2019 Toyota Corolla Review & Compare in Corona, CA

The world's most famous sedan gets a hatchback brother

There's little doubt that the Toyota Corolla--the small, unassuming compact sedan produced by a brand whose major legacy revolves around durability and practicality to a fault--is one of the most famous four-doors in the world. Drive down any street in America, and you'll likely be able to point out a red Corolla, a Corolla with homemade roof racks, a Corolla with over 150,000 miles that barely needs more than an oil change to keep on chugging for another 100K , and a hand-me-down Corolla, driven a teenager or college student, with bumper stickers from every major era.

You'll probably find all of these within just a few minutes of watching. That's how prevalent this nameplate is.

In fact, Toyota can typically sell about a million Corolla cars every year, and its total sales since 1966 have topped 44,000,000. By 2025, there will likely be half a billion cars produced under the Corolla name. And that's no surprise: with over 50 years of experience delivering affordable small-vehicle options to budget buyers of all backgrounds, Toyota's learned a thing or two. It's why the Corolla may never be the fanciest, may never be the tech-savviest, may never be the most premium or the top performer--but, it's why the Corolla will always be able to outsell just about anything else. 

An all-new 5-door

Especially with the addition of an all-new Toyota Corolla Hatchback for the 2019 model-year. The official 2019 Corolla Hatchback will be replacing the outgoing 2018 Corolla iM--an odd, Frankenstein experiment that resulted from quietly rolling ex-Scion products into the Toyota development line. The short-lived iM sacrificed itself to make way for the 2019 Corolla Hatchback, and that's a sacrifice we're willing to live with. 

Little changes for the Corolla sedan from 2018 to 2019, but the hatchback brings some fresh new flavor into this modest but beloved lineup:

  • 2019 Corolla Sedan trim levels: L, LE, LE Eco, XLE, SE, and XSE
  • 2019 Corolla Hatch trim levels: SE, XSE

Design and the new look of Corolla

Toyota's new Camry and RAV4 started blazing trails toward a radical new design language--this generation of the Corolla, though, is waiting to take steps down that new path. While the recent refresh of the sedan, and the all-new arrival of the five-door hatchback, looks fresh and sits well in the overall lineup, it doesn't have the same aggressive angles and dramatic lines of some of Toyota's other new models. The sedan's stout body and mature personality make it a happy balance between the smirky, new-fashioned cars that are flying off the lots, and the old-fashioned four-doors that will never really go out of style.

The "hot" hatch is a beast of legend. Old icons like the VW Golf GTI, the MINI Cooper, and the old Subaru WRX crated new languages for the design of compact cars. The 2019 Corolla Hatchback is not quite on the same level as those legends--it may not be hot, but it's plenty of spunk, spirit, and fun to make practical budget shoppers warm to the idea. The new hatchback's five-door design ups storage to 17.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat. Toyota hasn't yet released official specs for full interior cargo area, but expect to see more than 40 cubic feet with the rear 60/40 split-fold seat laid down. 

Performance and engine options

Standard power for the 2019 Corolla Sedan comes from a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, good for 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque for most trim levels. The Corolla LE Eco is tuned for optimal efficiency, and that comes with a perk: more power, thanks to a boost up to 140 horsepower and 126 pound-feet of torque. The 2019 Corolla offers choice of a manual transmission or CVT--though Toyota's Continuously Variable Transmission does come standard on select trims. 

The 2019 Corolla Hatchback follows through with its sportier styling, offering a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 168 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque.

Standard Toyota Safety Sense

As part of Toyota's push for improved safety and state-of-the-art driver assistance, every new 2019 Corolla Sedan and Hatchback comes standard with a suite of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS-P) Package features:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
  • Automatic High Beams
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

This list of standard safety features may be the reason why the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback was named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS--the 2019 Corolla Sedan hasn't yet been tested by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. 

Is Toyota Entune in-tune with what drivers want?

There's big news for the Corolla for 2019: the Entune infotainment suite, which for years lacked conventional smartphone connectivity options, has listened to the cries of the people and will now offer a system that's Apple CarPlay compatible. Yes, iPhone users, you can now display your maps wherever you travel. Google users? Keep waiting. There's no Android Auto just yet. 

Options in the new 2019 Toyota Corolla include Entune Audio Plus with the Connected Navigation App, displayed on an easy-to-use and intuitive 7-inch touchscreen display. Google users who can't connect your Android phone, there is a Scout GPS Link App built into the top-of-the-line Entune system that can deliver step-by-step directions.

Takeaways: a solid sedan and a hearty hatch

There's really nothing to complain about in the new 2019 Toyota Corolla lineup. Drivers looking for more premium materials opt for a luxury car; those who want more power shop for sports cars; families who need more room bump up to the Camry. Shoppers who are comparing new Corolla sedans and hatchbacks are there because they want the best value for their dollar, to get a smart, safe, practical compact car that they can run into the ground--or, trade in for close to the new-car value a few years down the road. 

And that's exactly what they'll find in the new 2019 Corolla.


Compare the Toyota Corolla vs the Competition