Review and Test Drive: 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback SE

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The two-tone Moonstone white seats with black seat inserts lend a luxurious feel to the interior. They not only look good but also offer excellent side and thigh support, which helps keep you and your front-seat passenger in place on winding roads you might encounter. Rear space is equally good looking but would be tight for more than two occupants.

Controls and switches are well placed and laid out.

We especially liked the 8” infotainment display that occupies a high perch on the center stack. It gives the car an upmarket feel consistent with the Moonstone seats and that is only amplified by the dashboard’s cool blue gauges. Apple CarPlay integration is standard and works quite well. Toyota does not support Android Auto. Amazon Alexa is also supported in this vehicle.

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The hatch is easy to operate and offers direct access to what is a relatively small cargo space (the car’s aesthetics won out over practicality here); however, with the rear seats folded down, storage space seems practically unlimited.


Press the start button and the Corolla’s 2.0-liter “Dynamic Force” engine springs to life. Springs, however, may be somewhat of an exaggeration as the 168-horespower four-banger is neither that dynamic nor that forceful. To be fair, it does develop 31 more horses than the outgoing iM.

The SE variant comes standard with what Toyota calls an “intelligent” manual transmission with a rev-matching feature, but our Corolla came with the optional CVT, which has a physical first gear as well as ten simulated gear ratios (and paddle shifters to complete the effect).

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