2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback  

the Coolest Corolla Yet!

Hi everybody it's Peter, and in this video we're gonna do a complete in-depth review of the Toyota Corolla hatchback, which in my opinion is the best version of the Toyota Corolla. Now, if you've never tuned into this channel before, I have complete access to the entire vehicle line here at Jim Gilbert's Wheels and Deals. I've done a video of the new Corolla Cross. I'm now doing a video of the hatchback. And if you don't know what a regular Corolla is, well you probably haven't been around for very long. Regular corolla's, pretty common. The hatchback is one that I think more people should be looking at because I do think it's more practical. It's also a vehicle that competes very well in the small crossover segment, and I'll explain that throughout this video. So let's get going with the review. So let's start here at the very front of the car underneath the Hood 169 horsepower two liter engine.

From here you can watch Peters Video by clicking YouTube or read his transcript... enjoy...

But that white color matters as well because it helps your eyes identify things because that white color is closer to daylight color. So you don't have to think about what you're seeing, you just right away recognize it. So a lot of people feel that L e d headlights are something that gives them better visibility, and part of that is the color of the light. They also contribute to a safety package on this car. So let's start talking about some of the safety features that this car comes with. So another little safety feature that a lot of people overlook is right here. There's this little ved out area behind the mirror that is a camera up there and that does a lot of things for you. So let's talk about that right now so that camera looks forward. And that thing allows all kinds of things to work. 

So first of all, it can see lane markers in the road. This car is capable of seeing lane markers and warning you when you wander outside of those lane markers. It's also capable of telling the car to gently nudge and steer itself to nudge you back into the lane. It's also part of your forward safety system that allows you to, allows the vehicle to see things like other vehicles, pedestrians, even bicyclists, so that it can help you avoid a collision if it sees those things. Now again, it's not something you should test. You should certainly not drive up to pedestrians and see if it'll stop you. But the vehicle is capable of stopping when it sees pedestrians all because of that camera. It also is a part of the process because it's mounted high that allows those headlights to go automatically up or automatically down on the high beam or low beam. (02:52)
And because it's mounted so high, it sees the headlights of oncoming vehicles or the taillights of oncoming vehicles coming over hill or something like that before your eyes see it and before the headlights see it. And that allows it to work very well to make sure that you're not flashing people with high beams on. And the thing I like about the automatic headlights is sometimes when I'm driving the country, I forget to turn them back on. As soon as a vehicle has passed, it takes me a little while. And in that time I'm usually over driving my headlights if I'm not, uh, being too careful. So that allows those high beams to come on right away as soon as it can and turn off right away as well. So a whole bunch of safety features and we're gonna keep mentioning safety features throughout this video.

Let's go back to the trunk now and talk about some of the practicality in this car. So if this doesn't look like your typical Corolla, that's because it's not this hatchback design gives you all kinds of practicality and we're gonna talk about that. But before we go too far, as we're looking at this view here, you can see that this vehicle really resembles a lot of other manufacturers small crossovers. And Toyota doesn't try to make this into a crossover. They talk about it's low center of gravity and that's true. But the reality is a lot of those smaller crossovers, they're not really going off road anyways. You don't need extra ground clearance. All that does is make it handle a little worse. So this is a good handling car and you're getting some unique things back here. You're getting an independent rear suspension, which helps with handling that lower center of gravity, but you still have very much that small crossover style.
Look here in this hatchback and let's show you inside the trunk now to show you that practicality that comes with this body style. So when I talk about this vehicle being the cooler Corolla, you can see some cool lines in here, those l e D lights along there, I just think it looks good. The overall shape is very nice. Let's pop the trunk open and talk about the practicality. So first of all, on any crossover, you're familiar with a hatchback style body. Now this one has some nice features. It drops down here from the area, which gives you a nice deep trunk. And of course this panel comes out. You can fold the seeds down and you have a 60 40 split there. But you can fold down and have all kinds of crossover type space. There is a little orange hook here. You can uh, tie something to that hangs something.

