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The 2019 Toyota Corolla bears one of the longest-running small-car nameplates in the world because of its dependable name and no-nonsense approach to commuting. This year, the 2019 Corolla comes in two distinct flavors: a redesigned hatchback borrowed from Toyota’s European lineup and a U.S.-oriented sedan that dates back more than half a decade. No matter what body the Corolla has, it scores well for standard safety features, decent fuel economy, and interior space. The hatchback pulls ahead for its surprising driving verve—something we haven’t said about a Corolla in years. Additionally, the hatchback comes with Apple CarPlay compatibility and Amazon Alexa integration, features the sedan lacks.
The sedan comes in L, LE, SE, XLE, and XSE trims, while the sportier hatchback is only available in SE and XSE grades. The Corolla Hatchback was previously known as the Scion iA and the Toyota Corolla iA.
Most Corolla four-doors use a 1.8-liter inline-4 rated at 132 hp and 128 pound-feet of torque. The Corolla Eco swaps in a different version of the inline-4 with slightly more power and slightly less torque that uses a unique valvetrain system to maximize fuel economy. The vast majority of Corollas use a CVT, although a 6-speed manual is standard on the SE trim. The CVT is smooth enough from a start, but the engine’s limited power exacerbates the droning sensation that gives this style transmission a bad name. The Corolla sedan has the kind of powertrain that’ll make you want to turn up the radio.
Light steering helps the Corolla feel nimble around town. The sedan’s ride is soft, but bigger bumpers enter the cabin with a thunk and more head-jostling than in better buttoned-down rivals. On the highway, the Corolla four-door displays good tracking and stability in windy situations.
Sedan versions of the Corolla are popular with ride-share services such as Lyft on account of their spacious rear seats. If only the front seats were as comfortable for drivers. We’ve found the Corolla’s front seats to be thin and lacking in a wide range of adjustability. Most trims have seats draped in grippy cloth, but XLE and XSE trims use synthetic leather that feels durable and is matched with power adjustability for the driver.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.