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2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

By Frank S. Washington | 5/8/2018, 1:06 p.m.
Hatchback is no longer a dirty word in the auto industry. A number of automakers have developed hot hatchbacks that ...
The Toyota Corolla iM Frank Washington

The surface of the dash was soft touch, so were the door panels and the center console. That infotainment screen sat like an iPad affixed to the dash and there was nothing else in the center stack; it was a clean design. The instruments were digital and very easy to see.

On the road, the 2019 Toyota Corolla was quick. It had oomph. It handled well and it really was quiet. The route was like every day driving: plenty of lights, stop signs, turns and not a lot of long straightaways before the next turn. I found the Corolla easy to drive; the brakes were good, so was the sound system was good.

The 7-inch TFT Multi-Information Display (MID) showed us the turn-by-turn navigation, and various vehicle settings including Lane Departure Alert, Lane Tracing Assist, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and Blind Spot Monitor.

Engineers used a mixture of adhesives, spot welding, and additional bracing for the benefit of driver controllability and low fuel consumption. On-road feel and fuel efficiency was further refined through the extensive use of aluminum and high- and ultra-high strength tensile steel in the chassis and body. Torsional rigidity was improved by 60 percent compared to this Corolla’s predecessor.

And that showed on the road. This car was solid. It was not that much of a twisting route but the Corolla felt solid. There was little noise, no harshness and vibration was non-existent.

The front and rear suspensions were revised. The Corolla’s front MacPherson strut setup’s geometry was changed including updating bound stopper clearance and stabilizer location. They revised the coil spring rate and damping force, and reduced friction in sliding parts made for a high-quality steering feel, ride comfort, and handling stability.

At the Corolla Hatchback’s rear multi-link suspension with stabilizer bar, responsiveness was sharpened through updated shock absorbers and springs, and like the front, geometry was slightly modified.

Lower arm locations were moved for improved toe-in angle during high-speed maneuvering, as has shock absorber placement moved forward for better cargo capacity and reduced longitudinal low frequency input.

Overall, front and rear suspension friction was reduced by 40 percent and the 2019 Corolla’s center of gravity was lowered 0.8 inches.

The Dynamic-Shift CVT has simulated 10-speed Sequential Shiftmatic steps, Sport Mode, and paddle shifters. It featured a number of innovative elements, including the world’s first launch gear in a passenger vehicle CVT.

The all-new six-speed manual with downshift rev-matching control was 15 lbs. lighter and it was shorter, Toyota said making it one of the world’s smallest transmissions.

The 2019 Corolla Hatchback had Toyota’s latest safety equipment.

Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection:

Capability to detect a preceding vehicle or pedestrian in daytime or nighttime (nighttime is new), or daytime bicyclist (new), and alert the driver (audible and visual warnings) and/or apply brakes to help mitigate or avoid the collision in certain cases using Forward Collision Warning, Brake Assist and Automatic Emergency Braking.

Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control:

For highways/freeways only. Full-Speed Range DRCC is standard on all Corolla Hatchback models, except those equipped with a manual transmission. Those having a manual transmission are equipped with DRCC. Full-Speed Range DRCC is an adaptive cruise control that is designed to function at speeds between 0 to 110 mph and enables low-speed speed matching, stopping, and acceleration/deceleration relative to a preceding vehicle traveling at a slower speed. Speed, cut-in, and distance control enhanced, as well as Turn Signal Linked control added, for a more natural response.