There's on there it says up to two kilograms maximum. So if you have wanted something that you tied to the top of the trunk, you could hang it off there and that just gives you an option. But again, when you take all this stuff out, fold the seats down, you've got all kinds of space for your cargo, a lot like a small crossover, which is the fastest growing segment in our market right now. So again, good handling crossover space. There's a lot to like about this car. Now if you are considering this over a small crossover, you may say, Hey, it doesn't have roof rails up here. There are lots of aftermarket options that you could mount roof rails up here or release crossbars up here to allow you to take your extra stuff if you wanted to. But let's look at the backseat here with those seats up, how do people fit in here? Well, I'm about six feet tall and as I jump in the back here, I can tell you that the front seat here is set to where I would need it to sit in the front seat. Headroom is plenty. I've got space above my head. And legroom is again comparable with something like a Hyundai Kona or something like that, that is marketed as a crossover but really doesn't have any advantage of space over this one. Pretty basic back here, you've got a couple doors beside me. You've got a little uh,
Space there, no vents or uh, ports or anything to talk about, but there are pockets on, Both driver and passenger seat.So you've got some space here, cup holders in the door.

So I mentioned that we're gonna talk about safety with this car. Before we jump inside the vehicle, let's talk about some of the safety features right back here. Well, first of all, this Corolla has disc brakes in the back. They may not, that may not be something you think of very often. You tend to think about abs and all those kinds of things when you think about brakes, but it does have better rear brakes than other small vehicles in the segment. You've also got something called rear cross traffic alert and blind spot detection. So blind spot detection, A lot of people know it shows you a little light in your mirror, tells you that somebody's right here in your blind spot, which is helpful. Obviously if you're switching lanes, having a warning sign if I'm in your blind spot, it's nice to know that that's there. 
But the rear cross traffic alert uses the same hardware, which is usually a radar piece back here and allows you to have a warning when you're backing up of someone crossing your path. And one thing that's really cool with that is if my hand was a minivan parked beside your car right now, there's no possible way that you could see me. But because the radar plate is back here as you're backing up, it will warn you of something like me being a pedestrian crossing your path or another vehicle. So you've got a lot of safety features. We just jumped outta the rear seats as well. Traditionally, when a vehicle has a lot of airbags, it needs those airbags to pass the safety test. And this one has something like a driver's knee airbag. Traditionally those driver's knee airbags are only put in to pass those safety tests. 
But you also have a number of rear airbag airbags including side airbags, uh, not just the curtain airbags, which again is a step up in airbag safety to make this a top safety pick for the I I H S. So a lot of safety built in there. Let's jump inside. We'll take a look at some of the features and safety items right there. Before we go there, let's just show you what the key looks like. So very simple Toyota key. They don't really put a lot of style in these. It does say Corolla, so uh, you'll be able to fake it and pretend like you drive a Lexus or anything else. But, uh, very simple key works very well. Let's jump in. And of course it's keyless entry. You just touch the door handle, it'll unlock before we jump in the seat here, this model does have manual seats, but it has a power lumbar support. So quite nice. It's height adjustable right here. You can tilt the back forward and back right there. So again, you can move it up and down manually. And then that power lumbar is nice, gives you a little extra support. Overall, these seats are fairly sporty, nice, uh, bolstering of the size they hold you in place. Uh, just give you a nice little hug. So jumping in here, let's go wide angle. As we do that, we're gonna shut the door here

