Toyota Corolla hatchback 2019: price, specification and on-sale date

Prices and full range details announced for new 2019 Toyota Corolla hatchback; available to pre-order now

This is the new Toyota Corolla hatchback, the Japanese brand’s Ford Focus rival that’s available to pre-order now ahead of its official March 2019 on-sale date. The car replaces the the Auris as Toyota’s family car offering, bringing new technology, a sharp new look and up-to-date petrol-electric hybrid engine choices. The Toyota Corolla is available in standard hatchback and Corolla Touring Sports body styles, with a saloon variant due to arrive later in 2019.

2019 Toyota Corolla hatchback: engines, trim levels and prices

The Toyota Corolla hatchback is available to order in four trim levels and with a choice of three engines. Icon and Icon Tech models can be had with a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a manual transmission, or a 1.8-litre ‘self-charging hybrid’; Design models are available with these two engines or a 2.0-litre hybrid. Top-spec Excel trim is only available in conjunction with the two hybrid engines.

The Corolla hatchback comes as standard with 16-inch alloys, automatic LED headlights, an emergency call system, heated front seats, an eight-inch infotainment system with DAB radio, a reversing camera and a smaller two-inch TFT display in the instrument cluster, plus dual-zone climate control on 1.8-litre hybrid models. Prices start at £21,300 for the Toyota Corolla Icon hatchback with the 1.2-litre engine.

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A step up to Icon Tech trim brings uprated touch-screen infotainment with sat-nav and voice control, a seven-inch TFT screen in the instrument cluster, plus parking sensors and intelligent park assist. 1.8-litre hybrid models also get Toyota’s ‘Intelligent Clearance Sonar’ system, which offers in-depth parking sensor feedback. Prices start from £22,350 with the 1.2-litre engine, or £24,800 with the 1.8 hybrid.

The next step is to Design, which adds 17-inch alloys, automatic wipers, power-adjustable auto-folding heated mirrors, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rear privacy glass, LED front foglights and an optional opening panoramic sunroof. You’ll pay £23,375 for the 1.2-litre model, £25,825 for the 1.8-litre hybrid or £27,550 for the 2.0-litre hybrid.

Excel trim sits at the top of the range and adds 18-inch alloy wheels, bi-LED headlights, keyless entry, sports seats, part-leather upholstery and an optional eight-speaker JBL sound system on the 2.0-litre hybrid only. Buyers can also choose a unique two-tone paint finish and the same optional panoramic sunroof as introduced with Design trim. Excel trim starts at £27,345 with the 1.8-litre hybrid, or from £29,070 with the 2.0-litre hybrid.

Toyota Corolla engines and technology

While Corolla buyers can choose a 1.8-litre petrol hybrid engine that Toyota Prius and Toyota C-HR hybrid drivers will be familiar with, there's also a more powerful 2.0-litre version available. With 177bhp, it promises a 0-62mph time of under eight seconds while maintaining the potential for 74.3mpg as measured under the latest WLTP economy measurement regime and then converted to the old NEDC standard to facilitate direct comparisons.

The 2.0-litre produces 86g/km of CO2, making it far less expensive for company car users than other small hatchbacks thanks to a comparatively low 19% Benefit-in-Kind bracket. Every Corolla sold in the UK will have an automatic gearbox.

Exterior and exterior design

The Corolla made its public debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, alongside the hotly anticipated new Toyota Supra and updated 2018 Toyota Aygo, and the Corolla joins both in aiming to give the brand a more assertive, desirable aura.

A sharp, aggressive nose heralds the arrival of what Toyota describes as a “more dynamic exterior design”, with narrow headlights (that incorporate LED technology) framing an aggressive mesh grille that's split in two by the front number plate. The bonnet has pronounced sculpting to emphasize the front wings and the side window profile is similar to the striking Toyota C-HR's, particularly at the rear, where it ‘kicks up’ into the rear windscreen pillar. There are small shoulders over the rear wheelarches, which add substance to the rear quarters, as well as slim tail-lights that mirror the shape of the headlamps.

This Corolla is 40mm longer than its predecessor – all this extra length is between the front and rear axles, to increase interior space, and improved forward visibility is promised by a windscreen base 47mm lower than before. It results in ample space for four adults inside, although the tallest rear seat passengers may run short on kneeroom.

Inside, the Corolla shares some of the exterior's newfound style, but doesn't resort to gimmickry to look up-to-date. The prototype we drove feels nicely assembled inside, and material quality is high. We noted, though, that the 8-inch infotainment screen has crisp, attractive graphics and is quite responsive in use, but doesn't offer Android Auto or Apple CarPlay connectivity.

Buyers of the 2.0-litre model may also be disappointed by its smaller 313 litre boot – the 1.8-litre version offers 361 litres when the rear seats are in use. By comparison, the Volkswagen Golf has a 380 litre boot.

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