A year down the line, Toyota has already improved Corolla Hatch
Not that it was looking for attention, but Toyota has just given its Corolla Hatch a quick once over. Just to keep it abreast of market developments. The Hatch was only launched last year, ushering in a new chapter for Corolla and Toyota is quick to remind us of the car’s arresting good looks, dynamic drive and finery as it strums that drum to trot out the changes.
It’s not the first Corolla Hatch upgrade in the last year either — Toyota already added its active Safety Sense suite to the flagship Xr model from March. And now the sharp and sexy hatchback has answered a few more of the very few questions previously asked of it.
INCHING UP THAT STANCE. DOUBLE.
First up, Toyota’s attended to its Corolla Hatch street cred. It’s inched-up that wheel and tyre. And again. The flagship Xr gets a stylish new set of directional 18-inch alloys. Because stance. They’re wrapped in 225/40/R18 rubber. The trusty suits of Toyotaland remind us that all these further perks up the Xr’s already impressive handling. For a ‘sublime blend of ride quality and road holding’, they say.
One compromise that 2-inch fatter 18-inch rubber brings, is a bit of a challenge to accommodate a full size spare wheel in the boot. No trouble — Corolla Hatch Xr now gets a space saver spare. Xs models retain their 16-inch alloys and 205/55/R16 rubber and full-size spare.
But that’s not all. The Corolla Hatch now comes with a striking two-tone colour scheme. All the rage 100 years ago, two-tone went out of style around the end of the great depression. It came back with all that Yankee chrome and fins of the ‘60s. But it’s largely been absent ever since. Toyota has however been at it again of late.
Now Corolla Hatch can also be had in fierce red, platinum white, grey or blue below. And metallic black on top. Because visual drama! Don’t fret if that Darth Vader glasshouse treatment is a bit much for you. You can still get your Corolla Hatch in a conventional monotone hue. But more adventurous owners can now also have their thing.
NOW LET’S STEP INSIDE
One aspect Toyota has quickly come to grips with, is the speed with which in-car infotainment continues to progress. Slipping behind that curve is becoming a fatal mistake. Your favourite carmaker however has that taped, too. Corolla Hatch may only be in its second year on the market, but that interface has already been supplanted by a new-generation system across the board.
Corolla’s latest specification Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth and USB-rich system allows you to seamlessly mirror apps off your mobile phone for ultimate on-the-fly connectivity, enhanced telephony and hassle-free messaging. Pick your preferred streaming sound source, from Apple Music to JOOX, Spotify to SoundCloud. And find your way via native state of the art Google Maps and Waze navigation apps.
That’s all in addition to a cool Corolla Hatch specification list that starts with a generous list of Xs grade comfort and convenience features. All Corollas get LED daylight driving lights and power and heated wing mirrors, while Smart Entry allows keyless access to a cabin perfectly climate balanced by standard dual-zone control. Hatch Xs also packs in cruise control, a reverse camera, one-touch power windows and speed-sensitive door locking.
Stepping up to Xr spec gets you cool leather and Alcantara combination trimmed heated sport front seats with power-adjustable driver lumbar support, along with all the new goodies mentioned above.
COROLLA HATCH — SAFE AS HOUSES
Corolla Hatch of course comes with a significant standard safety specification. There are driver, passenger, side, curtain and driver-knee airbags. VSC stability control and full suite of electronic aids. The brakes get ABS anti-skid, electronic distribution and assist, as well as an electronic parking brake with integrated Hill-Assist. ISOFIX attachment points are standard too.
Corolla Hatch Xr ups the ante to the full Toyota Safety Sense suite. Blind Spot Monitoring has now been expanded to include Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which includes alley-docking to warn the driver of passing vehicles or obstacles that may be out of visual range.
Corolla Hatch continues unchanged under the bonnet. You’ll be challenged to believe that it’s just a 1.2-litre engine in there. The turbocharged 85kW 185Nm 8NR-FTS lump not only delivers linear power delivery and a broad torque curve, but it also returns frugal 6.3 l/100 km consumption at 146 g/km in manual get-up. The self-shifter is a 6-speed but the front-wheel drive Corolla Hatch can also be had with a 10-step Shiftmatic CVT.
AND THEN IT’S A TOYOTA
Of course the Corolla Hatch and its Sedan sibling have the significant advantage of their first name. Toyota just says it all, does it not? The Corolla Hatch comes with all the advantages that SA’s leading carmaker is famous for, from a 6-service or 90 000 km service plan at 15 000 km or 12-month intervals to the Toyota 3-year/100 000 km warranty Additional service plan and warranty extensions from any of Toyota’s over 220 South African dealer.
Little wonder it just keeps on going right. Because Toyota…
Toyota Corolla Hatch Pricing 1.2T Xs R369K 1.2T Xs Bi-Tone R379K 1.2T Xs CVT R380K 1.2T Xs CVT Bi-Tone R391K 1.2T Xr CVT R425K 1.2T XR CVT Bi-Tone R435K