2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback: Good alternative to the sedan.

By Veeno Dewan

Right off the  bat, the 2021  Toyota Corolla hatchback is an excellent alternative to the Stellar Corolla sedan. The engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 168 horsepower, 151 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional. The 2020 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is a five -door hatchback with seating for five. It’s available in three trims: the well – equipped SE, (from $21,050) CVT ($22,050), SE, (24,160, nightshade ($26,490) (As tested) and the top XSE starting from $28,200.

The top XSE trim level adds the CVT automatic and such standard equipment as dual-zone automatic climate control, blind-spot monitoring, bigger alloy wheel and other goodies such as: premium audio, navigation, bigger multi-information instrument cluster screen, leatherette/ fabric seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, LED fog lights, and steering-responsive headlights

We tested a Corolla hatchback equipped with the sporty blackout trim package called the Nightshade ($ 24,440) available only with the CVT that added the following Nightshade options:  Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel, Heated Exterior Mirrors, Heated Front Seats,   Safety Connect ‐ Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Black Badging Black Side Rocker, Black Rear Spoiler, Black Grille Surround, Black Door Handles, Black Side Mirrors, and 18″ Black Alloy amongst other things. The options hiked the cost up from a base $22,050 to $28,266 plus taxes. The Nightshade did look cool and drew a lot of attention on the road and when parked up.

Interior wise- the Corolla features a neat, attractive functional interior, material, fit, and finish are as usual top class. The heated seats and heated steering wheel are also operated by buttons. The front seats are roomy and comfortable. Good all-round visibility completes a great place for drivers and front passengers.

Moving to the rear; well, it’s a bit cramped back there with compromised little leg room –  front occupants will have to scoot up a bit to give rear sitting taller adults some space. It’s a better place for kids. Still, the rear seats do fold down and there is good versatility with 504 litres of cargo space behind the back seats

Downsides are few, but the hatchback format does offer greater versatility, overall, the Corolla’s combination of all features great and a small, make it one of the best compact hatchbacks available in Canada.  Highly recommended.

2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback: Priced from –$21,050 –  $28,200.