And we'll hit the wide angle. There we go. So you have a tilt and telescopic steering wheel. Now I've got it pushed away from me in this video just for video purposes, but again, tilts and telescopic. So very uh, you know, typical crossover type stuff. And again, you're saving some money by buying a Corolla hatchback over something like a crossover. So we mentioned those mirrors. The little blind spot mark is in the side there. You probably can't see it right now. They're also heated mirrors, so that's kind of nice to have. We talked earlier about, let's just zoom all the way in. Talked earlier about the automatic high beams. So there's your automatic high beam button right there. You can see that also has a windshield defrost type thing that is down for your wipers. If you are, uh, parking this car outside and you have, uh, wipers that are gonna sit in snow and ice down there, they're out of view right now of course.
But uh, there is a little, uh, heat shield down there that can allow them to, uh, defrost just like the back window. Overall visibility is good. And again, this is a safety feature. A lot of cars wouldn't put this little tiny extra window in here. You'd mount the mirror up there. That takes away visibility. So visibility is excellent coming outta here. One thing you will notice is the dash is a little higher than some crossovers. I don't think that matters to most people, but you do feel like you're sitting low. Now the seat height, the hip height is very similar to some of those other small crossovers. The other thing I like about the Toyota, uh, hatchback here is the dark roof liner. A lot of, uh, corollas have that sort of gray roof liner, which is fine. This one is just a little sportier in feel.
So kind of cool for that. All right, let's turn on the vehicle right here. Just go to the on position. It is a push button start on this particular model that we're looking at today. I did not put my foot on the brake. So what we're gonna do is just allow the car to turn to its on position. All the warning lights of course come on, but it is not, uh, turned on. So it says not ready to drive. We know that overall a dash here. Pretty simple display. You've got tachometer, you've got speedometer over here. And then you've got a multi inform display, which can show you all kinds of things over on the right side there. Let's zoom all the way in so we could cycle through that. I think that'll probably save that for a different video. Little things though, you can tell that your rear passengers aren't buckled up, which is nice to have a lot of time.

They used to only do that on front passengers. Here you have it on the rear passengers. So kind of nice to have some of those features. And again, there's a lot of features that we could go through in there. Cycle through, you've got your average fuel efficiency. Now again, ignore dealership fuel efficiency numbers because they are usually, uh, skewed due to vehicles idling and that kind of thing. Uh, let's just kind of go back and continue to roll through here. Uh, distance to empty. So you got all kinds of options. Speedometer, if you want a digital speedometer, you can put that up in there as well. And then you have some of your safety items over here as well. Uh, let's just see if I can go into where I want to go. There we go. So you can turn into some of those safety items on there, like that lane, uh, keeping type system there, distance to empty, there's all kinds of things you can turn on or off in here.
And any warning messages that are in here will be displayed for you. So typical Toyota stuff, uh, fuel efficiency is their first priority right there. And that's fair. This car is actually decently fuel efficient for what it is. All right, Fabrice and Vanessa used to have this phone. Uh, this car paired here don't have that anymore. This screen is actually quite nice now because I'm looking at it with a camera with a single eye. It's enhancing the glare. When you look at it with two eyes, you just don't see the glare that you're gonna see on camera here. So don't be turned off by the uh, glare that you're seeing on camera. It's just not an issue in real life. Backup camera works well. It's gonna get mad at me for, uh, not running the car and shift into it wants me to shift into park, but you can see it has a backup camera there. 
You also have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay here, which allows you to connect your cell phone up. And Toyota is one little silly thing. They have a map system here. This car does not come with the factory navigation. So the buttons are all the same, the labels are all the same, but it doesn't always have all of those features. But having Android and Apple CarPlay gives you that option to have your Google Maps, your Apple maps, your Waze, all kinds of different map applications up on this screen, which makes it kind of nice. You have a, uh, digital, uh, automatic climate control system here. So Toyota's done this a lot with their, uh, hybrids. They have a sort of an eco heat and cool system. This again, is just gonna draw a little bit less power. A lot of things are sort of electronic on this car. 
Electronic power steering instead of hydraulics. So that leaves more room for the car to make power to the wheels as opposed to making power to the accessories. And that allows you to have a car that is more efficient overall. So it allows your heat and cooling system to also be a little bit more efficient overall. Uh, draw things. And of course if you wanna know how to turn on your mirror to frost, that's a mirror and a rear to frost with that button right there. And again, you just sort of set the temperature to whatever you want. Hit the auto button and it will bring that temperature. If you need heat to get there, it'll give you heat. If you need air conditioning to get there, it'll bring you air conditioning down there. There is a spot to put your phone way up there if you would like to. 

