Not long after its global debut, Toyota has launched the brand-new twelfth-generation Corolla hatchback in Australia. Priced from $22,870 plus on-road costs, the 2019 Toyota Corolla hits Australian Toyota dealerships this week ahead of expected big sales. The 2019 Corolla is new from the ground up for the first time in two decades.
The new Corolla is equipped with a new 2.0-litre petrol engine, a more modern design and a new model lineup with a hybrid available on all three models for the first time. Most significantly, the full active safety suite including autonomous emergency braking is standard on every 2019 Corolla model.
Toyota Australia’s vice-president sales and marketing Sean Hanley said Corolla, more than any other car, had built the reputation of the Japanese automotive industry and the success of Toyota Motor Corporation.
“This all-new Corolla hatch leapfrogs everything in the affordable small-car segment and sets the new benchmark,” Mr Hanley said.
“Corolla has become the world’s and Australia’s best-selling passenger car – and the new Corolla hatch is even better through our commitment to produce more appealing and dynamic cars,” he said.
Now sitting on Toyota’s TNGA platform like its siblings, the 2019 Toyota Corolla is longer and wider than the car it replaces. Now measuring 4,375mm long, 1,790mm wide and 1,435mm tall, the new model is 45mm longer, 30mm wider and 30mm less tall than the car it replaces, whilst its 2,640mm wheelbase is 40mm longer. Weighing 1,320kg in its lightest configuration, the 2019 Toyota Corolla has not lost any weight, but nor has it gained it – a positive step considering its equipment and size gain.
According to Toyota, the new Corolla’s centre of gravity is now 10mm lower with 60 percent stronger torsional strength thanks to the brand’s new TNGA platform. The previous model’s torsion beam rear suspension set-up has been replaced by a new multi-link set-up for superior ride quality and handling ability. The previous model’s noise insulation was studied and improved, with new fluorine coatings to reduce noise, as well as more noise insulation.
Powering the 2019 Toyota Corolla is a choice of two powertrains – an all-new 2.0-litre petrol engine and the 1.8-litre petrol hybrid from the previous model, albeit improved significantly for superior drivability. Producing 125kW of power and 200Nm of torque (versus 103kW and 173Nm in the old model), the 2019 Toyota Corolla’s new Dynamic Force 2.0-litre petrol engine offers healthy outputs in the small car class. Its 6.0L/100km combined fuel economy sticker (CVT – the manual is rated at 6.3L/100km) is competitive against other 2.0-litre petrol hatchbacks, including the Mazda 3 (5.7L/100km), the Hyundai i30 (7.4L/100km) and Subaru Impreza (7.2L/100km) – it’s also 0.1L/100km better than the ancient 1.8-litre engine in the current model.
Also new to the 2019 Toyota Corolla is a new ‘Direct Shift’ CVT automatic transmission, which features a 10-speed sequential mode. Unlike other CVTs, it features a mechanical launch gear to give the car superior response off the line, yet save fuel. A six-speed manual is also available, although unfortunately only in the entry level Ascent Sport. Like the C-HR small SUV and HiLux ute, it features Toyota’s iMT auto-rev matching technology.
Now offered in all three specification points, the 2019 Toyota Corolla hybrid carries over the same 72kW/142Nm 1.8-litre Atkinson Cycle petrol engine and 53kW/163Nm Nickel Metal Hydride drivetrain as the previous model. Offering a combined cycle 4.2L/100km fuel economy rating, the new Corolla hybrid uses officially 0.1L/100km more than the previous model though the new car is larger than before.
Toyota also claims that the new Corolla hybrid benefits from a new battery system that provides greater performance in a lighter package, whilst the e-CVT transmission is now more compact. The transmission also features measures to reduce noise, vibration and harshness, whilst it offers superior low-rev response and drivability. Most significantly, unlike the previous model, the hybrid drivetrain is offered in all three Corolla specifications which opens the choice up for hybrid buyers whilst lowering the cost of Corolla hybrid motoring by $1,660.
The 2019 Toyota Corolla starts from $22,870 plus on-road costs and is available in three model grades – the entry-level Ascent Sport, mid level SX and high-end ZR. As mentioned, each model grade is available with both the petrol and hybrid drivetrains, whilst a six-speed manual is available only on the Ascent Sport. The base price has jumped $2,680, which Toyota says is offset by the drastic increase in standard equipment. The ‘Sport’ in Ascent Sport suggests that a proper base model Ascent may join the range later.
The Ascent Sport kicks off from $22,870 plus on-road costs (CVT: $24,370, hybrid: $25,870) and is significantly better equipped than the previous model. Standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, electric-folding and heated mirrors, all-LED lighting, automatic headlights and wipers, rear foglamps, a urethane steering wheel with audio controls, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with a reversing camera and a six-speaker sound system, air-conditioning and an electric handbrake. The Ascent Sport hybrid also adds keyless entry and start and dual-zone climate control.
Most significantly, every Corolla is now equipped with seven airbags, autonomous emergency braking with day/night pedestrian detection and daytime cyclist detection, auto high beam, adaptive cruise control (with stop & go in the CVT), speed sign recognition, lane departure alert and lane trace assist with lane centering for the CVT.
The CVT-only SX is priced from $26,870 (hybrid: $28,370) and adds front foglamps, privacy glass, a ‘premium’ steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring, dual-zone climate control, wireless phone charging, keyless entry and start, DAB+ digital radio and satellite navigation with live traffic updates.
At the top of the range is the $30,370 ZR (hybrid: $31,870), which adds 18-inch alloy wheels, heated front sports seats, leather-accented suede upholstery, electric driver’s lumbar adjustment, a 7-inch driver’s information display, a heads-up display and a JBL sound system with eight speakers.
Available optionally for the Ascent Sport is satellite navigation with privacy glass for $1,000, whilst premium paint is $550.
2019 Toyota Corolla pricing (plus on-road costs):
Ascent Sport petrol manual: $22,870
Ascent Sport petrol CVT: $24,370
Ascent Sport hybrid e-CVT: $25,870
SX petrol CVT: $26,870
SX hybrid e-CVT: $28,370
ZR petrol CVT: $30,370
ZR hybrid e-CVT: $31,870
Satellite navigation with Suna live traffic updates and privacy glass: $1,000
Premium paint: $550
Stay tuned to Chasing Cars for our first drive review of the 2019 Toyota Corolla later this week.