Pricing for the Corolla hatchback starts at $21,390 in Canada, $20,815 in the US.
The Corolla hatchback is good fun to drive and looks smart.
As a compact hatchback, it’s not the most utilitarian.
Compact and small hatchbacks were an integral part of my early driving years. During the 2010s, most sadly disappeared but there are still a few available. One of the stars of the diminutive segment is the recently introduced Toyota Corolla Hatchback.
In the past, Toyota offered a hatch version of the Corolla AE86 which is an extremely rare sight today. Its spiritual successor was the ultra-popular Matrix which became the Scion iM. Eventually, it morphed into the HB we have today.
Mush like the legendary AE86, the Corolla HB is actually more about the driving experience, efficiency, and styling, and not about utility and practicality. The segment, which is recently lost some members including one of its most valuable players in the Volkswagen Golf, still harbours the Honda Civic, Kia Forte5, Mazda3 hatchback, and that’s about it.
Shopping in this category will probably have you looking at compact SUVs and CUVs rather than other compact cars. Don’t be fooled however as most utility vehicles are not as intimate or involving to drive. So. should the Corolla HB be given your full attention and become your latest acquisition? Read on:
Why you should buy a 2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback:
Styling is a very personal thing however there’s no denying that the Corolla HB is not, at the very least, distinct. It also happens to be offered in a number of colours including some two-tone combinations.
The SE Upgrade, Nightshade, and XSE are lookers thanks to the included alloy wheels and spoiler.
The Corolla HB is incredibly affordable at $21,390. The optional automatic transmission ads only $1,000 to the tally. In contrast, a 2022 Honda Civic HB starts at $28,000.
Built on Toyota’s global platform, the Corolla hatchback is extremely refined and enjoyable to drive. The chassis’ tune makes for a nimble yet surprisingly comfortable small car.
Despite falling off Consumer Reports’ recommended list, the Corolla remains a very safe choice in the segment.
The base Corolla HB has the most powerful standard engines in the segment. The 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine delivers 169-horsepower.
The standard 6-speed manual transmission is easy to use and master. For those with less experience rowing their own gears, it features downshift rev-matching for smoother transitions.
The cabin is loaded with plenty of technology from the most basic trim. It includes an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, and much more.
Why you should not buy a 2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback:
The Corolla HB’s greatest shortcoming is interior space. The rear bench can be cramped for two normal-sized adults while the trunk is quite small.
Though affordable, climbing up the Corolla HB’s trim ladder sees its pricing advantage erode.
Although the Corolla does have the most powerful engine on paper, the fact of the matter is that, especially when mated to the automatic transmission, the power is adequate at best.
The all-new Corolla Cross is roomier and can be fitted with AWD.
The only car to avoid in the segment is the Kia Forte5 based on its questionable mid- to long-term reliability record. Otherwise, the remaining three cars, the Honda Civic, Mazda3 hatchback, and Toyota Corolla HB are all good options.
The Mazda3 has the advantage of being available with a larger more powerful engine as well as AWD. The Civic hatchback is extremely spacious and the most sophisticated of the lot. The Corolla hatchback, quite frankly, has no distinct advantage other than its bargain base price. Even so, it’s far from the wrong choice.