2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback first drive: Doubling-down on surprise

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Necessity is the mother of invention, and the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is the perfect example of what can happen when you embrace the evaporation of your comfort zone. With is Millennially-minded Scion sub-brand getting the axe in 2016, Toyota could no longer focus on that audience’s parents and grandparents alone. Instead, it doubled-down on tech, engineering cleverness, and value, and in the process made a new Corolla that actually has curb appeal.

Toyota has been upending its status quo when it comes to design for a while now, and the 2019 Corolla Hatchback is an excellent example of that at work. At the front there’s a little of the Camry’s X-themed aggression, with squinting Triple-J LED headlamps pinched atop an oversized grille. Those LEDs are standard on the entry-level SE trim, too, along with 16-inch alloys, LED taillamp, and a chrome tailpipe diffuser.

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