Toyota has introduced the stylish, fresh, sporty Corolla Hatch into in the family and the Hatch challenge has begun. Where we had Conquest, Run X, Auris… Now we have the Corolla Hatch nameplate and “iyababa shame”.
The exterior screams luxury, dynamic and sporty from a mile away, looking to hatch the young at heart, the “stylish sensibles” as Toyota would say. The Corolla hatch has a new grille that drops all the way down to the bottom, making the car look low riding, with fog lights at the bottom corners of the hexagonal shape and a silver chrome outlining the grille adding to the luxurious look. It has seducing LED headlamps ‘cat eyes’ that have a single stroke that meets the Toyota emblem in the middle finishing the sporty look in front.
From the side view, it is lower than its predecessor with an extended wheelbase and increased height giving the model more presence on the road. 16-inch alloy wheels come standard with chrome lining around the windows giving a luxurious look. The rear view has new dynamic character lines, LED combination lamps and a sporty spoiler for a feeling of firmness.
The interior has a simple, functional and luxurious layout with a quality leather dashboard holding up an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen that allows Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, USB, Auxiliary audio and reverse camera. The instrument cluster is thinner than the predecessor with a silver chrome line outlining it and a full – colour 4.2inch multi-info display. The friendly multifunctional steering wheel features driving assist mode, infotainment zone, audio zone and has a leather covering with trim adding tactical touch point matching the high – quality interior trim used on the gear lever and leather seats. The seats of the Corolla Hatch XR (units at the launch) are the ‘bucket like’ sporty seats that hug you and proved comfortable during the drives (feels like home). The Corolla hatch comes standard with features such as electronic windows (front and rear), central locking, eco driving indicator, automatic air conditioning with eco mode support fuel efficiency, cruise control and 12Volt accessory socket. The Interior is open and roomy, giving even passengers at the back-fair leg room with boot space is 361-litres. Folding rear seats give more space should owners require.
There are three models namely: Corolla Hatch XS, Corolla Hatch XS CVT and Corolla Hatch XR CVT, the model at the launch was the Corolla XR and comes in 6 colours (Glacier White, Pearl White Metallic, Satin Silver Metallic, Caribbean Blue, Scarlet Metallic and Oxide Bronze.
Toyota puts safety first and has put in Safety features in the Corolla Hatch such as Seatbelts (pre- tensioner and force – limiter), D+P+S+C+K Airbags !!!really?!!!! Codenames? let’s just say it has airbags alright, Impact absorbing structure, Hill start assist control, electric parking brake, EBD + ABS + BA, Vehicle stability control, Blindspot monitor (XR only)
When it comes to technicality and handling, I’m just going to put it out there: I was never ready. Performance is much smoother and the drive much quieter for a relaxed drive. The rear suspension has been tuned for enhanced stability and ride comfort. The Corolla Hatch has a 1.2-litre turbo engine claimed to provide improved performance and fuel efficiency. The unit produces 85Kw and 185Nm, with fuel consumption quoted at 6.1l/100km. Driving the Corolla Hatch during the Launch the fuel tank indicator barely moved (straight face emoji). There is a choice of two gear transmissions: 6- speed Manual transmission or the 10 – Speed sport sequential Shiftmatic.
Corolla Hatch 1.2 XS R336 800
Corolla Hatch 1.2 XS CVT R347 400
Corolla Hatch 1.2 XR CVT R367 100
All Corolla Hatch models come standard with a 6-services/90 000 km Service Plan and 3-year/100 000 km warranty. Service intervals are set at 12 months/15 000 km.
The hatch challenge has begun and the Corolla Hatch competitors (Mazda 3 and Ford Focus) should be worried. Personally, I’ve been hatched. It’s a definite yes from me FOR NOW till we have it no test.