There's a, you know, put all sorts of things up there. You do have, uh, the, um, heated seats here. So high and low there. I like to call them rump roasters to keep your rump nice and roasted. So, um, you know, you can turn that off as well. One thing that's nice about Toyota is though, because these are latching switches, in other words, if I hit it on the high setting, it will stay on the high setting when I get in and out of this car every time I come back to it. If it's on the high setting, it'll be on the high setting, which is kind of nice. Now this one has some drive modes, the sport mode button right there. So again, just really changes the shift points and that kind of thing. And as we talk about shifting here, this is the automatic transmission.
This car's available with a manual transmission for the purists who wanna have a lot more fun, but they do try to make this CV t transmission pretty fun. So Toyota's done CV t transmissions for a while. Um, it's interesting because the CVT transmissions are really about efficiency, but Toyotas sort of sported it up here by giving you paddle shifters. Now a CVT transmission, if you don't know what it is, it's uh, well I won't explain it to you, but it doesn't have sort of fixed gear ratios like a six speed or an eight speed or something like that. Transmission. It uh, kind of moves anywhere on a cone. So if you picture the rear sprocket of your bicycle, and let's say there's seven or eight gears there, now picture that a cone. So you can go anywhere in that, uh, span of those large sprockets to small sprockets.

That's kind of how a CVT works. So it's an infinite amount of ratios between the top gear and those and the low gear. And that means that they can choose as many, uh, spots to stop in between there. So if you were to manually shift this car, there would be 10 gear ratios to switch through. Now the manual transmission is a six speed manual. That seems like the right amount of gear ratios. If you're manually shifting with your paddle shifters through 10 ratios. I just feel like that's just too many to really enjoy that experience. But hey, Toyota's given it a try and good for them because this is a sportier car. You do have electronic, um, parking breakdown here as well, which is kind of nice to have cup holders right there as well. So let's flip the camera around. Take a look at how I feel and how I sit in here.

So taking a look at how I fit in here, really, I can adjust this seat in a number of different ways to be comfortable. The way I have it right now is the same way I had it when I was sitting in the rear seat. And you can see I've got it a little bit low. You could raise the seat if you wanted to. Um, it feels sporty in here. It feels compact, but again, it's, it's still spacious for a small car. So again, it's not gonna have the fully upright seating position, like a small crossover. You do sit a little bit lower overall in the car, but your hip point is at a good point where you can be comfortable, um, getting in and outta the car. It's not so, so, so low that it's really getting down into the car. But again, just a sporty feeling here. Quite comfortable. I would be happy to drive this car every day, although I might want the manual transmission instead. So, uh, yeah, very comfortable seating position.

So let's talk about who this car is for. Well, first of all, this is the cooler Corolla. It's cooler looking, it's sportier. It's not something that blends into the background the same way a regular Corolla does. It does give you some small crossover practicality with its interior space, with its rear hatchback packaging. And I think that's a real advantage. I think there's a reason that those crossovers are popular because that space flexibility, it's also got great visibility and great safety features. So if safety matters to you, there's two things that really play into safety in a modern vehicle. Some of those are, we think of the crash safety type things. When this thing crashes, you've got airbags everywhere. You've got a good crash structure, very safe passenger compartment, and that's one step of safety. But it also has a lot of those collision avoidance type features like the rear cross traffic alert, like the blind spot detection, like the forward collision avoidance system with the camera out front. 

So there's a whole bunch of things that this car does to make it safe. So if you want something safe, you want something sporty, you want something fun, this car is very good for all of that. And it's a really versatile car that can do a lot for you. So if you need a car, a single car that does just about everything and great, great, gets great fuel efficiency and has Toyota reliability, this is a really good option if you're looking at a Corolla. Anyways, I encourage you to check out the Corolla hatchback because to me this is my favorite Corolla. Thanks everybody for watching. If you have questions that I didn't get to in this video, make sure you let me know in the comment section because I can come back to this car both in the comment section and in future videos. And I wanna thank Jim Gilbert's Wheels and Deals for giving me access to their complete vehicle lineup so that I can do that for you. And of course, if you wanna see this vehicle, you can swing on down to Jim Gilbert's Wheels and Deals here in Fredericton, new Brunswick, and they'll take care of you. Thanks everybody for watching.

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