Explore the new 2019 Toyota Corolla: design

This is the first of four blog articles focusing on important characteristics of the new 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback and Touring Sports models. Following articles will concentrate on the vehicle’s comfort and convenience features, its dynamics, and its powertrains and performance.

Exterior design: Corolla Hatchback

“Our primary goal with the new Corolla was to create the boldest and most dynamic hatchback on the market, without compromising interior usability. Harnessing the low centre of gravity afforded by the TNGA layout, the vehicle is light and agile in the side view, yet as we move to the rear, the architecture transforms to create a solid, wide and low stance that is absolutely critical to the European market.”
Simon Humphries, executive general manager of Toyota Global Design

The new Corolla Hatchback has a more striking frontal design that is dynamic and distinctive. The car’s overall length has been increased by 40mm, all of which is contained within a longer wheelbase. Significantly, overall height has been reduced by 25mm, while the cowl height has been brought down by 47mm. The result is a sleeker shape and a lower, more attractive bonnet, which in turn improves safety by increasing the driver’s field of vision.

Beneath the curved edge of the flatter, clamshell bonnet, a narrow upper grille accommodates new, all-LED lamp clusters with integral daytime running lights. The trapezoidal lower grille has a new mesh design and a frame that projects powerfully forwards. It is less sharply angular and sits more upright than before, resulting in the front overhang being reduced by 20mm.

The sides of the grille surround generate Toyota’s signature catamaran shape, emphasising the 30mm increase in the car’s width and its broad, sporting stance. The upturned edges of the front spoiler house new LED fog lights.

The rear styling is more rounded than before, strengthening the visual relationship with the front of the vehicle. The tailgate is made of a resin material, which makes the complex curves of its design possible while also saving weight. A 14-degree increase in the angle of the rear screen and muscular haunches above the rear wheel arches combine to give the car a more compact appearance. All versions of the Hatchback feature a roof spoiler and shark fin antenna.

The car’s width is emphasised by the all-LED light clusters located as close to the edge as possible, while the rear bumper styling echoes the catamaran look of the front. A lower rear lip features twin chrome inserts.

The Corolla will be available with five new wheel designs, including 18-inch machine-finished aluminium alloy wheels and two new 17-inch alloys – one silver and one black/machined. Customers will have 11 body colours to choose from, including four new shades. Exclusive in its segment, the new model will also be available with four optional bi-tone colour schemes, combining a black roof, pillars and lower grille surround with a contrasting body colour.

Exterior design: Corolla Touring Sports

“With the new Corolla Touring Sports, we aimed to develop the most sleek and sporty wagon in the C-segment, while offering customers downsizing from the D-segment the benefits of class-leading rear seat legroom and highly competitive load space.”
Kazuhiko Isawa, chief stylist at European Design Centre

The new Corolla Touring Sports has a body style that is unique to Europe and was styled in Europe, at Toyota’s recently opened design centre in Zaventem, Belgium. Thanks to the adoption of TNGA architecture, the wagon is no longer simply a variation of the hatchback but a distinct model in its own right.

It is 58mm longer than the previous Touring Sports. More significantly, the wheelbase has been increased by 100mm, and the distance between front and rear seats has been extended by 48mm to offer best-in-class rear legroom.

Although it has the same frontal styling and 25mm reduction in overall height as the new Corolla Hatchback, every body panel rear of the B-pillar is exclusive to the model, offering a sweeping estate roofline that is elegant yet robust. The sporting profile is reinforced by the same flared arches found on the hatchback, their edges hemmed so the wheels can be positioned further outwards to emphasise Corolla’s wider stance and lower centre of gravity.

At the rear, the full LED lamp clusters are spaced widely apart and the rear screen has a 12-degree lower rake than the current model. The licence plate sits higher on the tailgate and the sill has a smaller step. Deeper rear bumpers echo Toyota’s catamaran design cue witnessed in the car’s frontal styling.

Colour choices will be the same as those for the Hatchback, including bi-tone finishes.

Interior design: Corolla

“Having already demonstrated its expertise on [Toyota] C-HR, a dedicated Sensory Quality team was assigned to oversee interior quality in the new Corolla. Working in close co-operation with stylists and engineers, the team analysed and visualised the whole interior, taking into account not only colours, grades and executions, but also details such as light intensity and direction.”
Yasushi Ueda, chief engineer at Toyota Motor Corporation

The new Corolla range showcases an all-new interior that presents a spacious, modern and cohesive cabin environment in which new textures, colours and trims combine to offer the highest levels of visual and tactile quality.

A new instrument panel, 24mm slimmer than in the current model, is key to generating a sense of spaciousness. The resulting reduction in the height of the upper panel area reduces the perceived mass of the panel itself and improves the driver’s forward visibility. This has also allowed the front seat hip point to be lowered and brought closer to the car’s centre of gravity, giving a more engaging driving position.

