, is standard. Toyota expects owners to use cell phone apps for navigation.

There is a spare tire, and folded rear seats create slightly below average cargo space.

Typically receiving top crash safety scores, Toyota’s Safety Sense is standard, including top driver aids like dynamic cruise control, lane keeping assist and pedestrian detection. Noise has been abated and blind spot monitoring, often an option, is standard.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE At a Glance

LIKES: Price, telematics, ergonomics, comfort, value, reliability, safety features, mileage
DISLIKES: Average power, no navigation, tight rear seating
BOTTOM LINE: Great starter car for young couple seeking performance and value

If you are shopping for a new or pre-owned car, let AAA’s Auto Buying Service do the work for you. We can find any vehicle make and model, and we’ll pass the manufacturer’s savings on to you. Buying has never been easier. Reach out to our experienced sales team at 1-866-710-6226 or get a quote today, and we will help you get started with your search.
Tom Crosby has written more than 1,000 automotive reviews and is a retired Vice President of Communications for AAA Carolinas. He has seen dramatic changes in the automotive industry over the past 25 years and ponders the advent of self-driving vehicles, electric only vehicles, sophisticated in-car telematics and the financial challenges facing automotive manufacturers in an increasingly congested world-wide market.