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Hatchbacks

New, 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Ups The Fun, Tech And Style

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New Toyota Corolla Hatchback

The new Toyota Corolla Hatchback replaces the Corolla iM, which was previously the Scion iM.

Unveiled at the 2018 New York Auto Show, the hatchback version of the evergreen Corolla rides on Toyota New Global Architecture and adopts a more dynamic look despite having softer edges than its predecessor. A lower ride height, wider front and rear tracks, and wheels that have been pushed to the corners give it a sportier, more planted appearance.

Inside, one of the biggest news is the availability of Apple CarPlay connectivity (it comes standard), which Toyota has been reluctant to offer on its cars. It is accessed via a standard 8-inch touchscreen that also serves as gateway for vehicle settings, audio controls, navigation, smartphone, and Entune 3.0 apps.

Other convenience features include Bluetooth connectivity, a wireless charger for your cell phone, Amazon Alexa integration and Wi-Fi connect. Unfortunately, there’s no sign of Android Auto yet, though.

The Corolla Hatchback also comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense, which includes a Pre-Collion system with Pedestrian Detection, Dynamic Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beam and Lane Tracing Assist.

Power is provided by a new 2.0L four-cylinder engine that is smaller and lighter than the old 1.8L unit, paired with either a six-speed manual or CVT transmission. The latter has simulated 10-speed Sequential Shiftmatic steps, a Sport Mode, and paddle shifters.

We now live in a world where a Corolla gets a manual transmission but not the Toyota Supra — an actual sports car!

Crossovers

New, 2019 Ford Focus Arrives As Classier Sedan, Hatchback, CUV And Wagon

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New, 2019 Ford Focus ST-Line

The all-new, fourth-generation Ford Focus arrives with a classier design, new engines, an improved chassis and Ford’s latest CoPilot360 driver assistance suite. It is said to be more comfortable and fun to drive.

Available as a hatchback, sedan, “Active” crossover and / or wagon depending on the region, the global Focus has been completely revamped and thoroughly-improved inside and out. It is Ford’s first vehicles to be derived from the company’s new product development process, which uses human-centered design to deliver uniquely tailored model variants that still benefit from a common modular platform architecture.

A longer hood with a cab-rearward interior and longer wheelbase help make the new Focus look larger on the road and deliver more interior room without changing the actual exterior dimensions. Its more sculpted and upscale-looking exterior is also more aerodynamic.

The instrument panel positioning has been optimized for getting in and out of the Focus, while an electric parking brake and rotary gear shift dial frees up more space and provide easier access to bins and cup holders.

There is a host of new convenience and safety tech, including the Ford CoPilot360 driver assist features, adaptive cruise control, adaptive front lighting, active park assist and evasive steering assist, as well as FordPass Connect WiFi connectivity, wireless charging for your phone, and SYNC 3 infotainment system with an available 8 inch touchscreen.

Ford’s engineers revamped the chassis and suspension with a 20 percent improvement in torsional rigidity, a electric power steering system that provides a more engaging steering feel, and Drive Mode Technology with three drive modes: Normal, Sport and Eco modes. The revised gasoline and diesel EcoBoost engines, which are presumably more fuel-efficient, are mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

All body-styles of the new Ford Focus — hatchback, sedan, wagon and crossover — will be available in Europe, but North America will likely only get the hatchback, sedan and possibly the “Active” crossover.

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Chevrolet

Chevy Spark Gets More Chrome, New Safety Tech For 2019 MY

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2019 Chevrolet Spark Update

Yes, General Motors still sells the diminutive Chevrolet Spark, a car we haven’t heard much of in a very long time. Not only is it still around, but Chevy’s mini-car has also gotten more attractive and safer for its 2019 model year.

The affordable Spark receives several updates for its 2019 model year, including a new front fascia with more chrome accent and available projector-style headlights and LED daytime running lights. New duel-element taillights can be found at the rear.

To help prevent that prettier face from being smashed-up, the 2019 Spark is available with Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking that’s claimed to be a first for the segment. The system is part of of the available Driver Confidence Package, which also includes forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning.

All Spark models are powered by a 98 horsepower, 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to either a continuously variable transmission or manual gearbox. Four different trim levels are available — all coming standard with air conditioning and a rear-vision camera system — including the Activ with its 10mm raised ride height and “crossover-inspired” design cues like body cladding.

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Chevrolet

Refreshed, 2019 Chevy Cruze Gets More ‘Upscale’ Look

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2019 Chevrolet Cruze

General Motors has introduced the restyled 2019 Chevrolet Cruze, which brings a more upscale appearance to the compact car segment. Are the changes enough to improve falling sales?

The updates are not major, with the most noteworthy being a redesigned grille that keeps the Cruze looking fresh in the shrinking yet competitive segment. Opting for the top Premiere trim also gets you new taillights with LED accents.

John Cafaro, executive director, Global Chevrolet Design, stated:

“Cruze’s refreshed styling gives Cruze a more upscale look while maintaining its Chevrolet design DNA.”

Other updates include a standard 7-inch infotainment system, new alloy wheels, and automatic climate control on LT and Premiere models and revised trim elements for the sportier RS model.

The 2019 Chevy Cruze is available with either a 1.4L turbo or 1.6L turbo-diesel engine. A six-speed manual transmission is no longer offered.

2019 Chevrolet Cruze sedan and hatchback

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