Conversely, the centre console has been made 42mm wider and 22mm higher to improve ergonomics and enhance the wrap-around feel of the cockpit. At the same time, the armrest height has been optimised and its sliding range increased to improve comfort.

The front seat design has been revised with changes to the seatback and cushion springs and the thickness of the urethane pad. These measures promote a better driving posture with wider pressure dispersal, increasing comfort and reducing fatigue, particularly on long journeys. Higher grade models feature new sports seats with shoulder supports and thick side bolsters to achieve excellent holding performance in an overall slim seat design.

The rear seats have also been revised, with a new cushion material that allows for more even distribution of the occupant’s weight. As standard, all rear seats can be folded using a remote lever to create a fully flat extension to the load space.

The materials and trim finishes have high visual and tactile quality, including satin chrome plating and paint, piano black elements, and a choice of cloth, Alcantara or genuine leather upholstery.

Please note that UK specifications and details will be confirmed nearer to launch.


  1. I swapped an Auris TS Hybrid in for my current Prius. The TS was far more practical but the oversight of essential features was not there at launch and only sorted after the facelift. I will wait at least a couple of years before I am tempted to change this time. It looks like the stupid white bits inside the cabin have gone but does have the wonderful radar, cruise,self park and HUD also is it available on sensable deep profile tyres on all trims? Having owned 4 Toyota Hybrids I know the devil is in the detail.

    1. On the tyre front, my Design spec hatchback comes with 17″ rims with 45 profile tyres. The Excel spec comes with 18″ rims which would [I’m guessing] have 40 profile tyres to keep the overall circumference of the tyre the same and thus mean the speed measurement would work the same on both trim levels.

      The Touring Sports Excel grade doesn’t get the 18″ rims, and appears to have the same wheels as the Design spec level, thus 45 profile tyres.

      This has always mystified me. It’s not a sports car, so why the low profiles with inherent harsher ride..?

  2. Is there any chance that the central instrument sensors behind the rear view mirror, which the car will no doubt have could be used as a dash camera with the addition of a owners hard drive?
    Irritates me no end that my auris has several cameras but not one can actually record whilst doing its other functions. And its difficult to put my own there legally due to the sheer size of the plastic case.

    1. Hi Joe,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are referring to the safety sense, this feature is not a camera. Its function is to detect pedestrians and road signs and therefore can’t be used to record.

      In regards to the reversing camera, this feature also cannot be used to record.

      We hope this information helps.

      1. That’s disappointing and exactly what I was referring to. Couldn’t be too difficult to add the equipment in the size of a pack of cards. I thought the safety sense used both radar and a normal camera according to your publishing materials?
        All it would take for the rear view camera is the software and a place to record to, or better incorporate it into the head lining at the top of the boot for view. You already have many USB points throughout the cars so could plug a hard drive into that.
        Dash cameras are becoming ever more popular and I think in a new model there’s a strong argument for incorporating it into the car properly without the additional wires.
        Just feels like toyota is starting to lag behind in innovation, you have the reliability but no interesting technology inside, still refusing to incorporate androidauto or screen mirroring and the like. The excuse that you can’t control that user environment/experience is a little thin when your own attempts aren’t very good or fast.

      2. Thank you for your comments. We take customer feedback very seriously and therefore will pass this on to our Product Team.


  3. I am encouraged to wait to see the new Corolla as i presently rune a wonderful old Saab and a Toyota IQ , (great for local Journeys) plus an Nissan Leaf for most of my daily journeys. BUT my next new car must be built in the UK.
    Knd rgs PJB.

  4. Hi I’m interested in buying one (TS model) but i cant find any good information regarding it’s ground clearance.
    this is important to me cause the roads where i live are bad

    1. Hi Amir,

      Thanks for getting in touch, it’s great to hear that you’re interested in the Corolla Touring Sports. The running ground clearance for the car is 135mm.

      We hope this helps.

  5. New Corolla 2019 sport touring excel does it have a head up display and wireless charger and heated steering wheel? When will I get it if I order now?

    1. Hi Tom

      Thanks for getting in touch. Here are some of the dimensions:

      Front seat back width at widest point – 56cm
      Front seat back width at narrowest point – 50cm
      Seat base width – 50cm
      Seat base length – 50cm
      Height from front base – 83cm
      Height from back of chair – 92cm
      Side bolster depth at the widest point – 23cm


    1. Hi Tron,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately, we don’t have this specific measurement. We would recommend contacting your local Toyota Centre who should be able to measure a demonstrator vehicle that they have available to them.


    1. Hi Tom,

      Thanks for getting in touch. The 1.8 Corolla Touring Sports has a fuel tank capacity of 43l.

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