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.