I have been a huge fan and willing groom of the funky Corolla Hatch since launched first in 2019.
It leaped forward design wise and ushered in Toyota’s striking new design language and introduced the TNGA platform to the Corolla family. It brought a new naming convention for the South African market, whereby hatchback variants of the Corolla family previously carried the Conquest, RunX and Auris badges.
Exemplary build quality, refined engines, fun to drive and futuristically divine looks gave sexiness to the 12th-generation Corolla in 2022.
Massive European appeal meant the powertrains had to accommodate strict European regulatory changes, so the previously employed 1,2-litre turbocharged petrol engine has been discontinued in favour of the latest 5th generation 1.8-litre Petrol-Electric Hybrid powertrain or proven 2,0-litre Dynamic Force petrol powerplant.
The ‘new gen’ hybrid engine offers a 14% increase in Total System Output – up from 90 to 103 kW (+13 kW) while the 2,0-litre gains an extra 1kW and 3 Nm for peak outputs of 126 kW and 203 Nm. Fuel consumption checks in at a modest 3.5 litres per 100 km for the Hybrid and an equally impressive 6,0 for the 2.0-litre. CO2 emissions register at 81 and 137 g/km, respectively.
Both engine options are now exclusively paired with Toyota’s self-shifting CVT transmission, helping maximise system efficiency as well as catering to prevailing market trends.
Buyers are spoilt for choice, allowing them to choose from a variety of exterior hues to express themselvelves.
New digital Instrument clusters are adopted on both Xs and Xr grades. Xs models feature a 7-Inch display with a large centrally housed speedometer and integrated Multi-Information Display (MID). Xr variants receive an all-new 12.3-inch digital display, stretching the full width of the panel and offering various display options.
A new, combination black and red interior trim alternative, offers buyers additional personalisation alongside a traditional black trim option. Xs models employ fabric while Xr versions feature sport seats clad in a leather and suede combo.
The interior lighting elements have been upgraded to the LED type, providing excellent illumination and low energy use. A wireless charger has been added to Xr models, supplying modern convenience while additional USB chargers – including Type-C format – have also been added.
Xs models feature a new 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with capacitive switchgear for ease of use. Xr models boast a new generation system with Voice Recognition, wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and built-in navigation functionality. Occupants can also select from different display modes and designs.
Another key change is the inclusion of Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 on all Corolla Hatch models. TSS 3.0 represents the latest advancement of Toyota’s active safety system – which incorporates semi-autonomous driving aids. Camera sensor resolution is increased, while using a wider-angle lens. The radar sensors have also been enhanced helping to increase the detection range and recognition.
Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) is fitted as standard, offering the driver an enhanced version of Rear Cross Traffic Alert by incorporating automatic braking. Another new feature is Blind Spot Monitor with Safe Exit Assist (SEA) – which uses the camera system to alert occupants of approaching obstacles when exiting the vehicle.
Corolla Hatch 1.8 Xs Hybrid – R 490 900
Corolla Hatch 1.8 Xr Hybrid – R 528 400
Corolla Hatch 1.8 Xr Hybrid Bi-tone – R 538 800
Corolla Hatch 2.0 Xr CVT – R 517 100
Corolla Hatch 2.0 Xr CVT Bi-tone – R 529 000
Peace of Mind
Includes a 6-services/90 000 km service plan and petrol models carry a 3-year/100 000km warranty, while hybrid models hold an 8-year/195 000 km warranty plan. Service and warranty plan extensions can also be purchased from any Toyota dealer (220 outlets).
All models are equipped with Toyota Connect, which includes 15 Gb in car Wi-Fi allocation, vehicle telematics and enhanced user features via the MyToyota app.
By Rubin van Niekerk