Toyota introduced the current Corolla hatchback in 2019, when it replaced the Corolla iM, itself a hatchback that started out under the now-defunct Scion banner.
What's New / Key Changes from Last Year
For 2021, Toyota adds Special Edition trim to the Corolla hatchback lineup that’s differentiated by Supersonic Red paint and a body kit. Availability is limited to 200 examples for the Canadian market.
The new SE trim and those above it add a rear cross traffic alert feature to the existing blind spot monitor.
Finally, all 2021 Corolla hatch trims gain rear seat-mounted side airbags (last year’s car only had rear side curtain airbags for head protection) to their standard features lists.
Toyota offers the Corolla hatchback in S, SE, SE Upgrade and XSE trims. All use a 2.0L four-cylinder engine, which starts out with a six-speed manual transmission with downshift rev matching that upgrades to a continuously variable automatic (CVT). The new Special Edition appearance package is offered on the SE Upgrade trim level.
In S trim, the Corolla hatchback comes with passive keyless entry, tire pressure monitoring, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, radar cruise control, 8.0-inch touchsreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-speaker stereo, power windows, windshield de-icer, automatic climate control, a 4.2-inch gauge cluster display, LED daytime running lights, headlights and taillights, 15-inch steel wheels with covers, and heated side mirrors.
SE trim adds blind spot monitoring with its new rear cross traffic alert feature, heated front seats, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shifter, driver lumbar, and 16-inch alloy wheels and tires.
The SE Upgrade trim gets 18-inch wheels, satellite radio, a heated steering wheel, wireless smartphone charging, and connected vehicle functions. This is where you can add the new limited-availability special edition package.
Finally, XSE trim brings dual-zone climate control, navigation, an eight-way power driver’s seat, a 7.0-inch gauge display, destination assist, traffic and weather info, cloth-and-leather seating, and fog lights.
As of this writing, Toyota has not published fuel consumption estimates for the 2021 Corolla hatchback. However, the 2020 model’s figures should carry forward, at 7.5/5.8 L/100 km (city/highway) with the CVT, and 8.4/6.3 with the six-speed.
The Toyota Corolla hatchback lives at the small end of the compact hatch class. Its key competitors include the Honda Civic, Hyundai’s Elantra GT, and the Mazda3 Sport. Other well-known cars in the class are the Volkswagen Golf, the Kia Forte, and Subaru’s Impreza.