Review of 2018 Toyota Corolla iM Hatchback

By John Hayden

With the first Corolla arriving in Canada in 1969, this marque has been a market landmark for over half a century. An exception to this brand-wide longevity is Toyota’s 2018 Toyota Corolla iM Hatchback. Just a few years after its launch, this sporty model was retired. A favourite with Europeans since 2007, it was actually a second-generation Auris that was rebranded. In 2019, it was replaced by the Toyota Corolla Hatchback, which packs an added punch in its drivetrain.

Good Looks with a Smooth Ride

Thanks to its low-slung profile, the 2018 Toyota Corolla iM Hatchback offers a solid ride on the highway. A n enjoyable blend of light steering and responsive handling is underpinned by an independent rear suspension. Compliant to the point of cushy, it glides quietly over even the bumpiest roads.

Focused on safety and reliability, this workhorse is tuned for comfort rather than corner-carving speed. Paired with either a CVT automatic or manual transmission, its four-cylinder 1.8L engine produces an acceptable 137 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque. Particularly for drivers with a light foot on the gas pedal, the iM is discreetly quiet, with very acceptable fuel economy: 8.3/6.5 L/100 km (city/highway).

Almost as aggressively good-looking as its snazzy successor, driving the Corolla iM is a very  pleasant experience. Well-kitted out, soft-surface materials cover just about every area its passengers are likely to touch, with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a glossy black trim, and fabric-covered A-pillars.

Comfort With Safety in the 2018 Toyota Corolla iM Hatchback

Scoring high for comfort, its heated front seats provide great support, thus keeping the driver relaxed but alert. Other positive features include automatic dual-zone climate control, folding rear seats split 60/40, and generous in-cabin storage. Above all, it’s practical, with a generous 589 L of cargo space. Other details include 12V, USB, and auxiliary input ports,  a 7-inch display, six-speaker AM/FM audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, Aha Internet radio, and a Gracenote database. Additionally, some models on the Hayden Agencies used car lot may also have a dealer-installed navigation option. Outside, it’s impressively well-equipped for a model in its price range, with cruise control and 17-inch alloy wheels, as well as LED taillights, automatic high beams, and projection beam headlights.  Additionally, its safety systems include lane-departure warning,  a head-on crash warning, and a backup camera.

What Competes with the 2018 Toyota Corolla iM Hatchback?

Available in a single well-equipped trim level, the iM pricing compares well with most of its rivals, although priced slightly higher than many of their base models. They include the Hyundai Elantra GT, the Volkswagen Golf, and the Mazda3, which are all top sellers for similar reasons. Also, another contender is the bigger Honda Civic Hatchback. In fact, one of the main competitors of the 2018 Toyota Corolla iM Hatchback is the 2019 Corolla Hatchback . A possible reason for this is a more powerful drivetrain and better dynamics.

Takeaway: For drivers seeking reliability, fuel savings, and safety, rather than ruling the road through raw power, the 2018 Toyota Corolla iM Hatchback is a great choice, at a price that fits all budgets.

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