Road Test: 2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

In some ways, a recent test drive of the 2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback felt like being reunited with an old friend. That is because this tester came with a six-speed manual transmission.

But no matter how long it has been since I last drove a car with a stick shift, it always feels like I am reconnecting with a long-lost buddy.

And with manuals becoming rarer by the year, I cherished the opportunity to test the six-speed on this model, and it didn’t disappoint.

2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE

The Corolla Hatchback starts at a very affordable price of $21,450, but our tester was the top trim available for the manual transmission. The XSE is still a good deal at $28,025 (as tested) before fees and taxes.

The extras include $795 for the Finish Line Red with black roof two-tone paint scheme and the XSE package, which is an additional $5,780.

With that, you get a whole host of sought-after features such as heated fronts seats and steering wheel, blind spot monitor, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, wireless charging, 8-way power adjustable driver seat, 8-inch touch screen, heated exterior mirrors, fog lamps, the JBL Clari-Fi audio system and fabric/SoftTex seats

Regardless of trim, every 2022 Corolla Hatchback receives an updated multimedia system.

2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE

Powertrain: The engine in the Corolla Hatchback may not be mighty, but it is smooth and efficient.

The 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine under the hood is rated at 169 horsepower and 151 ft-lb of torque. Power delivery was good and the engine never felt overwhelmed.

Paired to the equally smooth six-speed manual gearbox on our tester, I found the combination to be a joy to drive.

Toyota calls this an intelligent manual transmission (iMT) that features downshift rev-matching. If a manual is not your thing, the model is also offered with a CVT.

2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE

One miss for me was on fuel economy, coming in at 9.5 litres per 100 kilometres rather than the 7.6 L/100 km estimate. Still a decent number, however, and it could have been impacted by the artic temperatures we experienced during my week with the vehicle.

Exterior: The styling of the Corolla Hatchback has loads of personality and a sporty look, enhanced on the tester by the two-tone paint job.

Up front, the sleek LED headlights and large lower grille give this Corolla a much more appealing look than the sedan.

The hatchback body style and athletic lines further enhance the exterior appeal, as do the 18-inch alloy wheels on the XSE.

Interior: The cabin of the Corolla Hatchback is fairly spacious given the dimensions of the vehicle, at least for the front occupants. Rear seat legroom can get tight, especially if the front passengers are on the taller side. Cargo room is also not the greatest.

2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE

However, the seats are comfortable and supportive, and the layout and materials in the cabin are both quite good. All the controls are neatly arranged around and below the infotainment screen and within easy reach of the driver.

Infotainment: Featuring a nice eight-inch touchscreen and an updated user interface, the Corolla Hatchback’s infotainment system is a good one. I found it simple to operate with clear menus and a good response time.

The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the XSE trim’s upgraded JBL audio system is also a welcome addition.

Drive: Whether it was because of the manual gearbox or not, the Corolla Hatchback was actually fun to drive. Not in the knock your socks off kind of way, but it was still an enjoyable week.

The engine offers plenty of power and the handling of the hatch is agile and can handle corners nicely.

2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE

It is also a smooth and quiet drive, not to mention comfortable for the occupants.

Conclusion: This is an attractive, affordable, and fun little car from Toyota. Not sure I would have said that about a Corolla a few short years ago, but here we are. While it may fall short of some competitors as it lacks things like all-wheel drive or a turbo engine, the Corolla Hatchback remains a solid choice from the Japanese automaker.

Packed with features, it looks good and drives really well. It also has a host of safety features through the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 that should give consumers peace of mine when on the road.

And with some very affordable price points, it should prove to be a hit.

2022 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE
Price as tested: $29,871.70
Freight: $1,720.00
Configuration: Front engine/Front-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder/ 6-speed manual
Power/torque: 169 horsepower/ 151 lb-ft of torque
Fuel (capacity): Regular (50 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 7.6 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 9.5 L/100 km
Warranties: 3-years/60,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Honda Civic, Mazda 3, Subaru Impreza

Links: Toyota Canada

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