Toyota's new 2019 Corolla Hatchback SE is just about to go on sale in America. This is an all-new car with an all-new drivetrain that will replace the outgoing Corolla iM. Torque News' Senior Editor, Patrick Rall, attended the press launch of the new Corolla Hatchback and titled his summary of the new car, "The Most Exciting Corolla Ever" after driving the top XSE trim. We have now conducted a full week of testing and the biggest surprise aside from its amazing ride is the 43 MPG we recorded in real-world driving.
Our tester was the base SE trim with the optional Dynamic-Shift CVT transmission and SE Preferred Package. That added up to a price with destination and delivery included of $23,410.
This isn't our first rodeo, so we never trust the average MPG displayed in any car. The value displayed can vary quite a bit from actual MPG and are always "optimistic." During our testing, we covered 399 miles and consumed 9.27 gallons of regular unleaded fuel. That equates to 43.04 MPG. To Toyota's credit, the display was very close in this case.
During our test we used the AC almost constantly and covered both suburban and highway routes. We also did some in-town driving, but nothing one would call "city driving." Frankly, we avoid driving in the city. Although our driving would be called "legal", it was "spirited." We certainly did not hypermile, nor did we try to conserve fuel in any unusual way. We did use the adaptive cruise control at times, but our estimate is that we used it on only a small fraction of the highway miles. We enjoyed the Corolla, and had many quick getaways from stoplights and floored it on a few on-ramps when the situation warranted it.
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43 MPG in a non-hybrid vehicle in real-world driving is very unusual. In 2012 we tested a Lexus CT200h hybrid the same approximate size as this Corolla and measured only 42 MPG.
Not only did the new Corolla beat the Lexus Hybrid, it tops our real-world combined MPG in a 2015 Golf TDI diesel. In that vehicle, which uses more expensive fuel ($3.20 compared to $2.86 in our area this week) we measured 41.9 MPG in the same real-world area and loops. That was, of course, before we all found out VW was cheating on emissions with those diesels.
The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback SE with the CVT transmission will have an EPA-estimated rating of 32 City, 42 Highway, and 36 MPG combined according to Toyota.