By Veeno Dewan
Right off the bat, the 2021 Toyota Corolla hatchback is an excellent alternative to the Stellar Corolla sedan. The best at the best attributes include stylish looks, great visibility, and more versatile cargo area. Go for the manual transmission and you get a car that’s very enjoyable to drive. For 2021 the Corolla is updated with the following: more safety equipment and the new Special Edition trim level. There are a number or very good competitors in this sector, but the Toyota is certainly in the top of the pack. The compact Corolla Hatchback offers a new spin into a car that is already a legend it looks great with its sweeping lines, assertive grille and slightly edgy rear end.
The engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 168 horsepower, 151 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional. The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is a five -door hatchback with seating for five. It’s available in three trims: the well – equipped SE, (from $21,050) CVT ($22,050), SE, (24,160, nightshade ($26,490) (As tested) and the top XSE starting from $28,200.
Recent Corollas have always offered great value for money, with decent levels of equipment, on the safety front. There is Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0 package, which includes: adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beams, and mandatory rear-view camera. The SE includes such items such as heated seats, blind-spot monitoring, and 16-inch alloy wheels. Upgrade Options include such packages offering: heated steering wheel, wireless charging, 18-inch wheels, and satellite radio.
The top XSE trim level adds the CVT automatic and such standard equipment as dual-zone automatic climate control, blind-spot monitoring, bigger alloy wheel and other goodies such as: premium audio, navigation, bigger multi-information instrument cluster screen, leatherette/ fabric seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, LED fog lights, and steering-responsive headlights
We tested a Corolla hatchback equipped with the sporty blackout trim package called the Nightshade ($, 4,440) available only with the CVT that added the following Nightshade options: Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel, Heated Exterior Mirrors, Heated Front Seats, Safety Connect ‐ Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Black Badging Black Side Rocker, Black Rear Spoiler, Black Grille Surround, Black Door Handles, Black Side Mirrors, and 18” Black Alloy amongst other things. The options hiked the cost up from a base $22,050 to $28,266 plus taxes. The Nightshade did look cool and drew a lot of attention on the road and when parked up.
Interior wise- the Corolla features a neat, attractive functional interior, material, fit, and finish are as usual top class. The dash controls are simple with sensible button for controls such as temperature, stereo volume, and tuning, while the eight-inch touchscreen also has buttons as well are accessed. The heated seats and heated steering wheel are also operated by buttons. The front seats are roomy and comfortable. Good all-round visibility completes a great place for drivers and front passengers.
Moving to the rear; well, it’s a bit cramped back there with compromised little leg room – front occupants will have to scoot up a bit to give rear sitting taller adults some space. It’s a better place for kids. Still, the rear seats do fold down and there is good versatility with 504 litres of cargo space behind the back seats
On the road, the Corolla is a hoot to drive with a surprisingly sporty experience. The well sorted suspension and steering give the compact some nifty footwork when it comes to highway and urban driving. The 2-liter engine used in the sedan is a well-chosen upgrade from the 1.8L used in the sedan. The 168 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque is enough to imbue the Corolla with enough pep in everyday driving, and some spirited acceleration off the line. Good rigidity from the chassis, teamed with a forgiving suspension allows for comfort on long drives. In term of fuel economy, the Corolla hatchback with the CVT is rated by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) at 7.5 L/100 km in the city and 5.8 on the highway, for a combined average of 6.7 L/100 km. Those are pretty good numbers that are even bettered if you opt for the six-speed manual equipped car, To sum up fully loaded, the Corolla is a shade under $26,000 and comes with an interior and features that won’t look out of place on premium Euro compact car. I like the neat exterior styling, the nice interior, and the decent –equipment levels Of course, the Toyota Corolla’s reliability and resale is legendary and so the Corolla is a no brainer if you want value for money. Downsides are few, but the e hatchback format does offer greater versatility, overall, the Corolla’s combination of all features great and a small, make it one of the best compact hatchbacks available in Canada. Highly recommended.
2021 Toyota Corolla
Hatchback: Priced from