Susan Frissell, Editor, Womenwithwheels.com
As with all Toyota products, one can’t make a poor choice. This was our first time in the 2022 Corolla Hatchback. Back-to-back with the Mazda3 Hatch, made it possible to do a comparison of each. Just out of the Corolla, we’d have to choose it as the hatch to buy, over the Mazda3, although both are great buys, and offer most drivers a great choice. The hatch lends itself well to everyday driving demands.
The pros we found with the Corolla Hatch included enjoyable handling, almost effortless driving with a smooth ride and quality of ride. As with all vehicles today, there are plenty of standard advanced driving features, and not only is the Corolla Hatch easy to navigate, it offers great visibility.
As with all rides, we found a few cons, including limited legroom for the tall driver, and less cargo space and cabin space in general than their rivals.
This hatch is such an easy car to drive and handle that driving is effortless. Around town or on the road. One could become accustomed to the ease it offers, but that’s expected when climbing into a Toyota product.
There are few changes for 2022. The Corolla is a classic with a very loyal customer base. We’ve all known someone who swore by their Corolla and kept it until it couldn’t run any longer. It’s a no-nonsense ride, no frills or class. Just a solid, dependable automobile. Opting for the Hatch design makes it a little more upscale, with a SUV feel, on a smaller scale. Part of the 12th generation Corolla, it remains affordable, durable and efficient.
A practical compact car, the Corolla Hatch can be had in three trim levels: SE ($23,219, 2.0L 4-cylinder), SE Nightshade Edition ($24,179, 2.0L 4-cylinder), and the XSE ($26,246, 2.0L 4-cylinder CVT). Opting for the XSE lifts you up a tad, but all models are affordable and provide just enough to not feel denied.
Our test Corolla Hatch was the SE Nightshade version. This package comes with black 18-inch wheels, heated power outside mirrors, black lower grille surround and side rockers, black rear spoiler and Shark Fin antenna, black door handles and rear valance black badges.
This is a larger car than one would expect. When you glance back at it after stepping away, you realize how much longer and wider it is. No wonder if provides a very comfortable ride. Taking bumps is easy, one isn’t jarred, and the car recovers quickly. Competition for the Corolla includes the Mazda3 Hatch, Nissan Sentra, Subaru Impreza and Honda Civic. The Corolla outsells any car and most often competes with the Honda Civic and Accord. Hatchbacks make a lot of sense. Especially if you’re anti-SUV. They provide a fair amount of extra space, room for five and it doesn’t wear you out while driving one. The folding seats help too when carting around a bicycle, etc.
Seven colors are available in the Corolla Hatch. Our test car came in Classic Silver Metallic.
The Corolla Hatch will be competing with its brother the Corolla Cross, a small SUV. Height and ground clearance are elevated in the Cross making it a niche type vehicle, perhaps for off-roaders. The hatch is a better daily driver, and for the last year offers a six-speed manual transmission.
It remains to be seen how long Hatchbacks will be offered, by Toyota or any other manufacturer. The engineers have made it a fun, and practical ride to offer, particularly for city driving. Testing the Nightshade version, we appreciated the 18-inch tires and wheel, where entry level SE comes equipped with the 16-inch wheels. For a rougher ride, buyers may want to opt for the top-of-the-line XSE.
We were surprised about how quiet the Corolla Hatch is on the road. The front seats are comfortable, wide and able to be dialed into several positions. We had the heat turned up to 70+ to better manage these winter temps. The climate control system is effective and provided the much-needed quick warmup.
While it’s hard, if not impossible, to NOT recommend a Toyota product, we don’t all want the same thing in a vehicle. One has always been able to rely on Toyota’s products, pricing and style.
You won’t be disappointed with the Corolla Hatch.
MSRP: $23.225; delivery $995, total price $24,469
Engine: 2.0 L, inline 4 cylinder, Dual VVT, 168 hp, 151 lb.ft. torque
Transmission: sport suspension, sport drive mode, paddle shifters, continuously variable speed automatic, FWD, sport suspension
Mileage: 32/41/35 mpg
Height: 57.1 in.
Weight: 3,060 lbs.
Length: 172.0 in.
Width: 70.5 in.
Trim levels: 3
Options: Carpet Mat package: $249
Warranty: 3 yrs/36,000 miles