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Juliet McGuire

First drive in the new Toyota Corolla Hatch

The Toyota Corolla; nothing has been as bland since dishwater came about. But that does not mean the Corolla isn’t also a force to be reckoned with. Toyota has sold almost a bazillion of them and it’s for good reason. The Corolla is practical, reliable, and comfortable among many other adjectives I could use to describe it. What could make it better? Better styling? Enter the new Toyota Corolla Hatch…

It is essentially an Auris, but now with the name ‘Corolla’ slapped on to it instead. And I am so pleased to say that it looks sh*t hot! With the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) chassis the Corolla is longer and lower than its Auris predecessor. It also means it has a more sleek appearance. It’s all curves and edges. You can choose between six colours, three new ones which include Scarlet Metallic, Oxide Bronze and Caribbean Blue which looks pretty epic. I don’t have a pic of the blue one, but you should be able to Google it. Ag fine, I will do it. The Toyota Corolla Hatch in Caribbean Blue.

COME INSIDE

Toyota Corolla Hatch

I thought the cabin would be boring AF but, yislaaik, I was so wrong. It is modern and fresh! The quality of materials used is superb and it all feels very solid and well-built. I know it shouldn’t be, but my favourite thing is the volume knob and we all know how much I love a knob 😉 No touching the touchscreen a million times just to lower the volume. Nope, you just turn the knob….old school style!

Toyota Corolla Hatch

The only downfall is space. Not up front, but in the rear. The rear passengers have limited legroom and headroom and as for the boot, well that is almost non-existent. It has a full-sized spare wheel in there, so it takes up almost all of the space. I would rather a good ol’ Marie Biscuit wheel and a bigger boot. I fear it may deter some customers. Especially since it is smaller than some of its competitors. But if, like me, you’re not too concerned about your rear passengers comfort and you pack your bags in first, you could overlook the lack of space.

The Toyota Corolla Hatch is powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine and what an excellent engine it is. If you want to get the most of the 85 kW and 185 Nm, then I would opt for the six-speed manual transmission. But if it is the convenience of a CVT that gets you, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a nippy little bugger. Fuel consumption is claimed at 6.1-litres. I averaged around 7.2l/100 km in the manual, but struggled to get it under 10l/100 km in the CVT. I was pushing it (to national speed limit obviously), but still, that is a touch high for my liking.

Toyota Corolla Hatch

WHAT’S THE VERDICT?

Look, there is no denying it has some seriously stiff competition. The Volkswagen Golf is not to be underestimated and the Ford Focus is another strong rival. But what I love about this new Hatch is that not only does it have two massive heavyweight nameplates on its backside (Toyota and Corolla), but even without what those names stand for, this car is excellent. It will cost you less than the Golf but a little more than the Focus (but we are waiting on the new Focus).

If you want everything that the Corolla sedan offers, but don’t want to feel like a boring old fart, then have a look at the Corolla Hatch. You won’t be disappointed – just don’t look at the boot! This is certainly a car to consider.

TOYOTA COROLLA HATCH PRICING

  • Corolla Hatch 1.2T Xs 6MT – R 336 800
  • Corolla Hatch 1.2T Xs CVT – R 347 400
  • Corolla Hatch 1.2T Xr CVT – R 367 100

All Corolla Hatch models come standard with a six-services/90 000 km Service Plan and three-year/100 000 km warranty. Service intervals are set at 12 months/15 000 km.

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