The Toyota Corolla has never exactly been the most exciting of small cars, but the 2019 Corolla Hatchback aims to change that. Replacing the Toyota iM, the smartly-styled compact is new from the ground up, and adopts the automaker’s TNGA platform. That means more torsional rigidity, a lower center of gravity, and the promise of more fun on the road.
A new 2.0-liter gas engine handles the grunt side of things, contributing 168 horsepower and 151 lb-ft. of torque. It’s paired either with a 6-speed, rev-matched manual transmission, or a Dynamic Shift CVT. The latter simulates a ten speed – and has paddle-shifters – but, unusually, uses a fixed first gear for a more perky getaway from the lights.
Inside, there’s a far cleaner dashboard design, a standard 8-inch touchscreen, and Toyota’s latest Entune 3.0 infotainment system. That means Amazon Alexa support and Apple CarPlay. Factor in plenty of active safety technology and you’ve got a small car that’s ready to play with the best of them.